21 March, 2010

CIA LSD atrocity - Nazi-type laughter in angloamericans..

Henry Samuel in Paris Published: 7:00AM GMT 11 Mar 2010

French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment

An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD

In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.

For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.

The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.

On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.

One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.

Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead."

Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.

However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the "secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and explains that it was not "at all" caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.

While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army.

After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.

Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".

Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.

None of his sources would indicate whether the French secret services were aware of the alleged operation. According to US news reports, French intelligence chiefs have demanded the CIA explain itself following the book's revelations. French intelligence officially denies this.

Locals in Pont-Saint-Esprit still want to know why they were hit by such apocalyptic scenes. "At the time people brought up the theory of an experiment aimed at controlling a popular revolt," said Charles Granjoh, 71.

"I almost kicked the bucket," he told the weekly French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. "I'd like to know why."

===

remember that Fort Dettrick is also the home of the ANTHRAX after 9/11,
and in breach of international agreements of bio-weapons.
Dick Cheney has an intense interest in bioweapons,
just think INNOCULATION+profit from captive market.

Peabody, Rockefeller, Delano... made their fortunes from
forcing opium on the chinese.
listen: http://www.mdrtalk.org/opiumwars.mp3

History Counts
How the West hooked China
Featured Speakers/Commentator:
Frank Sanello, author of The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another
In the 19th century, Britain fought two wars to compel China to import opium. While opium addiction devastated China, British and American merchants reaped enormous profits.

ALSO a MUST-LISTEN:
Guns and Butter - Family of Secrets
"Family of Secrets", The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put It In The White House, and What Their Influence Means For America, with author Russ Baker.
http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20090506-Wed1300.mp3

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, March 21, 2010 0 comments links to this post

19 March, 2010

CIA RULES PAKISTAN - Fights COLONIAL WAR

CIA RULES PAKISTAN - Fights COLONIAL WAR for
FINANCE-RULE and AIR-BASE in Afghanistan and OIL and GAS
(hydrocrabons, pipeline, black sea resources)

ABC news tells us STRAIGHT OUT that the CIA approved
the HEAD OF THE PAKISTANS secret murderer agency:


Head of Pakistan's Spy Agency Gets Term Extended ABC
News

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen
and Navy Rear Adm. Scott ... efforts against al Qaeda
and the Taliban, and works closely with the CIA. ...

Mullen Wary of Israeli Attack on Iran

Middle East Online

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, came home with sweaty palms ..... A 27-year
veteran analyst at the CIA, he is co-founder of Veteran
...

KABUL, Afghanistan March 9, 1020

Pakistan's top spy can remain in his position for
another year, Pakistan's army announced today, keeping
in place a three-star general who United States
officials have become convinced is committed to
flushing militants out of his country.


PHOTO: Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike
Mullen and Navy Rear Adm. Scott van Buskirk, from left,
talk with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq
Kayani, center, and Director General, Military
Operations, Major Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, on the flight
deck aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, in the Gulf in this
2008 photo released by the U.S. Department of
Defense.Lt. Gen. Pasha, the director-general of
Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency,
would have had to take mandatory retirement later this
month without the one year extension, which was
officially declared today but informally granted weeks
ago. Collapse (U.S. Navy/Spc. 1st Class William John
Kipp Jr., via AP)

Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director-general of
Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency,
would have had to take mandatory retirement later this
month without the one year extension, which was
officially declared today but informally granted weeks
ago.

United States officials, many of whom are deeply
suspicious of the ISI's relationship with the Taliban,
have come to believe that keeping Pasha in place will
facilitate efforts to flush out Taliban safehavens from
Pakistan. The ISI leads Pakistan's efforts against al
Qaeda and the Taliban, and works closely with the CIA.

CIA'S Near Miss of Top Afghan Taliban Leader Sign of
Improved Intelligence

United States officials also seem to be convinced
that Pasha's boss, army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani,
should stay in his position if recent gains against the
Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are to be continued.

Kayani is set to retire later this year, but it is
not clear yet if he will receive or accept an extension,
or whether he will step aside. If he does step aside,
Pasha would be a leading candidate to succeed him.

United States officials admit their relationships
with Kayani and Pasha - whom they have known for decades
- have been mixed. But lately, the officials seem
convinced that both men are committed to fighting the
Taliban, and seem to want both to remain in place.

Kayani is among the last senior Pakistani army
generals to have received training in the United States
before American sanctions cut the training off.

Many subsequent Pakistani army officers went to
Saudi Arabia for training, and the United States
officials are worried that lower-level officers are
deeply skeptical of fighting what many Pakistanis view
as "America's war" against the Taliban.

United States military and diplomatic officials in
the region say their relationship with Kayani has
improved thanks to constant face-to-face meetings with
many senior American officials, but especially with Gen.
Stanley McChrystal, the head of international forces in
Afghanistan, who regularly travels to Pakistan.

A barrage of U.S. drone attacks HAVE KILLED SCORES OF
INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN A WAR FOR CONQUEST AND CONTROL.

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posted by u2r2h at Friday, March 19, 2010 0 comments links to this post

17 March, 2010

THAILAND protests update - breaking news

Our friends in Bangkok have said they're staying indoors and out of the way, as moving around in the city at this stage is pretty pointless, and nobody wants to catch any stray bullets, heaven forbid. Local Bangkokers at this stage seem to just be pretty bloody annoyed that a bunch of country bumpkins have rolled in and stopped them from going about their daily business, at least at this stage.

Today the Red Shirts gathered outside the 11th Infantry Regiment's army base in Bangkok - said to be where PM Abhisit Vejajiva was holding up - he left via helicopter not long after they arrived. Interesting trivia is that the Military's way of dealing with them was playing them I'saan music over loudhailers, and it was also reported that they even addressed the crowd as "brothers and sisters", speaking in I'saan.

What's transpiring is very interesting - the Red Shirts clearly want some kind of a confrontation, or violence, to prove that the "evil" government intends to repress and harm them. But so far, the Military and the government have been on their best behaviour.

The question remains, what will the extreme elements within the red shirts (who were said to have started the violence in April 09's protests) do when they realise that the Military is not going to fire the first shot? Latest reports have the Red Shirts saying that Government Ministers will have to "Walk across one thousand liters of blood" to get to work at government house tomorrow - so it remains to be seen what they mean by that. Today news that four M-79 grenades were fired into a military batallion outside the State TV headquarters, and STILL no military crackdown. This is incredible and unprecedented - the army are quite obviously on their best behaviour. The Bangkok Post reports that arrests have been made in connection with the case. So far, our direct sources in Bangkok seem to be the best source of information. The Nation and The Bangkok Post (the two main English Dailies) are respectively suspiciously quiet, and suspiciously biased, so I'm thinking there's multiple gag orders in play, though I do get some decent tidbids now and then from my favorite Bangkok blog - 2bangkok.com The rumour at present is that Thaksin Shinawatra is in Montenegro - both Germany and the UK have said that they would not accept him, and if he was recognised in their country, he would be detained. The man is literally on the run, as it were.

And finally, my personal feeling is that the "mainstream media" organisation that seems to be offering the absolute best coverage on the situation so far is - surprise surprise - Al Jazzeera's English service. Im guessing their primary interest is based on the fact that Thaksin Shinawatra was a resident of Dubai for the past twelve months or so - in any case, they are covering the story closely, and it's been on the front page for over 12 hours.

Also - I watched a video of a Red Shirt speaker ("Arisman") in an upcountry pep rally ranting against the government last night. I won't bother posting the link here - it's all in Thai and there's no subtitles, but in a nutshell, the notable talking points were some bizarre conspiracy theories about the government involving bio-weapons, and more interestingly, he was inciting red shirters and saying that if the government did not give into their demands, that they would "wipe off the face of Thailand" all the governments "sensitive sites", including Siriraj hospital. Siriraj hospital is where the ailing King Bhumipol Adulyadej is and has been treated for many months. Yes, they are "peaceful" protesters, apparently.

Let's hope that tomorrow is as peaceful as Sunday turned out to be.

An oldie, but relevant : this was me rather tipsily interviewing some people about the Red Vs Yellow situation in Thailand, back in May last year. FYI, this guy is a TYPICAL "Red Shirter" - lower class, menial laborer - lovely guy. I often joke with friends that if they just instituted a minimum wage in Bangkok, this entire political mess would go away overnight. But sadly, it's true.

And another video: First Civilian victim of a "Red Shirt" Protestor. FYI the cameraman is shouting "POLICE! POLICE!", and when the Police enter they shout "STOP, STOP NOW PLEASE, STOP!"

Video of Red Shirt operatives handing out money to protesters. It should be noted that a) The guy handing out the money has a literal WAD of 1000 Baht notes (1000 THB = roughly AU$33 - enough to eat in Bangkok for over a month) and b) The guy on the loudhailer appears to be shouting in either Lao, or Isan - two dialects not native to Bangkok - probably due to the large number of "up country" people who have been bussed in for the protests.

Question: Based on the coverage I've read, the "red shirts" have all the hallmarks of what in the west would be a left-wing movement - marginalised, working-class, pro-social reform, pro-economic reform - while the yellow shirts seem to likewise have the attributes of a right-wing movement - comfortably elite, conservative, anti-reform.

Yet in the coverage I've never seen the words "left" and "right" used about the groups. Am I reading it wrong?


A lot of what's coming out of Thailand seems to go surprisingly without comment. The world's response to the the yellow shirt movement was surprisingly quiet given that they had, y'know, overthrown a democratically elected government, and held an airport full of people hostage.

It's a very complicated political situation in Thailand, made more difficult by the appearance of a working class rebellion. I don't claim to have all the facts, but it's important to know that the Red Shirts are followers of Thaksin Shinawarta, the ousted mega-millionaire former Prime Minister. Thaksin now lives in exile in Cambodia (where he spends time meddling in Cambodian politics) following charges of corruption within his government related to illegally rewarding his own companies and those of his friends, and for selling off precious Thai resources to other countries - also for his own gain. He now pulls the strings on these protesters by literally paying them to protest (yes, they are receiving actual wages to appear at these protests far beyond their normal daily wage). He holds video conferences with the protesters encouraging them to violently overthrow the government so that he can return to reward them all. While many argue that he made great progress in improving health, education and infrastructure in rural Thailand, others will point out that these were very calculated moves to win large swaths of voters in areas far from view of his cynical political practices. It seems the Red Shirts, rather than freedom fighters, unwittingly support a political agenda that has no long-term solutions for their needs but sells off their land, resources and jobs to the highest bidder. It's difficult to type one side as more or less similar to the American left and right, and really not constructive for understanding the tug of war between military, parliament, royals and the citizenry. That said, my tendency is to imagine Thaksin as the love-child of George Bush and Bill Gates.

One of the ways Thaksin made money was, in exactly the way Anon stated, through the aforementioned airport. It was a multimillion (if not billion) dollar construction, way overbudget and overpriced for what it is (although it is pretty :) ) and paid for with public money awarded to Thaksin's friends.

This also explains why last time the airport was a target for the (peacefull, very polite) yellowshirts; a very symbolic target.

Not much I can add to what Anon above says, except that Thailand, whilst filled with friendly, polite people (my favourite asian country, really) is immensely corrupt. To get anything done, money has to change hands.

The lotteries are one interesting example: everyone pays to play, and that in a country where you can get locked up for gambling in a friendly poker game. And the money ends up ... well, exactly where you think it does.

I am an ex-pat living in Bangkok. Mondays, MOST Thais wear yellow shirts to honor their much-beloved King. The Red Shirts are, as the article says, mostly from Issan -- which is a long way from Bangkok. It is the far east, poorest district of the Kingdom. The former, deposed Prime Minister Thaksin was very popular with farmers because he arranged for large numbers of low-cost loans for farmers. He was also incredibly corrupt (ref: the new airport land deals). He never had majority support in the city of Bangkok. But while 25% of all Thais live in Bangkok, it is still an agrarian society -- most are farmers. Very few of the Red Shirts are educated, as the video shows. The latest reason for the unrest is because two weeks ago, the Thai Supreme Court seized 46 billion baht (about 1.5 billion USD) from the Thaksin estate. At one time, the Thaksin family owned the phone company, several banks, and (literally) 10% of all the stocks traded on the local exchange. He was deposed after selling the phone company AIS to a Singapore group for more than a billion USD and paying ZERO taxes on the sale -- and before anyone noticed that military telephone calls were routed through what then became a foreign-owned company (!). When he next left the country, he was not allowed back in and the courts have been taking what remains of his fortune back, piece-meal. The only people who miss Thaksin are the rural folk. The REAL problem here will come when the ailing King passes away; the transition is not going to go smoothly. (I've lived here ten years, I'll probably leave then.)

Because red and right can't apply here.
Yellow and Red express opinions that can be related to both left and right.

Yellows support the "old elite". The statu quo.
More interestingly, the quite poor Red support outsed prime minister Taksin, a super rich businessman who represents the "wannabe" new elite.

Meanwhile, most of the Thai people don't want to take side.

What is saddening is that the whole situation comes from the culture and education of Thai people. For more than 50 years, the elite managed to use schools and media as brainwashing tools to keep the population very docile and resignated.
I teach in thai schools and I see it everyday: "this is the way it is, be happy with what you have and don't cause trouble".
As a result, everyone shows a lot of respect for the "phuyai", term that designate the upper part of the population. It doesn't bother anyone that super rich stars still appear in new TV commerecials every weeks, even for things like maxipads and mosquito repellent.

Where Taksin was clever, is that he decided to use this brainwashing to create a movement of followers. He dropped few hundred bahts here and there, added some populist measures and bingo.

What we see here are slaves fighting each other for their masters... Yellow or red, it doesn't matter, because in the end, and for half a century already, those who really handle this puppet show are wearing khaki.

I work in front of governement house. Have to go through the mob crowd twice a day to reach my workplace. First came the yellows, then the red, then red again now... what's clearly missing for both sides is simply a manifesto.


The comments so far seem to me to be gross simplifications of what is a very complicated situation in Thailand. There seems also to be an anti-red shirt slant, not to mention an anti-'country bumpkin' bias. This is unfortunate.
I would urge readers not to simplify what's going on here- not reduce it to Thaksin vs. 'Old' Bangkok - since as anyone familiar with Thailand knows, things are far more subtle and the issues more divisive than just Thaksin and his money.
One of the key issues on the table here, among many others, is the attempt to disenfranchise rural voters, on the basis that they are 'too stupid to vote'. Some argue instead for senators to be appointed rather than elected. Other topics critical to Thailand's political future are still not generally discussed because of the stark lese-majeste laws.
For insightful background, diverse opinions, and knowledgeable discussion about Thailand's situation, I would recommend as a starting point a website called the New Mandala.

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, March 17, 2010 0 comments links to this post

Red versus yellow - redshirt yellow shir BACKGROUND info

I.m .red-shirt. of course. The other side of situation has never been printed or published in Thailand. So many Thai are brain-washed by local media and black propaganda from the invisible hand.

I.d like to make it clear here, the Red-Shirts is the combination of many groups of people, who have the same top objective, that is the true democracy.

For those Yellow Shirts, some of them are my friends or known ones, I understand and respect some of their opinions. They have been brain-washed for long long time.

the .color revolutions. in some other countries in some past several years (say, as .Orange. in Ukraine, .Pink. in Georgia, then recently attempted one in Moldova, and the most recent one . so called .Green. / aka .Twitter revolution. in Iran .. ).

CIA secret service - power grab

a critical moment in Thailand.s history of protest . an end of innocence

The PAD's followers usually dress in yellow, called 'the yellow shirts', the royal color of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The UDD's followers dress in red, widely called 'the red shirts', known as the supporters of the deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The 2008.2009 Thai political crisis is an ongoing conflict in Thailand between the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the People's Power Party (PPP) governments of Prime Ministers Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat and later between the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and the Democrat Party government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. It is a continuation of the 2005.2006 Thai political crisis, wherein the PAD protested against the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The PPP won the December 2007 general election. Though it gained most of the seats in the House, the consensus was under the half of the total seats. However PPP became the leader of the coalition government when other smaller parties, once the opposition of Thaksin Shinawatra, agreed to join.

PPP vowed to amend the 2007 constitution they called 'dictatorial constitution', prompting the PAD to reform itself after suspending its movement after the 2006 coup. PAD began resisting the constitutional amendment plan of PPP. The PAD protested that the amendment was aimed at revoking Thaksin's legal charges and the election fraud charges on PPP high members. The Samak government finally suspended its amendment plan, yet the PAD vowed to continue their protest, calling for Samak Sundaravej's resignation, noting that during his election campaign, he had declared himself a nominee of Thaksin. The tension escalated when the PAD seized Government House.

Samak was finally removed in September after the Constitutional Court found him guilty of being hired and paid by a cooking TV program after he became the prime minister. PPP deputy leader Somchai Wongsawat, vice president of PPP, brother-in-law of Thaksin, was elected by the members of parliament and became the new prime minister. This change prompted a further escalation of PAD protests. The protests led to violent clashes between the police, the PAD, and anti-PAD protesters on October 7 as the government aiming to disperse them rom blocking the entrances of the House. Consequently, a PAD protester was killed due to a grenade near the, while a member of the PAD security forces was killed when his car exploded prematurely. Many protesters were also injured. Some were serious wounded, losing legs or bodies burnt.

As the PAD was attacked, the PAD then step up their protests by seizing the government's temporary offices at Don Muang Airport, and the seizure and closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport after the arrest of Chamlong Srimuang, one of its leaders. The sieges ended in December due to the verdict of the Constitutional Court, which dissolved the PPP and banned its executive board from political office after finding it guilty of election fraud. Prime minister Somchai automatically ended his rule.

It is alleged by some Thaksin's loyalists , despite the controversial sources, that The Army then urged many PPP MPs to defect to the Democrat Party and support Abhisit Vejjajiva as the new Prime Minister. After days of negotiation, Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, was voted in eventually by the majority of the members of parliament.

PPP members and its supporters, UDD, then rejected the rise of Abhisit and began their huge protest in April 2009 against the Abhisit government. The Government's House was under siege again and main roads, intersections and entrances to hospitals were blocked in downtown Bangkok.

The protest also took place in Pattaya, the site of the planned Fourth East Asia Summit. After clashes with security forces and supporters of the government called 'the blue-shirts', the Thaksin loyalists eventually stormed the hotel, disrupting the Fourth East Asia Summit in Pattaya. A state of emergency was then declared in Pattaya while protests in Bangkok became more violent. The next day the government arrested the leaders of the Pattaya protest, causing unrest at the Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry, where prime minister Abhisit was declaring the State of Emergency in Bangkok. The protesters finally stormed the ministry, 'hunting' the premier and ministers. The premier's secretary and several guards were injured. The situation became more intense in the evening after the government called in the military forces to secure the capital. The military forces began disbanding the protests on main roads. Violent clashes, burning buses and wheels were seen in downtown. Clashes between the red-shirts and the 'Bangkokians' took place in many areas as the red-shirts tried to storm their homes, burning wheels and blocking the railway. The protesters claimed that at least two Bangkokians were shot dead in downtown, the charge was denied by the authority as there was no strong evidence supporting the charge. Eventually, on April 14, the leaders of the red-shirts decided to end their protest at the Government House.

The People's Alliance for Democracy, comprising media activists, social activists, academics and leaders of worker's unions, is opposed to what it calls the "Thaksin system", which is Thaksin' 'autocracy'; his domination of independent supervisory institutions and violation of the human right and press freedom. It began the mass protest against Thaksin Shinawatra from 2005 to 2006 after the removal of the critical TV program of Sondhi Limthongkul. In 2008, the PAD accused Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat of being proxies for Thaksin. Samak had announced that he was Thaksin's nominee during his election campaign, Somchai is Thaksin's brother-in-law, and several new Pua Thai Party members are former TRT members. The PAD is opposed to all attempts to reform the constitution in ways that would allow politicians banned from political office to re-enter politics, and to revoke the charges against Thaksin. The PAD has also called for "New Politics", a 'new age of politics, free from the corrupted politicians'. In May 2009, the PAD called its political party 'The New Politics Party'. One of the PAD's major aims is to oppose what it considers as the anti-monarchy movement, supposedly among Thaksin's supporters. PAD has promoted the role o the king as the 'guard' of the all people's power against the 'corrupted politician'. That is why the PAD uses the colour of yellow, the Rama IX's symbolic colour of his birthday, Monday, as its brand. Yet its ideology was blasted by some critics as 'anti-democratic'.

The National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship is the group consisting of mainly social activists, scholars and Thaksin's supporters which opposes the 2006 coup deposing Thaksin Shinawatra. It believes that the coup was supported by powerful persons, the 'elites' or 'nobles', targeting Prem Tinsulanonda, the Chief of the royal Privy Council. The UDD aims to topple the amatayathipatai (government run by traditional elites or nobles). In the April 2009 protest, its aims were the immediate resignation of the prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and members of the Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda and Surayud Chulanont as well as fresh elections. It also demanded that charges be brought against the PAD for the 2008 airport seizures and unrest. Several members of Parliament in Pua Thai Party are publicly the supporters of UDD, as well as Thaksin Shinawatra himself.

Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party (TRT) won a landslide victory in the 2001 elections, the first elections held under the Thai Constitution of 1997. Thaksin's grassroots economic policies helped reduce poverty by half and provided universal health care, making him hugely popular in rural Thailand. His drug policies were effective at reducing drug use but were attacked for the large number of extrajudicial executions that resulted. He was accused of conflicts of interest due to his family's continued holdings in Shin Corporation, the telecoms business that he founded prior to becoming Premier. Despite this, he became the first politician in Thai history to finish his term. Thaksin's re-election in 2005 elections had the highest voter turnout in Thai history

Media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul had been a staunch supporter of Thaksin until major losses at state-owned Krung Thai Bank caused CEO Viroj Nualkhair to be fired. Viroj was Sondhi's former banker and had forgiven Sondhi for billions in bad personal debts. Sondhi's levied public criticisms of Thaksin on his TV show and his media outlets, Manager Daily newspaper and ASTV.

Sondhi's People's Alliance for Democracy soon gathered supporters among Dhammayuttika Nikaya disciples of Luang Ta Maha Bua, prominent socialites and members of the Thai royal family who claimed that Thaksin frequently insulted King Bhumibol Adulyadej, several state-enterprise unions who were against Thaksin's state-enterprise privatization plans, and various factions in the Royal Thai Army who claimed that Thaksin promoted only those who were loyal to him. The movement gained in popularity after Thaksin's family sold their share in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings, while making use of a regulation that exempted individuals from paying capital gains tax. The PAD led protests demanding that Thaksin pay additional taxes, despite the SEC and the Revenue Department saying that no wrong was done.

On 14 July 2006, Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda addressed graduating cadets of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, telling them that the Thai military must obey the orders of the King - not the Government.[8]

The coup was executed on 19 September 2006 while Thaksin was attending a UN summit, just weeks before a planned Parliamentary election. The junta canceled the elections, abrogated the Constitution, dissolved Parliament, banned protests and all political activities, suppressed and censored the media, declared martial law, and arrested Cabinet members. The PAD voluntarily dissolved after announcing that its goals had been accomplished.[9] Surayud Chulanont, Prem's former close aide, was appointed Prime Minister. A junta-appointed court banned the TRT and 111 of its executives from politics for five years. Privy Council President Prem harshly criticized Thaksin, who was in exile, comparing him to Adolf Hitler.[10] A junta-appointed committee drafted a substantially revised constitution. Elections were scheduled for December 2007. Many TRT politicians moved to the People's Power Party. The PPP won the December elections and nominated Samak Sundaravej as Premier.

The Samak Sundaravej government, elected in the December 2007 general elections, came under pressure to resign since May 2008, when the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) reformed and staged regular street protests. They protested the government.s proposals to amend the 2007 constitution, claiming that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his government are acting as a proxy for former deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.[11] The PAD also criticized the Samak government's decision to support the Cambodian government's application for the listing of the disputed Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage site. Tensions rose between Thailand and Cambodia as the PAD called for Thai investors to withdraw from Cambodia, the closure of all 40 Thai-Cambodian border checkpoints, a ban on all flights from Thailand to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the construction of a naval base at Koh Kut near the border, and the abolishment of the committee which oversees demarcation of overlapping sea areas and the unilateral declaration of a Thai marine map.[12]

In late June, the opposition filed a no-confidence motion in parliament, which the government survived. The PAD proposed that the constitution be amended to reduce the proportion of elected members of Parliament. This would disenfranchise the rural population, which the PAD viewed as being insufficiently educated to vote for anti-Thaksin Shinawatra parties.

Tensions escalated to crisis when on Tuesday 26 August the protesters stormed and occupied the grounds of the Government House, displacing the prime minister from his offices.[13] Another armed group attacked the headquarters of the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand,[14] while the offices of three ministries were also partially invaded. Major roads into Bangkok were blocked by PAD supporters. Prime Minister Samak remained defiant, refusing to resign, while also vowing not to violently remove the protesters. Despite a court warrant for the arrest of the PAD.s nine leaders and a Civil Court order to evacuate, the PAD remained firmly lodged in the government compound.[15] Friday 29th saw semi-violent clashes at various protest sites between protesters and riot police, who were still largely unable to control the group.[16]

Transport infrastructure was disrupted beginning 29 August, with state railway workers union, the PAD's alliance, was on strike partially disabling train services. PAD demonstrators occupied the runways of and closed down airports in the southern cities of Hat Yai, Phuket and Krabi.[17] (The airports later reopened on the 30th and 31st.) The State Enterprise Worker.s Union threatened to disrupt public infrastructure services including electricity, waterworks, airline, bus, port and communications services, beginning with police and government offices, on 3 September.

Prime Minister Samak called an emergency session of parliament on 31 August to resolve the issue, but refused to dissolve parliament as suggested by the opposition.[18] Meanwhile, pro-Thaksin protesters calling themselves the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship of Thailand (UDDT) began to gather in Sanam Luang.

Early Tuesday 3 September, one week after the PAD began occupation of the Government House grounds, violence erupted as members of the UDDT clashed with the PAD in a melee involving firearms, resulting in 43 injuries and at least one death. Prime Minister Samak, by virtue of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation, BE 2548 (2005), declared a state of emergency in Bangkok at 07.00 hours of the following morning.[19]

Sundaravej also put Gen Anupong Paochinda, Army Commander in Chief, in charge of the remedy of the said State of Emergency, and appointing Pol Gen Patcharavat Wongsuwan, National Police Commander in Chief, and Lt Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, 1st Army Area Commander as assistants to Gen Anupong.[20] He also issued bans on the gathering or assemblage of more than five persons within Bangkok Metropolis; on the nationwide press release, distribution or dissemination of letters, publications or any other information containing the matters which may instigate apprehension amongst the people or is intended to distort information in order to mislead an understanding of the State of Emergency to the extent of affecting the security of state or public peace and order or good moral of the people; and on other matters which were a kind of public rights and liberties restriction.[21][22]

However, on the same day, Mr Nitithon Lamluea, a member of Thailand Lawyer Council.s Human Rights Committee, lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court a complaint against Prime Minister Samak accusing him of abuse of power as he imposed Bangkok with the State of Emergency, but the circumstances on 2 September were not what prescribed in the said Emergency Decree as the State of Emergency. The complaint also requested the Court to revoke the State of Emergency.[23] Tej Bunnag, Minister of Foreign Affairs, resigned from office as he disagreed with the Government.s measures to remedy the crisis and he felt uneasy to represent the Government in giving the foreigners the explanation of the prevailing circumstances.[24][25]

On 14 September, the Government issued an Announcement revoking the State of Emergency throughout Bangkok together with all the pertinent announcements, orders and articles
In 9 September 2008, the Constitutional Court of Thailand found that Samak had hosted and received payment for hosting two cooking TV shows, "Tasting and Grumbling" and "All Set at 6 AM," for a few months after he had become Prime Minister. He had been hosting the shows for years prior to becoming Premier. Section 267 of the 2007 Constitution of Thailand forbids members of the Cabinet from being employees of any person; this was to prevent conflicts of interest. The court found that although Samak was a contractor to the show's producers, and did not fit the definition of the term "employee" as defined under the Civil and Commercial Code, the law on labour protection or the law on taxation, the spirit of the Constitution gave a broader definition to the term. It thus found Samak guilty of breaching the Constitution and terminated his Premiership.

A session of the House of Representatives was held on 12 September to vote for a new prime minister. The People Power Party decided to renominate Samak as Premier (he had stopped hosting the TV shows earlier that year and thus was no longer an employee). The session was cut short because the House lacked a quorum. The nomination of a new Prime Minister was postponed until 17 September, where the PPP successfully nominated Deputy Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat as Premier.

Karn Tienkaew, deputy leader of Samak.s People Power Party, said the party planned to propose a parliamentary vote Wednesday on returning Samak to power: "Samak still has legitimacy. The party still hopes to vote him back unless he says no. Otherwise we have many other capable candidates."[28]

On 10 September 2008, however, the PPP shied away from their earlier statement they would renominate Sundaravej and was apparently looking for an alternative candidate instead;[29] the new PM was to be nominated on 12 September 2008.[30]

People Power Party.s deputy spokesman Kuthep Suthin Klangsang, on 12 September, 2008, announced that: "Samak has accepted his nomination for prime minister. Samak said he is confident that parliament will find him fit for office, and that he is happy to accept the post. A majority of party members voted Thursday to reappoint Samak. Samak is the leader of our party so he is the best choice." Despite objections from its coalition partners, the PPP, in an urgent meeting, unanimously decided to renominate Samak Sundaravej. 5 coalition parties, namely Chart Thai, Matchima Thipataya, Pracharaj, Puea Pandin and Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana, unanimously agreed to support the People Power party (PPP) to set up the new government and vote for the person who should be nominated as the new prime minister. Chart Thai deputy leader Somsak Prissananantakul and Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana leader Chettha Thanajaro said the next prime minister who will be nominated on Friday. Caretaker prime minister Somchai Wongsawat said PPP secretary-general Surapong Suebwonglee will notify the 5 parties who the PPP nominates to take office again.[31][32][33] Some lawmakers, however, said they will propose an alternate candidate. Meanwhile, Thailand.s army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda said he backed the creation of a unity government that would include all the country.s parties, and he also asked for the lifting of a state of emergency that Samak imposed on 2 September.[34]

On 12 September 2008, the quorum for selecting the new PM was not reached and the decision was delayed to 17 September 2008 in an event seen as signaling the end of Samak.s career.[35] After its four coalition partners stated they'd prefer someone else to become PM instead of Samak, the PPP agreed to drop his nomination.[36] Embattled Samak Sundaravej abandoned his bid to regain his Thailand Prime Minister post, and Teerapon Noprampa said Samak would also give up the ruling People.s Power Party (PPP) leadership.[37][38] Meanwhile, PPP.s chief party spokesman Kudeb Saikrachang and Kan Thiankaew announced on 13 September that caretaker prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, caretaker justice minister Sompong Amornwiwat and PPP Secretary-General Surapong Suebwonglee were PPP.s candidates for premiership post.[39] However, Suriyasai Katasila of People's Alliance for Democracy (a group of royalist businessmen, academics and activists), vowed to continue its occupation of Government House if a PPP candidate would be nominated: "We would accept anyone as prime minister, as long as he is not from the PPP."[40]

The ruling People Power Party, on 15 September, 2008, named Somchai Wongsawat, candidate for prime minister to succeed Samak Sundaravej.[41] Somchai Wongsawat was ratified by the National Assembly of Thailand as Prime Minister of Thailand on the 17th September,[42] winning 263 votes against 163 votes[43] for Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court will rule Wednesday in a corruption case against Thaksin and his wife, to be promulgated after the parliament vote for the new prime minister.[44][45]
[edit] October violence
[edit] Chamlong's arrest

On October 4 and 5, 2008, respectively, Chamlong Srimuang and rally organizer, Chaiwat Sinsuwongse, of People's Alliance for Democracy, were detained by the Thai police with the charge for insurrection, conspiracy, illegal assembly and refusing orders to disperse (treason) against him and eight other protest leaders. At the Government House, Sondhi Limthongkul, however, stated demonstrations would continue.
[edit] Clashes and the siege of Parliament

Armed with batons, PAD forces surrounded Parliament and used razor wire barricades to prevent the legislature from meeting to hear Samak's replacement, Somchai Wongsawat, formally announce his policies. The government decided to crackdown the protesters. Police used tear gas but many bullets were fired at the body of protesters. Many protesters got seriously wounded, some even lost legs, causing over a hundred of injuries.[46] One additional PAD leader was killed, claimed by the police, when the bomb in his car went off in front of the headquarters of the Chart Thai Party, a member of the government coalition.[47][48][49][50] Several protesters lost their hands and legs, although it was not clear whether these injuries were caused by tear gas rounds or the ping-pong grenades. Pornthip Rojanasunand, Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, claimed that the loss of one particular PAD member's leg could not have been the result of tear gas usage, but came from a more powerful explosion.[51] After viewing photographs of Angkhana Radappanyawut's injuries, Pornthip Rojanasunand suggested unequivocally that the death was caused by the explosion of a tear gas canister. She also stated that there was no need to conduct further investigations into the death and injuries of protesters because it became clear that they were caused by weapons of police.[52] . Investigations took place while charges against the police and government were filed by many protesters.

Afterwards, Doctor Suthep Kolcharnwit of Chulalongkorn Hospital led a campaign calling for doctors to refuse medical care to police injured during the clashes as a protest against the violence. Doctors from several major Bangkok hospitals joined him in his campaign.[53] Doctor Suthep Kolcharnwit of the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine along with several doctors from also refused to provide medical care to police injured in the clash, and urged doctors of other hospitals to boycott police as well,[54]

After the violent crash, the demonstrators returned, the siege of the parliament was given up in the evening. Yet demonstrators started the siege of police headquarter near the Government House. The demonstrators called for the counter-attack on police force, then new clash erupted, causing the death of a female protester and injury of several protesters. The PAD leaders called the demonstrators to return to the Government House and limit the protest only at their 'stronghold', at the House, avoid using violence. Then calm situation returned to Bangkok
[edit] Queen's appearance

On October 13, 2008, Queen Sirikit presided over the funeral ceremony of Angkhana Radappanyawut, the PAD supporter who had died during the protests. The Queen was accompanied by her daughter Chulabhorn, Army Chief Anupong Paochinda, Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, and many high-ranked officials, but no signs of any police personnel. The Queen received a jubilant welcome from thousands of PAD supporters.[55][56]

The Queen had a conversation with the deceased's father, Jinda Radappanyawut, who later said that she was concerned for the welfare of the protesters and "would soon send us flowers".[56] The Queen said to Angsana's parents that their daughter did sacrifice for the sake of the monarchy, and that she was a good person.

Previously,the revered Queen has donated .1 million to cover the medical expenses of those on both sides injured in the clashes. The protesters claimed the royal granted money as a gesture of support, though it went to injured police officers as well as protesters.[57] The King also granted monetary contributions to the deceased's family.[58]

Since the royal appearances above were unprecedented in the Thai history, many academicians and media deemed they were "unusual" and could be an "explicit royal backing to a five-month street campaign to oust the elected government".[56] Historian David Streckfuss of the University of Wisconsin.Madison noted that no Thai social activists slain in the last decade ever had royal attendance at their funerals, "so it is interesting to note that in this case.a conflict that is controversial and ongoing.that a member of the royalty should apparently show support."[59]

Yet it could support the claim of PAD that there was an 'anti-monarchist' movement which had operated within Thaksin's supporters. The claim that seemed disturbing for many 'monarchists' in the country. Sondhi Limthongkul, the forefront leader of PAD has claimed first in 2005 when he started criticizing Thaksin Shinawatra for his 'inappropriate' act defaming the monarchy due to Thaksin's religious ceremony at Wat Phra Kaeo. From then on, PAD has accused Thaksin faction as an 'anti-monarchy'. UDD and Thaksin's harsh attack on Prem, head of royal Privy Council, and close advisor of the king, has been seen as a contradiction of Thai tradition, and a hidden attempt to make a regime change. Moreover a leader of UDD, such Jakraphob Penkhae has engaged in public critic of the role of the monarchy, mostly, seen 'negatively'. Several UDD leaders were also charged and arrested with accusation of insulting the monarchy, a crime under Thai criminal law. The PAD, therefore, has always claimed that it was defending the most revered institution according to the Constitutions, blasting UDD and Thaksin Shinawatra as anti-monarchist. The controversial issue of the monarchy has been then one of the fierce causes among these factions' supporters.
[edit] Airport seizures
[edit] Protest at Suvarnabhumi International Airport and closures of airports
Main article: Seizure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport

On the evening of Tuesday 25 November 2008, the PAD executed what they called "Operation Hiroshima."[60] A convoy of hundreds of armed PAD members dressed in yellow blocked the two ends of the road in front of the terminal building of Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok's main airport and an important regional hub and blockaded the main road to the airport, aiming at resisting the landing of the prime minister's flight. . PAD forces quickly overpowered hundreds of policemen armed with riot gear. PAD leaders mounted a mobile stage and proceeded to criticize the government. PAD members armed with clubs, iron bars and knives, with some wearing black balaclavas, [61]then entered the terminal, much to the surprise of the thousands of travellers inside.
[edit] Official closure of the airport

PAD forces also forced their way into the control tower, demanding the flight plan for Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's return from the APEC summit in Peru. Somchai flew into Bangkok Don Muang airport on the evening of 25 November 2008 before flying on to Chiang Mai. After hours of turmoil, the Airports of Thailand, AOT, eventually decided that all Suvarnabhumi flights were suspended, leaving thousands of travelers stranded in the airport.[62][63], this action led to the official closure of the airport later.

The government called on the Royal Thai Army to restore order at the airport.[64] The Army did not follow the orders. In a press conference on 26 November, Army Commander General Anupong Paochinda proposed that the PAD withdraw from the airport and that the government resign. He also proposed that if the PAD did not comply, that they be subject to "social sanctions", whereas if the government did not comply, that the bureaucracy stop implementing government orders. A written copy of the proposal was sent to the government. Neither the PAD or the government complied with the proposal.[65]

At 4:30 AM on the morning of 26 November, three explosions were heard on the fourth floor of Suvarnbumi on the outside of the passenger terminal. Another explosion was reported at 6 AM. Several people were injured. It was not clear who set off the explosions.[66] The PAD did not allow the police or forensics experts to investigate the explosions.[67]
[edit] Attempts to evict the PAD

Also on 26 November, the Civil Court issued an injunction ordering the PAD to leave the Suvarnabhumi International Airport immediately.[68] Notices of the injunction were placed on the front doors of the houses of the 13 PAD leaders.[69] The PAD did not comply with the injunction.

On the evening of 27 November, the government declared a state of emergency around the two occupied airports and ordered police to clear out PAD forces. The state of emergency allowed the military to ban public gatherings of more than five people. The Navy was assigned to aid police at Suvarnabhumi, while the Air Force was assigned to aid police at Don Muang. The Army's spokesman noted, "The army disagrees with using troops to resolve the problem. The army does not want to do that, and it is not appropriate to do that."[70]

The PAD was defiant. PAD leader Suriyasai Katasila announced that the PAD would fight off police. "If the government wants to clear the protesters, let it try. The PAD will protect all locations because we are using our rights to demonstrate peacefully without causing damages to state properties or rioting," Suriyasai said.[71] Suriyasai also threatened to use human shields if police attempted to disperse the PAD.[72]

On the morning of 28 November, PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang announced to PAD forces that he had received a call from an unspecified "senior person" (................) telling him to end the rallies. But he refused to do what the senior person told him. "For the past 108 days, the Alliance has protested together under hardship, while another group of people has remained in comfort. They can't just suddenly ask us to stop protesting," he told the assembled forces.[73] Addressing supporters on ASTV, Sondhi said, "If we have to die today, I am willing to die. This is a fight for dignity."[74]

Police manned checkpoints on roads leading to the airport. At one checkpoint, police found 15 home-made guns, an axe and other weapons in a Dharma Army six-wheel truck taking 20 protesters to Suvarnabhumi airport.[75] One checkpoint, about 2 kilometers from the airport, was attacked by armed PAD forces in vehicles, causing the police to withdraw. Police Senior Sgt Maj Sompop Nathee, an officer from the Border Patrol Police Region 1, later returned to the scene of the clash and was detained by PAD forces. He was interrogated by Samran Rodphet, a PAD leader, and then detained inside the airport. Reporters and photographers tried to follow Sompop to his interrogation, but PAD forces did not allow them.[76] PAD supporters were moved from Government House to the airport.[77]

With the exception of one airplane leaving for the Hajj, no flights with passengers were allowed for eight days.[78] The PAD has been apologetic to inconvenienced travelers in the airports and offered them food.[79]
[edit] End of the siege

Shortly after the Constitutional Court dissolved the three parties of the government coalition on 2 December 2008, the PAD held a press conference where they announced that they were ending all of their protests as of 10 AM local time (GMT 7+) on 3 December 2008.[80] "We have won a victory and achieved our aims," said Sondhi Limthongkul.

Flights from Suvarnabhumi resumed on 4 December, when a Thai Airways flight departed for Sydney, Australia.[81] Thai Airways expected to have five other international flights departing on 4 December and 5 December to New Delhi, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Seoul, and Copenhagen.[81] Passengers for these flights had to check in at a convention centre outside the airport.[81]
[edit] Views on the seizure
[edit] Democrat Party

Democrat Party MP for Sukhothai, Samphan Benchaphon, said of the airport seizure that the PAD "have the right to do it." Democrat Party MP for Bangkok, Thawil Praison, said that the PAD "could seize the airport and doing so is not excessive. The entire world understands that this is a normal matter in the struggle of democratic countries."[82]
[edit] International reactions

The governments of China, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Britain, the United States, Australia and Japan warned their citizens to avoid Thailand and steer clear of protesters at the airport.[83]

The European Union urged the protesters to peacefully leave the airports. EU ambassadors to Thailand wrote in a joint statement that the demonstrators are hurting Thailand's image and economy, continuing "While respecting the right of protesting and without interfering in any way with the internal political debate in Thailand, the EU considers that these actions are totally inappropriate".[84][85]

US State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said that occupying the airports was "not an appropriate means of protest" and that the PAD should "walk away from the airports peacefully."[86][87]
[edit] Closure of Bangkok Don Muang Airport

On the night of 26 November 2008, the services at the Don Mueang Airport were stopped after the People's Alliance for Democracy seized control of the domestic passenger terminal.[88]

A bomb exploded near a bunker made of tires near the main entrance to the passenger terminal at Don Muang Airport at 3.55 AM on 30 November. Before the explosion occurred, about seven gunshots were heard from the direction of a warehouse deeper inside the airport compound. No one was injured in the explosion. It was not clear who or what set the bomb off.[89]

A plainclothes policewoman at the airport was identified and captured by PAD security forces and forced onto the main PAD stage inside the airport. Angry PAD protesters threw water at her and many tried to hit her. She was eventually allowed to leave the airport.[90]

Flights from Don Mueang Airport are expected to begin again on 5 December.[81]
[edit] Constitutional Court ruling on parties' dissolution
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2007 Constitution of Thailand
[edit] Prior to the decision

In December 2008, the Constitutional Court was scheduled to rule on whether or not to dissolve the PPP, Chart Thai, and Matchima Thippatai parties on electoral fraud charges. If the parties were dissolved, executives of the parties could have their political rights stripped for five years. However, non-executive MPs of the parties have the right to change parties for a period of time after the court decision. 37 PPP executives were also MPs, although 8 had resigned, leaving only 14. If the PPP was to be dissolved, the number of MPs they have would fall from 233 to 219. Out of Chart Thai's 43 executives, 19 of them are MPs. No Matchima executives are MPs. Thus, if the Constitutional Court dissolved all three parties, the government coalition would reduce in size to 283 out of a total of 447 MPs in Parliament . a majority is 224. The opposition Democrat Party has only 164 MPs. If all the non-PPP parties allied with the Democrats, they would have a total of 228 MPs . only 4 MPs above a majority.[91]

The site for the court decision was changed from the Constitutional Court to the Supreme Administrative Court after UDD supporters surrounded the Constitution Court. The Supreme Administrative court was protected by Royal Thai Army troops armed with M16 rifles.[92] The Constitutional Court handed down its decision immediately after hearing closing comments from the Chart Thai party.[93]
[edit] Summary of decision

Prior to the delivery of decision, judge Chat Chonlaworn, President of the nine-judge panel, remarked that:[94]
. The Court.s trials at this time are independent, and not interfered or compelled by any political influences. The provisions under the Constitution are taken as the Court.s guidance in trying these cases. And in this kind of political circumstances in our Country, certain sectors would favour with the outcome of the trials while the others would not; however, the Court ask for the faith and trust in it...

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007) contains the spirits to justify the elections, especially, through providing the provisions to prevent electoral fraud, such as vote buying. The vote buying is one of countless means chronically practiced by the politicians to be able to win the election; but, it is a severe offence and detrimental to the democratic development as well as the Country, for the politicians, after having come into the power, are brazen-faced in wrongfully seeking for self-interests in order to benefit their future elections. The Constitution, hence, attempts to pitch out this unceasing unpropitious circle, and promotes the politicians, whose heart and hands are so devoted, to participate in bringing about the advantages to the Country.
.
[edit] Following the decision

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat was, therefore, disqualified by the Court's decision, and replaced in a caretaker capacity by Chaovarat Chanweerakul, the Deputy Prime Minister.[95]

The PPP issued a statement calling the ruling a "judicial coup", and called into question the court's procedures, for instance, allowing all the PPP's witnesses only 2 hours to speak. It also noted that the wife of one of the judges was an active PAD member, and said that these and other irregularities would likely lead the Thai people to call the integrity of the court into question and see the ruling as an alternative means of accomplishing a coup.[96] Former PPP MPs and members founded the For Thais Party to prepare for the event that the PPP should be banned, and PPP members immediately started joining the For Thais Party.

Reelections for the 26 constituencies of the banned executive members from the three parties were held on 11 December 2008.[97]

On 6 December 2008, the opposition Democrat Party announced it had garnered sufficient support from former coalition partners of PPP and their splinters to be able to form a government,[98][99] while For Thais claimed the same, adding that it had already been joined by more than a third of MPs.[100] The coalition partners of the Democrat Party appeared to be most of the dissolved Thai Nation Party and Neutral Democratic Party, the Thais United National Development Party, For the Motherland and the "Friends of Newin" faction, a splinter of the banned PPP.[101]

On 15 December 2008, Abhisit Vejjajiva was elected the new Prime Minister.[102] Army commander and co-leader of the 2006 coup, General Anupong Paochinda, was widely reported to have coerced PPP MPs to defect to the Democrat Party.[103] PAD leader Khamnoon Sitthisamarn and junta-appointed Senator called Abhisit's premiership a "genuine PAD victory" and a "Anupong-style coup d'etat."[104] The circumstances of his ascent to power closely linked Abhisit to the Bangkok elite, the Army and the Royal Palace.[105]
[edit] April 2009 protest
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[edit] Accusations against Prem Tinsulanonda and the beginning of protests

In March 2009, Thaksin Shinawatra claimed via video broadcast that Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda masterminded the 2006 military coup, and that Prem and fellow Privy Councilor members Surayud Chulanont and Chanchai Likhitjittha conspired with the military to ensure that Abhisit became Premier. Although Abhisit denied the accusations, hundreds of thousands protested in Bangkok early April demanding that Abhisit resign from the Premiership and that Prem, Surayud, and Chanchai resign from the Privy Council.[106] Thaksin openly called for a "peoples revolution" to overthrow the amatayathipatai with slogan "Khon Ammat' (Down the Nobles'(bureaucratic policy; government run by traditional or noble elites or royal advisors) influences of the Abhisit government.

However the police found and arrested a suspect charged with assassination plot of Chanchai Likhitjittha in early April.[107]

UDD and Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters eventually began their mass protest on Wednesday April 8 with 100,000 demonstrators were at Government House and the nearby Royal Plaza by the evening.[108] Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to phone in, supporting the protesters. The aim of the protesters as they said, was to 'topple' the 'Elites or Nobles Regime', or 'Amatyathipatai', accused of meddling politics,a controversial issue for the monarchists or royalists, particularly the PAD supporters, believing 'anti-monarchists' movement, ex-communist party members, working within UDD and Thaksin's supporters. Therefore the movement of UDD has also been seen as an 'anti-royalist' movement by several critics.

The protesters also urged to revoke the 2007 Constitution. They also called for the resignation of Abhisit, dissolution of the parliament and immediate election.
[edit] Violence against the Abhisit government in April

The early signs of violent move against the new government was seen from early April. On April 7, while Abhisit was on his car, returning from the site of planned the ASEAN Summit, a group of Thaksin supporters' in red shirt followed and tried to stop his escort. The dramatic scene took place when the premier's car was stopped by the police due to the 'red light' at the intersection. Suddenly a policeman asked the premier to change his car from armored car to another car. Suddenly the red-shirts reached and could even hit his car, broke glass on the back of his car. However the premier escort could escape safely.[109][110]
[edit] Pattaya protests

The protests, led by the red-shirted National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) expanded to Pattaya, the site of the Fourth East Asia Summit. From the early morning, some protesters, the taxi-drivers parked their taxis in downtown Pattaya as barricade, blocking the transport of foreign leaders. Chinese leader was also blocked from leaving the hotel by the protesting taxis, Thaksin's supporters.

In the afternoon, while the red-shirted protesters heading to the hotel, the site of the summit, violent clashes occurred between the UDD and blue-shirted government supporters on the way to the hotel. The Straits Times reported that both sides used sticks, stones, clubs, molotov cocktails, and "small bombs" in the clashes.[111] The protests and clashes escalated. The red-shirted protesters finally stormed the hotel building, causing the summit to be cancelled.[112] Abhisit declared a state of emergency in the areas of Pattaya and Chonburi on April 11. Visiting leaders were evacuated from the venue by helicopter to a nearby military airbase that had been Suvarnabhumi's replacement during the PAD's airport sieges of 2008.[113] Legislation authorizing emergency decrees was originally drafted and pushed through Parliament in 2005 by the Thaksin government, provoking charges of authoritarianism at the time by the Democrats. The decree was used previously by Samak's government , coping with PAD protest.[114] . After military personels took control, the red-shirt demonstrators returned and dispersed.
[edit] Bangkok unrest
The liquid gas truck that the red shirt protesters threatened to blow up in the midst of the Din Daeng flats, Bangkok. (13 April 2009)
Thai soldiers against the red-shirt protesters at Pracha Songkhroh Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok. (13 April 2009)

As the week-long Songkran (Thai New Year) holiday began, protests escalated in Bangkok. Protesters in red shirts used cars, buses, and in one location LPG tankers to take control of several locations in central Bangkok.[115] Small clashes began apparent between anti-governments and government supporters, and the general population. At a demonstration in front of Prem's residence, an angry woman wearing yellow shirt, the royal color, plunged her car into a crowd of UDD protesters before driving away.[116] Abhisit declared a state of emergency for Bangkok and surrounding areas due to heightened escalation of tension and denounced the anti-government protesters as "national enemies".[117] The clashes emerged in the locations taken control by the demonstrators.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared another state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas on 12 April 2009.[118][119] Abhisit also issued a decree that empowered the government to censor television broadcasts.[120] A television journalist reported that he was ordered not to show images damaging to the military or government.[121]Thaksin, who daily showed his live broadcast on a D-Station television, showing support for his loyalists, calling for the overthrow of the government, now began to urge the King Bhumibol to intervene and end the showdown.[122][123]
[edit] Ministry of Interior riot

On April 12, the tension ran high after the authority arrested leaders of the red-shirts who stormed the summit site in Pattaya. The protesters began to block of the Criminal Court, aiming at releasing their leader. In the afternoon, after the declaration of state emergency at the Ministry of Interior, hundreds of protesters blocked the gates of the Ministry, eventually broke out the ministry's gates. Abhisit and his members of the cabinet were followed by the protesters. The premier's car and his secretary car were under siege and hit. Abhisit however could escape safely while his secretary and his driver became victimized, car's windows were all broken. Among the serious injuries were the premier's security guards who were military, one of them was 'held', as was 'presented' to the red protesters on their stage.[124]

Despite the state of emergency, large crowds of protesters continued to meet on the streets. After the attack of Abhisit's car at the Interior Ministry after declaring the state of emergency.[125] A large crowd gathered outside the prime minister's office and barricades were constructed in an attempt to block access by the military.[125] At one point protesters gained access to the Interior Ministry, in a confrontation with army units where several warning shots were fired, and have barricaded key road junctions and at least one railway.[119] The anti-government protesters have commandeered buses and two armored cars and have blocked access to key government offices, some of them made ready by arming themselves with klewang and petrol bombs. According to BBC news, at least two people were killed in the protests and violent scuffles had already broken out between the army and protestors with several people arrested while the government denied this report. No evidence was confirmed that the reported deaths caused by the crackdown[119]
[edit] Thai New Year events

In a pre-dawn raid on Monday April 13, Thai soldiers in full combat kit used tear gas and fired live rounds and training rounds from automatic weapons to clear protesters from the Din Daeng intersection near the Victory Monument in central Bangkok, injuring at least 70 people.[126] [127] The Army later claimed that live rounds were only fired into the air while training rounds were fired at the crowd. Human Rights Watch confirmed that there are some cases where the Army fired live ammunition directly at protesters, but that this only occurred when military forces approached protesters throwing Molotov bombs and improvised grenades, firing slingshots, and shooting guns at the troops.[128] The UDD claimed one protester died from gunshot wounds sustained during the military's attack.[129][130] However, the Army later claimed that the wound was not caused by an M-16, the standard Army rifle. Also on Monday the government ordered the blocking of satellite news station D Station, an affiliate of the UDD which, at the time, was broadcasting the clashes. Several community radio stations were shut down and searched upon suspicion of being supporters of the UDD.[131] Violent clashes at numerous locations in Bangkok continued while arrest warrants were issued for Thaksin and 13 protest leaders. Many protest leaders voluntarily gave themselves in to police on 14 April 2009, ending the violence. The demonstrators at the main site, near the Government House, agreed to suspend their activity peacefully. Demonstrators were sent back to the provinces by government's buses.[132] Government House protesters were identified and had their photographs taken prior to being released. Soon afterwards, Abhisit revoked Thaksin's ordinary passport (Abhisit had revoked Thaksin's diplomatic passport shortly after taking office) and issued warrants for dozens of other protest leaders.[133]

On 21 April, Abhisit declared a "media war" against the UDD's claims. He also announced the public distribution of millions of VCDs documenting the government's views on the unrest. At the time, the government's emergency and censorship decrees were still in place.[134][135]

The state of emergency, but not the censorship decree, was lifted on 24 April.[136]

Abhisit's treatment of the UDD prompted criticisms that he was apply one standard for his critics and another standard for his PAD supporters. The Asian Human Rights Commission noted "The obvious differences in how the yellow shirts and red shirts have been treated will only encourage government opponents to resort to increasingly extralegal means to get their way." At the time, warrants had not yet been issued for the PAD's airport seizures that occurred months before, while warrants had been issued for the UDD hours after the military commenced its crackdown.[137]
[edit] Deaths, injuries, and damage

According to government figures, over 120 people were injured in the unrest, most of them UDD demonstrators.[138] At least 1 UDD protester injured from gunshot wounds sustained during the military's attack in Din Daeng, although the Army claimed the wound was not caused by their standard firearm. The UDD claimed that at least 6 demonstrators were killed in the unrest and their bodies hauled away by the military, although the Army rejected the claim.[139] The dead bodies of 2 UDD protesters were found floating in the Chao Phraya River, their hands tied behind their backs and their bodies badly beaten, although police had yet to conclude whether their murders were politically motivated.[140] Despite the claims, Army chief Anupong Paochinda swore on his life that no lives were lost as a result of his security operations.[141]

Abhisit aide Satit Wongnontaey claimed that two Bangkok residents were shot dead by red shirted protesters in clashes in Din Daeng.[142] The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration estimated that it had incurred 10 million Baht (approximately 300,000 USD) in property damages, including 31 damaged and burned buses.[143] Standard & Poor's lowered Thailand's local currency rating to "A-" from "A", although Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij claimed this would increase the government's borrowing cost minimally.[144]
[edit] Assassination attempt on Sondhi Limthongkul

Sondhi Limthongkul, leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy, was shot early in the morning of 17 April 2009. Gunmen firing M-16 and AK-47 rifles shot out his tires at a petrol station and sprayed over 100 bullets into Sondhi.s car, wounding Sondhi and seriously wounding his driver.[145] The attackers escaped the scene when Sondhi's followers in another car opened fire on them. Sondhi suffered one wound to the head but was conscious, standing, and lucid before being sent to the hospital for surgery.[146] Sondhi survived the surgery and was visited by relatives afterwards.

Sondhi's son, Jittanart Limthongkul, blamed factions within the military and the Abhisit government of being behind the assassination attempt:

"A new form of war is emerging -- it's being launched by the collusion of certain police and military officers. They are plotting a new coup. It is said that a minister, who is said to be involved in the attempted assassination of a privy councillor, is actively behind this new exercise."

[147]

Privy Councillor Charnchai Likitjitta had recently allegedly been the target of an assassination plot. The Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for a close aide to Deputy Prime Minister and senior Chart Thai Pattana Party figure (close coalition partner of the Democrats) Sanan Kachornprasart, on the grounds that the aide masterminded the alleged assassination attempt on privy councillor Charnchai Likitjitta.[148]

However, foreign minister and former PAD leader Kasit Piromya speculated that Thaksin was behind the assassination attempt:

"Thaksin failed on the populist movement and now I think he has resorted to some sort of assassination attempt."[149]

Kasit revealed that he had planned to have lunch with the Sondhi on the day of the attack. Kasit also claimed that himself, Abhisit, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban were planned targets for assassination, and that he was guarded by several fully armed marines.[150][151]
[edit] International reactions
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok

According to CNN, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon he was disappointed by the delay of the 14th ASEAN Summit, stating that "I understand the circumstances that led the Thai government to take this difficult decision. While I had hoped to have exchanges with the leaders of ASEAN and its dialogue partners, I continue to look forward to engaging again with them in the near future. I strongly value the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and the United Nations, and their cooperation in various fields. I hope for an early restoration of normalcy in Thailand and for the settlement of differences through dialogue and peaceful means."

Human Rights Watch condemned the violence. "Soldiers and police who used force beyond what was needed should not escape investigation and prosecution. The government cannot only prosecute protest leaders or they will make a mockery of Thai law," said the group's Asia director.[128]
[edit] Travel advisories

Following the protests at the summit, a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, New Zealand[152] and Singapore have issued new travel advisories for their citizens.[153]. As of 27 April 2009, Hong Kong already lifted the travel advisory to Thailand.
[edit] Money laundering allegations against Thaksin Shinawatra

Shortly before the April unrest, Privy Councilor General Pichitr Kullavanijaya claimed to the Thai media that former US ambassador to Thailand Ralph "Skip" Boyce told him that Thaksin had laundered 100 billion baht (US$2.8 billion) through Cayman Island bank accounts and was using the funds to organize the anti-government protests. Thaksin strongly denied the charges and filed a defamation suit against the royal advisor in a Thai court. Ambassador Boyce was reported to have told numerous people that he has no idea why he was cited by Privy Councilor Pichitr, and that he has no such information about the alleged money laundering.[154]
[edit] Bhumibol and the 2006 coup

On 20 April 2009, Thaksin claimed in an interview with the Financial Times that King Bhumibol had been briefed by Privy Councillors Prem Tinsulanonda and Surayud Chulanont about their plans to stage the 2006 coup. He claimed that General Panlop Pinmanee, a leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy, had told him of the briefing.[155][156]

The Thai embassy in London immediately denied Thaksin's claims. Coup leaders had earlier revealed that they started planning for the coup in approximately February 2006.[5][6][7] Former National Security Council head Prasong Soonsiri claimed that he and Sonthi Boonyaratklin had been planning a coup as early as July 2006, but that Surayud and Prem were not yet involved at the time.[157] The King had an audience with Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda at the same time as the First Special Forces were ordered mobilised. The purpose of the audience was reported to concern a meritmaking ceremony for the Queen's late mother.[158] In a 23 April interview with the Financial Times, Abhisit also denied the claims, noting "We checked up on the answer and the meeting referred to did not in any way discuss the coup."[159] Editor Thanong Khanthong of The Nation newspaper also denied Thaksin's claim, noting .As a matter of fact, His Majesty did not personally approve the 2006 coup..[160]

According to Thai political tradition[citation needed], the king of Thailand always endorsed the change of the regime caused by the coup, since the [[1932 Revolution.

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, March 17, 2010 0 comments links to this post

08 March, 2010

pilots for 911 truth interview - 9 years after 2001

pilots for 911 truth interview - 9 years after 2001

People's "cognitive dissonance" and "learned helplessness"
does not permit them to allow themselves to question
the events openly, much less publicly or -- HERESY --
demand that public officials give answers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

Reports on Obama Health-care, Hollywood oscars and
"democratic elections in Iraq" are hammered into our
brains, without even a whimper of critical reporting.
The "mastermind of 9/11" - Khalid Sheilk Mohammed -
has "confessed" and a military tribunal of the
9/11 masterminds is horse-traded against Guantanamo
KZ closure. This is reported with a straight face.
Stalinists would be proud of such a media-record.

So, then,

here is another counterweight to the "official truth".

Craig Ranke, co-founder of the Citizen Investigation
Team: "the notion that the Pentagon is in Washington DC
under restricted airspace is a common misconception"

Craig Ranke, director of National Security Alert and
co-founder of the Citizen Investigation Team agreed to
answer the questions of Enquetes et Faits Divers
(France). If you have not seen the documentary National
Security Alert published in June, 2009, we suggest that
you view it before reading this interview.

Enquetes et Faits Divers: You are the founder of the
Citizen Investigation Team. Could you present to our
readers details regarding your organization, your work,
and especially your discoveries ?

Craig Ranke: My name is Craig Ranke and I am a
co-founder of Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) along
with my partner Aldo Marquis. We are just two regular
guys from California who had questions about the 9/11
attack on the Pentagon and decided to take matters into
our own hands by talking with the witnesses directly to
see what they had to say. Although we have spoken with
many of the previously-published eyewitnesses we were
especially interested in finding previously unknown
witnesses who had never been talked to by the media or
government because we knew this would be the purest form
of independent verifiable evidence we could find. The
only way to achieve this was to go to Arlington Virginia
to canvass the areas near the Pentagon on foot in
search of witnesses, so that is what we did. It was
fairly easy to find multiple witnesses who describe
seeing a large commercial airliner headed toward the
Pentagon shortly before the explosion on 9/11, so any
notion that there was no plane involved with the attack
at all was quickly shown to be incorrect. We therefore
focused specifically on documenting the true flight
path of the plane so we could compare it with the
official reports, data, and most importantly the
physical damage, starting with the downed light poles
and ending with the directional damage to the Pentagon
itself. This damage path delineates a very specific
trajectory with virtually no room for error. As it
turned out the witnesses independently corroborated a
flight path that is irreconcilable with the physical
damage, proving the plane could only have flown away
after the explosion rather than hit the light poles or
the building.

The most pertinent landmark is the former Citgo gas
station where we were able to obtain video-recorded
interviews on location from three very important
witnesses who unanimously and independently reported
the plane flying on the north side of the gas station.
Again, the destruction path requires that the plane
must have flown on the south side of the gas station in
order to have caused the damage. This very simple right
or left detail as it relates to this single key landmark
is enough to confirm or deny the official 9/11 Pentagon
attack story of a plane impact. The required official
flight path was unanimously denied by the witnesses at
the gas station, who all placed it on the north side,
and this very simple claim continued to be corroborated
as we spoke with other witnesses in the areas nearby,
most notably several employees at Arlington National
Cemetery (ANC) directly across from the gas station.
Besides the witnesses at the gas station, these ANC
witnesses were in arguably the next best location to be
able to accurately judge where the plane flew. Also, a
number of them are on record with the Center for
Military History in 2001 describing the same north side
flight path, which eliminates the notion that they are
misremembering due to faded memory.

While only those who were deceived into believing
the plane hit the building were willing to talk to us,
we did get a hold of a Pentagon police officer
(Roosevelt Roberts Jr) who saw what he thought was
"another plane" flying away from the building at "about
50 feet" altitude immediately after the explosion.
Since there was no other plane that could possibly fit
that description we knew that his account confirmed
what the witnesses at the gas station and Arlington
Cemetery already proved: that the plane did not hit the
light poles or the building and continued on after the
explosion

E&FD: If the plane did not hit the light poles or
the Pentagon and flew over the building, what caused
the physical damage ? What about the witnesses like Mike
Walter who have claimed for years that they saw the
plane hit the building ?

C.R.: We feel that the only logical conclusion based
on the evidence is that the damage was caused by
pre-planted explosives.

We have spoken with dozens of witnesses directly,
many of whom were in prime locations to have been able
to see a missile, drone, small plane, or ANY additional
low-flying object on the south side of the station, if
one existed. We were not able to find a single
eyewitness who reports any such thing. Also none of
them corroborate the supposed white "smoke trail" seen
in the dubious security video either.

Furthermore, one thing that was clear in almost
every case is that they fully believed the official
story in terms of the plane crashing into the building
and causing the damage (although many of them did not
literally watch it occur, but rather simply saw the
plane headed toward the Pentagon, followed by a large,
loud explosion, and deduced that it must have impacted).
It is because they were convinced of this that they
were willing to speak with us so openly to begin with.
If they had seen a missile or any other flying object
on the south side they would have known that the
official story was a total lie and would have likely
been afraid to speak so openly about their experiences,
if at all. It would be much like the situation with
Roosevelt Roberts Jr., who has been very unwilling to
talk about his experience on 9/11 anymore now that he
understands that what he saw proves a false flag
operation. We were made aware of another witness, Dewitt
Roseborough, who also seems to have seen the flyover
based on his previously-published account, and sure
enough when we called him he was completely unwilling
to answer any questions about his experience.

So, it is clear that none of the witnesses we spoke
to saw a second flying object of any kind, even though
many of them were in locations which would have made
spotting one very easy.

Furthermore, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates
that the light poles were staged in advance. This
evidence includes the bizarre, physically impossible and
uncorroborated story of cab driver, Lloyde England
(whom we have interviewed twice). Not a single
eyewitness has confirmed seeing the light poles get
struck, and many of the witnesses who had previously
mentioned the light poles admitted that they did not
actually see the poles get hit, but rather saw them on
the ground later or heard about them on the news (e.g.,
McGraw, Brooks, Elgas, Sucherman). Not a single
eyewitness reports seeing light pole #1 inside Lloyde
England's cab, and there are no photographs of this
either. Meanwhile there are photographs of his cab on
9/11 and 9/12 which show that there was not a single
scratch or dent on his hood. The evidence that the
light poles were staged also includes the anomalous
physical damage to the light poles themselves, most
notably the fact that the base of the pole is cleanly
and symmetrically severed, whereas photographs of other
poles that had fallen in the same area due to high
winds show a jagged and random damage pattern, which is
what one would expect if the pole were broken by a
sudden force such as wind or being struck by a 90 ton
jet. See the following page on in our "Frequently Asked
Questions" (FAQ) section for more information and
photographs.

As most researchers know, the section of the
Pentagon which was damaged on 9/11 had been largely
unoccupied for several years prior to the event due to a
renovation. This would have given the suspect ample
opportunity to plant explosives. It would have been much
easier than planting explosives in World Trade Center
Buildings 1, 2 and 7, and yet there is now overwhelming
evidence that this is how those buildings were
destroyed. Pre-planted explosives would also make the
most sense with a flyover in the sense that it would
give them the most precise control over what and who was
destroyed, which is likely the primary reason that they
executed a flyover in the first place as opposed to
actually crashing a plane into the building.

I understand that the well-known French researchers
Thierry Meyssan and Pierre Henri Bunel have made
comments recently that they are aware of our work and
are supportive. However, my understanding is that they
have also said they still believe that it is likely that
an airborne missile was involved with causing the
physical damage. Again, there is absolutely no
independent, verifiable evidence supporting this, and
yet there is a multitude of evidence against this idea.
I have shared some of this evidence here, but there is
more that we have documented in some of our videos and
articles, and on our research forum. If we had obtained
any support for a missile throughout the course of our
investigation we would have certainly reported it. We
appreciate the fact that Meyssan and Bunel are
responsible for much of the initial skepticism
surrounding the Pentagon attack throughout the world,
and their early conclusion that the damage seen at the
Pentagon on 9/11 could not have been caused by a 757
has been vindicated. However, by failing to focus
heavily on the eyewitnesses they have been forced to
rely primarily on speculation for what DID cause the
damage. Since there is no proof that a missile was
involved and yet so many reasons to believe that there
was not a missile we are respectfully requesting that
Meyssan and Bunel let go of this theory while using
their significant public platform to focus what IS
conclusively proven: that the plane flew north of the
gas station and therefore did not hit the light poles or
building, explaining why Lloyde England's story does
not make sense and why it was seen flying away after the
explosion by multiple eyewitnesses such as Roosevelt
Roberts Jr. Regarding the witnesses who believe they saw
the plane hit, we address this question as well in the
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of
CitizenInvestigationTeam.com

As we explain on the FAQ page, we have analyzed the
statements and locations of almost all of the witnesses
who have been cited as having seen the plane hit the
Pentagon, and in many cases we have been successful at
contacting them and interviewing them directly about
their experience on 9/11. We have found that most of
the witnesses simply saw or heard the low-flying plane
headed towards the building, and then a short while
later heard or saw an explosion in the distance. They
then deduced that the plane must have hit the building,
as any of us would, but they did not see it happen. In
fact, quite often the individuals who are cited as
having "watched the plane hit the Pentagon" were not
even in a position to see the Pentagon at the time of
the alleged impact.

While many people erroneously assume that many
hundreds or even thousands of people would have been
able to watch the plane impact the building this is not
the case due to the complex topography of the area. The
Pentagon is only five stories high (with the initial
damage basically confined to the bottom two floors),
and it sits at the bottom of a significant slope to its
west, the direction from which the plane approached.
There are very few areas at all where you would be able
to see the alleged "impact", and most who would be able
to see the plane at all would only see it for about a
split second.

Additionally, contrary to popular belief, the
section of Route 27 (the highway which runs directly in
front of the west side of the building) from which a
person could have seen the plane impact the building is
less than a quarter mile long, and the view of the
alleged impact spot was obscured by trees even for many
of people on this very small strip.

The relatively small number of witnesses who were in
locations from which they may have been able to see the
alleged impact spot and who do genuinely believe that
they saw the plane hit the building were fooled by a
carefully planned deception, executed with military
precision, as revealed by the conclusive north
side/flyover evidence. However, as we have seen in the
case of Lloyde England, there are also witnesses who
are implicated by the evidence as being complicit liars
who were tasked with putting out false eyewitness
accounts as propaganda to sell the notion that the plane
hit the building. In many cases it is difficult to know
with certainty whether or not a specific witness falls
into this category, but in the case of a few witnesses
we are unable to come to any other conclusion as a
result of their statements, behavior, and the full body
of evidence we have gathered. This is certainly the
case with Mike Walter.

It would probably be accurate to say that Walter has
been used by the media more than anyone else to sell
the proven-false official story that the plane hit the
building, having been interviewed about a half a dozen
times on 9/11 and many times after. On 9/11, shortly
after the event, he indicated that the plane was on the
official light path, saying that it clipped a light
pole, which he points to. And yet within 24 hours he
also described a "graceful bank" which is only
reconcilable with the north side approach. In more than
one occasion in subsequent years he contradicted his
report from 9/11 by specifically pointing out the north
side flight path, most notably in an interview for a
French "debunking" video where he is actually standing
on the north side of the Citgo station during the
interview.

But again, when the world was watching on 9/11 and
trying to figure out what had happened, there was Mike
Walter, pointing to the south side flight path and light
pole number 1, saying that both the light pole and
Pentagon were hit. Furthermore, the notion that Mike
Walter would later blend the required official south
side flight path with the banking north side path (where
the plane really flew) definitely works in favor of the
deception by creating the false impression that there is
an acceptable margin of error between the two paths. It
is also possible that he is now trying to cover his own
tracks by being on record supporting the true flight
path so he could claim innocence if the deception is
fully exposed.


Also, on the morning of 9/12/2001, he was asked in
an interview with Bryant Gumbel on national television
if he was actually able to see the plane enter the
building. He stuttered and stammered and indicated that
he did not have a clear view of this because there were
trees in the way; and yet he went on to later
contradict himself, releasing a video in which he
insisted that he watched the plane enter the building
and watched the wings fold back, and that therefore any
so-called conspiracy theories about the damage to the
building being inconsistent with a 757 are wrong.

Walter's current high level position with the
mainstream media as a television news anchor with
Gannett-owned WUSA is also a very suspicious detail that
cannot be ignored, particularly given the fact that
there were so many other writers and editors for Gannett
and its subsidiaries who (according to their accounts)
just so happened to be over half an hour late for work
and just so happened to be in excellent positions to
see the plane in the final seconds and report that it
hit the building, even though we now have conclusive
evidence that it did not. This includes, but is not
limited to: Bob Dubill, Mary Ann Owens, Richard
Benedetto, Vin Narayanan, Joel Sucherman, Steve
Anderson, Fred Gaskins, Mark Faram, Philip Thompson,
Christopher Munsey, and Peter Kopf. A number of these
are reporters who claim to have been within less than
1/4 of a mile of each other on Route 27, right in front
of the Pentagon. We also recently learned that the
chairman, CEO, and president of Gannett at the time had
joined the board of directors of Lockheed Martin, the
largest defense contractor in the world, just five
months before 9/11. With that being said, I want to
reiterate that, although there are exceptions, we feel
that most of the previously-published witnesses who are
cited as having watched the plane hit the building are
NOT lying. Again, we believe this because after speaking
with many of them directly, confirming their stated
location, and analyzing their true point of view in
relation to the topography and landscape, it became
clear that most of these witnesses were not in a
position to literally see the alleged impact point or
even the Pentagon at all in most cases. In many cases
they simply saw the plane, then seconds later saw and
or heard the explosion, and deduced that the plane must
have hit the building even though they did not see it.
Of the relatively small pool of witnesses who were in a
position to have possibly seen the alleged impact and
who do think that the plane hit the building, we feel
that some of them were truly deceived that the plane hit
the building, as intended by this black operation of
deception which was executed (at least in large part) by
a criminal faction within the most advanced,
well-funded military in history.

E&FD: The north side flyover was a new hypothesis
when you first released The PentaCon Smoking Gun
Version in 2007 so what put you on the trail to this
discovery ? Did you benefit from privileged information
or whistleblowing as it's called in the United States ?

C.R.: We did not subscribe to a flyover hypothesis
or any personal theory at all when we first launched
the investigation in August of 2006. We did not have any
privileged information and were not aware of any
whistleblowers. We went to Arlington with no
preconceived notions about what happened and made a
specific effort to ignore all previous theories,
official and otherwise, with the goal of allowing only
the independent evidence we could personally uncover
determine any conclusions we would draw.

That being said, we were aware that witness Sgt
William Lagasse had reported to researcher Dick Eastman
in 2003 during an email dialog that he was on the
"starboard" side of the aircraft when he witnessed it
from the Citgo gas station, which would mean the plane
was on the north side. However, we had no idea at the
time whether he mistook starboard for port or even
whether he was an honest witness at all since we had
never spoken with him (or any other witness) directly.
As soon as we heard from the gas station manager that
her employee Robert Turcios saw the plane on the north
side we instantly remembered Lagasse's 2003 description
to Dick Eastman and right away knew that this was the
answer to uncovering the deception if this detail were
to be confirmed by these witnesses directly and
corroborated by others. Obviously this is exactly what
happened, and at this point given this overwhelming
eyewitness testimony there can be no doubt that the
plane did in fact fly on the north side of the gas
station.

E&FD: What do you think about the contradictory
releases from the NSTB regarding Flight AA77? Could the
2006 released animation be connected to your
investigation ?

C.R.: Let me set the record straight right from the
beginning by telling you that the NTSB animation does
not match the eyewitnesses that we spoke with who prove
the true flight path. Before I explain why this is the
case let me first summarize for the readers what you
mean when you talk about ''contradictory releases from
the NTSB''.

The U.S. government claims that the Flight Data
Recorder (FDR) of Flight 77, which is sometimes
referred to as the "black box", was found inside the
Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks. In 2006, the
NTSB released what they claimed was the raw data from
this alleged FDR. This data shows the plane on the
south side of the Citgo gas station, which matches other
official reports and the physical damage. However, as
explained in the video "9/11: Attack on the Pentagon" by
Pilots for 9/11 Truth, it shows the plane at an
altitude that is much too high for it to have been able
to hit the light poles and caused the damage to the
Pentagon. So, that by itself should be a huge red flag
for everyone. It proves that either the government has
provided fraudulent data, the plane did not hit the
Pentagon, or both.

In 2006 the NTSB also released an animation which
was supposed to be based on the raw data from the
alleged FDR. However, this animation does not match that
raw data. Like the raw data, it does show the plane too
high to hit the light poles or building, but it also
shows the plane on the north side of the gas station.
This is explained by Pilots for 9/11 Truth in a simple
10 minute presentation entitled American 77 Flight Path
version2 - In 3D.

Because the animation shows the plane approaching
from the north side of the gas station some have
concluded that the animation matches the true flight
path of the plane revealed by the witnesses we have
interviewed. However, anyone who has paid attention to
the interviews in National Security Alert knows that
this is false. The animation has the plane entirely
north of the Navy Annex and Columbia Pike at all times,
whereas witness Edward Paik saw it cross from the south
to the north side of Columbia Pike, passing over his
brother Shinki's auto shop on its way to flying directly
over the Navy Annex. While canvassing a nearby
neighborhood we were able to locate and interview
several other witnesses further back on the flight path
who saw the plane a short while before it reached the
auto shop and they corroborated Edward's claim that the
plane approached the Sheraton from the south side of
Columbia Pike. Those witnesses are featured in our
presentation "Flight 77" The White Plane.

Furthermore, the witnesses overwhelmingly report
that the plane flew directly over the Annex, not to the
north of it as shown in the animation. They also report
a lower altitude.

So, again, even though the 2006-released NTSB
animation does show the plane on the north side of the
Citgo station, the eyewitness evidence we have uncovered
contradicts this animation in many other ways and
proves that it is fraudulent. This is why you never see
us referencing this proven-fraudulent
government-supplied data in ANY of our presentations as
corroboration for our findings.

One question that many people wonder about is why
the government released an animation that shows the
plane on a north of the Citgo flight path which
contradicts the physical damage, their own raw data,
and the eyewitnesses. We cannot possibly answer this
question with absolute certainty, but my speculation is
that they did it to foster confusion or to cast doubt on
any REAL evidence exposing the north side approach.
Clearly this has worked if people think that we are
somehow connected to this data in any way. Obviously
the perpetrators would know where the plane really flew,
and clearly it would benefit them to cause confusion or
create the false impression that there is an acceptable
margin of error between the north and south paths by
releasing this contradictory animation and data.

The timing of the release of the alleged FDR data
and the animation also seems to support this
interpretation of their motives. Before we ever went to
Arlington we had been posting on the original "Loose
Change" online discussion forum (which is now closed),
and we were publicly scrutinizing the witnesses,
including attempting to analyze the true flight path of
the plane. Since this was one of the most prominent
9/11 research forums online at the time it makes sense
that government counter-intelligence would be
monitoring it. So, when we began publicly planning to
travel to Arlington to interview witnesses, they would
have easily recognized that we were on track to uncover
the true flight path of the plane. For this reason, the
timing of the release of the alleged FDR data and
animation is very dubious and does suggest that the
government put it out preemptively because of our
planned investigation in anticipation of what we might
discover.

So, if the animation is "connected" to our
investigation in any way it was as a preemptive effort
on the part of the perpetrators to undermine us. We
absolutely have not colluded with the government on any
level whatsoever and we are not involved in any way with
the release of the fraudulent NTSB animation. The
simple fact that we have not used this fraudulent
government-supplied data in any of our presentations is
a testament to that. While Pilots for 9/11 Truth has
certainly focused heavily on this data they have done
so merely to expose the discrepancies and expose how
there is no possible way for this official data to be
legitimate.

We have never believed that this fraudulent
government-provided data really came from the black box
of the attack jet and we have always maintained that it
proves nothing other than the fact that they have
tampered with evidence (a serious crime) and tried
controlling the debate. It certainly does NOT prove a
flyover or a north side approach and we have never cited
it in this context. The independent corroborated
witnesses are the only things that we have cited proving
a north side approach/flyover.

E&FD: In spite of the coherence of your methodology
and the importance of the discoveries which ensued from
it, the legitimacy of your research is strongly
disputed, sometimes within 911 Truth Movement. How do
you explain this hostility ?

C.R.: For the most part our latest presentation
"National Security Alert" has been embraced and met
with widespread praise. This includes formal statements
of approval from numerous well-known and respected
scholars, activists, pilots, journalists, etc., which
you can read here. Many others, including other public
figures, have expressed their strong support less
formally. Also, the English version of the video has an
average rating of five stars on YouTube, showing that
the overwhelming majority of those who have rated it
have given it five stars. The French version on
DailyMotion has almost a five star average as well
(approximately 4.9).

However, there has been a relatively small group of
vocal detractors who have not only refused to accept
the implications of this information (at least
ostensibly), but have also gone so far as to attack the
credibility of the witnesses and Citizen Investigation
Team personally. This is no surprise given the extreme
implications of the information that we have uncovered,
but for the same reason it is necessary for people to
pay close attention to who is instigating the attacks,
and to investigate whether or not the arguments and
claims made by these people are adequately and honestly
substantiated. If they do this they will find that the
attacks are disingenuous and do not refute the
overwhelming evidence proving a north side flyover.
They will also find that the attacks are usually
launched by attention-seekers, anonymous internet
bloggers who hide their names and faces, or else
individuals who are clearly very biased against the
notion that the plane did not hit the Pentagon for
personal reasons.

Regarding the last category of attackers, one must
understand that before we launched our investigation
there was a lot of frustration, disagreement, and
uncertainty within the 9/11 truth movement regarding
the Pentagon attack. Many felt that the eyewitnesses
debunked the missile theory and that it therefore could
be true that a plane hit the building after all. This
caused some individuals to shift their focus to the
World Trade Center, particularly the collapse of
building 7, while encouraging others to follow their
lead and stay away from the Pentagon attack. Some even
decided to engage in a very active campaign to support
the government's impact narrative at the Pentagon while
working to marginalize any new information that came
out to the contrary. Because these people have spoken
out so strongly in favor of an impact and in some cases
even gone as far as to imply that people who believe
otherwise are fools, evidence which proves that a plane
did not hit is devastating to their credibility.
Consequently, they work to aggressively label evidence
of this nature "disinfo", regardless of how credible
and conclusive it might be. This may be partly due to
misunderstanding for some and ego for others, but there
is also likely some level of counter-intelligence or
controlled opposition going on here as well.

None of our detractors have been able to present an
honest, rational, coherent argument against this
information, and none have been able to present
counter-evidence in the form of video-recorded
firsthand testimony from eyewitnesses who saw the plane
on the official south side approach. Since we first
released our interviews with the witnesses at the gas
station over three years ago, we have always encouraged
people who doubted that plane flew on the north side to
contact witnesses themselves and publish the results.
We are regular guys with full time jobs living in
California and we were able to locate and interview
dozens of witnesses, over a dozen of which were in a
position to judge where the plane flew in relation to
the Annex and/or Citgo station with accuracy. All of
them reported the plane on the north side flight path.
If the plane really flew on the south side of the
station then it should be very easy to find witnesses
who report this since witnesses who "erroneously"
report the plane on the north side would logically be in
the minority. Please ask yourself why there are people
who have spent hundreds of hours of their adult lives
attacking us online and yet in over three years not a
single one of them has produced video-recorded
eyewitness testimony from a single witness who could
see the gas station and reports that the plane flew on
the south side.

It's also important to note that almost all of the
people who have attacked us have refused to debate us
directly when challenged and instead have preferred to
put out extremely long, convoluted, dishonest attack
articles to confuse and frustrate the reader in the
hopes of casting doubt on the information or us
personally. Those who have been the most vocal in
speaking out against us in the past have either
completely quit the truth movement and disappeared or
they have suffered serious blows to their credibility.
Meanwhile, attention and respect for what we have
accomplished has grown and continues to grow. Since the
release of National Security Alert it is clear that the
overwhelming majority of people who look closely at the
evidence we present have had no problems understanding
how simple, important, and definitive it really is.


Another excuse that we have heard given for shying
away from this information is that it's just too good
to be true. There are some people who say that they
simply cannot believe that it is possible that regular
citizens could uncover information which exposes such a
monstrous crime so clearly. A few of these people have
advocated a theory according to which the plane actually
flew on the south side and hit the Pentagon while all
of the witnesses we spoke with who prove the north side
flyover are in on a big hoax or conspiracy, and CIT are
actually government operatives spreading disinformation.
If you are inclined to believe this all I can tell you
is that, besides being baseless and irrational, it is
totally false. For starters, as I said before, the ANC
witnesses are on record in 2001 with the CMH reporting
the north side approach. Lagasse is on record reporting
it in as early as 2003. At that time I personally had no
idea that 9/11 was an inside job at all and did not
start questioning the event until over a year later.
Getting that many witnesses from a variety of walks of
life to lie so convincingly on camera about such a
simple claim contradicting the official story is not
something we are capable of and there is no valid
reason for us or anyone else to want to do such a thing
anyway. There is especially no reason for the
government to create an elaborate "hoax" of this nature
that contradicts the official story so definitively
because the 9/11 operation was clearly quite successful.
The majority of the world population has been
successfully deceived as the fraudulent "global war on
terror" continues as vigorously as ever under the Obama
administration while propaganda supporting the 9/11 myth
is still widespread and accepted as reality by the
masses. The north side flyover evidence is real, easy
for the average person to understand, and completely
destroys the notion that 9/11 was anything other than a
false flag operation. We therefore feel that it is an
excellent tool for exposing the crime and putting an
end to the fraudulent wars, as well as the draconian
government programs which have been justified by the
9/11 lie.

E&FD: The north of the CITGO approach evidence you
have gathered is very convincing since it has been
independently corroborated by over a dozen witnesses.
Direct evidence for a flyover/flyaway seems less strong
since so far you have only obtained firsthand testimony
from one witness who says he saw the plane flying away
after the explosion (Roosevelt Roberts Jr). Certain
critics have therefore tried to separate the north side
approach from the flyover/flyaway by asserting, for
example, that the plane would have been able to fly
north of the CITGO, and then turn in order to align with
a trajectory to match with the physical damage (light
poles, generator, and the internal damage to the
building). Is this scenario possible ? In other words,
does an approach north of the gas station alone
physically prove the plane had to have flown over the
building even if there weren't any known
flyover/flyaway witnesses at all ?

C.R.: I have actually seen very few people attempt
to argue that the plane could fly on the north side and
still cause the damage, but anyone who would make this
argument is incorrect. It is scientifically impossible
for any type of fixed-wing aircraft on earth to fly
north of the gas station and then suddenly change its
heading in order to cause the damage to the light poles,
generator trailer, and the building. It is therefore a
scientific fact that if you accept the eyewitness
evidence proving that the plane flew north of the gas
station then you have no choice but to accept that it
flew away after the explosion.

This is usually obvious to the layman simply by
looking at the location of the physical damage in
relation to the witness flight path illustrations, but
now Pilots for 9/11 Truth has released a technical
document with calculations and animations thoroughly
demonstrating this. The document can be read online at
their website here and you can also download a printable
PDF version (0.91mb) from our website.

The document was written by certified pilot Robert
Balsamo, founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, and it was
reviewed and approved by experienced pilots Captain Jeff
Latas and Commander Ralph Kolstad. Kolstad spent 13
years flying Boeing 757/767, mostly as an international
captain for American Airlines. He has command time in
tail number N644AA, the very plane dispatched as
American 77. He has logged 23,000 of flight time, spent
over 20 years in the US Navy flying fighters off of
aircraft carriers, achieving TopGun twice. As for Jeff
Latas: before going to work for JetBlue airlines, he
spent over 20 years in the United States Air Force, and
his exemplary military record includes nearly 5000 hours
in fighter aircraft, the Distinguish Flying Cross for
Heroism, four Air Medals, four Meritorious Service
Medals, and nine Aerial Achievement Medals. A detailed
bio can be read here :
http://www.latasgroup.com/jeff.html

With experts of this caliber supporting the notion
that a north side approach proves a flyover with
calculations and animations to back up their claims
there should be no doubt in the minds of people who
feel they are not qualified to make the determination.
Here is their final conclusion:

"It is impossible for any fixed-wing aircraft to
cause the directional physical damage to the light
poles, generator trailer, and the Pentagon leading to
the C-ring hole approaching from directly over the Navy
Annex and north of the former Citgo gas station. The
flight paths illustrated by the witnesses would require
G forces beyond the physical limitations of any aircraft
for it to transition to an approach that lines up with
the physical damage. Additionally, a hypothetical least
challenging scenario at low speed would require bank
angles that are irreconcilable with the physical damage,
as well as the witness statements, and require an
instantaneously performed roll that is impossible for
any fixed-wing aircraft."

Not a single pilot, expert, engineer, or
credentialed researcher who has looked closely at this
information and published anything on the topic at all
has contested the notion that it is impossible for a
plane on the north side approach to cause the physical
damage. Indeed, even of our most vocal and prolific
critics have admitted as much and have instead chosen to
attempt to cast doubt on the witnesses whose testimony
proves a north side flyover, or on us personally.

Furthermore, as explained in the Pilots for 9/11
Truth document, the simple fact is that most if not all
of the eyewitnesses did not stop watching the plane the
instant it came even with the north side of the gas
station. In order to assert that the plane may have
transitioned from the north side of the station to a
trajectory that would allow it to cause the observed
physical damage, beginning with the first down light
pole, one would have to ignore everything that was drawn
and reported beyond that point by the eyewitnesses,
which no objective and intellectually honest person
would do. This specifically includes, but is not
limited to, their placement of the plane over or very
near the parking lot outside of the Arlington National
Cemetery maintenance buildings, which a number of
witnesses are explicit about. So, even if the
hypothetical maneuver in question were possible, which,
as this paper shows, it is not, it would still be a moot
point.

E&FD: For years, the 911 Truth Movement presented
the Pentagon as an "aviation no-man's-land ", in the
heart of a zone called P56 that forbids any flying over
the building at all, and that it is even protected by
supposed antiaircraft batteries. You have highlighted
how close Reagan National Airport is to the Pentagon
and its likely role in the success of the attack. Can
you speak to us about this important detail ?

C.R.: As we have explained in National Security
Alert and other presentations, the notion that the
Pentagon is in Washington DC under restricted airspace
is a common misconception. The Pentagon is not in
Washington D.C. at all. It is across the Potomac River
in Arlington, Virginia, which is not restricted
airspace. In fact, Reagan National Airport is only about
one mile from the Pentagon, and there are extremely
low-flying commercial jet airliners taking off and
landing directly next to the Pentagon every 2 to 4
minutes of every day of the year. This is easily
observable to anyone who goes to the area and it is
quite a normal sight for locals. As you drive on
highway 395 next to the Pentagon and take the 14th
Street Bridge across the river when traveling from
Arlington to DC it is very normal to see planes flying
only a few dozen feet above your car as they land or
take off from the airport.

When considering anti-aircraft missile batteries at
the Pentagon there is no public documentation or
admission from the Pentagon that this exists so any talk
of it amounts to nothing but speculation and is
therefore not evidence implicating direct government
involvement in the attack.

E&FD: Do you expect to put out a sequel to National
Security Alert ? Do you have any other projects
currently in the works ?

C.R.: We might eventually put out a revised and
updated version of National Security Alert, but that is
not something we are working on at the moment. Our
investigation is ongoing, so as we obtain new
information we will compile new presentations or work on
updated versions of our previous presentations. We do
have new information that we are compiling at this time.
We make it a point to keep our projects secret until we
are preparing to release them simply because we don't
want to alert the counter-intelligence teams to what we
are doing, but I can tell you that we are working hard
on some important new projects that will help people to
better understand the scope of what we have
accomplished. You can definitely expect more from CIT
in 2010.

E&FD: Craig Ranke, thank you for having taken time
to answer our questions.

Interview published on February 5th, 2010 by
Enquetes et Faits Divers (France)

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