Monday, October 30, 2006

Robert Fisk: Mystery of Israel's Secret Uranium Bomb (UK Independent)

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

How the Neo-Cons Lost the War: Con Coughlin for the UK Telegraph

Once a week Tony Blair and his closest aides gather in a room at the back of Downing Street for the Prime Minister's weekly video conference with his close friend and ally, President George W. Bush.

It is a select gathering. Apart from Blair himself, the only other regular attendees are Jonathan Powell, his long-serving chief of staff, and Sir Nigel Sheinwald, his highly experienced foreign policy adviser. At the White House the President is usually accompanied by the brooding presence of Vice President Dick Cheney, who sits on a sofa listening in on the conversation, but rarely contributes anything of note.

General Richard Dannat and Bush and Blair
General Richard Dannat shattered the Bush-Blair view

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Perle, Ex-Pentagon Aide, Dropped From SEC's Probe of Hollinger by Otis Bilodeau for Bloomberg

(Oct 23/Bloomberg)-- Richard Perle, a former Pentagon aide and onetime adviser to President George W. Bush, was notified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency dropped its probe into his role at Hollinger International Inc.

Perle, 65, was as a director at Hollinger while then- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Conrad Black allegedly looted the newspaper company. More than a year after warning Perle in a so-called Wells notice that he might face civil charges for failing to police Black, the SEC this month told him it won't be filing a lawsuit, his lawyer, Dennis Block, said.

``There was absolutely no basis for it,'' Block, a partner at Cadwalalder, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York, said today in a telephone interview.

The SEC hoped to make Hollinger an example of its three- year-old effort to hold corporate boards more responsible for failing to detect and thwart fraud. This month, the agency also abandoned efforts to sue three other ex-directors, James Thompson, Richard Burt and Marie-Josee Kravis.

John Heine, an SEC spokesman in Washington, declined to comment.

Hollinger, shareholders and the SEC alleged that Black and former President David Radler wrongfully diverted proceeds from sales of company newspapers for their personal use. Hollinger later sued Black, saying in a 513-page report that he and other top executives looted the company of more than $400 million over seven years. Black was ousted as chairman in 2004.

Executive Committee

At its peak, Hollinger published newspapers including London's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post. The Chicago-based company, now called Sun-Times Media Group Inc., has sold the Telegraph and the Post.

Radler pleaded guilty in September 2005 to a criminal fraud charge and is cooperating with the Justice Department's case against Black. The SEC filed a civil suit against Black, 62, and Radler, 64, in 2004, accusing them of fraud. That case is pending. Black pleaded not guilty last year in federal court in Chicago to criminal fraud charges.

Perle was a member of Hollinger's three-member executive committee, together with Black and Radler, from 1996 to 2003. He stepped down from the company's board this year.

The leading architect of U.S. nuclear arms policy during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, Perle served on the Pentagon's advisory Defense Policy Board for 17 years until he quit in 2004. He's a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, and advised Bush on foreign policy during the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign.

Perle didn't return calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

`Blown Away'

Black's alleged wrongdoing was investigated internally by former SEC Chairman Richard Breeden and detailed in report filed with the SEC in 2004. In an interview last year, Perle said he was ``blown away'' by the accusations in the report.

Perle received $3.1 million in undisclosed bonuses at Hollinger for running an Internet investment arm called Hollinger Digital, according to Breeden's probe. The unit had lost $49.6 million as of 2003.

The report also said Perle helped convince Black to put $2.5 million of Hollinger's cash into Trireme Partners LP, a venture- capital fund in which Perle and Black participated. Black didn't seek board approval for the related-party transaction, according to the report.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Iran Press Service: Amidst Public Indifference, The Battle Rages For the Experts Assembly

Iran Press Service (logo)

Paris, 17 Oct. (IPS) As Iran continue to resist pressures from the United Nations Security Council and Germany over its nuclear activites, it is the forthcoming elections of the 86 members Experts Assembly that is becoming the major ground floor of battle between the two major wings of the theocratic regime's leadership, the so-called hard liners and the so-called pragmatists.

Statement of American Free Press on the Dismissal of Christopher Bollyn

As many people are already aware, we were recently put in a difficult position and felt it had become necessary to distance ourselves from Christopher Bollyn. This decision, made by the entire editorial board, had to be made. So far, we have tried to respect the privacy of Christopher by not discussing our views on this matter with the general public, but following a series of disclosures by Christopher himself, we felt it was necessary to release to the public the details behind his termination.

Recently it came to our attention that, on at least three occasions—publicly and privately—Christopher has given credence to a pernicious charge that American Free Press has been infiltrated and controlled by “Zionists,” thus lending his support to attacks on the credibility and integrity of American Free Press and its staff.

Neocons in Space: Preemptive War Goes Interplanetary: by R. J. Eskow

That means that a recent Presidential Directive on National Space Policy (pdf file) should be considered a serious declaration of purpose. Steven Aftergood of the FAS Project on Government Secrecy describes the policy as "assertive." That's an understatement.

Video: Rabbi Against the State of Israel: Jews United Against Zionism

Interview of Rabbi on the State of Israel

Jews United Against Zionism

click here

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Revolt of the Generals: Richard J. Whalen for The Nation

A revolt is brewing among our retired Army and Marine generals. This rebellion--quiet and nonconfrontational, but remarkable nonetheless--comes not because their beloved forces are bearing the brunt of ground combat in Iraq but because the retirees see the US adventure in Mesopotamia as another Vietnam-like, strategically failed war, and they blame the errant, arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon. The dissenters include two generals who led combat troops in Iraq: Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack Jr., who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, and Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division (the "Big Red One"). These men recently sacrificed their careers by retiring and joining the public protest.

PLO Mission to the United States: New Web Site

The PLO Mission to the United States in Washington informs BATR News of the existence of its new web page. Browse and enjoy.

In Context: Israel’s Assault on Gaza and Lebanon: WRMEA

MAY 26: FIVE prominent Palestinian prisoners, representing Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issue a National Conciliation Document calling for the creation of a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders, alongside Israel, and asserting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to lands within Israel proper.

In the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, a car bomb kills Islamic Jihad officials Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub. In June, Mahmoud Rafeh confessed to the killings and admitted he had been working for the Israeli Mossad since 1994.

Israel Has Committed War Crimes: Robert Fisk (WRMEA)

The Independent’s Robert Fisk reported on July 24 that the Israelis “ordered the villagers of Taire, near the [Lebanese] border, to leave their homes and then—as their convoy of cars and minibuses obediently trailed northwards—the Israeli air force fired a missile into the rear minibus, killing three refugees and seriously wounding 13 other civilians.

For the second time in eight days,” Fisk wrote, “the Israelis have committed a war crime.”