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  • Sunday, July 31, 2005

    US marine colonel's wife speaks about crimes at highest levels of US military and Bush regime

    This article from the Arctic Beacon:

    “He mentioned how many of The Brotherhood, as he liked to call them, are members of the “Cap and Gown” Princeton group or the “Skull and Bones” Yale crowd and how they performed sexually perverted induction ceremonies with anal and oral sex performed inside coffins.” During the final two years of the marriage, Griggs said her husband basically disappeared. When she finally decided to blow the whistle on her husband’s activities and others surrounding him, she met privately with attorney and former CIA Director William Colby, seeking advice. ‘I really thought I would get some help, but Colby was later found dead,” said Griggs about Colby whose body was found eight weeks after he disappeared on April, 27, 1996, while canoeing near his Rock Point, Maryland, vacation home. “Then I started getting death threats, had my house burglarized, my car messed with and every time I would try to get the FBI or police to act, strangely nothing would be done. They would do things like steal my underwear, leave black dots on all my blouses and leave twelve screw drivers on my kitchen counter. They would do strange things like this, which if you think about it, is really hard to explain to the police without them thinking you are crazy. “I later found out I was flagged by Marine General Al Gray, my husband’s boss who put the wheels in motion on much of the criminal activity. He flagged me as a trouble maker knowing I was a free thinker who was not about to keep quiet like all the other military wives who knew too much. Finally, I sought help from Sarah McClendon, who basically saved my life.”
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hormone Replacement Therapy can cause cancer

    According to this disturbing article, from the Scotsman, studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy can cause cancer:

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which collates existing oncology studies, declared that consistent evidence emerging from studies in the past few years has lead it to reclassify hormonal menopause therapy from "possibly carcinogenic to humans" to "carcinogenic to humans". The agency said studies have convincingly shown that doses of oestrogen and progesterone in combination slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. And oestrogen-only treatment, while posing less of a risk for breast cancer, can cause endometrial cancers.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Former MI5 agent says 7th July London bombings have "all the earmarks of an inside job"

    According to this article, from Lewis News, the former MI5 whistleblower, David Shayler has said that he believes that the 7th July London bombings have, I quote from the article "all the earmarks of an inside job just like 9/11":

    Shayler, a thorn in the British government’s side ever since he blew the whistle in 1997 about rampant corruption within both arms of British intelligence, MI5 (domestic) and MI6 (foreign), said he has just began looking into the details of the 7/7 attacks, but what’s being released through the press and government reports shows a strikingly similar pattern to what he calls “the same type of misinformation thrown out after 9/11.” “First, we learn about the training exercises going on here just like 9/11. Next, they release suspicious evidence left behind by the culprits as well as quickly releasing identifying pictures of the suspects just like the did after 9/11,” he said. Shayler added that what’s even more suspicious is the private security firm in charge of the training drills prior to 7/7 had ties to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Further, he also received information that one of the named suicide bombers, whose picture was released in the London press, has turned up alive and well in Pakistan.
    Shayler is certainly right that there has been a lot of misinformation. And, formerly working at the MI5 doesn't put him into the "cranky conspiracy theorist" category. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The "Righteous murderers"

    This piece is interesting, from the Media Monitors Network:

    "Righteous murderers may claim they're spreading democracy and defending human rights, but clearer heads and common sense can distinguish faith based motivation of fanatics, who have killed 128,000 people so far because God told their commander in chief to go to war from those who stand up to their tyranny and injustice irrespective of their religious belief."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Misery in Darfur

    This article from the Observer takes a look at the continuing misery for people living in Darfur:

    'Janjaweed had come and killed them, many near me, and we buried them, and we all went away. And came back. Days later. Maybe at the wrong time. 'Janjaweed were there and told us to dig up all the graves. I don't know why, I think just to make it worse. We had to dig people up who had been dead, and then look at the bodies, and then put them back in the earth. Just to make it worse. Just to show that they could make it worse.'
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    10000 people attend funeral of Jean Charles de Menezes

    The Daily Bulletin reports on the funeral of the Brazilian murdered by police and special forces in London:

    Jean-Charles de Menezes' mother, Maria, almost collapsed in tears and was supported by her husband and relatives after she laid the first single rose on the coffin. People in the crowd released dozens of green and yellow balloons into the air, the primary colors of the Brazilian flag. Then they applauded a common Brazilian tradition at burials of dignitaries just before the coffin was lowered into the ground. Police estimated more than 10,000 people passed by the coffin earlier as it lay draped with the Brazilian flag at the Sao Sebastiao Church in Gonzaga, a town of 6,000 where many head abroad to make money so they can return for a better life back home.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    1 million Iraqis say "US out"

    The Information Clearing House has this report:

    The Muqtada al-Sadr followers say they have collected the signatures of one million Iraqis asking that US and other Coalition troops leave the country immediately. In his sermon at an East Baghdad mosque, Shaikh Abdul Zahra al-Suwaidi told the congregation, "We obtained the Iraqi signatures demanding the withdrawal of the occupation troops as asked for by Sayyed Moqtada Sadr . . . The goal of this petition is to show the world the rejection by Iraqis of foreigners in Iraq . . ."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Terror suspect was angry about the Iraq war

    Despite the claims by Blair & Co that there is absolutely no link between the London bombings and Iraq, we all know that there is indeed a link. NBC 4 has this article:

    Osman Hussain is said to have told interrogators he wasn't carrying enough explosives even to "harm people nearby." A daily newspaper in Rome reported Hussain told investigators that the plot was to "sow terror," not to kill and was motivated by anger about the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    FBI ordered to release documents about spying on lawyer

    According to this article, from the Oregonian, a judge has ordered that the FBI must release documents related to the use of the so called "Patriot Act", in the case of a lawyer, who it was claimed was linked to the Madrid train bombings:

    In a 48-page rejection of the Justice Department's motion for dismissal, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken also ordered the FBI to open up files showing how agents secretly spied on Mayfield and his family.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Racist thugs attack and kill black teenager

    This disturbing article from the Guardian today:

    A gang of men who murdered a black teenager with an axe in an unprovoked racist attack in a park near his home in Huyton, Liverpool, were being hunted by police last night. Anthony Walker, an 18-year-old sixth form college student, was killed by a single blow delivered with such force that the axe was left embedded in his forehead. Just minutes before the attack the teenager, his girlfriend and his cousin had been subjected to a 'torrent of racial abuse' by a man in a hooded top.
    What a waste of a young life. I hope the police catch whoever was responsible for this vile attack. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Thousands rally in Tokyo to support retention of pacifist constitution article

    The Japan Times reports: Thousands gather in support of retaining pacifist Article 9

    "I experienced wars during my 88 years of life," said Mutsuko Miki, one of the founding members and wife of the late Prime Minister Takeo Miki. "I hope Japan will be a peaceful country without armed forces, by maintaining Article 9," she said. Referring to the deployment of Ground Self-Defense Force personnel in Iraq for a humanitarian mission, Miki said, "I do not understand why they have to go there with instruments for war."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    British soldiers involved in Brazilian's murder

    According to this article, from the Times, the MoD has admitted that special forces were involved in some way in the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes:

    Press photographs of members of the armed response team taken in the immediate aftermath of the killing show at least one man carrying a special forces weapon that is not issued to SO19, the Metropolitan police firearms unit. The man, wearing civilian clothes with a blue cap marked “Police”, was carrying a specially modified Heckler & Koch G3K rifle with a shortened barrel and a butt from a PSG-1 sniper rifle fitted to it — a combination used by the SAS. Another man, dressed in a T-shirt, jeans and trainers, was carrying a Heckler & Koch G36C. Although this weapon is used on occasion by SO19 it appears to be fitted with a target illuminator purchased as an “urgent operational requirement” for UK special forces involved in the war on terror.
    Jean Charles de Menezes' family deserves justice. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Islam will likely be the main basis for Iraqi law

    Yahoo has this report:

    But in Iraq, some fear the Shiite Muslim leaders who want similar wording in Iraq's constitution hope to lay the groundwork for a more fundamentalist rule, at least in Shiite-dominated areas. Already, Shiite leaders in some southern cities have tried imposing Islamic-based rules, pressuring women to wear headscarves and forcing liquor stores and music shops to close. A draft of the constitution published last week in the government Al-Sabah newspaper put Islam as "the main basis" of law. But the constitutional committee — made up of Shiites, Kurds and some Sunnis — is still haggling over the language.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    A new world?

    The Observer today reports on the possible discovery of a 10th planet in our solar system:

    Despite its distance, the little world is also proving to be highly controversial. Astronomers cannot agree whether it is a planet or just a jumped-up asteroid. Its discoverers are claiming Xena is the 10th planet. Other astronomers say it is just another of the Sun's minor planets. There are thousands of minor planets in the solar system, but only nine fully fledged major planets.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    London bombing suspect's family fear he may be extradited to the US and tortured

    This article from the Australian:

    His parents, originally from India but who now live in Batley in West Yorkshire, the county home to three of July 7 suicide bombers, blasted the failure of British authorities to contact him. "It is very worrying that after more than 10 days the British government is still unable to verify that the British citizen detained is actually Haroon," they said. "Our son, albeit estranged for many years, is surely entitled to the presumption of innocence, as any other British citizen.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Friday, July 29, 2005

    Faith hate crimes increase in Britain

    Reuters reports on the ignorant criminals who target ethnic, and religious minorities in Britain:

    Attacks on Asians and religious minorities in London have leapt more than 500 percent since the suicide bomb attacks on the capital three weeks ago, according to Muslim groups. Across Britain one man has been murdered, one mosque firebombed, a Sikh temple attacked and other buildings and individuals targeted, the Muslim Safety Forum (MSF), an umbrella group of Muslim organisations which advises the police, said on Thursday.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Fascistic Labour Party MP calls for Mosque leader to resign

    According to this article, from the BBC, a Labour Party MP has called on the leader of a Birmingham Mosque to resign, because he dared to question Blair & Co:

    On Wednesday, Dr Naseem said there was no excuse for terrorism, but he said Tony Blair had lied over Iraq. "Now we cannot give our blind trust to the government," said Dr Naseem who has recently actively supported George Galloway's Respect Party. Speaking to BBC Radio WM on Thursday he questioned the existence of al-Qaeda. "I don't think al-Qaeda exists because we Muslims all over the world have not known this organisation," he said. "The only information about this organisation is coming from the CIA. Now, the CIA is not known for telling the truth." Mr Mahmood said: "What he has done is brought into disrepute the role of the chair of the Central Mosque and the Muslim community in Birmingham.
    Dr Naseem, from what I have read, has only repeated what many of us think about Blair & Co. He shouldn't have to resign just because one of Blair's lackeys says he should. On the point about the CIA, I can see Dr Naseem's point of view. Al Qaeda, translated, means the "database", a database originally set up by the CIA of their allies in Afghanistan, including Osama Bin Laden (or maybe I should call him Tim Osman). See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Met Police Commissioner says further attacks likely

    The Independent has this report:

    The Metropolitan Police Commissioner said that London had been "very, very lucky" to escape the failed 21 July bombings, adding that there was no reason to suspect that further attacks would be confined to the transport system. Sir Ian's comments came a week after that attempt and three weeks after the 7 July suicide bombers killed 52 people.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    British Home Office, now murder apologists

    In my opinion it is absolutely obscene that the British Home Office should try to claim that the murdered Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes was an illegal immigrant to this country, in some cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion in their favour. The Independent reports on the murder apologist's statement. Charles Clarke and his department should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, and I wouldn't put it past them to claim anything in order to get themselves out of trouble. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bolton gave "inaccurate answers" says US State department

    "Inaccurate answers", another way of saying that he lied. He's not the first linked to the Bush regime who has lied, and no doubt he won't be the last either. This report from Yahoo:

    The acknowledgment came after the State Department had earlier insisted nominee John Bolton's "answer was truthful" when he said he had not been questioned or provided information to jury or government investigations in the past five years. "When Mr. Bolton completed his form during the Senate confirmation process he did not recall being interviewed by the State Department inspector general. Therefore his form as submitted was inaccurate in this regard and he will correct the form," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
    Liars always get found out. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Police officer involved in murder of Brazilian given paid holiday

    I'm quite sure that had a murder victim been the member of the police force, they would not pay for a suspect to go away on holiday with their family. This is an absolute disgrace, the BBC reports:

    A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "An officer has had a break paid for by the Metropolitan Police, authorised by the commissioner, to allow him to take his wife and family away from the family home." One of the other officers is already on a family holiday.
    I wonder if the police paid for their holiday as well. Disgusting. These people are being treated for committing a crime. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "You don't combat terrorism with another kind of terrorism"

    This article, from today's Guardian reports on the repatriation of the murdered Jean Charles de Menezes' body to Brazil:

    Brazilian politicians and diplomats were also present. "Nothing can justify what has happened," said Leonardo Monteiro of the ruling Workers' party, who helped negotiate the release of Mr De Menezes's body. "It is disgusting that anyone who has different hair or skin should be treated as a suspect by the British police." Elisa Costa, a Workers' party official, said: "I would say the following to Tony Blair: you don't combat terrorism with another kind of terrorism. You just provoke more violence."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    More than 500 people killed in Indian floods

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, more than 500 people have been killed by landslides, floods and building collapses in India, following heavy rainfall:

    More than half the deaths were in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, a city of 15 million, where the roads began to clear last night. At one point rumours of a burst dam caused a stampede in which at least 15 people were killed, including seven children. After more than a metre of rain fell in one day, meteorologists said the city could expect more rain in the next couple of days but the eye of the storm appeared to be moving north to Gujarat.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Comcast censored anti war email

    This report from the Sydney Morning Herald:

    Swanson, the founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org website, claims emails sent to and from his subscribers were blocked for a week as he tried to co-ordinate events around the United States. He said the events would have had a far bigger turn-out had the block not been in place. "We didn't know it, but for the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the Email," Swanson wrote on his website. "Comcast said that ... Symantec refused to lift the block, because they had supposedly received 46,000 complaints about Emails with our URL in them. Forty-six thousand! ...Could we see two or three, or even one, of those 46,000 complaints? No..."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    6 country pact on climate change

    The Guardian today reports on that pact between the US, China, Australia, Japan, India and South Korea, which, it is claimed is meant to promote the efficient use of fuels:

    Technology that enables coal to be burned more efficiently and captures carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere is top of the agenda. The US, Australia and China are all big coal users and exporters. Alongside wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal power sources, new nuclear power facilities get equal billing, which will further dismay the environmental lobby. There are no targets and timetables for the delivery of any of the pledges and no carbon dioxide reduction targets. There is a hope that other nations will join the new club, which represents 45% of the world's population and nearly half of its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The US alone accounts for 25% of the world's emissions.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Student who raped classmates wants to be a marine

    If this student does join the marines, it seems like he's already had some of the experiences needed to equip him perhaps for a stint as a guard at Gunatanamo, or maybe one of the other US run torture chambers in either Afghanistan or Iraq, from the Denver Channel:

    His mother said he is getting close to obtaining his GED and wants to join the Marines, the newspaper said. The teenager could be sentenced to two years in juvenile custody and must register as a sex offender. The two assaults did not occur at Battle Mountain High School, prosecutors said. One girl told police the boy raped her at her home. The other girl told police that she was raped at his home. The assaults occurred in June and October 2003.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    30% of Iraq veterans have mental health problems

    I can't say i'm particularly surprised at this report, from Yahoo. If I knew that I was involved in an act of agression on such a scale as Iraq has been, and that my colleagues were guilty of crimes against humanity, then I think i'd have problems coping with that as well:

    The problems include anxiety, depression, nightmares, anger and an inability to concentrate, according to Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley and other military medical officials. A smaller group, usually with more severe cases of these symptoms, is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    MI5 links Iraq to terrorists

    However much Blair & Co attempt to squirm and say that the terrorist attacks of the 7th July had absolutely nothing to do with Iraq, the majority of us in Britain don't believe them, neither, for that matter does MI5. This article from the Guardian:

    Iraq is "a dominant issue" among extremists in Britain, MI5 says in its latest comments on the threat to Britain from international terrorism. The remarks, on the agency's website, contrast with those of ministers who have suggested that the London bombings had nothing to do with the Iraq invasion.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Operation Iraqi Freedom

    From The Nation:

    Living conditions for the people of Iraq, already poor before the war, have deteriorated significantly since the US invasion. This is confirmed in a new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation. Based on a survey of 21,000 households conducted in 2004, the study shows that the Iraqi people are suffering widespread death and war-related injury, high rates of infant and child mortality, chronic malnutrition and illness among children, low rates of life expectancy and significant setbacks with regard to the role of women in society.

    CAFTA by hook or by crook

    From American Progress:

    In order to pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the House leadership held the vote open for an additional 47 minutes after the 15 minute voting period had expired. At the end of the original voting period, opponents of CAFTA had defeated the bill by a vote of 180-175. Forty-seven minutes later, conservatives eked out a 217-215 victory by "twist[ing] arms" and exchanging favors for votes. Last night's antics parallel the tactics employed in passing the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill -- a process that has led to congressional ethics investigation.

    The Laos Protocol... Say what?!

    Our friend Timx has a report at his site It's Getting Warmer about a multilateral agreement between the U.S., Australia, India, China, Japan and South Korea on global warming. As Timx points out, criticisms are that " public money will go towards finding cleaner ways of burning coal rather than towards researching clean renewable technologies" and that "there is nothing in the agreement which binds the participants to any targets or goals, and that Australia will use it as justification for continuing to refuse to ratify Kyoto. "

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    Iran says US guilty of nuclear double standards

    Of course the US is guilty of nuclear double standards. I have to point out also, that I think the world should use alternative forms of energy. This article from the Guardian:

    Iran accused the Bush administration yesterday of operating a double standard and undermining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by agreeing to aid India's civil nuclear programme, while insisting that Tehran abandon its nuclear ambitions or face international sanctions.
    As some visitors will know, I will be a part of a team, "Blogging for Greenpeace", starting on Saturday 6th August at 6 AM PST, 9 AM EDT, 2 PM BST, 3 PM CET as part of Blogathon 2005. Greenpeace campaigns against nuclear energy and weapons, if you'd like to help us to help Greenpeace to make a difference, then please support us. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    $1.5 billion give away slipped into energy bill

    According to this article, from YubaNet, following the closure to further ammendments of an energy bill in the US, a provision to give away $1.5 billion to Halliburton and Sugar Land mysteriously appeared in the text of the legislation:

    In recent years, Congress has been repeatedly embarrassed by the mysterious insertion of provisions in omnibus legislation. Last year, for example, we learned only after House action that the 3,000 page, $388 billion omnibus spending bill allowed members and staff of the Appropriations Committee to examine the tax returns of ordinary Americans. We should not allow this to happen again. The Energy Conference Report should not be brought to the House floor until this objectionable provision is deleted and there is ample opportunity for members to read the legislation and delete any other problematic provisions.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    FBI wants to interrogate senior Israeli diplomat in spying case

    According to this article, from Haaretz, the FBI is seeking to interrogate a senior Israeli envoy at the Washington embassy in connection with the ongoing espionage case:

    According to accepted practice, Israeli civil servants have immunity and cannot be investigated by foreign countries about actions taken in their work capacity, and it appears that Israel would like this immunity applied in the current affair.
    Yes, I expect they would. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The world has failed Niger

    The Guardian reports: Minister criticises sluggish response to crisis in Niger

    A British aid plane carrying food took off for famine-stricken Niger yesterday as Britain's development secretary, Hilary Benn, admitted that the international system had failed the country. Even after widespread publicity drew global attention to the plight of hundreds of thousands short of food in one of the world's poorest countries, the relief effort remains short of funding. The UN's World Food Programme said yesterday that despite an increase in donations, its $16m (£9m) relief operation for Niger had confirmed donations of only $9m, amounting to a shortfall of more than 40%.
    If you'd like to donate to help please click here for Oxfam's information page on the west African food crisis, and link to their donation page. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    This crime must not go unpunished

    Not only must the murder of Jean Charles de menezes not go unpunished, but it must never be allowed to happen again. This report from the Guardian takes a look at what the relatives have had to say, and about false reports which have appeared in the press about the shooting, those false reports, of course led by the police:

    Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot dead in the head, was not wearing a heavy jacket that might have concealed a bomb, and did not jump the ticket barrier when challenged by armed plainclothes police, his cousin said yesterday. Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with the Metropolitan police, Vivien Figueiredo, 22, said that the first reports of how her 27-year-old cousin had come to be killed in mistake for a suicide bomber on Friday at Stockwell tube station were wrong.
    If the police have been willing to lie about the circumstances involving the murder of an innocent man, what else have they been lying about? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    California unit members in Iraq under investigation for detainee abuse, and extortion

    The Los Angesles Times reports that members of a California National Guard unit are being investigated for abusing their captives in Iraq, and extorting money from local shopkeepers:

    The battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Frey, has been suspended while the investigation is conducted, Baldwin said. Soldiers from a third company in the battalion have also been "pulled back to garrison mode," a military official said. Baldwin declined to discuss the allegations in detail or name the soldiers and officers involved. The "National Guard cannot comment on an ongoing U.S. Army investigation," he said.
    Why are US senators not pushing for those in the Bush regime who allowed an atmosphere of torture and abuse to prevail in Iraq, to be punished? Maybe because they are spineless, and will roll over when the Bush regime tell them what to do? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Convicted IRA terrorist released, "historic announcement" expected

    I wonder what the relatives of those 9 victims of Kelly's terrorist activity think about Blair's stance on the so called "international war on terror wherever it rears its ugly head" following the convicted terrorist's release from prison. Also, it's rather a contradiction that while Blair & Co want to bring in all sorts of new laws on terror, they're releasing convicted terrorists. Perhaps any Blairite lackeys could defend these confusing signals to terrorists? From the Guardian:

    Mr Kelly, who was once sentenced to life imprisonment for killing nine civilians in a fish shop bomb in Belfast in 1993, had his early release licence which was issued under the Good Friday Agreement revoked last month by Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain for involvement in terrorist activity. However, in a move which incensed unionists and fuelled speculation that the choreography to an IRA statement had begun, Mr Kelly was freed from Maghaberry Prison pending the outcome of an appeal to the Sentence Review Commission. The Northern Ireland Office explained: "We can confirm Sean Kelly was granted temporary release by the Secretary of State on the expectation of the forthcoming IRA statement."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    CIA thugs used a sledgehammer handle to beat Iraqi captives

    According to this article, from the Denver Post, a closed session of a military hearing in the US has heard that CIA thugs beat their Iraqi captives with sledgehammer handles, and one of their lot would often brag about mistreating captives. How very "civilised":

    "I have no doubts that other government agencies used methods of interrogation that were much worse than what Chief Welshofer used," Cassara said. Later, Pratt testified that the official was mocking the prisoners he was beating. "Well, particularly after the general was killed. I don't remember the exact words, but he was mocking the fact that the general died," Pratt testified. Williams and Welshofer, through their attorneys, had previously denied any wrongdoing.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Abu Ghraib guards were "just following orders"

    According to this article, from Yahoo, it seems the Pentagon sent teams to Abu Ghraib to teach their young brown shirts so called "interrogation techniques" learned at Guantanamo bay. Perhaps we should rename the torture chamber in Cuba as "School of the Americas part 2":

    "We understood that he was sent over by the secretary of defense," Maj. David Dinenna testified. He said teams of trainers were also sent to Abu Ghraib "to take these interrogation techniques, other techniques they learned at Guantanamo Bay, and try to incorporate them in Iraq." The former warden's testimony follows defense claims that using unmuzzled dogs to terrify Abu Ghraib inmates was sanctioned high up the chain of command and wasn't just a game played by two rogue soldiers, as the government claims.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush regime botched up terror investigation twice

    This report from Radar Online, fellow Brits should be furious:

    The first screw up was back in 2002. According to the Seattle Times, the US had in its custody at that time Haroon Aswat, a man federal prosecutors believe helped set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon in late 1999. For reasons no one can quite figure out, John Ashcroft’s Justice Department blocked efforts by its own Seattle-based prosecutors to seek a grand-jury indictment of Aswat. Why is that relevant? Aswat has now been tied to the London bombings (the Brits think he was in cell phone contact with at least two of the bombers in the days preceding the attack).
    And the 2nd botch up?
    While it remains unclear who spilled Khan’s name—the Americans blame the Pakistanis, and vice versa—the Times story created a panic in English and Pakistani law enforcement circles. Khan’s Al Qaeda buddies in both countries, upon learning that their friend was a double agent, quickly went into hiding. Both British and Pakistani officials were “furious” with the Americans for helping to unmask their spy, according to the New York Daily News, and the Brits had to launch a series of high-speed chases to catch Khan’s fleeing cabal. A senior Pakistani official told the Associated Press “this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some Al Qaeda suspects ran away.”
    This is supposedly our "closest ally". See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Renditions"

    This article from CBS:

    In recent years, well over 100 people have disappeared or been "rendered" all around the world. Witnesses tell the same story: masked men in an unmarked jet seize their target, cut off his clothes, put him in a blindfold and jumpsuit, tranquilize him and fly him away. They're describing U.S. agents collaring terrorism suspects. Some notorious terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of 9/11, were rendered this way. But as Correspondent Scott Pelley reported last March, it's happening to many others. Some are taken to prisons infamous for torture. And a few may have been rendered by mistake.
    These renditions have to be approved by Bush regime officials, therefore, despite their denials, the Bush regime are explicitly condoning these torture flights. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    53% of Americans don't believe Iraq conflict will be won

    According to this article, from Yahoo, a poll has found that 53% of Americans don't believe that the US led invasion and occupation will succeed. Of course, how can it succeed when the Bush regime, criminally assisted by Blair and Co claimed that the goal of the project was to rid Saddam Hussein of his supposed weapons of mass destruction. And we all know he didn't have any:

    Fifty-one percent also believe the administration of US President George W. Bush deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the central premise for the 2003 US-led war on Iraq.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Has Bolton lied over Plame affair?

    Yahoo has this report:

    Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee say they want to determine whether Bolton was truthful when he wrote on a questionnaire for his confirmation hearing that he has not been interviewed in any recent investigations. In a letter to Rice, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), D-Del., referenced an MSNBC report from July 21 that Bolton was among State Department undersecretaries who "gave testimony" about a classified memo that has become an important piece of evidence in the leak investigation.
    Is there actually anyone in the Bush regime who is honest? from all available evidence it's certainly difficult to see one. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Mr Blair v Mrs Blair

    This article from the Guardian:

    Tony Blair yesterday denied he faced a domestic rift after his lawyer wife Cherie warned that an excessive response to the terrorist threat could undermine "our most deeply held values". Ms Booth said during a lecture in Kuala Lumpur that senior judges should defend individual rights against the decisions of the majority - public opinion as well as politicians - to help educate people about "the real meaning of democracy".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lance Armstrong on waste...

    Seven time Tour-de-France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong would like to see his money put to some more productive use.  "[Cancer] Funding is tough to come by these days," notes Armstrong. "The biggest downside to a war in Iraq is what you could do with that money. What does a war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change. It needs to become a priority again." Personally, I think the biggest downside to the war is the death it metes out, but I understand what Lance is saying...

    Announcement

    According to the NYT, the TWAT (The War Against Terrorism), GWOT (Global War On Terror) or just plain WAT(War Against Terrorism) has been renamed. The proper term to use now is the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism or GSAVE. The change was necessary because "New opinion polls show that the American public is increasingly pessimistic about the mission in Iraq, with many doubting its link to the counterterrorism mission." We hope you understand and thank you for your cooperation.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    Blair orders judges not to try and limit his powers

    The Independent today reports that Blair has warned judges not to interfere with any of his "anti terror" policies. Blair & Co apparently believe that they are some sorts of superior beings who can order anyone to do whatever they want others to do:

    He told a Downing Street press conference: "We've been trying to do things, but they have been blocked." Asked who had been responsible for that, he said: "You can go back over the court cases."
    Blair is possibly referring to the judges who said that holding foreign nationals indefinitely without any chargeswas illegal. He may also be inferring that he doesn't want a judge to be responsible for holding detainees indefinitely, of course, he'd much prefer that his lackeys be responsible for deciding who gets to be imprisoned indefinitely. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Foreign Office attacks ex Uzbek envoy for speaking out on human rights abuses

    What sort of "civilised society" would not want people to speak out on human rights abuses carried out? One that is not so "civilised" I would say. This article from today's Guardian:

    Although it would, in theory, be possible to prosecute him under the Official Secrets Act, the government is more likely to bring a civil action against him for breach of confidence. Mr Murray was deprived of his ambassadorship last year after the leak of a report in which he criticised the use of torture material by MI6. He said yesterday: "I'm not surprised the government want to ban my book. It contains a lot of information they don't want to have known. None of it concerns national security, but illegal and underhand behaviour by the British government". Mr Murray's friends say he is "unlikely" to comply with a demand that he submit the manuscript for approval.
    Craig Murray should not have to submit his book to be censored by Blair's lackeys, just because there may be politically sensitive material in there. It's a disgrace in a so called "freedom and democratic loving" society that a government can order someone to submit to their orders in this way or face punishment. Craig Murray should have the support of all real "freedom and democratic loving" people. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    4 men arrested in Birmingham under anti terror laws

    The Guardian reports: Bomb police hold four men

    Four men were arrested at two addresses in Birmingham today by police investigating the failed bomb attacks in London on July 21. The raids are thought to be of major significance in the hunt for the bombers, and there were unconfirmed reports that one of the men arrested in the raids is believed to be one of the four men wanted in connection with last week's bomb attacks.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Cocaine use rises by 30%

    According to this article, from today's Independent, cocaine use has risen dramtically, and worryingly by 30% in the past 3 years:

    While the numbers using heroin have remained steady, at about 64,000, those on crack have risen by 20,000 in the past three years to 79,000 in 2004. Specialists are warning that the Government is not responding quickly enough to the growing problems caused by crack addiction and related crime.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Police given permission to shoot to kill without warning

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, police have been given permission to shoot to kill anyone they believe may be carrying suicide bombs without any warnings. The article does not make clear who exactly gave them that permission, and there are eyewitness accounts from the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes just a few days ago that he was not given a warning by police:

    Insiders say there may have been flaws in the operation that led to Mr De Menezes's shooting, which is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. There are questions about why the intelligence was so faulty and about the identification of Mr De Menezes as a target. The decision to let him run and get on a bus is also suspect, although it may have been taken in the hope of finding out who he might meet.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Will the US leave Britain in the lurch in Afghanistan?

    This report from the Guardian today:

    British defence officials are concerned the US could prematurely declare "mission accomplished" once the national assembly and provincial council votes are over. The worry is that Pentagon pressure to cut US troop levels could leave Britain holding the baby when it assumes command of Nato's security assistance force next spring.
    No doubt Blair will be quite happy to submit to US demands in Afghanistan. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    India reacts with horror to striking workers being beaten by Police

    This report from today's Independent:

    "This is spine-chilling. I could not have imagined that an incident like this could have happened in independent India," said opposition leader Nitish Kumar. Mr Singh is also facing anger from his coalition partners over the incident. "Even animals are not treated like this," said Devendra Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal party, a coalition member
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    New York riot police forced frightened tourists off a bus

    According to this article, from the Daily Telegraph, (Australia) riot police frog marched about 60 tourists off a bus in New York, because someone reported that the "South Asian looking men with British accents" looked suspicious. Apparently, tourists carrying backpacks in New York can now expect to be pulled off their buses and handcuffed by US riot police. Yes, that should help to promote the US to the world, i'm sure plenty more tourists will definitely want to go and visit New York now:

    Officers in riot gear handcuffed a group of apparently harmless South Asian-looking men with British accents after a jittery tour bus worker reported they seemed suspicious. The men were forced to kneel on the footpath, with their hands bound behind their backs, in front of the Winter Garden theatre. "People were really scared," Jill Sully, 29, said. Another passenger said she was "scared out of my mind."
    I'm not surprised they were scared. Maybe the one's who were handcuffed thought that the US would throw them into Guantanamo because they were "Asian looking" and were carrying backpacks. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Munitions exposure linked to brain cancer in US vets

    Acording to this article, from Reuters, gulf war veterans who have been exposed to chemical munitions are, apparently twice as likely to die from brain cancer as those who have not been exposed:

    "We found an approximately twofold excess of brain cancer deaths, 12 to 13 excess deaths in a population of 100,000 veterans, associated with possible exposure to chemical warfare agents," Tim A. Bullman, from the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington, DC, and colleagues report. In the new study, rates of death from specific causes for 100,487 exposed US army veterans were compared with those for 224,980 unexposed veterans.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    2000 veterans call for independent commission on torture

    This press release from the Veterans for Common Sense website:

    In an open letter, signed by more than 2,000 veterans and supporters (including 5 flag-rank officers and more than 200 commissioned officers), the veterans urged Congress and the President to "commit -- immediately and publicly -- to support the creation of an independent commission to investigate and report on the detention and interrogation practices of U.S. military and intelligence agencies deployed in the war on terror."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush regime lied to start a war

    An American voicing the concerns of many in the world writes this letter, from the Lodi News Sentinel:

    Where is the indictment of these individuals? Why aren't impeachment proceedings being enacted? Hamid Hayat's grandfather says the FBI is lying, the FBI says Hamid Hayat and his father are lying. The Downing Street memo shows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Bush and his cronies lied to start the war in Iraq. And rather than fess up, they continue to lie ... or try intimidation tactics.
    Pictured above - The liars "shoulder to shoulder" See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Israeli attorney general says Omri Sharon to face indictment

    This report from Haaretz:

    Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced Tuesday that Omri Sharon is to be indicted Wednesday for flouting campaign finance laws, forging corporate documents, perjury and breach of trust. The attorney general's announcement comes one day after the Knesset passed a law granting him the authority to directly issue an indictment against an MK to the courts without having to request stripping of parliamentary immunity. An MK, however, is entitled to ask the House to hold a hearing on the matter.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    US soldier gets 18 months for murdering Iraqi policeman

    According to this article, from Yahoo, a US soldier who murdered an Iraqi policeman was sentenced to only 18 months in prison for his crime, that doesn't seem like real justice to me:

    Corporal Dustin Berg of the Indiana National Guard also admitted during his court-martial at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to intentionally shooting himself and lying to cover up the homicide, military authorities said in a statement. The judge, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Anderson, also ordered a bad-conduct discharge for Berg, the statement said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Judge rules that peace tax must be reconsidered in Strasbourg

    From the Guardian: Campaigners lose 'peace tax' bid

    Michael Fordham, appearing for the seven, argued that the Treasury's continuing refusal to set up such an account violated their rights under article 9 of the European convention on human rights, which protects the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Rejecting the argument, the judge agreed with Treasury lawyers, who said the European commission of human rights in Strasbourg had already decided the issue against conscientious objectors in cases heard in the 1980s. The judge said: "I am persuaded that if this matter is to be reconsidered it must be reconsidered by Strasbourg."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraq minister demands timetable for troop withdrawal

    From Antiwar.com: Iraqi Official Demands Timetable for Withdrawal

    What do the Americans think about that? You have this new relationship with Iran. America is describing Iran as a terrorist country. "The Americans – if they like it or don't like it – we don't care. That's their internal issue. Now we are asking for the Americans to draw a timeline of leaving Iraq, and we will make it a priority too, if they force us to make a bad relationship with our neighbors."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US report says "insurgents" infiltrating Iraqi police

    According to this article, from Knight Ridder, the Iraqi police are in a real mess, with many being barely literate, some having criminal records, and apparently "insurgents" are infiltrating their ranks:

    Inspectors from the State Department and Pentagon, who spent five weeks in Iraq this spring evaluating police training, also found that most of the training had been designed and carried out with too little input from Iraqi leaders. The inspectors agreed with recommendations from Iraq's Interior Ministry and international trainers that Iraqis would be better able to screen police recruits than foreign soldiers would. They further suggested that the program should be focused on training police already in the ranks, rather than simply adding more.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    $2 billion spent, but Baghdad is crumbling

    This report from Yahoo:

    The capital is crumbling around angry Baghdadis. Narrow concrete sewage pipes decay underground and water pipes leak out more than half the drinking water before it ever reaches a home, according to the U.S. military. Over 18 months, American officials spent almost $2 billion to revive the capital ravaged by war and neglect, according to Army Gen. William G. Webster, who heads the 30,000 U.S. and foreign troops and 15,000 Iraqi soldiers known collectively as Task Force Baghdad. But the money goes for long-term projects that yield few visible results and for security to protect the construction sites from sabotage.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US war costs likely to exceed $700 billion

    As well as the obvious costs of war in human lives, there is a financial cost. According to this article, from the Detroit News, the financial costs of the US led invasions and occupations in Afganistan and Iraq are likely to soar above $700 billion:

    That could make the combined campaigns, especially the war in Iraq, the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years, causing even some conservative experts to criticize the open-ended commitment to an elusive goal. The concern is that the soaring costs, given little weight before now, could play a growing role in U.S. strategic decisions because of the fiscal impact. "Osama (bin Laden) doesn't have to win; he will just bleed us to death," said Michael Scheuer, a former counterterrorism official at the CIA who led the pursuit of bin Laden and recently retired after writing two books critical of the Clinton and Bush administrations. "He's well on his way to doing it."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Nepal's children suffering

    The Guardian has this disturbing report:

    Nepal's civil war has seen a significant increase in violence against children, with murder, illegal detention and rape being used as weapons by both sides, according to a new report by Amnesty International. Amnesty says the Royal Nepalese Army has arbitrarily killed children, and subjected others to illegal detention and torture.
    Amnesty highlights human rights abuses around the world, including those carried out by our so called "civilised societies". As you know, I'll be a part of the team "Blogging for Greenpeace" for Blogathon 2005, however, there are a number of bloggers taking part trying to raise money for Amnesty. Please click on any of the following links to see the bloggers who'll be trying to raise some money for Amnesty on the 6th August: incogblogo dot net, Journal of a Fallen Angel. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Eyewitnesses cast doubts on police shooting claims

    The Times reports on the last few minutes of the innocent Brazilian murdered by police, and gives eyewitness accounts which contradict police claims that Jean Charles de Menezes was given a warning. According to a family member, Mr de Menezes had been mugged previously. If there were men chasing you with their guns waving in the air, when it certainly was not clear that they were the police, would you stand still, or run?:

    Lee Ruston, 32, who was on the platform, said that he did not hear any of the three shout “police” or anything like it. Mr Ruston, a construction company director, said that he saw two of the officers put on their blue baseball caps marked “police” but that the frightened electrician could not have seen that happen because he had his back to the officers and was running with his head down.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Efforts to charge London bombing linked suspect in the US were blocked

    According to this article, from the Seattle Times, the Bush regime has been protecting a suspect who it is believed has links to the London bombings on the 7th July:

    In May 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced an 11-count indictment by a federal grand jury in New York against Abu Hamza, who allegedly sent Aswat to Oregon to scout out the proposed training camp. A department news release said "the indictment alleges that Abu Hamza was a terrorist facilitator with global reach — from aiding hostage takers in Yemen, to attempting to set up a jihad training camp in Oregon." At the time, however, federal prosecutors chose not to indict Aswat for reasons that are not clear. Asked why Aswat wasn't indicted, a federal official in Seattle replied, "That's a great question."
    Why is the US protecting this man? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Police name 2 of failed London bombing suspects

    From the Guardian: Police name bomb suspects

    As yet, the two other suspects have not been identified. Police commended members of the public who tried to stop one man, who fled from Oval station, but said there had been no further sightings of him. The Shepherd's Bush suspect, who was shown on CCTV carrying a small rucksack, had apparently climbed out of the train window and run along the track to escape.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hundreds protest Brazilian's murder

    The Guardian has this report:

    "Apologies don't help, we want justice," they chanted, stopping briefly to offer a prayer for the 27-year-old electrician who left Brazil to work in Britain so he could return home with enough savings to start a cattle ranch. Menezes' killing has been the top story on radio and television broadcasts since Sunday, although there has been no large-scale public outcry.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraq is an unwinnable conflict

    This report from the Independent: As he completes another tour of duty in the chaos of Iraq, award-winning reporter Patrick Cockburn charts how Bush and Blair's 'winnable war' turned into a mess that is inspiring a worldwide insurgency See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Police investigating flight simulator links to 7th July bombings

    Yes, that title does sound rather ridiculous doesn't it. Why on earth would a man who intended to blow himself up on a train use flight simulators for the purposes of carrying out a terrorist act on a plane? Surely the police aren't scare mongering, yet again? This article from This is London:

    Police are investigating whether one of the July 7 suicide bombers obsessively used flight simulators to practise flying passenger planes. Germaine Lindsay is listed as a "pilot" with a web-based group of flying enthusiasts who operate virtual copies of genuine airline schedules.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    No to GM crops

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, Michael Meacher, the man who was responsible for introducing the testing of GM crops in Britain, has said that he is shocked at research which showed that a related weed had picked up herbicide resistance, scientists have claimed that would not happen:

    The discovery raises fears that herbicide-resistant superweeds could develop in the British countryside if GM crops were grown commercially. "I remember being reassured on this issue when I was minister. Now we discover that charlock, a distant relative of GM oil-seed rape, has acquired resistance to herbicide," he said. "It means we just cannot afford to take the risk that GM crops will not cross-contaminate wild plants in unpredictable and unforeseeable ways.
    Click here to find out how you can help us to help Greenpeace to campaign on this issue, and many others. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Inquest told Brazilian shot 8 times

    According to this article, from the Guardian, the innocent Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, who was murdered by police at Stockwell last week was shot 8 times, not 5 as has been previously reported:

    The details of the number of rounds emptied into the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician after his pursuit through Stockwell station by an armed plainclothes squad emerged at the opening of an inquest into his death yesterday. The Independent Police Complaints Commission also began an inquiry into the shooting yesterday. The commission's chairman, Nick Hardwick, told the Guardian the investigation would look at "officers of all ranks", potentially including those who authorised special shoot-to-kill tactics against suicide bombers.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Don't Plame Me.

    American Progress has a piece about the ongoing Rove/Plame scandal. It seems that inside work was done to try to buy time to shred to appropriate documents. But were we really expecting something more from these people?

    On September 29, 2003 the Department of Justice told Alberto Gonzales (then the White House counsel) that it was launching a criminal investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. Gonzales was instructed to notify the White House staff to preserve all documents related to the case. But Gonzales, by his own admission, decided he didn't want to comply with the request immediately. Instead, he went to Chief of Staff Andrew Card and told him that the White House staff would be told to preserve all documents related to the leak the following morning. As a result, Card had a 12-hour window to tip off White House staff, including Karl Rove, about the request (which, as Bob Schieffer noted yesterday, "would give people time to shred documents and do any number of things.") But Andrew Card and the White House can end the speculation. All they have to do is answer a simple question: after Alberto Gonzales tipped off Andrew Card about the imminent request to preserve documents, who did Card talk to and what did he tell them? (The White House was asked on Sunday and didn't respond.)

    Gonzales argued that the 12-hour head start was appropriate because he contacted the Department of Justice about it and was told: "Go ahead and notify the staff early in the morning. That would be OK." But at the time, the investigation was controlled by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Karl Rove "worked for Ashcroft over the course of two decades." After Ashcroft lost his Senate seat in 2000, Rove "lobbied intensely for his former employer's nomination" to Attorney General. In December 2003, Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation amidst criticism that his close ties to the White House created a conflict of interest. According to a Justice Department official, "Ashcroft's decision not to recuse himself earlier was a matter of efficiency."

    Andrew Card is not on the periphery of the leak scandal. The White House Chief of Staff was aboard Air Force One in July 2003 with Ari Fleischer, Colin Powell, and the top secret State Department document that contained the identity of Valerie Wilson. Card also shares the blame with President Bush for keeping Rove on staff after it was clear he lied to the American people about a national security matter. As John Podesta said last week on Meet the Press: "I think if he [Rove] won't [resign] and Bush can't [fire him], then Andy Card ought to call him in and say, 'Karl, what you did was wrong, and you ought to be out of here.'"

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    There are plenty of nasty passages in the Bible too.

    This is a very interesting article, from the Guardian:

    Muslims who preach hate are to be deported and subject to new restrictions, Charles Clarke announced in the Commons on Wednesday. So what would the home secretary have to say about stuff like this: "Blessed is he who takes your little children and smashes their heads against the rocks"? Or this: "O God, break the teeth in their mouths ... Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime; like the untimely birth that never sees the sun ... The righteous will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." No, this is not Islam, it is the Bible. And there is a lot more where that came from.
    No doubt some of the indoctrinated Bush crusaders are "bathing their feet in the blood of (who they deem to be) the wicked" at this very moment. However, Bush's crusaders don't need to smash children's heads against rocks, they have their guns, and are quite happy to use them, many times on innocent civilians. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here"

    Some people may ask just why Rumsfeld wouldn't want the images released of torture, and abuse, for those of us who have been monitoring the situation for a long time, we know why. The US is hiding a mountain of evidence which would make the Abu Ghraib photos so far released look like the US soldiers playing with their captives in comparison to the images which are supposed to show horrific scenes of rape and murder by US forces; Yes, some of those so called "liberators", and representatives of so called "civilised societies" are brutal, sadistic war criminals. This article from the Editor and Publisher:

    "’The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience,’ Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters after Rumsfeld testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. ’We're talking about rape and murder -- and some very serious charges.’ “A report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba on the abuse at the prison outside Baghdad says videotapes and photographs show naked detainees, and that groups of men were forced to masturbate while being photographed and videotaped. Taguba also found evidence of a ‘male MP guard having sex with a female detainee.’ “Rumsfeld told Congress the unrevealed photos and videos contain acts 'that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.’”
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Innocent Iraqis increasingly being killed by US troops in Iraq

    The Los Angeles Times has this report:

    This kind of shooting is far from rare in Baghdad, but the driver of the car was no ordinary casualty. He was Iraqi police Brig. Gen. Majeed Farraji, chief of the major crimes unit. His passengers were unarmed hitchhikers whom he was dropping off on his way to work. "The reason they shot us is just because the Americans are reckless," the general said from his hospital bed hours after the July 6 shooting, his head wrapped in a white bandage. "Nobody punishes them or blames them." Angered by the growing number of unarmed civilians killed by American troops in recent weeks, the Iraqi government criticized the shootings and called on U.S. troops to exercise greater care.
    If they haven't excercised "greater care" by now in Iraq, then they never will. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair has spent almost £2,000 on make up

    According to this article, from the Daily Camera, Bliar has spent almost £2000 of tax payers' money on make up in the past 6 years. Not having worn make up myself, I wonder if anyone could tell me whether or not this is value for money?:

    In a written answer to Parliament, the government revealed Blair's Downing Street office had spent 1,050.22 pounds (US$1,826.66) on cosmetics for the prime minister's media appearances since 1999. In the past two years, a further 791.20 pounds (US$1,376.14) had been spent on makeup artists.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraq has been a gift to Al Qaeda

    This article, from the Chicago Sun Times:

    ''They all want to be part of this phenomenon,'' said Loretta Napoleoni, author of Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks, as she explained the terror wave. ''It's not like someone is telling [the militants], 'You bomb on the first of July.'" Anger over the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also seems to be providing some inspiration, despite early arguments from Bush administration officials that fighting insurgents in Iraq would help prevent them from launching attacks on Western targets. The war has instead turned into a recruiting tool, experts said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Kenyan official offers 40 goats and 20 cows for Chelsea Clinton

    According to this article, from today's Independent, a Kenyan official has offered 40 goats, and 20 cows for Chelsea Clinton's hand in marriage, I wonder how Chelsea feels about that:

    A Kenyan man traditionally has to pay a dowry in goats and cows to his bride's family and the offer that Mr Chepkurgor made for Chelsea is a generous one.
    Pictured above - Chelsea Clinton. Any advance on 40 goats and 20 cows? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ministers defend police shooting

    First the police say that more innocents could be shot by them, now ministers are defending the police's actions. We're getting into rogue regime territory here. This report from the Guardian today:

    Charles Clarke and Jack Straw echoed the apology from the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Ian Blair, but said it was vital officers could deal effectively with the threat of suicide attacks.
    It's no use claiming that you regret something, only to say that exactly the same thing could happen again. If exactly the same thing did happen again, then the apology means nothing. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    British Red Cross flies logistics team to Niger

    This report from the Guardian today:

    The British Red Cross flew a logistics team to Niger yesterday, joining the growing international response to the famine in west Africa. Food rations from the United Nations started to arrive last week, but thousands of children are already suffering from hunger and Oxfam has warned that millions more face starvation.
    You can read Oxfam's press release on the Niger food crisis, and make a donation via the page by clicking here. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Manchester United boss in battle with Greenpeace

    The new boss of Manchester United hasn't only got the team's fans to worry about, now conservationists are putting pressure on his family to stop the mass fishing of menhaden fish at Chesapeake bay, from the Guardian:

    On Saturday, Greenpeace staged a protest outside one of Omega's plants in Chesapeake Bay demanding a moratorium for the entire fishery, and an end to the company taking menhaden out of the bay - claiming its 66 vessels and 30 spotter planes are threatening the entire stock. Greenpeace is not alone in its battle with the company. Sports fishermen along the coast claim that striped bass - their main target - are starving because its principal food, menhaden, is fast disappearing. The menhaden is valued for other reasons, primarily because it filters sea water for its food, cleaning up the pollution in the creeks and inshore bay areas. The demonstration was the latest round in a struggle to convince US Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to control catches until the true stock position of this valuable fish can be properly assessed by scientists.
    If you would like to help Greenpeace draw attention to issues such as this, then please support us, in our 24 hour Blogathon efforts. Manchester United fans especially may like to support us given the above. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Right wing Tories urge Bush like policies

    According to this article, from today's Guardian right wingers in the Tory party have said that the party should adopt a Bush like approach with their policies, described as a "faith, family and flag" agenda by some. Well, if they really want to stay in the wilderness for many years to come then I guess they should go ahead and do that. Bush's approach wouldn't wash in Britain, after all, he can't even win an election in his own country without having a little help from some fraudulent voting activities, what chance have the Tories of winning an election with Bush like policies in this country, with a slightly more socially conscious electorate:

    The shadow transport secretary, Alan Duncan, also warned: "Censorious judgmentalism from the moralising wing, which treats half our own countrymen as enemies, must be rooted out ... if the Tory Taliban can't get that, they'll condemn us all to oblivion." But in a direct attack on left-wing colleagues, Mr Leigh writes that the liberal media's "horrible caricature" of conservatives has produced self-loathing within the party.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Britain's first purpose built commune

    The Independent reports: At Britain's first purpose-built commune, residents share the land and the odd meal. But don't call them hippies, says Clare Goff

    At Springhill, residents own their own properties but share a common house and land. Each was involved in the design of their houses, and of the estate itself, which was built for maximum interaction. Cars are restricted to the periphery, and residents meet a few times a week to share meals, tend the communal garden and solve the inevitable neighbourly disputes that arise.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Stockwell shooting police received Israeli training

    This letter from today's Guardian:

    The special force involved in the Stockwell killing received Israeli training. Israel's militarist response to Islamic insurgents has been a failure, as evident by the endless killings, with the value of human life falling to an appalling low. The British police have an excellent reputation for using measured force. Let us set an example to the world of how to tackle this nightmare, rather than adopting failed policies from elsewhere.
    See all recent "A Logical Vocie" posts

    Suicide bomb kills 40 people in "liberated" Iraq

    Death and destruction continue in "liberated" Iraq. This report from the Guardian today:

    Up to 40 people were killed yesterday in a suicide bombing in Baghdad as violence continued to undermine efforts to draft Iraq's first constitution. The US military said a suicide bomber had driven a truck loaded with explosives into a police station in eastern Baghdad. Most of the victims were thought to be civilians.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Jean Charles de Menezes

    From the Guardian today: Guardian writers trace the life and last minutes of Jean Charles de Menezes

    "I'm begging God for justice," Mr De Menezes's mother, Maria Ambrosia de Menezes, told the Guardian, in floods of tears. "I'm begging that the police be punished. It's not fair to kill an innocent worker. "I told him to take care [in England] ... but he laughed. 'It's a clean place, mum. The people are educated. There's no violence in England. No one goes around carrying guns. Not even the police.'"
    Unfortunately, there is violence in England, and some police do carry guns. Sadly, Jean Charles de Menezes found that out. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hiroshima bombing may have had a hidden agenda

    According to this article, from the New Scientist, two nuclear historians have said that they believe the US dropped their weapons of mass destruction on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki to show their military strength to the Soviets, and try to limit Soviet influence in Asia:

    According to an account by Walter Brown, assistant to then-US secretary of state James Byrnes, Truman agreed at a meeting three days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima that Japan was "looking for peace". Truman was told by his army generals, Douglas Macarthur and Dwight Eisenhower, and his naval chief of staff, William Leahy, that there was no military need to use the bomb. "Impressing Russia was more important than ending the war in Japan," says Selden. Truman was also worried that he would be accused of wasting money on the Manhattan Project to build the first nuclear bombs, if the bomb was not used, he adds.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Rebuilding a Hawaiian kingdom

    This is an interesting article, from the Los Angeles Times: Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom

    Half the residents are native Hawaiians, and many more are part Hawaiian. This is a place where Hawaiian is taught as a first language in some schools and spoken among neighbors, a place where it is widely held that Hawaii was stolen by the United States and that someday these lands will return to the Kanaka Maoli, the ancient Polynesians who settled the islands. Scattered throughout Waimanalo's neighborhoods are state flags hanging upside-down, a symbol of defiance. In this corner of Oahu, Hawaiian sovereignty — a government of Hawaiians for Hawaiians — isn't just a tropical dream. The people have seen a version of it materialize before their eyes.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Police say expect more innocents to be shot

    First the police claim that they "regret" the shooting of an innocent man, then they warn that more innocents may be shot. Reuters has this report:

    British police say more members of the public could be shot in error as they escalate their battle against terrorism and hunt for four men who tried to set off explosions on London's transport system last week. The warning comes after police, who are engaged in one of the biggest manhunts in British history, mistakenly shot dead a Brazilian man on Friday, thinking he was a suicide bomber.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Hero" who committed suicide in prison was wrongfully charged

    According to this article, from the Guardian today, a man who the police described as a hero for exposing an attempted murder, but was later prosecuted and sent to prison for conspiracy should never have been imprisoned:

    The Guardian has seen one of the notes that Carter wrote before he took his own life. In it he blamed the police and the judiciary for his death, because "they put me in here". He wrote: "I mean, what person in their right mind puts someone in jail when they've stopped someone from being murdered? It just goes beyond logical reasoning." The letter ends: "I'm a dead convict, get me out of here." In a letter to Carter's family, the chief prosecutor for the West Midlands, David Blundell, disagreed with the initial charge of conspiracy to murder, saying: "A prosecution could not have been proved and ... there was insufficient evidence to justify charging your son."
    Yet another miscarriage of justice in Britain. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    Paintings for Pledges

    Leading up to, and during our 24 hour Blogathon efforts, I'll be offering some original watercolour paintings and prints, in return for your pledges to support us. Although I don't claim them to be masterpieces, several people have said in the past that they like them, and I have seen a couple hanging in people's houses (Perhaps they hang them up when they know i'm going around to their house :) ) Ok, here's the 3rd piece, this is quite a dark watercolour painting of the Tollbooth Tavern in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was very damp, and cold that day, which is why I used the colours that I did. To see Items 1 and 2 please visit the "Blogathon 2005 - Blogging For Greenpeace" blog. If you'd like the full version of this piece, then all i'm asking for you to do is to sign up here, then indicate a minimum pledge of $10 (About £6) at this page once you've registered at the site. When you've done that, if you'd like this watercolour painting, please send us an email - blogging_for_greenpeace@yahoo.co.uk to let me know that you've made a pledge for this piece, quoting "Item 3 - Tollbooth" and the name you've registered, and made a pledge under. I'll then confirm the postal address with you that you'd like me to send the piece to. No money is handled by "Blogging For Greenpeace" bloggers, or indeed the Blogathon team, when the event is over, you'll receive an email asking you to forward the amount you've pledged to donate directly to Greenpeace. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Artists rendition of US abuse of 8 year old girl

    Until Rumsfeld allows the release of yet more images of US atrocities, carried out under the banner of the "battle of good against evil", you'll have to settle for an artist's impression of US troops abusing an 8 year old girl at Abu Ghraib, from Daily Kos. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Pollard loses life sentence appeal

    According to this article, from the BBC, an American who sold secrets to Israel has lost an appeal to have his life sentence reduced:

    Jonathan Pollard, a former civilian US naval intelligence analyst, was caught in 1985 after handing over more than 1,000 of pages of classified material. He argued he had not been given adequate legal assistance but US judges said his case was not convincing. The Pollard case dramatically soured ties between Israel and the US who are normally seen as the best of friends. The Israeli government, which has given Jonathan Pollard citizenship, has repeatedly called for his release.
    Of course, Israel would call for his release, given it has benefitted from US military secrets. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair is unfit to be our Prime Minister

    This piece, by John Pilger from the New Statesman:

    The bombs of 7 July were Blair's bombs. Blair brought home to this country his and George W Bush's illegal, unprovoked and blood-soaked adventure in the Middle East. Were it not for his epic irresponsibility, the Londoners who died in the Tube and on the No 30 bus almost certainly would be alive today. This is what Livingstone ought to have said. To paraphrase perhaps the only challenging question put to Blair on the eve of the invasion (by John Humphrys), it is now surely beyond all doubt that the man is unfit to be Prime Minister. How much more evidence is needed? Before the invasion, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that "by far the greatest terrorist threat" to this country would be "heightened by military action against Iraq". He was warned by 79 per cent of Londoners who, according to a YouGov survey in February 2003, believed that a British attack on Iraq "would make a terrorist attack on London more likely". A month ago, a leaked, classified CIA report revealed that the invasion had turned Iraq into a focal point of terrorism. Before the invasion, said the CIA, Iraq "exported no terrorist threat to its neighbours" because Saddam Hussein was "implacably hostile to al-Qaeda".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Who forged the Niger documents?

    Buried, right at the end of this Guardian article, is this interesting piece:

    Meanwhile, a parallel investigation is under way into who forged the Niger documents. They are known to have been passed to an Italian journalist by a former Italian defence intelligence officer, Rocco Martino, in October 2002, but their origins have remained a mystery. Mr Martino has insisted to the Italian press that he was "a tool used by someone for games much bigger than me", but has not specified who that might be. A source familiar with the inquiry said investigators were examining whether former US intelligence agents may have been involved in possible collaboration with Iraqi exiles determined to prove that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear programme.
    Now, I wonder, just who would want people to believe that? Any guesses? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The children of Hiroshima

    The Observer has this report, from the persective of survivors of the Hiroshima atrocity:

    Housewives and children were incinerated instantly or paralysed in their daily routines like the victims of Pompeii, their internal organs boiled and their bones charred into brittle charcoal. All 30 people inside the industrial promotion hall, about 160 metres north-west of the explosion's hypocentre, were killed instantly and the building was gutted by fire. Yet many of the walls remained upright and the copper skeleton of the dome remained intact as 48,000 buildings in the city were flattened. For Mr Tanabe, Hiroshima is not an image or event but home, a core of identity where his mother and baby brother perished. For decades he could not bring himself to return to the industrial promotion hall, which has been renamed the A-bomb Dome and granted United Nations World Heritage status. It perches on the corner of a memorial peace park in the shadow of skyscrapers and that most American of landmarks, a baseball stadium.
    Do you want to contribute towards a campaign to ensure that Hiroshima never happens again? Then please, pledge your support for our Blogathon 2005 efforts, on behalf of Greenpeace. At our "Blogathon 2005 - Blogging For Greenpeace" blog especially set up for the 24 hour event, a Dutch Greenpeace campaigner has promised to do some blogging for us, Rianne will be in Hiroshima will a group of schoolchildren to mark the 60th anniversary of the US dropping their atomic bomb there. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts