UK: Demo calls for US transparency on DU munitions in Iraq

A protest was held at the US Embassy in London on Friday, calling for Washington to release data on where depleted uranium weapons have been used in Iraq.

The UK Uranium Weapons Network (UUWN), organising the lunchtime demonstration, said that the US had used at least 400 tonnes of depleted uranium munitions in Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 wars.

“They continue to refuse to release data on where the weapons were used, blocking research into their health impact and preventing decontamination and risk reduction programs,” UUWN said.

Earlier this month, the US, along with France, Israel and the UK were isolated in voting against a UN resolution calling for states to release the data.

Britain’s opposition came in spite of having already released information on its own DU use in Iraq in 2003.

UUWN members include the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, CND, the Environmental Justice Foundation, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, MEDACT, the Muslim Council of Britain, Pax Christi, People & Planet, Quaker Peace & Social Witness and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Over 80 British MPs have supported an Early Day Motion raised in parliament last month, expressing concern that more than 400,000kg of US DU remains unaccounted for in Iraq.

“Without knowing where the weapons have been used it is impossible to begin to mitigate the risks that the contamination poses to the civilian population,” the MPs warned.

Media reports have detailed increased rates of cancers and birth defects that have multiplied in Iraqi cities and been linked with DU munitions.

Back in 2003, the Royal Society in Britain called for transparency over DU use after releasing a study recommending that fragments from the munitions are removed and areas of contamination around impact sites identified and made safe, and where necessary.

“The coalition needs to make clear where and how much depleted uranium was used in the recent conflict in Iraq,” said chair of the scientific society’s working group on depleted uranium Professor Brian Spratt.

“We need this information to identify civilians and soldiers who should be monitored for depleted uranium exposure and to begin a clean-up of the environment,” Spratt said.

Medics have also found traces of depleted uranium munitions used by Israel in bombing and attacking Gaza and Lebanon. Israel has also defied UN requests to map out the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.

Dänisches Zentrum für Folteropfer fordert Strafanzeige gegen Bush

Das dänische Zentrum für Folteropfer hat eine Strafanzeige gegen den früheren US-Präsident Georg W. Bush wegen dessen Zustimmung für Folteranwendung gefordert. Laut AFP teilte der Verantwortliche für das Rehabilitations- und Forschungszentrum der Folteropfer in Dänemark in einem Artikel, der auf der Website der Zeitung „Politkan“ veröffentlicht wurde, mit: „Dieser Artikel ist eine Reaktion auf die von Bush veröffentlichen Memoiren, in der behauptet wurde, Waterboarding habe Angriffe auf die USA und Großbritannien verhindert.“
Bush hatte in einem Gespräch mit der Zeitung New York Times erklärt: „Die Anwendung von  Waterboarding bei drei Personen hat vielen das Leben gerettet.“

Noam Chomsky: No Evidence that Al-Qaeda Carried Out the 9/11 Attacks

Friday, November 5

Leading liberal intellectual Noam Chomsky recently said

"The explicit and declared motive of the [Afghanistan] war was to compel the Taliban to turn over to the United States, the people who they accused of having been involved in World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist acts. The Taliban…they requested evidence…and the Bush administration refused to provide any," the 81-year-old senior academic made the remarks on Press TV's program a Simple Question.

"We later discovered one of the reasons why they did not bring evidence: they did not have any."

The political analyst also said that nonexistence of such evidence was confirmed by FBI eight months later.

"The head of FBI, after the most intense international investigation in history, informed the press that the FBI believed that the plot may have been hatched in Afghanistan, but was probably implemented in the United Arab Emirates and Germany."

Chomsky added that three weeks into the war, "a British officer announced that the US and Britain would continue bombing, until the people of Afghanistan overthrew the Taliban... That was later turned into the official justification for the war."

"All of this was totally illegal. It was more, criminal," Chomsky said.

As Wired wrote on September 27, 2001:


President Bush has said he has evidence that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks, so it would seem obvious that the FBI would include him and other suspects on its 10 most wanted fugitives Web page.

Think again.

Bin Laden is listed, but only for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. There is no mention of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing or the attacks on the USS Cole in October 2000, both of which he is widely believed to have orchestrated. And forget about Sept. 11.

The reason? Fugitives on the list must be formally charged with a crime, and bin Laden is still only a suspect in the recent attacks in New York City and Washington.

"There's going to be a considerable amount of time before anyone associated with the attacks is actually charged," said Rex Tomb, who is head of the FBI's chief fugitive publicity unit and helps decide which fugitives appear on the list. "To be charged with a crime, this means we have found evidence to confirm our suspicions, and a prosecutor has said we will pursue this case in court."

Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA officer who was deputy director of the U.S. State Department Office of Counterterrorism from 1989 to 1993, said in a Sept. 12 interview conducted by Frontline that there is no concrete proof that bin Laden is responsible for the USS Cole and the 1993 WTC attacks, but bin Laden celebrates those attacks and associates himself with people who are responsible for it.

President Bush promises to reveal evidence linking bin Laden to the suicide hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bin Laden has applauded the attacks but denies direct involvement.

The Bush administration never provided such evidence.

As I wrote last December:


President Obama said Tuesday night as justification for the surge in troops in Afghanistan:

We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people.

Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban”, who refused to turn over Osama bin Laden.

Is that true?

On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing if the Taliban were given evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11.

Specifically, as the Guardian writes:

Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban "turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over." He added, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty" ...

Afghanistan's deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

"If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved" and the bombing campaign stopped, "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country", Mr Kabir added.

However, as the Guardian subsequently points out:

A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.

For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.

And yet ... the U.S. turned down the offer and instead prosecuted war.

And in 2006, FBI agent Rex Tomb told reporter Ed Haas that the FBI still did not have enough evidence:

The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.
In fact, many leading liberals have expressed doubts about 9/11, including Daniel Ellsberg, Ray McGovern, William Blum, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Lewis Lapham, Dan Hamburg, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Marc Crispin Miller, Howard Zinn, Robert McChesney, Gore Vidal, Chris Floyd, Robert Fisk, Medea Benjamin, Doris "Granny D" Haddock, Paul Hawken, David Cobb, Randy Hayes, Ernest Callenbach, Dennis Bernstein, Paul H. Ray, Michael Franti, Janeane Garafalo and Ed Asner.

As have many prominent old-fashioned conservatives. And the 9/11 Commissioners themselves. See this.

The United Nations on SB 1070 and the U.S. Border Patrol's Operation Streamline

The United Nations has posted the draft report on a review of the United States' human rights record, which recently took place in Geneva, Switzerland

Both SB 1070 and the U.S. Border Patrol's Operation Streamline are slammed in the draft, produced by a working group of the United Nations Human Rights' Council.

The report reads more like minutes of the three hour process, which took place on November 5.You can watch the review online in archived video from the UNHRC's Web site.

After giving its presentation, the U.S. delegation underwent a "dialogue" with representatives of 56 different delegations present.

Among the many issues raised was Arizona's infamous breathing-while-brown law SB 1070, and the U.S. was forced to explain itself regarding this bigoted legislation.

At one point, the draft relates that,

"The [U.S.] delegation then addressed questions regarding the Arizona immigration law. The Justice Department had challenged this law on grounds that it unconstitutionally interferes with the federal Government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy, and litigation is ongoing in which a federal judge has enjoined the law. The United States expressed its commitment to advancing comprehensive immigration reform."

Subjects raised during the review included everything from closing Gitmo and the death penalty, to torture committed under the administration of George W. Bush and the treatment of minorities.

The topic of immigration came up several times. The U.S. had to defend its treatment of undocumented aliens in its "immigration detention and removal process." Representatives made assurances about improving "immigration detention conditions," and decried "racial and ethnic profiling by local law enforcement officials," expressing the United States' commitment to ending the practice.

'US world's biggest arms seller'

The United States has topped the list of global arms sellers, with Israel, UAE and India purchasing the bulk of arms including fighter jets, says a think tank.

According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US sold 341 combat planes between 2005 and 2009, up from 286 jets sold during the previous five-year period, while Russia sold 219 planes followed by France, China and Sweden, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the biggest buyers of fighter jets are Israel, United Arab Emirates and India, collectively accounting for nearly one third of all global arms purchases.

The independent Swedish institute has also warned that the spiraling sales of fighter jets could further destabilize many parts of the world.

"While combat aircraft are often presented as one of the most important weapons needed for defense, these same aircraft give countries possessing them the potential to easily and with little warning strike deep into neighboring countries," said Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow at the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program.

The study has pointed to the Israeli airstrike against Syria in September 2007 as the prime example of such threats hanging over the peace and stability across the world.

SIPRI also turned the spotlight on lucrative contracts as well as stupendous amount of cash being transacted for selling and buying the combat aircraft, saying "the more advanced aircraft cost over 40 million dollars (29 million euros) each and often substantially more."

According to the report, more than 50 countries -- Israel (82), Jordan (36), China (45) and Yemen (37) -- purchased a total of 995 new and second-hand fighter planes between 2005 and 2009.

USA größter Verkäufer von Kriegsrüstung weltweit

Ein Forschungsinstitut gab bekannt, die USA stehen an der Spitze der Waffen verkaufenden Länder in der Welt.Press TV unter Berufung auf das internationale Forschungsinstitut für Frieden in Stockholm SIPRI stehen Israel, die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate und Indien an der Spitze der Waffenkäufer der US-Waffen unter anderem von Kampfflugzeugen dieses Landes.

SIPRI zufolge haben die USA 2005 bis 2009 über 286 Kampfjets verkauft. Russland steht mit dem Verkauf von 219 Kampfjets auf der zweiten Stelle und Frankreich, China und Schweden auf den nächsten Reihen dieser Liste.

Dieses Institut warnte ferner, dass der zunehmende Verkauf von Kampfflugzeugen zur Instabilität in verschiedenen Teilen der Welt führen würde.

diese Untersuchungen bezeichneten die Angriffe des zionistischen Regimes auf Syrien im Dezember 2007 als ein typisches Beispiel für solche Bedrohungen, die den Frieden und die Stabilität weltweit gestört haben

Folter: Amnesty International fordert Anklage gegen Bush

Amnesty International hat die Anklage des früheren US-Präsidenten George W. Bush wegen seiner Anordnung zum Einsatz von Waterboarding gegen einen Terrorverdächtigen verlangt.

Die Regierung von US-Präsident Barack Obama sei verpflichtet, strafrechtliche Schritte gegen Bush zu unternehmen, nachdem dieser sich in seinem gestern veröffentlichten Memoiren zu dem Einsatz der umstrittenen Verhörmethode bekannte, sagte der AI-Vertreter, Rob Freer, gestern der Nachrichtenagentur AFP. 
In seinen gestern erscheinenden Memoiren („Decision Points“) hat Bush sowohl den Irak-Krieg verteidigt als auch die von ihm angeordnete Foltermethode „Waterboarding“. Wenn er Fehler einräumt, dann nur den, als Entscheidungsträger einmal gezögert zu haben.

Chomsky: US-led Afghan war, criminal


Renowned Jewish-American scholar Noam Chomsky says US invasion of Afghanistan was illegal since to date there is no evidence that al-Qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks.

"The explicit and declared motive of the [Afghanistan] war was to compel the Taliban to turn over to the United States, the people who they accused of having been involved in World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist acts. The Taliban…they requested evidence…and the Bush administration refused to provide any," the 81-year-old senior academic made the remarks on Press TV's program a Simple Question.

"We later discovered one of the reasons why they did not bring evidence: they did not have any."

The political analyst also said that nonexistence of such evidence was confirmed by FBI eight months later.

"The head of FBI, after the most intense international investigation in history, informed the press that the FBI believed that the plot may have been hatched in Afghanistan, but was probably implemented in the United Arab Emirates and Germany."

Chomsky added that three weeks into the war, "a British officer announced that the US and Britain would continue bombing, until the people of Afghanistan overthrew the Taliban... That was later turned into the official justification for the war."

"All of this was totally illegal. It was more, criminal," Chomsky said.

The 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan was launched with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country.

Nine years on, however, the American and Afghan officials admit that the country remains unstable and civilians continue to pay the heaviest price.

Bush faces arrest outside the USA after admitting to have ordered torture by waterboarding

Global prosecution of the former US President George W. Bush for his sanctioning of torture in the aftermaths of 9/11 humiliates the US, a former CIA analyst says.

Bush has admitted to torture he is "unable to travel abroad … because of the principle of universal jurisdiction," Ray McGovern said in an interview on Friday.

In his memoir titled Decision Points Bush says that he ordered waterboarding, which is universally recognized as torture.

This is "very very embarrassing and humiliating for a country to have a previous president not prosecuted by his own people but unwilling to go abroad because of he might be prosecuted by the World Court or by one of these countries under the principle of universal jurisdiction," McGovern added.

In the US "we have a very very unusual and unprecedented situation where the president of the United States has bragged about ordering a felony, ordering a prosecutable offense," he went on to say.

"The reason he does that is because he thinks that no US court will move against him," McGovern argued.

In the memoir, Bush recalls that when the CIA asked him whether it could proceed with waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged plotter of the 9/11 attacks, he replied "Damn right," The Washington Post reported.

Bush justifies the decision by claiming
Khalid Sheik Mohammed was suspected of knowing about future terrorist plots against the USA.

Rabbi Lerner - Herausgeber der Zeitschrift Tikkun über David Ray Griffins 9/11 Thesen


Rabbi Lerner ist einer der Mitbegründer von Beyt Tikkun und gleichzeitig Rabbi in der Bay Area Jewish Renewal Synygoge. Er ist Herausgeber der Zeitschrift Tikkun Magazine. Eine der am meisten geschätzten liberalen Zeitschriften in der jüdischen Welt. In der Februar 2007 Ausgabe von Tikkun wurde ein Artikel von David Ray Griffin veröffentlich, einem Verfechter alternativer Theorien zum 11.September. Griffin komt aus einen christlich konservativen Umfeld und hat als Dozent für Theologie gearbeitet. Rabbi Lerner bezeichnet sich in einem Kommentar zum Artikel von David Ray Griffin selbst als Agnostiker, was den 11. September angeht. Er schreibt, er sei überzeugt, dass die offizielle Version grosse Lücken und Widersprüche aufweist und dass wir nicht die ganze Geschichte kennen. Er schreibt weiter , er wäre nicht überrascht wenn herauskommen würde, das irgendein Teil der Regierung passiv oder aktiv in die Angriffe verwickelt gewesen sei . Nach all den Lügen im Zusammenhang mit dem Beginn des Irakkrieges könnte niemand mehr überrascht sein, wenn sich eine aktive Verwicklung der Regierung in die Anschläge bestätigen sollte. Gleichzeitig schränkte er seine Position jedoch klar ein, indem er schrieb, er könne sich dieses zwar gut vorstellen, glaube jedoch selbst nicht an diese Theorien. In der Einführung zu Griffins Artikel in Tikkun schreibt Rabbi Lerner, dass er den Artikel nach langen intensiven Diskussion auch deshalb abdrucke, weil er der Überzeugung sei, dass wnn an der Geschichte etwas dran sein sollte, diese hervorragend geeignet sei Bewegung in die Kampagne zur Amtenthebung von Präsident Bush zu bringen.
Rabbi Lerners Article im TIKKUN (englisch)

(Tikkun March/April 2007)


Michael Lerner

(In the March/April 2007 issue of Tikkun we published an article by David Ray Griffin—which many of you have already read—that revealed the inconsistencies in the official 9/11 report, raising disturbing questions about the Bush administration’s possible involvement. We didn’t have space to print our Tikkun response and critique there, so we are doing it here. Click here for a full version of David Ray Griffin's article.)

I am an agnostic on the question of what happened on 9/11. I’m convinced that there are huge holes in the official story and contradictions that suggest that we do not know the whole story.

I would not be surprised to learn that some branch of our government conspired either actively to promote or passively to allow the attack on 9/11. For those who watched the reactionary political uses made of this tragedy, it’s easy to conjure up a variety of possible conspiratorial motives that would have led the president, the vice president, or some branch of the armed forces or CIA or FBI or other “security” forces to have passively or actively participated in a plot to re-credit militarism and war, which had been losing their appeal after the collapse of communism. We’ve learned enough about the subsequent ways that the Bush administration lied to the American public to no longer be shocked if they had been some active involvement by them in these deeds. But saying that I would not be surprised is NOT saying, “I believe that this is what happened.” I don’t personally believe it.

Nor did Tikkun publish Griffin’s account because we believe it, any more than we published Jorge Ferrer’s call for polyamory in the last issue because we support polyamory, and I could go through every issue and point to articles that most of us disagree with. We choose our articles because they present cutting edge analyses of the world that are aimed, directly or indirectly, at developing the consciousness of people that could become part of a movement to heal our society and our planet—not because we necessarily agree with them. If you want our perspective, read our editorials. But our perspective is not always (in fact, if we are talking about my personal perspective, almost never) reflected in the articles we print.

So why am I responding to this one? Because a Jewish magazine that has had a long history of ignoring, trashing or distorting what I and Tikkun stand for has done it again with a headline suggesting that I’m now on board with the conspiracy theorists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As I wrote in a piece that was published in a collection of articles by people who are seeking the truth, I would not be surprised if when all the archives were opened and all the communications revealed, it turned out that there was some other non-conspiratorial explanation for elements of the story that currently seem to make no sense. I’m not an expert in physics or chemistry and am in no position to devise such explanations, but wouldn’t be surprised if someone could do so. I believe that many of the aspects of the story that have not been explored—and should be to put this issue more to rest, so Id’ support a new and more serious and more neutral body exploring the whole story once again. When this happens, I believe that we will find what I’ve found in all my connections with government, corporations, and even with my tiny little staff at Tikkun: that it is always a mistake to underestimate how many things that are logical or expectable to happen don’t happen the way they are supposed to, day after day after day. And that is just as true of bureaucracies that pride themselves on their efficiency and detail-oriented approach.

I am not, however, a fan of a politics that concentrates on conspiracy theories, even when there are real conspiracies. At one point in my life I thought that real conspiracies were a left-wing fantasy, and that sophisticated Marxists and other social theorists would not have reason to want to acknowledge the existence of such conspiracies against the left or against anyone else. But in 1970, I was one of the “Seattle Seven” indicted in a federal trial for “conspiracy and using the facilities of interstate commerce with the intent of inciting to riot,” because of a demonstration I had organized to oppose the Vietnam war and support black liberation, a demonstration which turned violent after police attacked the demonstrators. I soon learned that my organization, the Seattle Liberation Front, was totally infiltrated by police agents. Indeed, many of those most vociferous in denouncing me and other leaders for being “too timid” at the time we were planning the demonstration were actually paid FBI informants or members of various law enforcement agencies. When one such agent changed his mind and began to reveal his story of having been solicited by the FBI to try to engage us in violence that would have led to some of us being killed, I understood that conspiracies do sometimes happen—and are paid for by the U.S. government.

But I also learned another lesson at the time: it doesn’t always help build a movement that focuses on governmental conspiracies. That focus leads people to believe that the major problems we face are those generated by evil people in powerful positions, not on something more systemic.

True, when we exposed Nixon on Watergate we managed to get him pushed out of office. But in so doing we also managed to validate the perception of many that he was the problem and that once he was gone, America could return to a new age of goodness, and politics could be safe in the hands of the politicians. “The system worked,” we were told, and most people believed it.

In retrospect, I suspect that the focus on Nixon’s conspiracy undermined our capacity to educate people to a far more important element in our society: the elites of wealth and power and their attempts to ensure American corporate dominance of the global markets, sometimes using force. While Nixon’s conspiracies were real, the focus on Watergate actually freed the ruling elites from having to give an accounting of how they—including the mainstream of the Democratic Party—had bought into assumptions about the world that led us into the Vietnam War.

I’m afraid that the focus on 9/11 conspiracies could have the same effect in American politics; Democrats who share many of the same militaristic assumptions about the world as their Republican colleagues could use this exposure of criminal acts as path to a reaffirmation of liberalism with all its limitations and willingness to support the militarist economy and global expansionism.

The major challenge facing those of us who want peace today is not to show that there was a conspiracy against peace by some part of the government. It is to uncover the underlying ideological consensus that leads people in both parties, including many who would never have dreamed of being part of any conspiracy, to believe that violence and war are the means to achieve a world of peace, and that the goal of our policies should be to advance U.S. interests rather than, as we at Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives argue, to advance the interests of all humanity, life on the planet, and the sustainability of the earth. .

In my latest book, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right, and in the campaign we are now running to put an ad in major newspapers calling for an Ethical Way to End the War in Iraq (please read about it at ), we argue for a strategy of generosity that would commit the U.S. to lead the G8 countries to use one to five percent of the gross domestic product of each of those countries every year for the next twenty years, with the U.S. leading by example, to eliminate global poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, inadequate healthcare, and to repair the damage done to the global environment by 150 years of irresponsible forms of industrialization. Winning support for this kind of thinking requires a very different kind of argument and focus than asking whether the towers could have fallen as a result of strikes by airplanes.

One could argue that there is room for both conversations, and there is. In fact, the kind of psychic trauma that would happen were the charges of intentional involvement in 9/11 by the president, vice president, other high office holders, or our security apparatus ever proved in a court of law would almost certainly open up political space for a serious discussion of the kinds of radical changes I’m suggesting, especially regarding our approach to foreign policy and homeland security. Indeed, people might be open to establishing much more forceful checks and balances on the imperial presidency, reaffirming and even strengthening civil liberties protections that have been undermined by the Patriot Act and other policies of the Bush administration, securing democratic forms by eliminating the electoral college and establishing instant-runoff voting and fully, publicly financed elections that forbid any direct or indirect contributions or support for campaigns or the parties that run them, establishing firm public control of electronic voting and strict public control over lobbying to ensure that money plays no role directly or indirectly in the process, and other measures to reclaim the democracy that has eroded since 9/11.

These are important changes that could be won if 9/11 lies are exposed, if in fact they were lies (about which I am agnostic).

But my own experience in American politics leads me to believe that those who wish to expose the 9/11 conspiracy must simultaneously provide an alternative framework that includes the Spiritual Covenant with America and the specific suggestions for how to repair the damage done by these crimes, or else risk the debate being defined by media that are more concerned to prove the viability of the system than to change it.

For these reasons, I wish people were putting the energy and commitment into building Generosity Sunday (read about it at ) that they put into activities like exposing what’s wrong with the 9/11 report. In theory, people could be doing both. In practice they are not.