29 December, 2007

Bhutto like Kennedy murdered by the state

Pakistan's military might have been behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, US presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton said Friday

Major cities in Pakistan are on fire, riots, and massive violence. People are out with guns and ammunition. The TV cable distribution system is shut down.

The final moments of Benazir Bhutto as narrated by her chief political adviser Safdar Abbassi, who was present in the same SUV when suicide bombers struck it, once again refutes the claims made by Pakistan government that the former premier was killed in the blast shockwave rather than by a bullet.

Abbassi told the British newspaper, Telegraph: "All of a sudden there was the sound of firing. I heard the sound of a bullet."

"I saw her (Benazir). She looked as though she ducked in when she heard the firing. We did not realise that she had been hit by a bullet...Moments later, the car was rocked by a huge explosion," he added.

Benazir, who remained silent, was oozing out blood from a deep wound on the left side of her neck. Naheeb Khan, Dr Abbassi's wife, cradled Benazir's head in her lap and pressed her own headscarf into the wound in a bid to stop the blood flow.

But the wound was deep and the blood seeped out, spreading down her neck and across her blue tunic, Abbassi recounted.

Two new set of photographs released by some private television news channels here substantiate Abbassi's claims.

In one set of the new photographs taken from a mobile phone, one of the two assassins is seen clearly wearing a pair of dark sunglass and a light brown jacket aiming his gun at Bhutto when she was waving to the crowd from the SUV's sunroof.

The suicide bomber is also seen in the picture, which has been taken from a different angle, showing him wearing a white gown where only his face is visible.

In another set of photographs taken from inside the SUV minutes after Bhutto was moved out to an ambulance, bloodstain is seen in the entire backseat of the SUV. A black sandal belonging to Bhutto is also seen lying near the seat.

Abbassi refuted the Government's claim that Benazir hit the sunroof's lever in the shockwave of the suicide blast.

She had been shot, he said. A day earlier, Benazir's party spokesperson and a close friend, Sherry Rehman had also rubbished government's claim.

"We saw the blood: the blood was everywhere, on her neck and on her clothes and we realised she was hit. She could not say anything," Abbassi said, adding that she was alive when she was carried into the intensive care unit of the hospital, but her injuries were so severe that she stood no chance.

"The doctors really tried their best but it was too late," Abbassi said, recounting that after she wrapped up the rally in the Liaquat Bagh area in Rawalipindi, she was extremely happy and asked him and his wife to join her.

She would never decide until the last minute which car to ride in; not even her head of security was party to the decision until she opened the car door. On the fateful Thursday, she chose the lead vehicle, the daily reported.

Just seconds before she was hit by the bullet, Benazir said "Jeay Bhutto [Long Live Bhutto," Abbassi recounted.

The conspiracy theory is clear. It is a textbook case of conspiracy murder of a popular leader by the establishment and is very much similar to that of Jon F. Kennedy in America. There was no way Kennedy could have come out of the grassy knoll in Dallas. There was no way Benazir Bhutto could have come out of the very well orchestrated, planned, and executed assassination of Bhutto by the establishment.

The conspiracy theory gained momentum after it is revealed that Rawalpindi police chief violated the Criminal Procedure Code by not allowing autopsy on Bhutto. Even though a medical-legal report based on a mandatory post-mortem examination is a must in a murder case under Pakistani laws, the establishment decided to instruct Rawalpindi police chief to block any such post mortem so that they can blame the murder on accident. The funniest thing happened finally. The Musharaff and his establishment blamed the whole thing on Benazir Bhutto’s Sunroof latch. Some in Karachi say they operated on Bhutto’s dead body to make it look like an accident and never allowed a compete autopsy to hide the bullet wounds.

Bhutto was ambushed from five different directions. More than ten gun men and two suicide bombers were involved. Al-Queda or some militant extremists group worked closely with the establishment to execute the assassination. In case of John F. Kennedy mob had a had but they worked together with the establishment to end the ‘true’ peaceful democracy in the world. This case is no different.

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani television channel has broadcast grainy still pictures of what it says appears to be two men who attacked and killed Benazir Bhutto.Dawn News Television yesterday showed three pictures it said it had obtained from an amateur photographer. One showed two men standing in the crowd outside the rally ground before Ms Bhutto left. One was a clean-cut, well-dressed young man wearing sunglasses, a white shirt and a dark waistcoat. Behind him stood a man with a white shawl over his head, who Dawn said was believed to be the bomber. Two other photographs showed the well-dressed man pointing a pistol at Ms Bhutto as she left the rally. He appeared to be about three metres from Ms Bhutto, standing on the left of her vehicle, pointing the gun with his right hand as she faced away from him.

: The 19-year-old son of slain former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on Sunday was elected as the Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) by the members of the Central Executive Committee of the party at a meeting which was held at Bhutto’s parental Naudero House in Larkana.
Senior Vice-Chairman of the party Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who presided over today’s meeting, announced this at a press conference after the marathon meeting that went for over five hours.
Fahim said that during the meeting Bilawal read out his mother’s will that was signed on October 16, two days before she returned to Pakistan ending her self-exile.
“In the will, Benazir had stated that if she dies then her husband Asif Ali Zardari would lead the party, but during today’s meeting Zardari said that he would not take the responsibility and offered the post to his son Bilawal, which was endorsed by everyone,” Fahim told reporters here.
Bilawal in his first press conference as the Chairman of the party thanked the CEC members and said that he remained committed to the federation of Pakistan.
“Democracy is best revenge,” Bilawal said and added that the PPP would work with a “renewed vigour”.
Later in the press conference Zardari, who has been appointed as the co-chairman of the party, said, “Benazir ki tasveer Bilawal (Benazir’s image is Bilawal),” that led to party workers shout slogans in praise of Benazir and her son Bilawal.
The party constitution, however, states that the Chairman of the party must be at least 22 years old.
Earlier in the day, PPP spokesperson Sherry Rehman had said that Bilawal is not keen to take up the post and wants to pursue his studies at the Oxford University.
Born on September 21, 1988, Bilawal did his schooling from Rashid School for Boys in Dubai and is presently doing his A-level at the Oxford University.
He is said to have acquired a black belt in the martial art of Taekwondo and is fond of horse riding.

Benazir Bhutto Not What the Media and Bush Administration Claimed By Saleeem Khan, Ph.D.

The violent death of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, is the latest event in a culture of violence that has been steadily spreading in the body politics in Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto’s assassination took place in Liaqat Park 28 years after the execution in April 1979 of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a democratically elected prime minister of Pakistan, at the hands of a military dictator. The prison where his execution was carried out is hardly a mile away from the Liaqat Park, a site where the first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, fell to an assassin’s bullet 28 years earlier in October 1951. A power struggle among the ruling elite was said to be the cause of the Liaqat tragedy, but that killing was never professionally investigated and I doubt very much that her tragic demise will ever be. These and numerous other tragic events in the 60 year history of Pakistan are of far reaching national and international consequences because Pakistan occupies a strategic position in a very volatile region. These events imperil national, regional and international peace. The magnified exposure of these tragic events in the world media is closely linked to protecting western interests fails to adequately express concern for the safety and welfare of Pakistan and its people. I have known both Bhuttos personally for over a quarter century. I met Ms. Bhutto for the first time in 1984 in New York when she was invited to meet with a politically active group of young Pakistanis. My meeting with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was arranged on August 1974, in the Prime Minister’s house in Rawalpindi. Subsequently I maintained contacts with both of them. I served as an economic advisor in his administration from 1975 to 1977. Memories of a long relationship and my observation of their tenure as public servants are still fresh in my mind. Both leaders were idols of the people and had developed close bonds with the poor and dispossessed. Ms. Bhutto had inherited her father’s legacy as a political leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which he had founded in 1967, and the mission of democracy and economic reform which he planned for his nation. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was an astute politician, possessing Clintonian talents and a statesman of international stature. He had made the mission of his life to serve the poor and downtrodden and worked tirelessly in promoting international cooperation and world peace. In both my meeting with him on August 8, 1974, and the subsequent contacts which I maintained with the Bhutto family he spoke of his agenda of political and economic reforms and the difficulties he was encountering in their implementation. He went on to reiterate his commitment to make a difference in the lives of the common man and peace with India at any cost and sacrifice. His economic reforms, as he explained to me, aimed at providing the basic necessities of life–bread, clothing, shelter–to the poor of Pakistan, but were negated by bureaucratic controls and conspiracies by the feudal lobby.

The three sins that made him a pariah among international powers were his nuclear program, an Islamic summit, and the drive for third world unity. These programs drew strong opposition from the western world in general and the US in particular. For these sins, as the world events have witnessed, he paid with his life.

Bhutto had trained Benazir from his prison cell to pick up the pieces of his reforms and democracy and prepared her mentally for sacrifices that she might have to make. In my meeting with her in New York she talked about her commitment to the PPP’s political and economic agenda emphasizing the need for building a strong popular support and forging unity among the ranks of party’s leaders and workers. Ms. Bhutto’s day to govern the country came in 1988. On the strength of her party’s political and economic programs and with the support of the people she was elected prime minister of Pakistan twice, first in 1988 and for a second term in 1993; each time her tenure lasted for two years. Sadly she failed to demonstrate the qualities of a competent governor for which her father had tried to prepare her, and she was unable to achieve any worthwhile program for socio-economic progress. She made herself the chairperson of the PPP for life, dominating the decision making processes and exhibiting little taste and patience for democracy. In the government she developed a close alliance with the bureaucratic establishment, surrounded herself with powerful feudal and corrupt party leaders. She only paid lip service to educational programs in general and female literacy in particular. During her tenure as prime minister the economy was largely mismanaged, poverty rose and governance standards deteriorated. Much is made of her education at Harvard and Oxford preparing her to meet the challenges of leadership in a modern world. Throughout her life she remained beholden to feudal interests and preferred a life of “The Rich and Famous.” While in office, she and her husband, Asif Zardari, according to the Pakistani media and the New York Times stole as much as $1.5 billion from government accounts. Neither the people of Pakistan nor the international media missed her during her eight years of self exile. Only when Washington needed her as a front for democracy in Pakistan did she reemerge as a political force by the international media. She stridently defended the war against militancy and Al Qaeda and seldom referred to the many other urgent problems facing the people of Pakistan. Pakistan is a country of 170 million people and they have never been allowed to have a say in shaping their destiny. Without their active participation in national affairs, stability and democracy is not possible.

La Opinion (Spanish language newspaper) is reporting that the bullet entered the neck, and exited at the top of the head.

Voice of America

Ms. Bhutto's senior advisor, Sherry Rehman, says she helped wash the slain politician's body for burial. She alleges the government is trying to cover-up its failure to protect Ms. Bhutto, who was campaigning for January 8 elections.

"It is very clear, it is running on all the Pakistan TV channels, the footage of an assassin who took clear aim at her with his gun and fired the shot that went through the back of her head and came out the other," she said. "I have seen the bullet wound myself. I was part of the bathing ritual party and she bled to death from that wound."



Anoter video (the Guardian, UK)

Guy on a prepared motorcycle is blown up by remote control.
Swiss Newspaper reports HE DID NOT fire the shots NZZ.CH
eyewitnesses say the shots came from a alltogether different direction.
She was ABOUT TO enter her car as FIVE shots rang out.

it was a PRECISELY PLANNED assassination and has CIA written all over it.

Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan killed in attack

The opposition politician is the victim of a suicide attack in Rawalpindi

Bhutto had shortly after six o'clock in the evening ended the campaign event and wanted to enter her vehicle when five shots were fired. She was apparently hit on the neck and chest when in the same moment a man with a motorcycle drove up close and exploded. It was not clear whether the shots came from the suicide perpetrators. According to eyewitness reports, they were from a different direction than the explosion came, the presumption was precisely a planned assassination would strengthen. The force of the explosion killed alongside Bhutto further twenty people and injured many of their followers, including their close advisers Sherry Rehman and Naheed Khan.



The assassination of Benazir Bhutto heaps despair upon Pakistan: A tragedy born of military despotism and anarchy

Now her party must be democratically rebuilt -- by Tariq Ali

The Guardian - 2007-12-28

Even those of us sharply critical of Benazir Bhutto's behaviour and policies - both while she was in office and more recently - are stunned and angered by her death. Indignation and fear stalk the country once again.

An odd coexistence of military despotism and anarchy created the conditions leading to her assassination in Rawalpindi yesterday. In the past, military rule was designed to preserve order - and did so for a few years. No longer. Today it creates disorder and promotes lawlessness. How else can one explain the sacking of the chief justice and eight other judges of the country's supreme court for attempting to hold the government's intelligence agencies and the police accountable to courts of law? Their replacements lack the backbone to do anything, let alone conduct a proper inquest into the misdeeds of the agencies to uncover the truth behind the carefully organised killing of a major political leader.

How can Pakistan today be anything but a conflagration of despair? It is assumed that the killers were jihadi fanatics. This may well be true, but were they acting on their own?

Benazir, according to those close to her, had been tempted to boycott the fake elections, but she lacked the political courage to defy Washington. She had plenty of physical courage, and refused to be cowed by threats from local opponents. She had been addressing an election rally in Liaquat Bagh. This is a popular space named after the country's first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, who was killed by an assassin in 1953. The killer, Said Akbar, was immediately shot dead on the orders of a police officer involved in the plot. Not far from here, there once stood a colonial structure where nationalists were imprisoned. This was Rawalpindi jail. It was here that Benazir's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in April 1979. The military tyrant responsible for his judicial murder made sure the site of the tragedy was destroyed as well.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's death poisoned relations between his Pakistan People's party and the army. Party activists, particularly in the province of Sind, were brutally tortured, humiliated and, sometimes, disappeared or killed.

Pakistan's turbulent history, a result of continuous military rule and unpopular global alliances, confronts the ruling elite now with serious choices. They appear to have no positive aims. The overwhelming majority of the country disapproves of the government's foreign policy. They are angered by its lack of a serious domestic policy except for further enriching a callous and greedy elite that includes a swollen, parasitic military. Now they watch helplessly as politicians are shot dead in front of them.

Benazir had survived the bomb blast yesterday but was felled by bullets fired at her car. The assassins, mindful of their failure in Karachi a month ago, had taken out a double insurance this time. They wanted her dead. It is impossible for even a rigged election to take place now. It will have to be postponed, and the military high command is no doubt contemplating another dose of army rule if the situation gets worse, which could easily happen.

What has happened is a multilayered tragedy. It's a tragedy for a country on a road to more disasters. Torrents and foaming cataracts lie ahead. And it is a personal tragedy. The house of Bhutto has lost another member. Father, two sons and now a daughter have all died unnatural deaths.

I first met Benazir at her father's house in Karachi when she was a fun-loving teenager, and later at Oxford. She was not a natural politician and had always wanted to be a diplomat, but history and personal tragedy pushed in the other direction. Her father's death transformed her. She had become a new person, determined to take on the military dictator of that time. She had moved to a tiny flat in London, where we would endlessly discuss the future of the country. She would agree that land reforms, mass education programmes, a health service and an independent foreign policy were positive constructive aims and crucial if the country was to be saved from the vultures in and out of uniform. Her constituency was the poor, and she was proud of the fact.

She changed again after becoming prime minister. In the early days, we would argue and in response to my numerous complaints - all she would say was that the world had changed. She couldn't be on the "wrong side" of history. And so, like many others, she made her peace with Washington. It was this that finally led to the deal with Musharraf and her return home after more than a decade in exile. On a number of occasions she told me that she did not fear death. It was one of the dangers of playing politics in Pakistan.

It is difficult to imagine any good coming out of this tragedy, but there is one possibility. Pakistan desperately needs a political party that can speak for the social needs of a bulk of the people. The People's party founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was built by the activists of the only popular mass movement the country has known: students, peasants and workers who fought for three months in 1968-69 to topple the country's first military dictator. They saw it as their party, and that feeling persists in some parts of the country to this day, despite everything.

Benazir's horrific death should give her colleagues pause for reflection. To be dependent on a person or a family may be necessary at certain times, but it is a structural weakness, not a strength for a political organisation. The People's party needs to be refounded as a modern and democratic organisation, open to honest debate and discussion, defending social and human rights, uniting the many disparate groups and individuals in Pakistan desperate for any halfway decent alternative, and coming forward with concrete proposals to stabilise occupied and war-torn Afghanistan. This can and should be done. The Bhutto family should not be asked for any more sacrifices.

· Tariq Ali's book The Duel: Pakistan on the Flightpath of American Power is published in 2008 tariq.ali3@btinternet.com


Anglo-American Ambitions behind the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Destabilization of Pakistan

by Larry Chin -- Global Research, December 29, 2007

It has been known for months that the Bush-Cheney administration and its allies have been maneuvering to strengthen their political control over Pakistan, paving the way for the expansion and deepening of the “war on terrorism” across the region. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto does not change this agenda. In fact, it simplifies Bush-Cheney’s options.
Seeding chaos with a pretext
“Delivering democracy to the Muslim world” has been the Orwellian rhetoric used to mask Bush-Cheney’s application of pressure and force, its dramatic attempt at reshaping of the Pakistani government (into a joint Bhutto/Sharif-Musharraf) coalition, and backdoor plans for a military intervention. Various American destabilization plans, known for months by officials and analysts, proposed the toppling of Pakistan's military.
The assassination of Bhutto appears to have been anticipated. There were even reports of “chatter” among US officials about the possible assassinations of either Pervez Musharraf or Benazir Bhutto, well before the actual attempts took place.
As succinctly summarized in Jeremy Page’s article, "Who Killed Benazir Bhutto? The Main Suspects", the main suspects are
1) “Pakistani and foreign Islamist militants who saw her as a heretic and an American stooge”, and 2) the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, a virtual branch of the CIA. Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari directly accused the ISI of being involved in the October attack. The assassination of Bhutto has predictably been blamed on “Al-Qaeda”, without mention of fact that Al-Qaeda itself is an Anglo-American military-intelligence operation. Page’s piece was one of the first to name the man who has now been tagged as the main suspect: Baitullah Mehsud, a purported Taliban militant fighting the Pakistani army out of Waziristan. Conflicting reports link Mehsud to “Al-Qaeda”, the Afghan Taliban, and Mullah Omar (also see here). Other analysis links him to the terrorist A.Q. Khan. Mehsud’s profile, and the reporting of it, echoes the propaganda treatment of all post-9/11 “terrorists”. This in turn raises familiar questions about Anglo-American intelligence agency propaganda involvement. Is Mehsud connected to the ISI or the CIA? What did the ISI and the CIA know about Mehsud? More importantly, does Mehsud, or the manipulation of the propaganda surrounding him provide Bush-Cheney with a pretext for future aggression in the region? Classic “war on terrorism” propaganda
While details on the Bhutto assassination continue to unfold, what is clear is that it was a political hit, along the lines of US agent Rafik Harriri in Lebanon. Like the highly suspicious Harriri hit, the Bhutto assassination has been depicted by corporate media as the martyring of a great messenger of western-style “democracy”. Meanwhile, the US government’s ruthless actions behind the scenes have received scant attention.
The December 28, 2007 New York Times coverage of the Bhutto assassination offers the perfect example of mainstream Orwellian media distortion that hides the truth about Bush/Cheney agenda behind blatant propaganda smoke. This piece echoes White House rhetoric proclaiming that Bush’s main objectives are to “bring democracy to the Muslim world” and “force out Islamist militants”.
In fact, the openly criminal Bush-Cheney administration has only supported and promoted the antithesis of democracy: chaos, fascism, and the installation of Anglo-American-friendly puppet regimes.
In fact, the central and consistent geostrategy of Bush-Cheney, and their elite counterparts around the world, is the continued imposition and expansion of the manufactured “war on terrorism”; the continuation of war across the Eurasian subcontinent, with events triggered by false flag operations and manufactured pretexts.
In fact, the main tools used in the “war on terrorism” remain Islamist militants, working on behalf of Anglo-American military intelligence agencies---among them, “Al-Qaeda”, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the ISI. Mehsud fits this the same profile.
Saving Bush-Cheney’s Pakistan In an amusing quote from the same New York Times piece, Wendy Chamberlain, former US ambassador to Pakistan (and a central figure behind multinational efforts to build a trans-Afghan pipeline, connected to 9/11), proudly states: “We are a player in the Pakistani political system”.
Not only has the US continued to be a “player”, but one of its top managers for decades.
Each successive Pakistani leader since the early 1990s---Bhutto, Sharif and Musharraf---have bowed to Western interests. The ISI is a virtual branch of the CIA.
While Musharraf has been, and remains, a strongman for Bush-Cheney, questions about his “reliability”, and control---both his regime’s control over the populace and growing popular unrest, and elite control over his regime---have driven Bush-Cheney attempts to force a clumsy (pro-US, Iraq-style) power-sharing government. As noted by Robert Scheer, Bush-Cheney has been playing “Russian roulette” with Musharraf, Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif---each of whom have been deeply corrupt, willing fronts for the US.
The return of both Bhutto and the other former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has merely been an attempt by the US to hedge its regional power bets.
What exactly were John Negroponte and Condoleeza Rice really setting up the past few months?
Who benefits from Bhutto’s murder? The “war on terrorism” geostrategy and propaganda milieu, the blueprint that has been used by elite interests since 9/11 to impose a continuing world war, is the clear beneficiary of the Bhutto assassination.
Bush/Cheney and their equally complicit pro-war/pro-occupation counterparts in the Democratic Party enthusiastically support the routine use of “terror” pretexts to impose continued war policies.
True to form, fear, “terrorism”, “security” and military force, are once again, the focuses of Washington political rhetoric, and the around-the-clock media barrage.
The 2008 US presidential candidates and their elite campaign advisers, all but a few of whom enthusiastically support the “war on terrorism”, have taken turns pushing their respective versions of “we must stop the terrorists” rhetoric for brain-addled supporters. The candidates whose polls have slipped, led by 9/11 participant and opportunist Rudy Guiliani, and hawkish neoliberal Hillary Clinton, have already benefited from a new round of mass fear.
Musharraf benefits from the removal of a bitter rival, but now must find a way to re-establish order. Musharraf now has an ideal justification to crack down on “terrorists” and impose full martial law, with Bush-Cheney working from the shadows behind Musharraf---and continuing to manipulate or remove his apparatus, if Musharraf proves too unreliable or broken to suit Anglo-American plans.
The likely involvement of the ISI behind the Bhutto hit cannot be overstated. ISI’s role behind every major act of “terrorism” since 9/11 remains the central unspoken truth behind current geopolitical realities. Bhutto, but not Sharif or Musharraf would have threatened the ISI’s agendas.
Bhutto, militant Islam, and the pipelines Now that she has been martyred, many unflattering historical facts about Benazir Bhutto will be hidden or forgotten.
Bhutto herself was intimately involved in the creation of the very “terror” milieu purportedly responsible for her assassination. Across her political career, she supported militant Islamists, the Taliban, the ISI, and the ambitions of Western governments.
As noted by Michel Chossudovsky in America’s “War on Terrorism”, it was during Bhutto’s second term that Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and the Taliban rose to prominence, welcomed into Bhutto’s coalition government. It was at that point that ties between the JUI, the Army and the ISI were established.
While Bhutto’s relationship with both the ISI and the Taliban were marked by turmoil, it is clear that Bhutto, when in power, supported both---and enthusiastically supported Anglo-American interventions.
In his two landmark books, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia and Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, Ahmed Rashid richly details the Bhutto regime’s connections to the ISI, the Taliban, “militant Islam”, multinational oil interests, and Anglo-American officials and intelligence proxies.
In Jihad, Rashid wrote:
“Ironically it was not the ISI but Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the most liberal, secular leader in Pakistan’s recent history, who delivered the coup de grace to a new relationship with Central Asia. Rather than support a wider peace process in Afghanistan that would have opened up a wider peace process in Afghanistan, Bhutto backed the Taliban, in a rash and presumptuous policy to create a new western-oriented trade and pipeline route from Turkmenistan through southern Afghanistan to Pakistan, from which the Taliban would provide security. The ISI soon supported this policy because its Afghan protégé Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had made no headway in capturing Kabul, and the Taliban appeared to be strong enough to do so.” In Taliban, Rashid provided even more historical detail: “When Bhutto was elected as Prime Minister in 1993, she was keen to open a route to Central Asia. A new proposal emerged backed strongly by the frustrated Pakistani transport and smuggling mafia, the JUI and Pashtun military and political officials.” “The Bhutto government fully backed the Taliban, but the ISI remained skeptical of their abilities, convinced that they would remain a useful but peripheral force in the south.” “The US congress had authorized a covert $20 million budget for the CIA to destabilize Iran, and Tehran accused Washington of funneling some of these funds to the Taliban---a charge that was always denied by Washington . Bhutto sent several emissaries to Washington to urge the US to intervene more publicly on the side of Pakistan and the Taliban.” Bhutto’s one mistake: she vehemently supported the pipeline proposed by Argentinean oil company Bridas, and opposed the pipeline by Unocal (favored by the US). This contributed to her ouster in 1996, and the return of Nawaz Sharif to power. As noted by Rashid: “After the dismissal of the Bhutto government in 1996, the newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his oil minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan, the army and the ISI fully backed Unocal. Pakistan wanted more direct US support for the Taliban and urged Unocal to start construction quickly in order to legitimize the Taliban. Basically the USA and Unocal accepted the ISI’s analysis and aims---that a Taliban victory in Afghanistan would make Unocal’s job much easier and quicken US recognition.” Her appealing and glamorous pro-Western image notwithstanding, Bhutto’s true record is one of corruption and accommodation. The “war on terrorism” resparked Every major Anglo-American geostrategic crime has been preceded by a convenient pretext, orchestrated and carried out by “terror” proxies directly or indirectly connected to US military-intelligence, or manipulated into performing as intelligence assets. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is simply one more brutal example. This was Pakistan’s 9/11; Pakistan’s JFK assassination, and its impact will resonate for years. Contrary to mainstream corporate news reporting, chaos benefits Bush-Cheney’s “war on terrorism”. Calls for “increased worldwide security” will pave the way for a muscular US reaction, US-led force and other forms of “crack down” from Bush-Cheney across the region. In other words, the assassination helps ensure that the US will not only never leave, but also increase its presence. The Pakistani election, if it takes place at all, is a simpler two-way choice: pro-US Musharraf or pro-US Sharif. While the success of Bush-Cheney’s 9/11 agenda has met with mixed results, and it has met with a wide array of resistance (“terroristic” as well as political), there is no doubt that the propaganda foundation of the “war on terrorism” has remained firm, unshaken and routinely reinforced. As for Nawaz Sharif, who now emerges as the sole competitor for Musharraf, he, like Musharraf and Bhutto, is legendary for his accommodation to Anglo-American interests---pipelines, trade, and the continued US military presence. As Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie noted in the book Forbidden Truth, the October 1999 military coup led by Musharraf that originally toppled Sharif’s regime was sparked by animosity between the two camps, as well as “Sharif’s personal corruption and political megalomania”, and “concerns that Sharif was dancing too eagerly to Washington’s tune on Kashmir and Afghanistan”. In other words, Bush-Cheney wins, no matter which asset winds up on the throne.


Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The main suspects

by Jeremy Page

The main suspects in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination are the Pakistani and foreign Islamist militants who saw her as a heretic and an American stooge and had repeatedly threatened to kill her.
But fingers will also be pointed at Inter-Services Intelligence, the agency that has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition.
Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide bomber killed about 140 people at a rally in the port city of Karachi to welcome her back from eight years in exile.
Earlier that month, two militant warlords based in Pakistan's lawless northwestern areas, near the border with Afghanistan, had threatened to kill her on her return.
One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander fighting the Pakistani army in the tribal region of South Waziristan. He has close ties to al Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban.
The other was Haji Omar, the “amir” or leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is also from South Waziristan and fought against the Soviets with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
After that attack Ms Bhutto revealed that she had received a letter signed by a person who claimed to be a friend of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden threatening to slaughter her like a goat.
She accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security and hinted that they may have been complicit in the bomb attack. Asif Ali Zardari, her husband, directly accused the ISI of being involved in that attempt on her life.
Mrs Bhutto stopped short of blaming the Government directly, saying that she had more to fear from unidentified members of a power structure that she described as allies of the “forces of militancy”.
Analysts say that President Musharraf himself is unlikely to have ordered her assassination, but that elements of the army and intelligence service would have stood to lose money and power if she had become Prime Minister.
The ISI, in particular, includes some Islamists who became radicalised while running the American-funded campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan and remained fiercely opposed to Ms Bhutto on principle.
Saudi Arabia, which has strong influence in Pakistan, is also thought to frown on Ms Bhutto as being too secular and Westernised and to favour Nawaz Sharif, another former Prime Minister.

Bhutto assassination heightens threat of US intervention in Pakistan
By Bill Van Auken - 29 December 2007

With Pakistan erupting in violence over the assassination of its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and amid conflicting accounts as to both the identity of her assassins and even the cause of her death, official Washington and the American mass media have coalesced around a version of events that has been crafted to suit US strategic interests.

Without any substantive evidence, the crime has been attributed to Al Qaeda, while Bhutto herself has been proclaimed a martyr both in the struggle for democracy in her own country and in the US “global war on terror.” Meanwhile, the government of President Pervez Musharraf has been exonerated. There is ample reason to question this “official story” on all counts.

The obvious intent is to turn this undeniably tragic event into a new justification for the pursuit of US strategic interests in the region. In the week leading up to the assassination, there have been a number of reports indicating that US military forces are already operating inside Pakistan and preparing to substantially escalate these operations.

At this point, there is no proof as to the authorship of the assassination. The military-controlled government of President Musharraf claims to have intercepted a phone call in which an “Al Qaeda leader” congratulated his supporters for the killing. Yet web sites that have claimed responsibility for previous Al Qaeda terrorist acts have not done so in relation to the Bhutto killing.

Then there is the question as to how Bhutto died. In the wake of numerous eyewitness accounts that she had been shot before a bomb blast ripped through the crowd at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi, the Pakistani Interior Ministry issued three conflicting accounts: the first saying that she died from a bullet wound to the neck, the second that she was killed by shrapnel from the bomb and a third claiming that she had fractured her skull against a door handle while ducking down into the sunroof of her vehicle to dodge either the bullets or the explosion. How the government reached this last novel conclusion is unclear, as no autopsy was conducted on Bhutto’s body.

A spokesperson for Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, Farooq Naik, called the Musharraf government’s shifting story “a pack of lies” and insisted that the real cause of death was sniper fire. If indeed the Pakistani politician was shot to death by a sniper in Rawalpindi, the historic garrison town which is headquarters to the country’s military, suspicion would shift even more sharply towards the government or elements within its powerful military-intelligence apparatus.

This is already the predominant popular sentiment within Pakistan itself. As Philadelphia Inquirer’s columnist Trudy Rubin reported from the country, “Just about every Pakistani with whom I spoke blamed her death not on Al Qaeda, but on their own government—and the United States.”

And, there is irrefutable evidence that Bhutto herself saw the government, rather than Al Qaeda, as the main threat to her life.

The New York Times Friday cited one Western official who met with the Pakistani politician the day before she was killed. He said, according to the Times, that Bhutto “complained that while the militants represented a threat, the government was as much a threat in its failure to ensure security. She suggested that either the government had a deal with the militants that allowed them to carry on their terrorist activities, or that President Musharraf’s approach at dealing with the problem of militancy was utterly ineffective.”

And in Washington, Bhutto’s American lobbyist, Mark Siegel, released an email from Bhutto that she had asked him to make public if she were assassinated. The message was sent shortly after the attempt on her life last October—a massive bombing that claimed the lives of nearly 140 people during a procession in Karachi following her return to the country. She had publicly accused the Pakistani military-intelligence apparatus of having a direct hand in this attack.

In her email, she said that she would “hold Musharraf responsible” if she were killed in Pakistan.“I have been made to feel insecure by his minions,” she wrote of the Pakistani military strongman.

Detailing the refusal of government officials to provide her with elementary security, Bhutto wrote, “There is no way that what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers [to detonate roadside bombs] or four police mobiles to cover all sides could happen without him.”

In an interview on CNN, Siegel commented: “As we prepared for the campaign ... Bhutto was very concerned she was not getting the security that she had asked for. She basically asked for all that was required for someone of the standing of a former prime minister. All of that was denied her.”

Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether Bhutto had herself not been reckless, Siegel responded, “Don’t blame the victim for the crime. Musharraf is responsible.”

Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, held a press conference in Iowa in which he revealed that he had personally interceded with Musharraf to ask for specific security procedures to protect Bhutto, but his requests were ignored.

“The failure to protect Mrs. Bhutto raises a lot of hard questions for the government and security services that have to be answered,” Biden said. When asked if he believed the Pakistani government had deliberately placed Bhutto in harm’s way, he backed off, however, claiming he did not know what security was in place when Bhutto was killed.

The military-Islamist connection

The lines separating Al Qaeda—or, to be more precise, radical Islamist elements in Pakistan—from the country’s military-intelligence apparatus are hardly firm. Pakistan’s military-controlled regimes have encouraged and rested upon support from Islamist forces—as a counterweight to the working class and the left—ever since General Zia-ul Haq seized power and carried out the hanging of Benzir Bhutto’s father, then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in 1979. The military regime—and in particular its intelligence arm, the ISI—further cemented these ties during the US-backed war against the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It was then that the ISI and the CIA worked to build up the movement that became know as Al Qaeda and collaborated directly with Osama bin Laden.

That these ties still exist is without question. US military commanders have repeatedly complained that their Pakistani counterparts have warned Al Qaeda elements of impending US operations. That the Musharraf government or elements within the military could utilize Islamist elements to carry out such an assassination—or facilitate their committing such a crime—is obvious.

As for a motive, Musharraf and his main base of support, the military command, have a clear one. They had no interest in sharing state power—and access to both graft and billions of dollars in US aid—with the Pakistan People’s Party. Benazir Bhutto was twice elected prime minister in the 1990s—and twice removed. Each of these changes in power involved bitter conflicts between her government and hostile elements in the top brass of the Pakistani military and the ISI.

Now Musharraf’s principal rival for political power is dead and her party in disarray. He remains the principal figure upon whom Washington depends in Pakistan, a reality reflected in the insistence by the Bush administration, the media and the leading Democratic presidential candidates that he had nothing to do with the killing.

While the violent death of a 54-year-old woman with three children is both tragic and shocking, the attempt to turn Bhutto into a martyr for democracy is preposterous.

She was brought back to Pakistan as part of a sordid scheme hatched by the Bush administration to give the military-controlled regime headed by Musharraf a pseudo-democratic facade.

The Washington Post spelled out the details of this deal in a report Friday.

With mounting political unrest in Pakistan, Washington was desperate to prop up the military strongman, whom it viewed as a principal asset in the so-called war on terror.

“As President Pervez Musharraf’s political future began to unravel this year, Bhutto became the only politician who might help keep him in power,” the Post reported.

It quoted Bhutto’s lobbyist, Mark Siegel, as stating, “The US came to understand that Bhutto was not a threat to stability, but was instead the only possible way that we could guarantee stability and keep the presidency of Musharraf intact.”

The terms of the arrangement were that Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party would not oppose Musharraf’s widely unpopular bid for a third term as president last September and, in return, Musharraf would grant Bhutto immunity from criminal charges related to the rampant corruption that characterized her previous terms as prime minister.

US officials, including Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, served as the direct brokers in 18 months of negotiations leading to the deal, flying back and forth between Islamabad and Bhutto’s homes in Dubai and London.

Musharraf was reportedly opposed to any amnesty for Bhutto, not to mention her return to power. According to the Post report, it was Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte—a veteran of dirty deals with dictators—who finally convinced him. “He basically delivered a message to Musharraf that we would stand by him, but he needed a democratic facade on the government, and we thought Benazir was the right choice for that face,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and National Security Council staff member, told the Post.

In the end, it was Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who phoned Bhutto in early October, telling her to return to Pakistan to serve essentially as an instrument of US policy and a prop for the Musharraf regime. In doing so, Rice sent Bhutto to her death.

Musharraf had no real desire to move ahead with Washington’s attempt to make Bhutto the presentable “face” for his reactionary regime, which led to, at the very least, the denial of state protection to Bhutto, if not her outright assassination by elements of the state.

The political reality behind Bhutto’s facade

Had the deal been consummated, it hardly would have led to a flowering of democracy in Pakistan. Rather, it would have installed a Washington-controlled prime minister as the figurehead for a military-dominated regime aligned with the Bush administration in a country where 70 percent of the population is hostile to US policy in the region.

And, while Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party has engaged in populist and even pseudo-socialist rhetoric, it has always been a representative of the Pakistan’s landed aristocracy and a firm defender of its power and privileges. During her two terms in power, the Bhutto family used their control over the state apparatus to enrich themselves, with her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, earning the nickname “Mr. ten percent,” for the kickbacks he extracted for state contracts.

Her governments—like that of Musharraf—were characterized by harsh repression, disappearances and state killings, including that of her own brother, Murtaza, who had split from the PPP.

That Washington was able to broker a deal between Bhutto and Musharraf is testimony to the entirely rotten and anti-democratic character of the Pakistani bourgeoisie as a whole, a ruling elite that is separated by a vast gulf from the masses of impoverished workers and peasants and which has defended its wealth and power through savage repression, open alignment with imperialism and appeals to every form of religious obscurantism and communalist hatred.

The direct involvement of Musharraf and the Pakistani military in the Bhutto assassination will not stop the Bush administration from continuing to collaborate with him or, if necessary, another military strongman. Washington has maintained its strategic alliance with Pakistan through the continuous assassinations and military coups that have characterized the country’s history.

It has acted as a direct accomplice in many of these crimes, most notoriously in the support given by President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State of State Henry Kissinger to the bloodbath unleashed against Bengali nationalist movement in 1971, in which US-supplied arms were used to butcher hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians, while millions more were turned into refugees.

The Bush administration’s aim remains that of rescuing and somehow legitimizing the Musharraf regime. Bush spent a large part of Friday in a secure video conference linking his ranch in Crawford, Texas with the US National Security Council in Washington and the American ambassador in Islamabad to discuss the Pakistani crisis.

The entire country has been plunged into violence by the assassination, with banks, police stations, government offices, railroad terminals and trains burned and dozens of people killed. Pakistani security forces have been given “shoot on sight” orders against anyone seen to be engaging in “anti-state activities.” Transportation services have been shut down and gas stations closed by government order, leaving huge numbers of people stranded.

Under these conditions, the White House and the State Department are publicly calling for parliamentary elections set for January 8 to be held as planned, claiming that to postpone them would dishonor Bhutto’s memory. While even before the assassination, holding these elections with Musharraf still in power would have stripped them of any credibility, to stage them after the killing of the principal opposition leader would render them farcical. The White House sees such an exercise solely as a fig leaf for its imperialist policy in Pakistan, serving the same function as similar votes staged in US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

The urgency attached to this exercise is bound up with Washington’s plans for expanded military operations in the country. The day before Bhutto’s assassination, the Washington Post’s national security columnist William Arkin reported, “Beginning early next year, US Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counterterrorism units, according to defense officials involved with the planning.”

Several days earlier, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported that US special operation troops are already “engaged in direct attacks against Al Qaeda inside Pakistan” operating in the tribal regions in the west of the country. The report made it clear that the so-called “trainers” sent by the US are directly involved in combat alongside Pakistani forces.

The report also quoted US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as stating, “Al Qaeda right now seems to have turned its face toward Pakistan and attacks against the Pakistani government.”

Meanwhile a Pentagon spokesman stressed Friday that Washington is confident that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are “under control.” Nonetheless, there have also been reports that the US military is reviewing contingency plans for a military intervention in the country on the pretext of safeguarding its nuclear arsenal.

The mass popular revulsion over the Bhutto assassination has unleashed intense instability in Pakistan. A further unraveling of the political situation could well draw the US military into direct involvement in the attempt to suppress popular upheavals in a country of 165 million people.

See Also:
In wake of assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bush administration rushes to defense of Musharraf
[28 December 2007]
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26 December, 2007

untouchable subjects


When social taboos restrict scientific inquiry

Leonard Stern, CanWest News Service

Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Steven Pinker is a gutsy fellow. The Montreal-born psychologist and author was one of the first important intellectuals to defend Harvard University president Lawrence Summers for suggesting differences in innate aptitude might explain why few women are top scientists and mathematicians.

It's true that few women attain levels of extreme achievement in math and physics -- "extreme achievement" being the sort of thing that earns international prizes -- and Summers was merely speculating whether social conditioning alone explains the phenomenon.Or so it seemed. In fact, he was challenging the sacred liberal principle of a shared humanity, the belief we are all equal, and for that he was forced to step down as president of Harvard. Liberalism is the official religion in elite universities, and fellow academics denounced Summers, thereby demonstrating their own allegiance to that religion.
But not Steven Pinker, himself a Harvard professor. Based on his work as an experimental psychologist, he had suspicions about innate differences in male and female cognition.The more fundamental point was that scientists have the right to ask the question. As he put it, the degree to which sex differences in mathematical ability "originate in biology must be determined by research, not fatwa."Pinker had long been identified as a left-leaning intellectual -- he was for years a colleague of Noam Chomsky -- but suddenly there was fear that, as they used to say in the Politburo, he might no longer be reliable.Indeed. "Do African-American men have higher levels of testosterone, on average, than white men?" This attention-grabbing question is one of a handful with which Pinker begins a recently published essay, titled In defense of dangerous ideas.Other "dangerous" questions Pinker raises include:Is the average intelligence of western countries declining because low IQ people have more children than high IQ people?Do most victims of sexual abuse suffer no lifelong damage?Does abortion lower crime rates because it reduces the number of children born into poor environments, where they would grow up to become criminals?Pinker doesn't offer answers. He's defending the right to ask. More, he's arguing that it is important to ask. His essay is a compelling argument for the lifting of taboos.Now, taboos serve an important function. You don't hit your parents or burn the flag, because doing so would weaken the family and state, and if those collapse then so does society.Pinker knows this, which is why he distinguishes between the role of taboos in personal and public life. He concedes that in our personal lives it makes sense to avoid questioning certain underlying principles. We love our children and parents, and are loyal to our communities, because -- well, just because.But on matters of public inquiry and public policy, he argues, there ought to be few untouchable subjects.IQ differences among racial groups is one topic around which respectable scientists have circled cautiously, darting in for a look before pulling back. The biological root of homosexuality is another.

An increasing number of scientists believe the squeamishness of non-scientists is insufficient reason to prohibit research into these areas.Pinker's defence of dangerous ideas is mostly persuasive, but there remains the issue of how one defines an idea. Does advocating genocide constitute an "idea"? Pinker tries to protect himself by excluding from his category of dangerous ideas "outright lies," "deceptive propaganda," and "theories from malevolent crackpots."Yet one can imagine arguments for the extermination of certain groups -- the disabled and the infirm, say -- that are based neither on lies nor propaganda. And the people making such arguments need not harbour malevolence.

In primitive societies, taboos often had the effect of retarding progress. We see this still today. Cultures where it is taboo for women to be seen in public suffer economically and in other ways, because the talents of half the population go untapped.But have modern societies evolved to the point where there is little need for shared taboos, the kind that inhibit public discussion of the pros and cons of, say, exterminating the mentally disabled?Pinker suggests we can handle just about any idea without damaging the moral order, but let's be careful not to overestimate just how civilized we are.

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24 December, 2007

Nuclear War this summer?

John Berlin: Why the Bush Turnaround on Iran ?

2007-12-22 | So now the US. official point of view is that Iran has not been striving for a nuclear arsenal over the past four years. That.s quite a break from the Administration.s established creed. After a long time of heated rhetoric from Mr Bush, even making intimations of war over the past months, suddenly the official position is that the possible nuclear threat from Iran is far, far less than expected. Has the US intelligence community, in its most recent National Intelligence Estimate , suddenly regained some of its objectivity? Or is the Bush Administration suddenly striving for better relations with Iran?

Not very likely. The US intelligence community for years has doggedly followed its master.s voice, from manufacturing .evidence. against Iraq to .rendition. (i.e. kidnapping people and stealthily incarcerating them in secret prisons - without due process) to .enhanced interrogation. (i.e. torturing people), and from supplying .evidence. in secret tribunals to wiretapping without a warrant. These practices have not changed; so why should we believe that US intel suddenly is not following White House directions regarding Iran? Objectivity is not the first notion that comes to mind when looking at the NIE. So whatever the NIE says, it.ll be what the White House wanted it to say. Why would Mr Bush now officially want Iran to be far less dangerous?

Are they still at it?
First things first. Can Iran really be expected to actively try to get a nuke arsenal? Very strictly speaking, we cannot be one hundred percent certain. Over the years, Iran has not been very forthcoming in providing information to the IAEA, and in recent months - when pressure on Iran was mounting - President Ahmadinejad has been threatening domestic critics with treason charges. But when we take even a brief look at Iran.s track record, we get a telling impression.

Look at just a few examples. Iran neither reported to the IAEA the purchase of 1,800 kilograms of natural uranium (1,000 kg of UF6, 400 kg of UF4, and 400 kg of UO2) from China in 1991, nor the uranium.s subsequent transfer for further processing . And .Iran failed to report that it had used 1.9 kg of the imported UF6 to test P-1 centrifuges at the Kalaye Electric Company centrifuge workshop in 1999 and 2002. In its October 2003 declaration to the IAEA, Iran first admitted to introducing UF6 into a centrifuge in 1999, and into as many as 19 centrifuges in 2002. Iran also failed to declare the associated production of enriched and depleted uranium. . A few months ago it was estimated that Iran already had a minimum of 3,000 operational centrifuges.

Furthermore it hid the existence of laser enrichment plants at the Tehran Nuclear Research centre, as well as at Lashkar Ab.ad. Actually, the Iranian authorities did their best to hide the existence of (or, if that proved impossible, the actual proceedings of what went on in) most of the country.s eighteen nuclear facilities for many years - and still the IAEA does not have really unlimited access to Iran.s nuclear facilities - to use an understatement. Not long ago, IAEA inspectors admitted that they had never been granted access to the underground facility at Natanz; hence they had been unable to establish at all how many centrifuges were installed there, and when.

And only recently traces of uranium were found at a university in Tehran, and again Iran is not helping in producing clarity.

A simple question: why (try to) hide it, if it.s all so peaceful? Is there not a very worrisome pattern of behaviour here? And if it.s all so peaceful, why then is it that, according to reliable sources, Iran.s foreign intelligence service was eyeing the lightly guarded Serbian nuclear facility at Vinca (where, sources say, 40 kilograms of enriched uranium were stored) in 2007? Credible sources indicate that Iran only months ago wanted to get its hands on fissile material.

Moreover, the IAEA assessed that at Iran.s Isfahan facility (operational since February of 2006), for example, 37 tons of .yellowcake. (i.e. almost completely raw uranium) was to be processed into uranium hexafluoride - sufficient, according to experts, for the production of five nuclear weapons.
Nukes? Why not still assume they have some peaceful application for the stuff they.ve been keeping from the IAEA and which they.ve trying to hide? Well, for example there are significant indications of problems that Iran has in developing and/or modifying its missiles, which problems (according to experts) can only really plausibly be explained as experimental difficulties in fitting nuclear-type warheads on their conventional missiles.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The above examples are only a slice of a multitude of similar examples. One can always try to explain away the most plausible, but in fairness: Iran still really appears to be going for the nuke arsenal. And besides: Iran.s uranium and plutonium programs as such, even without the weaponization aspects, are still operational and thus in violation of binding UN Security Council Resolutions .

Surprising? No. Israeli and other intelligence services estimated in mid-2005 that Iran would reach the theoretical point of no return by mid-2006 at the latest, i.e. Iran would by then have acquired sufficient expertise to know what was needed to produce nuclear weapons, even if it didn.t have the hardware then to complete the process. When Iran crosses the technological threshold, i.e. when they get the hardware in order, they will have a nuclear weapon. Credible sources who must remain anonymous, say that Israeli and other intelligence services estimate that Iran may have its first nuclear weapon sometime between the summer of 2008 and the summer of 2009.

Yet the US. National Intelligence Estimate says otherwise, suddenly contradicting what used to be standing US policy. At the same time, the Paris-based .National Council of Resistance of Iran. (NCRI) claims Iran did not stop it.s weapons-related nuclear activities. The NCRI is an exiled Iranian opposition group which is certainly not politically friendly to the West (the NCRI is often described as the political wing of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran). In 2003 they provided the first public information about Iranian nuclear weaponization-related programs at Bushehr and Natanz, which proved accurate and which led to further uncovering of Iranian nuclear activities.

The NCRI also claims that in 2003 under international pressure Iran closed down its Tehran-based Lavizan-Shian weapons centre, only to spread its nuclear weaponization activities across the country, which then resumed in 2004. Sources close to Mossad agree with this claim, and Israeli military intelligence chief Major-General Amos Yadlin even says openly that the Americans have successfully been railroaded.

The NIE has also provoked strong criticism from MI6 which, in recent days, leaked to the press that it, too, thinks the Americans have successfully been fed Iranian disinformation for years. French and German foreign intelligence say the information on Iran.s program is at least .troubling.. And there.s the very authoritative .Cordesman Report., written by one of the world.s foremost independent experts on Iran.s nuclear program. Not to mention a number of other credible sources who must remain anonymous.

Only Moscow has stated as its opinion that evidence against Iran is .inconclusive.. But then again, Russia has been assisting Iran in its allegedly peaceful program. Russia announced it will proceed to assist Iran in completing Iran.s Bushehr nuclear plant, and has even started delivering nuclear fuel to Bushehr during the last weekend. The construction and the fuel delivery had been delayed on account of Iran being .behind with payments., although Iran suspects Moscow waited for political reasons.

Back into first gear
Why does the US government, now, amidst a wealth of serious indications that Iran wants nukes and is actively working towards that goal, appear to be shifting back into first gear? Recently Seymour Hersh contended that the White House, for at least a year, has known that Iran no longer wants nukes.

This provides us with a small handful of main possibilities: intelligence services and other experts from across the globe are all wrong; Iran has no nuclear weapons program and Mr Bush has known this for at least a year but kept up the war rhetoric - or everyone else is right; Tehran wants nukes, and the Bush government was railroaded but kept up the war rhetoric; or perhaps Tehran wants nukes and everyone - including the US government - knows this but the Americans have a good reason for doctoring the NIE into a different direction, so as to allow Mr Bush to quit the war rhetoric. (The latter implies that Hersh. disclosure was incomplete, but that can happen even to such an excellent journalist.)

In the last couple of days, information has leaked out that Ali Reza Asgari, who was Iran.s deputy minister of Defence during the Khatami regime (1997-2005), is supposed to have provided the CIA with information, over several years, on the .peaceful. intentions of Iran.s program. Asgari defected in February 2007 while on a visit to Turkey, allegedly because he suspected Iranian intelligence was on to him. US authorities would very much like the world to believe, now that the NIE has been drawing considerable criticism, that the information which Asgari provided, was crucial in revising the American position on Iran.s program.

But that doesn.t add up; for years now, the White House has kept up its accusations against Iran - why would they do that, if they already knew, for such a long time, how .peaceful. Iran.s program was? Moreover, knowledgeable sources say it is widely believed in Western intelligence circles that Asgari.s actions had been part of a very successful and sophisticated Iranian intelligence operation to feed the US disinformation.

Duane Clarridge, a former chief of the West European division in the CIA.s Directorate of Operations, offered tough criticism of the NIE on Alternet: .(...) with the intelligence community's abominable analytical track record over the last fifteen years and the well known lack of reliable human and signal sources available to them. (no reasonable person) "would accept their assurances, particularly when you look at the political partisan and under-educated group that makes up the NIE staff." -But that works in the opposite way as well: if analytical quality is so bad, then it.s even easier than expected to have the NIE doctored any which way the White House wants.

Operational problems
The essential thing is that the war rhetoric was kept up until very recently. Let us not be guiled into believing that suddenly the US government decided to deviate from its ground plan which they.ve been carrying out since Mr Bush became President. They announced beforehand that they were going to .deal. with Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and North-Korea . And if we take it as given that the White House must have had a good reason to have the NIE suddenly doctored into a different direction, then what is suddenly stopping them from moving further up the war-path? If there is an established Iranian pattern of misbehaviour, playing into the hand of the war-mongering US government, why suddenly announce that there appears to be no Iranian pattern of misbehaviour anymore?

We don.t need to look for some big strategic or tactical reason: the crucial .stopper. is of an utterly practical, operational nature. While the US government was raising the political temperature, it was simultaneously putting military planning and preparations into gear. But not fast enough, and only to discover that the destruction of Iran.s nuclear program would either require an operation of such a magnitude that it would have necessitated accepting a large number of American casualties, or an operation predominantly consisting of the deployment of a large number of cruise missiles and - more importantly- the stealth bomber fleet. The first option would be unacceptable to the American public, especially when taking into account the number of US casualties already caused by the war in Iraq, so the latter option would have to do it.

There have been various signs of upscaling operational preparedness in view of that latter option. For example, the Pentagon has tendered four tankers for the purpose of shipping one million tons of fuel to its base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. And only weeks ago, the US was upgrading B1 and B2 stealth bomber hangars on Diego Garcia. Credible sources refer to an .operational need. to fit new racks to the B1 Spirit. With these special racks the stealth planes would be able to carry Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs of 30,000 pounds - one MOP per bomber. Such bombs are meant to destroy underground bunkers at a depth of 200 feet.

But two obstacles got in the way: the rate of development and production of MOPs, and Iran.s modernization of its air defences. Presently, the MOP concept is in its late experimental phase. One MOP bomb has already successfully been tested at White Sands, Nevada. It is estimated that within nine months - at the very earliest- a sufficient number of MOPs will have been produced for a sufficiently destructive strike against Iran.s deeply-underground nuclear facilities. But a strike in late 2008 might well be too late. In addition, Iran in recent months has acquired large-scale Russian state-of-the-art air defence systems which would significantly lessen the degree of success of a strike.

And you cannot keep up the already hot-tempered political spin for at least three-quarters of a year longer without losing even significantly more credibility - and maybe still be too late.

A third option is now on the table: why not provoke an Iranian attack against US forces in the region, so as to legitimize some large-scale counterattack? But how? You cannot take a considerable number of US land forces in Iraq away from present deployment in order to form a threat to Iran, without further weakening positions against Iraqi .insurgents.. Sources say the notion of creating a naval threat was then floated, only to be abandoned after stormy conflicts between the White House and Central Command (Centcom).

It wouldn.t be difficult to have the Fifth Fleet, stationed at Bahrain (only 150 miles away from the Iranian coast) take up overtly threatening positions, but then a successful provocation would decimate the Fifth Fleet. Iran has an arsenal of SS-N-22 (.Sunburn.) and SSN-X-26 (.Yakhonts.) cruise missiles, to which the Fifth Fleet has no effective defence if these weapons are massively deployed. For example, both types of cruise missiles use stealth technology, the .Sunburn. moves at 1,500 miles an hour, and the .Yakhonts. (specially developed for use against carrier groups) is considered to be so extremely dangerous that the Pentagon.s weapons testing office earlier this year strove to halt production on further aircraft carriers until an effective defence against the .Yakhonts. was found.

There are reports that the White House suggested the Fifth Fleet produce a provocation anyway and then be decimated or destroyed so as to .legitimize. a nuclear counterstrike - since conventional action would cost too much . It is said that this is why the Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly advised against such action, and why Admiral William Fallon, head of Centcom, threatened to resign a month ago.

The next step
However, the Bush Administration can still be expected to want to take out Iran.s nuclear program. If public relations hindrances prevent massive troop deployment, if operational hindrances prevent cruise missile and stealth bomber deployment, if your military refuses to sacrifice the Fifth Fleet -which options remain?

Any sane Administration would resort to real diplomacy. After all, threatening a country with extinction and at the same time demanding its disarmament is no real diplomacy. Real diplomacy is trying to understand the opponent.s position and try to negotiate. In this case that would mean: trying to understand what it.s like to have hostile forces in a country in disarray at your borders, what it.s like to want to be a major player in your region, etc. A positive outcome of real diplomacy may not be guaranteed, but it would almost certainly help move things into a better direction. The US and the international community must first try to find a balance between incentives and disincentives towards Iran, to get Tehran to comply fully with International Law - if there still is time.

Real diplomacy not being a real option in the eyes of the US Administration, and pre-emptive US military action being either impossible or not guaranteeing the required minimum of success, which options remain?

Only one, if standing US government cynicism remains unchanged. Their third option, comprising of provoking Iran into an attack, .legitimizing. a counterstrike, and possibly using nuclear weapons, can also be applied to America.s ally in the Middle East: Israel, which already feels very threatened by Iran.s plans. In Israel, in particular, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.s words that .Israel must be wiped off the face of the planet. sound even more ominous when thinking of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Pre-emptive nuclear strike?
So: have the NIE say there.s no actual threat, cut the heated political spin, stop losing more credibility, save troops and assets from deployment that may be too late anyway, and watch Israel feel compelled to do the job. If they do the job through aerial bombardments, they.ll only partially succeed, given the scale, locations and defences of Iran.s program. And most probably there will be counterstrikes. In the American scenario, counterstrikes at Israel will be the point at which the US. option of provocation is effectuated and a massive blow against Iran is legitimized, possibly with nuclear weapons.

Will Israel feel compelled to do it, if they feel sufficiently threatened? Well, they.ve done it before. In 1981, suspecting Iraq was striving for a nuclear weapon, they bombed Iraq.s nuclear plant at Osirak. Israel sees any nukes Iran may produce as a truly existential threat. Hence, over the past few years Israel has repeatedly announced that it reserves the right to take any steps it deems necessary against Iran.s nuclear program. And the recent US about-face has contributed considerably to this position. For example, only a few days ago, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Gaby Ashkenazi, commenting on the NIE, said that if the international community does not succeed in stopping the nuclearization of Iran, the Israel Defence Forces must be prepared .for any scenario..

Taking into account that American conventional military options are limited, one can be sure that Israeli conventional military options are even more limited. So .any scenario. may well mean any scenario. Although Israel has never commented on it, it is accepted knowledge that the country possesses 200-400 nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear and perhaps neutron weapons. For delivering them, Israel has aircraft bombs, Jericho II missiles (similar to the US Pershing, range 1200km), and possibly an ICBM version of the Shavit space launch vehicle, with a possible range of 7,000 km and with a 300kg nuclear warhead.

Although this nuclear deterrent probably has contributed significantly to the country.s safety, Israel.s nuclear arsenal has nevertheless been in blatant violation of international treaties. As all these land-based systems may be vulnerable to attack, Israel over the last decade has been striving for a submarine-based extension of its nuclear deterrent. According to analysts, since 2000 the Israeli navy operates at least three and possibly five submarines that can launch nuclear-capable missiles. Reportedly, at least once, has an Israeli submarine successfully tested a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a 1,500km range in the Indian Ocean.

There is presently no meaningful way of estimating whether, in the .provocation.-scenario, Israel will carry out a .token. attack with conventional weapons, resulting in counterstrikes that will bring about American nuclear retaliation, or that it will directly use tactical nuclear weapons - in order to limit its own losses - that will lead to American nuclear retaliation.

Unless the Tehran regime comes to its senses and really starts to comply with International Law, and unless the US government comes to its senses and starts some real diplomacy, the world may, sometime between now and the summer of 2009, witness death and destruction in the Middle East on an unprecedented scale.

And all of that just because of the Kissingeresque cynicism of a group of White House hawks who think that their Realpolitik - the hard version- works in spreading their Neoliberal Capitalism, disguised as Democracy, to the world.s oil reserves.


1. National Intelligence Estimate


2. Cordesman Report Nov. 27, 2007: http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/071127_iraniaea.pdf

3. Idem

4. IAEA, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Report by the Director General http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/nuke/iaea0207.pdf

5. The Project for a New American Century http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

John Berlin
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report

Ed. Note. Should here be a nuclear war in the Middle East, EVERY nation in the area will be radiated . and the radiation will also affect the entire planet. Insanity prevails.



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posted by u2r2h at Monday, December 24, 2007 0 comments links to this post

18 December, 2007

UFO smashed into the World Trade Center Towers

Holography and Mathematics
You can describe all of the interactions between the object and reference beams, as well as the shapes of the interference fringes, using mathematical equations. This makes it possible to program a computer to print a pattern onto a holographic plate, creating a hologram of an object that doesn’t actually exist.
In a transmission hologram, the light illuminating the hologram comes from the side opposite the observer.


u f o s : t h e m i l i t a r y u n m a s k e d

Plasma Technology

Translation by George Hoskins

As we have already pointed out in the first part of this work, in chapter 12, numerous witness statements lead one to think that there is no real connection between the different luminous points which witnesses have seen in the sky, and that the apparent shape is only simulated.

Is it technically possible to produce a shining point floating, as it were, in the sky, without it, however, simply being a case of projection onto the background of clouds? In order to reply to this question, we need here to introduce the concept of plasma, which appeared in 1928. A plasma is a fluid composed of electrically neutral gaseous molecules, and of positive ions and negative electrons. In short, it is an ionised gas giving off photons by virtue of this ionisation, and therefore more or less luminous.

There are three main mechanisms for ionising a gas:

Thermal Ionisation: thermal excitation provokes collisions such that an atom may give birth to an electron+positive ion couple. This couple is unstable and tries to recombine itself. But if the temperature is high enough and the density great enough, each recombination is quickly followed by a new ionisation and the plasma is able to maintain itself. The required temperature for this process is at least 10,000°C (18,000°F).

By using a powerful laser and a converging lens, it is possible to ionise air locally at the point of focusing. If, for example, the lens has a focal distance of 1 metre, a bubble of plasma forms itself "miraculously" at a distance of 1 metre from the lens and seems to float in the air. By using an infrared laser, the rays of which are normally invisible to the naked eye, the result is very spectacular. But in order to project this "UFO" at great distance, it would be necessary to use a very powerful laser and a lens capable of focusing at the distance of projection. It is, therefore, more efficient to use a matrix of lasers converging towards a given point in the sky.

The first high energy lasers worked by means of carbon dioxide (CO2) and within the infrared scale. They appeared in the United States in 1968. The CO2 was inserted at one end of the laser while the residual non-toxic gases were expelled on the other side.

The first attempt to convert this into a transportable weapon was carried out by the US Army. Towards the middle of the seventies, a CO2 laser with a power of 30 kilowatts was mounted on a caterpillar-tracked vehicle LVTP-7 so as to create a "Mobile Test Unit".

At the end of the seventies, the German Diehl company came up with a similar prototype, the HELEX (High Energy Laser Experimental). It consisted of a 28-ton armoured vehicle intended to carry a high energy CO2 laser with a power of several megawatts, whose range in clear weather would have reached 10 kilometres (fig. 11-a). The required consumption of CO2 would allow up to 50 laser shots at each sortie.

Fig. 11-a: the HELEX Project of the German Air Force
Drawing based on an illustration by MBB/Diehl.
Note that where it is a single laser rather than a matrix of lasers being put into operation,
the luminous point will only exist where contact is made with the target that is being aimed at.

The American Military continued with new tests of a "Close-Combat Laser Weapon" or "Roadrunner", a vehicle designed to destroy the sensors and night-vision equipment of the enemy. Next came the "Airborne Laser Laboratory", a Boeing plane carrying a 400-kilowatt laser which succeeded in 1983 in destroying in mid-air several "Sidewinder" air-to-air missiles.

Regarding the use of such a weapon on board ship, there arose the problem of ambient humidity, which could greatly disturb the projection of the laser ray.

In France it was not until 1986 that the DGA (General Delegation for Armaments) began the LATEX project (Laser Associated with an Experimental Turret), using a 10-megawatt laser.

If all these devices were (or still are today) simple prototypes, they may nevertheless have been responsible for the sighting of several UFOs.

Let us remember that the discovery of the laser dates only from 1958 and that it is only from this date that it could have been used deliberately to produce fake UFOs. This technique for producing plasma at a distance is therefore not old enough to have been used as early as 1942 at Los Angeles, which is the date of the first historically attested appearance of an unidentified luminous phenomenon simulating an air attack during clear weather, and thus definitely not a case of projection onto background clouds (see chapter 15).

Electric Ionisation: this phenomenon occurs when an intense electric field is applied to a gas. The electrons torn away by electrostatic forces are then accelerated and acquire great kinetic energy, allowing them, on colliding with other atoms, to spread the ionisation process. A good example of the creation of this kind of plasma is provided by storm lightning.

Radiant Ionisation: this is produced when atoms are subjected to an electromagnetic radiation whose photons have an energy higher than the threshold of ionisation.

This situation is encountered naturally in the upper atmosphere where ultraviolet photons originating from the sun ionise the gaseous atoms in the ionosphere layer. Since 1991 it has been known that scientists working on President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative had realised in 1981 that it was possible to stimulate the fluorescence of a sodium layer situated at a height of 90 kilometres by means of a laser ray (a photon ray) so as to create a luminous point. This technique for producing an "artificial star" (but also a "UFO"…) was rediscovered in 1985 by 2 French astronomers and has since been used for focusing telescopes [JPP00 p. 103].

The beam which is used can also be in the high frequency scale (radio waves) or in the hyper-frequencies (microwaves). The focusing of these waves can be obtained at a specific point in space from a matrix of antennae emitting phased waves. Thanks to the technique of "synthetic aperture", this matrix can simulate the effect of a giant lens with a very long focal distance. During his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, Piotr Kapitsa described as early as 1978 the Soviet experiments in generating plasma at a distance by means of powerful microwaves [FU93 p. 11]. In the United States this technique is used by the US Air Force to produce "Atmospheric ionospheric mirrors" (AIM) which enable them to make radar waves rebound so as to explore what lies beyond the horizon or to do the same with radio waves, allowing them to communicate between two precise positions. These "mirrors" also allow them to intercept or to jam enemy communications.

Everyone can experiment for himself with creating a plasma with the help of a beam of microwaves emitted by a magnetron. All one needs for this is to place a fresh grape on a saucer in a microwave oven, the grape cut in two but with both halves still connected. Very quickly the grape bursts into flames and the series of flames thus created - which are nothing other than balls of plasma - fly up towards the top of the oven where they survive for a little while thanks to the stimulation of the microwaves, whose frequency is here 2.45 GHz (gigahertz).

Microwaves were first produced artificially by Heinrich Hertz in 1887, the magnetron was invented in 1921, and then the klystron in 1938. As for the first "maser", the equivalent of a laser for microwaves, it first appeared in 1953. This technology, probably still in its infancy, was therefore already available in 1942.

In order to generate plasma, the photon beam can be replaced by the emission of other particles such as protons or electrons. A synchrotron can generate a beam of protons sufficiently energetic for them to cross a certain distance in the atmosphere while only giving off very weak radiation caused by a slight loss of energy. When this energy descends below a certain threshold because of these losses, the protons can no longer go forward in the atmosphere and the remaining energy, still significant, then ionises the oxygen and the nitrogen so as to form a shining ball of plasma: a luminous point in the sky.

By adjusting the proton energy one can decrease or increase the distance at which the luminous plasma is formed. A rapid adjustment backwards and forwards can thus give the illusion of a streak of light in the sky. In the same way, by altering the quantity of protons emitted, one can lower or increase the luminous intensity of the plasma. Finally, one can play with the direction of the firing so as to produce a specific luminous shape by applying a sweeping motion. This kind of production is within the capabilities of the military, which is able to generate luminous phenomena either from the ground or from an aerial platform, probably a dirigible balloon, since numerous witnesses have mentioned the silent and very slow flight of the UFOs they have seen.

A calculation by Tom Mahood that we found on his internet site tells us that a synchrotron of average size capable of generating a continuous beam of protons with an energy of 500 MeV (megaelectronvolts) would be able to produce a luminous plasma at a distance of 1,200 metres. This beam would lose 3 KeV (kiloelectronvolts) for each centimetre travelled before releasing 100 KeV per centimetre when stopping. The luminous intensity per centimetre of the beam would therefore be equal to 3% of that of the ball of plasma. The latter would be a dozen metres in diameter, or 1% of the distance travelled in our example. These calculations were made with the help of Bethe’s formula. It seems to us, however, that there must exist a phenomenon let aside by this formula such that the energy required can be reduced by a factor of 100, thus effectively limiting the bulk and weight of the synchrotron which needs to be used. It turns out, in fact, that the first particles emitted heat up the air through which they pass, bringing about an expansion of the air before they are brought to a halt, which allows the particles which follow behind to travel further since they are meeting less resistance. In this way a kind of tunnel of low density is hollowed out within a fraction of a second into the atmosphere right up to the furthest point possible, where the UFO is thus produced and able to be maintained with much less expenditure of energy.

One might object that the particles cannot be accelerated except under a strong vacuum, which poses the question of how they are being projected through the atmosphere. This problem can be overcome by using a material which is permeable to protons at the point where the beam exits the synchrotron. Nickel, tantalum or Kapton, for example, are able to perform this task. They need, however, to be chilled, as the passing of the particles causes a strong increase in temperature. Tom Mahood tells us that he has submitted his hypothesis to several physicists working in particle physics and that they could see no objection to it. It is possible that the use of electrons instead of protons can produce an identical result while yet consuming less energy. However, because the electron has a mass of about 2000 times less than that of the proton, it will certainly have greater difficulty in penetrating deeply into the atmosphere before being brought up short by a collision of some kind. The American military is today actively studying the concept of "Charged particle beam" (CPB) made up of ions or electrons able to move through the atmosphere at a speed close to the speed of light, as well as that of "Neutral particle beam" (NPB), made up of hydrogen or deuterium atoms, which can be used in space in the fight against ballistic missiles within the framework of the Strategic defense initiative.

The main principles of the particle cannon being used could be similar to the functioning of the electron cannon used in our televisions (fig. 11-b).

Fig. 11-b

A particle beam with a horizontal and vertical sweep allows the drawing of a crude shape at long distance. The shape can be moved as a whole and can simulate an erratic flight or include astonishing turns of speed if the particle cannon is controlled by a motor. This motor, directed by computer, can be linked to a radar system which is locked onto the target (witness, vehicle, aeroplane) so as to follow the latter automatically. At distances greater than a few kilometres (it is assumed), the shape is somewhat limited to luminous spots or blobs, owing to the lack of sufficient focusing capability. In the course of years the technology has evolved, the shapes have been refined, and now, instead of fixed projections, animated projections have become possible. Let us remind ourselves that if there is a matrix of antennae being used for emitting radio waves or microwaves, the plasma which is produced in this way can be moved as a whole by electronic control of the emission phase or frequency of each antenna.

The first kind of high-energy particle accelerator, called a cyclotron, appeared at the beginning of the 30s in the United States. The energy which could be transmitted to protons was at that time intrinsically limited to 25 MeV. It was possible, however, to think of sending ions heavier than the protons and therefore with greater energy if with an equal speed of emission, such as isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium) or of helium (3He, 4He) which are made heavier by the presence of neutrons at their nucleus. This technology was thus also available in 1942 in spite of some reservations we have concerning the limited energy of the emitted particles and the weight and bulkiness of the required cyclotron. A few years later the synchrocyclotron, an improved version of this machine able to transmit an energy of 1,000 MeV to the particles, was unveiled in 1945, again in the United States. Nowadays the largest synchrotrons allow the attainment of an energy of 1,000 GeV (gigaelectronvolts).

These, then, are the three basic mechanisms whereby luminous plasma can be produced at long distance. But, a word of caution, the effect thus obtained should not be confused with the kind of plasma created on leaving the barrel of a "plasmoid" cannon, which rather behaves like a shell, even if this very particular type of projectile could also sometimes be mistaken for a UFO.

It will be objected that the UFOs seen at night sometimes appear opaque or even metallic. This impression of opaqueness could be achieved by a cannon carrying out a sweep with plasma just bright enough to simulate a metallic grey colour. In this respect, Albert Budden points out that light shining through a humid atmosphere submitted to an electromagnetic field can give the appearance of a metallic surface, due to the fact that a material’s index of refraction, in this case droplets of water in suspension, generally changes when in the presence of an electromagnetic field [AB98 p. 59]. When the UFO appears quite dark or "black" within a certain number of luminous points, and where it cannot be a physical object owing to its instantaneous disappearance or its stupendous accelerations for example, this impression can perhaps be put down to the psychology of perception or to the creation of an idealised memory: "[…] each time one wonders if the "black mass" really exists, or if it is just this ring of little lights which gives that impression" [LDLN No. 310 p. 15, Joël Mesnard on the wave of sightings of 5th November 1990].

What interest would the military have in developing such equipment? We can list several possible uses:

To produce Atmospheric ionospheric mirrors (see AIM above).

To produce radar decoys or visual decoys so as to deceive the enemy (see in appendix G the analysis of the Hessdalen lights)

To illuminate an enemy site for an extended period of time, as if it were daylight.

To put a mark on an enemy target for the purpose of guiding a missile, or to turn an enemy missile towards a false target and making it explode.

To suppress the toxicity of a combat gas spread by the enemy, by causing a reaction with the plasma produced [PB99 p. 192].

To disturb or destroy at long distance electronic, electric or electromechanical (motors) equipment with a particle beam (see CPB and NPB above).

To cause fires or sever electric cables by melting them…

To blind, burn or kill an enemy soldier.


Several questions remain, however, concerning the firing of a luminous plasma. We have indicated in italics some possible lines of response:

What weight and volume of cannon are necessary, depending on the intensity of the observed phenomenon, its size, and the distance from point of firing?
As an illustration of this question we may cite the example of "Beam experiments aboard a rocket" (BEAR), carried out with success in New Mexico in July 1989 within the framework of the Strategic defense initiative. The linear particle accelerator set up in the rocket was housed in a tube of 4.36 meters long by 1.12 meters in diameter. It seems the particles were emitted with an energy of about 4 MeV. The weight of a particle accelerator is generally more than 500 kilograms per linear meter.

What is the luminous intensity of the beam fired and that of the shape generated, according to the energy being used (by comparison with the brightness of the moon or the sun and that of the cone of shadow)?
By way of reply we have only the example suggested by Tom Mahood and offered above.

What kind of energy is consumed, what are its volume, its weight and its cost?
Whatever technique is employed, an electric generator is required. We must add the amount of fuel consumed by the laser if any.

Is production of the plasma very noisy?
Lasers function silently but the auxiliary equipment such as the electric generator, compressor, vacuum air pump, cooler, etc., can, on the other hand, be very noisy.

Can the shape generated by the sweeping beam be very precise?

Can the shape generated be of different colours?
The wavelength of the photons emitted depends on the energy received and on the atmospheric molecules which have been excited. Green can be obtained with oxygen and red, blue or violet with nitrogen. A plasma in the atmosphere can sometimes also be white, yellow or orange [PB99 p. 97 and 102]. The ionisation potential of nitrogen is around 15.6 eV and that of oxygen about 12.06 eV.

Does the shape so formed produce an electromagnetic field?
Local concentrations of positive or negative electrical charges in the plasma create electrical fields as well as induced magnetic fields [PB99 p. 13].

Does the shape emit X-rays capable of irradiating witnesses?
Hot plasmas can emit dangerous X-rays for those witnesses standing nearby [PB99 p. 218].

Does the shape emit dangerous ultraviolet rays?
The sun is the typical example of a hot ball of plasma emitting ultraviolet rays which can lead to cancer. On a smaller scale, suntan lamps also produce ultraviolet rays being emitted by an ionised gas (plasma) in a glass tube.

Does the shape emit microwaves?
It is more than likely because the luminous rays emitted overlap towards longer wavelengths including infrared and microwaves.

Does the shape give off any sound?
It does indeed happen that a plasma emits a whistling or humming noise. This is referred to as "plasma waves" [PB99 p. 113].

Can the shape give off a breath of air?
The ionisation of the air and the cascading collisions of molecules sometimes generate an electric wind having the strength of a small breeze [PB99 p. 102].

Can the plasma ball produce a smell, for example that of sulphur (which is the smell traditionally associated with devilish apparitions)?
It is sometimes accompanied by a strong and disagreeable smell, characteristic of ozone or oxides of nitrogen [PB99 p. 103]. The microwaves emitted by the plasma can moreover bring about the oxidation of sulphur present in the atmosphere.

Can the ball of plasma burn on contact (vegetation, witnesses…)?
Plasma is a gas heated to several hundred, thousands or millions of degrees, so it is normal that it should burn on contact, or even at some distance, according to its temperature.

Is it nevertheless possible to touch a certain type of plasma with one’s hand without getting burned?
A plasma produced by a beam of very energetic electrons can maintain itself "at near room temperature" [POP98 p. 2137]. In fact, although its electronic temperature can reach 700°C as a result of the very rapid motion of the electrons, the weak thermal agitation of the ions can only confer a temperature of less than 30°C to the plasma overall.

By day, can the ball of plasma generate a shadow? Can it also do so at night when it is positioned between the moon and the witness?
According to the type of plasma, part of the incident light will be reflected, part will be absorbed, and part will be transmitted. If the light is being mainly reflected or absorbed, a witness might see a shadow.

Can the ball of plasma be illuminated by the headlights of a car?
Yes, for certain kinds of very reflective plasmas.

Can the shape which is generated be detected by radar?
An ionised plasma reflects long waves (radio) but it can easily be passed through by short waves (TV, radar) if the density of its electrons is insufficient. Plasmas with a higher density produced by a beam of electrons allow a radar wave with a frequency of less than 10 GHz to be reflected and may therefore be used just like a high speed adjustable "mirror" for radar [POP98 p. 2137]. In the atmosphere the "Artificial ionospheric mirrors" could reflect frequencies up to 2 GHz according to a report by the US Air Force.

Can the shot pass through clouds, and how would the shape generated perform in rain? Does the cloud layer not greatly reduce the possible distance for shooting?
A beam of particles like that of protons can pass through the clouds. The microwaves also pass through the clouds with the exception of certain frequencies. As for luminous laser beams or those emitted in the near infrared or ultraviolet bands, they of course cannot pass through (or else are greatly distorted).

Can the plasma shot pass through a window, a shutter even, so as to create a luminous shape within a room?
It seems that a beam of particles such as protons cannot pass through either a window or a shutter. Microwaves can pass through a pane of glass or a shutter providing it is not made of metal. A laser beam can of course pass through a pane of glass but not through a shutter. Finally, a ball of plasma generated on the outside can pass through a pane of glass as sometimes seems to happen in the case of balls of lightning.

Are there atmospheric constraints such as the presence of dust or pollution, of humidity, of wind, etc?
The presence of dust might certainly prevent the emitted particles from arriving at their destination. The interaction of dust and of these particles might also make the beam more apparent. Microwaves are not disturbed by dust, whereas a laser beam would be severely disrupted.

If the plasma is produced by a beam of particles, we have seen that this beam should be somewhat luminous. If it is produced by microwaves or by infrared laser, it is invisible to the naked eye except perhaps in the case of exceptional atmospheric conditions. Owing to its earlier appearance, since it was operationally available from 1942, it is the technology of the particle cannon which has our preference and which we intend to focus on in the remainder of this study. Thus we will regularly refer to a "particle cannon" each time we call to mind the artificial generation of a ball of plasma in the atmosphere.



Headquartered at the 4th Psychological Operations Group in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the psy-op artists typically rely on cartoon animations to get their messages across. But it's psy-op history itself that belongs in a comic strip: Its collection of harebrained schemes is sometimes almost too colorful to believe, though all of the following tales have been reported on from time to time. One such plan initially investigated by the air force before Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait entailed the projection of a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad and instructing Iraqi civilians to overthrow Saddam. The idea was promptly dropped after scientists informed the Pentagon that it would require a mirror that was a square mile in area, not to mention the added problem that no one knows what Allah looks like. Furthermore, since divine portrayals of any kind are strictly forbidden in Islam, the hologram would surely have gotten a reaction, but probably not exactly the one intended.


A 2-foot-by-3-foot color Zebra (Zebra Imaging, a tiny Austin, Tex. firm) hologramme contains a staggering 2 terabytes (2 trillion characters) of data. To make one, Zebra's "virtual camera" records a 3-D image file, like a map, from 500,000 slightly different perspectives. Each shot is encoded on a laser, focused through a spherical lens and burned onto a 1-millimeter section of plastic called a hogel.
Zebra's innovation is making large holograms that are accurate from any angle. Holographic images are created by reflecting light off carefully sculpted plastic surfaces. But traditional holograms appear distorted if the viewer is not looking at the image from the right direction. That's because they're printed in vertical lines, offering a narrow field of view. Zebra came up with a spherical lens that records a much wider field of view from each point of the hologram.

The spherical lens has allowed Zebra to print something called a hogel, a mini-hologram of the entire image. Each of Zebra's 2-foot-by-3-foot holographic tiles contains 500,000 separate hogels, and each hogel, 1 millimeter square, offers a slightly different perspective of the same image from the next hogel. With pixels on a screen, everyone in the room sees the same dot of white, red or blue. With hogels, everyone in the room, and even your own two eyes, see something slightly different. When illuminated, the kaleidoscope of reflections spring off the hogels and mingle in space, tricking the eye into seeing three dimensions (see box).

Zebra encodes each hogel onto a laser beam using a high-resolution spatial light modulator. It takes three beams and three modulators to print in full color. In a 35-nanosecond burst of laser light, 4.3 megabytes of a color image are burned on a photosensitive DuPont polymer film, rearranging the chemistry into a zebra-striped interference pattern.


Hologram looks like the real thing

Well, we've finally made it. Thanks to the sadistic leadership of the Bush administration, the United States has officially become a third world country - complete with a struggling, terrified public, a tyrannical hologram for a leader, and a crumbling infrastructure.

Fighting Shadows: Military Holograms

In science fiction, holograms are realistic, moving three-dimensional images. (Remember Arnie being spooked by his mirror self in Total Recall, and the priceless line �€œWatch out, he�€™s got a hologram!�€�). In the movies, if they flicker a bit ("Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi..."), it�€™s just so the audience realises it�€™s a hologram and doesn�€™t get confused. Real life holograms are a lot more limited, so I was interested to see this study carried by Dr David Watt on Holograms As Nonlethal Weapons for NTIC, the Nonlethal Technology Innovations Center in New Hampshire.

This is a serious look at the technical possibilities for holograms. It�€™s a far cry from blue sky fantasies like the Air Force 2025 Airborne Holographic Projector which �€�displays a three-dimensional visual image in a desired location, removed from the display generator�€� or the even more wildly optimistic �€œHologram, Death: Hologram used to scare a target individual to death.�€�

Real holograms will not fool people at short range and they do not move, nor can they be �€˜projected�€™ into a remote location. But they might still have their uses.

One of Watt's suggested applications is 'deception in an urban environment'. Take a shop window and replace it with a hologram of a window display, and you have an apparently innocuous space where troops can be stationed without any hint of their presence. A vehicle (a car or bus) could use similar trompe l'oeil effect.

There is the possibility of using holograms to create �€˜virtual forces�€™ or �€˜virtual obstacles�€™, but the problems are all too apparent. The situation is much better indoors where the optical environment can be controlled. Dr Watt suggests installations could have virtual doors, walls and windows as ways of confusing or misleading intruders.

A more unusual approach is using a speckle hologram as �€˜virtual smoke�€™. This type of hologram produces an image that appears to be in front of its real surface, and this could "project" a confusing image of three-dimensional spots before their eyes, making it impossible for viewers to judge what is in front of them and how far away it is.

Dynamic Holographic Projection

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