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  • Friday, September 30, 2005

    A lot of evidence can be destroyed in 5 or 6 days

    It took 5 to 6 days before the Met Police finally relinquished control for a probe into the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The BBC has this report, which takes a look at a letter from the Met police, claiming that their anti terror investigation had to take priority:

    The investigation into the shooting "will be carried out by the Met's own Directorate of Professional Standards", Sir Ian writes. "This investigation will be rigorous but subordinate to the needs of the counter-terrorism operation.
    In other words, the police were originally intending to cover up for their crimes. Remember those reports of the police wiping the CCTV tapes? Here's one for you, from the Independent, if you've forgotten:
    Police officers and station managers were at odds last night over the existence of crucial CCTV-footage of the shooting of a Brazilian man wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber.
    And another, from the Guardian:
    Sources at the RMT union, which represents tube workers, were puzzled by claims that the CCTV had failed. Normal procedure is that the tapes are replaced every 24 hours and kept for 28 days. Every tape is replaced with a new one at about 2am. Its details are logged and checked and kept on file for 28 days.
    It seems that the police didn't consider it a priority to investigate Jean Charles de Menezes's murder, but they certainly considered it a priority to wipe those CCTV tapes. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Retired US general says Iraq a strategic disaster

    According to this article, from the Lowell Sun, a retired US general has said that Iraq is the "greatest strategic disaster in US history". Something that many of us have been saying for years:

    Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, a Vietnam veteran, said the invasion of Iraq alienated America's Middle East allies, making it harder to prosecute a war against terrorists.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Any Brits travelling to Florida? Watch out for the gun toting locals!

    The Scotsman reports on warnings issued to Brits thinking about going on holiday to Florida:

    "Warning: Florida residents can use deadly force," says one of the adverts. Another reads: "Thinking about a Florida vacation? Please ensure your family is safe. In Florida, avoid disputes. Use special caution in arguing with motorists on Florida roads."
    Considering Florida residents can now shoot first and think later, I wouldn't advise any Brits to travel there. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush regime official predicts a "whiter" New Orleans

    I'm sure that thought will please some on the rabid right. This report, from the Washington Times:

    Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, during a visit with hurricane victims in Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of "500,000 people for a long time," and "it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again." Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, quickly took issue. "Anybody who can make that kind of projection with some degree of certainty or accuracy must have a crystal ball that I can't see or maybe they are more prophetic than any of us can imagine," he said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    De Menezes family says tapes prove police lied

    If police lie to cover up for their crimes in the murder of an innocent man, what else would police lie about? An important question to ask. This report from Yahoo:

    De Menezes' brother, Giovani, said the tapes supported the family's belief that police lied about the case. "The film showed that Jean did not have suspicious behavior. For sure they (police) lied to the family," he said. De Menezes' mother, Maria Otone de Menezes, said Wednesday her son had been treated "like a mad dog" and called for the arrest of the officers responsible for his death. The family toured the subway station Wednesday.
    Ian Blair should go. Those responsible for Jean Charles de Menezes's murder should be arrested and put on trial for murder. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    5 more dead Americans in Iraq

    ABC News reports that 5 more Americans have been killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Now, I thought it was important to highlight this, as we should all be aware, there appear to be 2 separate groups carrying out attacks in Iraq, those who deliberately target civilians, and those who target occupying forces and those who support them. I very much doubt that America's "proactive preemptive operations group" is prodding those belonging to the latter group into action. So why prod those who deliberately target civilians into action? We deserve answers. How many innocent lives have been lost because America is "prodding terrorists into action" through the "proactive preemptive operations group"? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    85 people killed in Iraq bombings

    Al Jazeera reports that at least 85 people have been killed due to car bombings in northern Baghdad. How many of those responsible were "prodded into action" by America's "proactive preemptive operations group"?

    Balad police Lieutenant-Colonel Adel Abdallah said bombs went off about 6.45pm local time on Thursday near a busy market in a predominantly Shia district, in the town about 80km north of Baghdad, killing at least 85 and wounding more than 110.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    When police lie over a murder, they will lie about anything

    In light of the fact that the police have lied about such a serious incident as the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, it is important to note that the police have also lied about the circumstances surrounding the London bombings in July. There were numerous reports in the week immediately following the 7th July London bombings, that the type of explosives used were of a military or commercial nature. This report from Reuters was just one of those reports:

    "The explosives appear to be of military origin, which is very worrying," said Christophe Chaboud, head of the French Anti-Terrorism Coordination Unit and one of five top officials sent by Paris to London immediately after Thursday's attacks. "We're more used to cells making home-made explosives with chemicals. How did they get them?" he said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper.
    A very good question. There was also this report, from Science Daily, reporting that Scotland Yard had asked for european assistance, in finding out how those responsible could have obtained military explosives:
    Scotland Yard has asked for European cooperation in finding how last week's London subway and bus bombers obtained military plastic explosives. Traces of the explosive known as C4 were found at all four blast sites, and The Times of London said Scotland Yard considers it vital to determine if they were part of a terrorist stockpile.
    And, as we reported here, at "A Logical Voice", the police repeatedly ruled out that homemade explosives were used in the 7th July bombings at their news conferences. And, yet, regardless of the fact that the police were saying that evidence found at the actual crime scenes led them to completely rule out the use of homemade explosives in the 7th July bombings, raids on homes in Leeds seemed to change the Met Police's minds, because of the "discovery" of a bath filled with explosives. By the 16th July, as this article, from the Scotsman reported, the police didn't seem to be at all interested in the source of those military explosives found at the crime scenes. Why not? Why had they determined that those military explosives, which the police quite obviously believed had been used in the bombings were no longer relevant to their inquiries? Who decided that? The following day, our leaders made the highly unusual step of ruling out an inquiry into the bombings in London. Following such a terrible act as the London bombings, an inquiry would usually be the natural course of action. What are our leaders trying to hide? Why did the police blatently lie that those bombs used were home made, when they had completely ruled out home made explosives for a whole week following the 7th July London bombings, because of evidence found at the crime scenes? These questions need to be answered and now! We all now know that undercover agents were arrested in Basra, in traditional Arab dress, carrying explosives and an anti tank missile last week. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare the type of explosives used on the 7th July, to the type used by undercover agents, of whatever nationality, who are running around Iraq planting bombs? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Venezuela condemns ruling on terrorist

    The Guardian reports on the blocking, by a US court, of the deportation of a terrorist wanted by Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a plane, which killed 76 people:

    Posada, a 77-year-old Cuban who also holds Venezuelan citizenship and was once a CIA operative, is accused of masterminding the bombing from Caracas, but has denied involvement. All 73 people on board the Cubana Airlines plane were killed when it exploded after takeoff from Barbados. Chavez said the decision not to hand over Posada was hyprocritical for a U.S. government that has faced charges of human rights abuses in Iraq. Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel called the ruling ``vile, and just as sinister as the very act of terrorism.''
    Perhaps Hugo Chavez should do what the US did, and demand that America hand over Posada, or face serious consequences? I wonder how the regime in Washington would like their buildings bombed, and their families killed, their friends held by Venezuela in some grubby "detention centre" being abused and tortured by Venezuelan nationals, and members of the Bush regime having to hide out in holes in the ground? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Intrigue surrounds US senate majority leader's links

    Surely not more corruption in the ranks of the American Republicans? I don't think that lot are even aware of the words "ethics", "morals" etc.. This report from Raw Story:

    Just two days before Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) stepped down as Majority Leader in 2002, the company Frist's father started quietly settled a massive Medicare fraud lawsuit for $630 million. The eleventh-hour deal -- brokered with Justice Department attorneys after a seven-year court battle -- was made as Frist (R-TN) secured the necessary votes to assume the Senate's top post.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Did John Roberts help obstruct a Florida 2000 recount?

    Judging by the bunch of criminals, liars, and corrupt individuals, Bush chooses as his friends, this article, from the News Dissector unfortunately doesn't surprise me in the least:

    Specifically, what role did Roberts play in the Bush campaign in 2000 in Florida, where 175,000 votes went uncounted? Was he part of the obstruction of the recount that was carried out by a small brigade of militant GOP protesters who had been organized by the just-indicted House GOP minority leader Tom DeLay? DeLay was known for "bare knuckles" politics that often "skirted the ethical edge," according to the Associated Press.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Dirty details emerge of how an Ohio Republican stole from a rare coin fund

    The Toledo Blade reports on more criminality in Bush's party:

    William Wilkinson, a lawyer for Mr. Noe, did not return a phone call asking for comment. The filing also alleges that Mr. Noe plans to establish residency in Florida so that Ohio cannot reclaim assets that Mr. Noe could have taken. Records show that as much as $13 million is missing from the coin funds.
    Oh dear. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lynndie England is at the bottom of a long chain in the abuse scandal

    This report, from Knight Ridder:

    Capt. Fishback added: "Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as al-Qaeda's we should not be concerned. When did al-Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States?" Nobody in his chain of command showed the slightest concern about what the captain reported and what he sought. Nobody showed any interest until Human Rights Watch revealed details of his case last week. Then the Army got very interested. Orders went down to interrogate the captain and demand that he identify two sergeants who also witnessed some of the abuse. Once again, the powers-that-be were eager to get to the bottom of the issue. Find some enlisted men or non-coms and hang them out to dry.
    It's long past time for some senior level prosecutions. Get Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Bush up on criminal charges, they are ultimately responsible. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Is Blunt just as corrupt as DeLay?

    It certainly seems like it, when you read this piece, from Working for Change. Yet more corruption from Bush's party:

    The truth is, Blunt has so many connections to people and companies under investigation by federal law enforcement you'd think you were reading about a gangster, rather than one of America's most powerful politicians.
    Most of America's most powerful politicians operate in gangster like ways don't they? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush's ethically challenged party

    Perrspectives takes a look at just some of the rampant cronyism, criminality and corruption within the US Republican party:

    The Republican rap sheet for the past week alone is staggering. Senate Majority Leader and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful Bill Frist is now in deep trouble for likely insider trading. Only days earlier, the senior Bush administration procurement official at the Office of Management and Budget David Safavian was arrested for lying and obstructing the criminal investigation of Republican mega-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Later in the week, the Bush administration continued revving up its patronage machine even in the post-Michael Brown era, nominating unqualified political hacks and industry stooges for a senior post at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and leading investigations at the FTC.
    In just one week, American Republicans have managed all of this. Bush regime supporters must be so proud. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Walter Wolfgang: "We have been lied to about the war, I dared to speak the truth"

    And Mr Wolfgang certainly spoke the truth when he shouted out "nonsense" during Jack Straw's speech. This from a man who has been a member of the Labour Party longer than most, if not all of the present cabinet members have been alive. This report from the Independent today:

    I could have said a lot more than that one word. I could have said that we should not have marched into Iraq at all. I could have said we were lied to about the war. But one word was enough. Even so I could not believe that stewards were bearing down on me just because I dared to speak the truth. Tony Blair is the worst leader the Labour Party has ever had, Ramsay Macdonald included. Mr Blair's instincts are basically those of a Tory. He picked up this cause from the Americans without even analysing it. I suspect that he is too theatrical even to realise that he is lying.
    The fact that Walter Wolfgang received a standing ovation, when he reentered the conference hall yesterday speaks volumes. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Most Americans don't believe "exporting democracy" makes the world safer

    According to this article, from the Boston Globe, a poll has found that only 28% of Americans believe that the world is safer when there are more democracies, while 68% of respondents said that while life inside a democracy may be better, but that does not make the world safer:

    The program director, Steven Kull, said the poll indicates most people have not bought into President Bush's contention that ''promoting democracy is a critical means for fighting terrorism and making the world safer." Bush has made promoting democracy around the world a centerpiece of the war on terrorism.
    Americans don't believe Bush, perhaps that's why he's hit the bottle again. I wouldn't be surprised if he was also snorting cocaine. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Will there be a challenge from the Labour left?

    The Independent today reports that left wingers in Blair's Labour Party are hoping to have enough support to launch a leadership contest at next years party conference. It appears that at present they have the support of around 36 MPs, they need 71 MPs to launch their challenge. If you believe that the Labour Party needs to return to its roots, and that it needs to get rid of the Tories currently in charge of the party, and you have a Labour MP in your area, then please contact them, and urge them to support such a challenge:

    Left-wingers were already discussing a plan to oppose Gordon Brown when the Prime Minister stands down. Some have suggested Michael Meacher, the former environment minister, who has told friends he believes there should be a contest. Other names under discussion are Alan Simpson, a leading member of the Campaign Group, and Frank Dobson, the former health secretary, who is passionately opposed to Mr Blair's health reforms.
    You can locate, and contact your MP via this link. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Mercenaries shoot at everyone in Iraq

    According to one letter, from Stars and Stripes, mercenaries in Iraq are running riot, shooting at anyone. They're obviously just following the lead of the regular soldiers who shoot at anything that moves, oh, except the regular soldiers only shoot at anyone who is an Iraqi, of course:

    I see these PSD people every day in Baghdad and they are out of control. They run the highways at extreme high speed, almost crash their vehicles, run people off the road, shoot at everyone — Iraqis, Americans, it just does not matter. There is nothing professional about the services they perform.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    EU set to impose sanctions on Uzbekistan

    The Independent today has this report:

    The toughly worded text, drafted by EU ambassadors, highlighted the "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Uzbek security forces" on anti-government protesters in Andijan, in the east, on 12 May. Ministers are "to impose an embargo on exports ... of arms, military and other equipment that might be used for internal repression".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    In praise of Walter Wolfgang

    I watched reports of Mr Wolfgang's treatment, following his ousting from the Labour Party conference the other day with absolute horror. That an 82 year old man, who had been a member of that party longer than Blair has been alive was allowed to be treated in such a way, and, to add insult to injury, was charged under the anti terrorism legislation is an absolute disgrace. The letters pages are filled with the public's disgust at the manner this opponent of Bush and Blair's war has been treated, this letter, from today's Guardian is just one such letter:

    That the trouble came from a lone 82-year-old man who could not contain himself from saying what a large number of people were thinking would be of no relevance for Tony's "volunteers". The ejection and then the absurd use of anti-terrorism law by the police demonstrate how morally deficient and threatened the government feels on this issue.
    Indeed. This absurd use of anti terror legislation also proves what many of us have been saying for some time. The draconian legislation which Blair & Co hope to introduce is not the right thing to do, and undoubtedly, there will be many who will be held under the legislation who will be innocent of any crimes. This appalling incident also shows another thing, which is important to note, the police have now become politicised to the extent that anyone who opposes what this current mob in power say can be branded as terrorists. Absolutely disgraceful. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Judge orders release of Abu Ghraib images

    Yahoo reports that a US district judge has ruled that further images of depraved US troops abusing their captives must be released:

    The ACLU has sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US forces are out of control

    According to this article, from the Guardian, Reuters global managing editor has told the US that their troops' behaviour is increasingly spiralling out of control in Iraq. Indeed, their behaviour has been spiralling out of control ever since the invasion, and their behaviour won't stop spiralling out of control until they are sent home:

    The Reuters news service chief referred to "a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by US forces in Iraq". Mr Schlesinger urged the senator to raise the concerns with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is due to testify to the committee this Thursday. He asked Mr Warner to demand that Mr Rumsfeld resolve these issues "in a way that best balances the legitimate security interests of the US forces in Iraq and the equally legitimate rights of journalists in conflict zones under international law".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Labour has reduced majorities in 2 Scottish by elections

    The Guardian today reports on those 2 by elections held in Scotland yesterday. There was a huge swing to the SNP of over 10% in former foreign secretary, Robin Cook's seat of Livingston:

    At Cathcart, former Glasgow City Council leader Charlie Gordon had a 2,405 margin over the SNP. The contest was caused by the resignation of Mike Watson who was later jailed for fire raising. Swing in this by-election was kept to 3.66% to the SNP.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Health care package for hurricane survivors being blocked

    The Washington Post has this report:

    With Gulf Coast governors pressing for action, Senate Finance Committee members complained Wednesday that the Bush administration is blocking a bipartisan $9 billion health care package for hundreds of thousands of evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "We've got people with needs today," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. She was joined by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who testified via a teleconference hookup, in urging quick action on the legislation.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iran's nuclear fuel not good enough for weapons

    According to this article, from Red Nova News, the type of nuclear fuel Iran has isn't of sufficiently good quality to make nuclear weapons, this will no doubt be disappointing news to rabid right wing war mongers:

    Referring to the fuel in question, UF6, one western diplomat told Reuters, "I wouldn't say that it's garbage. But the UF6 produced at Isfahan is of such poor quality that if it were fed into centrifuges it could damage them."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Council tax campaigners line up to go to jail

    The Telegraph reports that the campaign for a fairer tax system in our country is gaining strength, with more people prepared to follow Sylvia Hardy in not paying:

    "In the end something will have to give," she said. "We cannot have jails full of elderly people. But we will fight until this tax is scrapped. We could have another poll tax situation on our hands. "This is not just a pensioner issue; it affects everyone and anyone who thinks we are just a load of placard-waving pensioners should bear in mind that they may suffer next."
    Indeed. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    John Ashcroft ordered to testify in conspiracy to violate rights lawsuit

    According to this report, from the New York Times, John Ashcroft, the former US attorney general has been ordered to testify in a case which accuses him of personally conspiring to violate the rights of Muslims:

    The men, who eventually pleaded guilty to minor criminal charges unrelated to terrorism and were deported, charged that they were repeatedly slammed into walls and dragged across the floor while shackled and manacled. They said they were kicked and punched until they bled, cursed as "terrorists" and "Muslim bastards," and subjected to multiple unnecessary body-cavity searches, including one in which correction officers inserted a flashlight into Mr. Elmaghraby's rectum, making him bleed.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    American firms tipped to bid to run British nuclear sites

    The Guardian today reports that there are plans to sell off control over Britain's nuclear plants to the private sector, and that American companies like Halliburton, and Fluor would be likely contenders. I say no. We already know the dangers of introducing market forces into public services in this country, we have seen what has happened in our health service, and the rise in Clostridium difficile, and MRSA. Private companies cannot be trusted to run such sites, and they certainly cannot be trusted to run nuclear sites. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Foetuses found at Columbian airport

    According to this disturbing report, from the BBC, it seems that someone in Miami was planning on carrying out some sort of ritual, with christian icons, and human foetuses:

    Colombian police chief Gen Jord Alirio Varon said the four- to five-month-old foetuses could have been intended for use in Satanic rituals. Gen Varon said the foetuses were found alongside crucifixes and medals. He said officials are trying to find out who sent the packages, which came from Barranquilla in Colombia and were destined for Miami in the US.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Al Qaeda cleric exposed as MI5 double agent

    This report, from the Times, from March 2004 takes a look at a man who was allegedly linked to Al Qaeda, who was also linked to British intelligence. How many others with links to terrorism are linked to British and American intelligence?

    He pledged to MI5 that he would not “bite the hand that fed him”. He also promised to “report anyone damaging the interests of this country”. Instead, he was recruiting for al-Qaeda training camps. His continued liberty for years after international demands for his arrest was an embarrassment for Britain. When David Blunkett introduced his controversial Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act, 2001, which allowed him to detain foreign suspects without trial, Abu Qatada claimed that the law “was enacted with him particularly in mind”.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Russia ready to pay debt to Paris club

    According to this article, from Pravda, Russia seems ready to pay off its debt to Paris club members:

    He claimed that Russia was ready to pay the remaining debt to Paris Club at single stage, which does not coincide yet with the plans of some of the members of this organization.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Pentagon analyst to plead guilty in Israeli espionage case

    SFGate reports that the former Pentagon alayst charged with providing classified information to a powerful Israeli lobbying group is to plead guilty to one or more of the charges he faces:

    Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W.Va., was one of the Pentagon's policy experts on Iran and the Middle East. He was indicted in June on charges of disclosing national defense information to people not entitled to receive it, including two members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The indictment also alleges he leaked top secret information about two unidentified Middle Eastern officials to the media.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Reporter released from prison after agreeing to testify in Plamegate probe

    According to this article, from Boston.com, Judith Miller, a journalist who has been behind bars for about 3 months, has now agreed to testify about the Bush regime's leaking of the name of a CIA agent, and so, was released from prison yesterday:

    "My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations," Miller said in a statement. Her source was Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, reported the Times, which supported her contention that her source should be protected. "As we have throughout this ordeal, we continue to support Judy Miller in the decision she has made," said Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. "We are very pleased that she has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver, both by phone and in writing, releasing her from any claim of confidentiality and enabling her to testify." White House aides in the probe signed waivers earlier in the probe, but Miller wanted and received personal assurances that her source's waiver was voluntary.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Former Labour MP appears in court

    This report from today's Guardian:

    A former Labour MP who was declared bankrupt earlier this year for reportedly owing £29,000 in income tax has been brought to court under an arrest warrant.
    Oh dear. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Republicans dump gay choice for US house majority leader

    According to this report, from Raw Story, a gay Republican, who was set to become the US house majority leader has been dumped by his party for the position:

    Sources tell RAW STORY that Dreier -- who was a shoo-in for the position -- was nixed for various reasons, in part because his sexuality would raise ire within the party ranks. A second reason cited is that it would have meant that Doc Hastings (R-WA) would have become Rules Chairman in Dreier's place, meaning the Ethics Committee would change hands midstream. This was seen by leadership as a bad move, sources say.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Arctic ice melting quickly

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, satelite observations, throughout September show that arctic ice is melting fast, and temperatures are rising sharply:

    The observations showed 2.06 million square miles of sea ice as late as September 19. That's the lowest measurement of Arctic sea ice cover ever recorded, the researchers said. It's also 20% less than the average of end-of-summer ice pack cover measurements recorded since 1978. At the same time, average air temperatures across most of the Arctic region from January to August 2005 were as much as 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average temperature over the last 50 years, said the team of researchers from two universities and NASA.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush's White House, a "hellhole" and "insane asylum"

    Capitol Hill Blue reports on life in Bush's asylum:

    Depressed and demoralized White House staffers say working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is “life in a hellhole” as they try to deal with a sullen, moody President whose temper tantrums drive staffers crying from the room and bring the business of running the country to a halt. “It’s like working in an insane asylum,” says one White House aide. “People walk around like they’re in a trance. We’re the dance band on the Titanic, playing out our last songs to people who know the ship is sinking and none of us are going to make it.”
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Israel wants resolution withdrawn which declares it a menace

    According to this article, from the Jerusalem Post, Israel isn't happy at a resolution which has been tabled calling it a menace to peace:

    Gideon Frank, the head of Israel's nuclear program and Israel's chief delegate to the IAEA's general conference, was responding to preparations by Arab countries to present a resolution stating that Israel's secretive atomic program threatened Middle East peace. Israel "will not be in a position to support" a separate resolution urging all Middle East nations to throw open their nuclear program to IAEA controls unless the plan to table a text on the Israeli threat is dropped, he said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Sweden's new way of dealing with corpses

    This sounds interesting, from the Telegraph:

    A town in Sweden plans to become the first place in the world where corpses will be disposed of by freeze-drying, as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or burial. Jonkoping, in southern Sweden, is to turn its crematorium into a so-called promatorium next year.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush ally indicted by grand jury

    The Guardian reports that the Republican US house majority leader, Tom DeLay has been indicted on charges of taking illegal donations, and money laundering:

    The charge against Mr DeLay relates to a committee he set up in his home state of Texas. It is alleged that the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, took illegal corporate donations and laundered the money before passing it to Republican candidates in the 2002 elections for the Texas legislature. The move helped the Republicans win control of the state legislature for the first time since the civil war. Mr DeLay, it is alleged, then engineered legislation that resulted in more Texas Republicans being elected to the US House of Representatives.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Britain has agreed to expel Saudis

    You may remember I posted about Blair and Reid trying to grab a $40 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the Saudis made several conditions apparently, and it seems that Blair & Co have agreed to at least one of them, according to this article, from today's Guardian:

    The source confirmed that the Saudi government raised the issue of the two men, Saad al-Faqih and Mohammed al-Masari, during discussions with Tony Blair in Riyadh on July 2. He said the Saudi government told Mr Blair that Mr Faqih was the country's "top priority" in its relations with Britain.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Study says religious belief contributes to social problems

    According to this article, from the Times, research published in the Journal of Religion and Society shows that religious beliefs can cause damage to a society:

    “In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies. “The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Americans' silence on torture

    This article, from the Information Clearing House makes for a very interesting read:

    Where do American religious leaders stand on torture? Their deafening silence evokes memories of the unconscionable behavior of German church leaders in the 1930s and early 1940s. Despite the hate whipped up by administration propagandists against those it brands "terrorists," most Americans agree that torture should not be permitted. Few seem aware, though, that although President George W. Bush says he is against torture, he has openly declared that our military and other interrogators may engage in torture "consistent with military necessity."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    No change in the Tory leadership rules

    The Guardian today reports on the results of that vote, to decide whether the Tory membership would retain their say over the choice of leader for the party. Michael Howard wanted a change in the rules, but has been defeated:

    A party ballot to give the franchise exclusively back to Tory MPs failed to win the required two-thirds majority, a decision that may help Kenneth Clarke's chances of becoming the next Tory leader. Mr Clarke has relatively little support in the parliamentary party and would not have won a ballot confined to its 198 MPs. One MP said: "It is good news for Clarke and neutral for David Davis." The shadow home secretary, Mr Davis, is still seen as frontrunner.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    FBI assassinates Puerto Rican Nationalist leader

    According to this report, from Democracy Now, it appears that the Puerto Rican Nationalist leader has been assassinated by the FBI:

    Longtime Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios has been killed by the FBI. The shooting occurred Friday after FBI agents surrounded a house where he was staying. According to an autopsy, Rios bleed to death after being hit with a single bullet. Officials didn’t enter his home until Saturday, many hours after he was shot. The FBI claimed the 72-year-old Ojeda Rios fired first but independence activists accused the FBI of assassinating him. For the past four decades Ojeda Rios had been a leading figure in the fight for Puerto Rican independence and against U.S. colonial rule.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    MoD refuses to release information on Trident replacement

    The Guardian reports that our MoD is refusing to release information on the replacement to Trident. Release the information, we deserve to know the details:

    Its blanket dismissal of requests under the Freedom of Information Act was posted yesterday on the MoD's website. Officials said refusal was on the grounds of national security and the public interest, though they admitted that Trident replacement is a "topical issue at present".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    New York: Woman ticketed for sitting on a park bench

    7Online reports that a woman sitting on a park bench in New York was given a ticket, because she didn't have children with her:

    The city parks department says the rule is designed to keep pedophiles out of city parks, but a parks spokesman told the Daily News that the department hoped police would use some common sense when enforcing the rule.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    What nationality were the 2 undercover agents?

    This site suggests that those 2 undercover men, arrested in Basralast week could have been Israeli. The men, according to some reports were carrying Canadian passports, and according to other reports, the judge who later issued an arrest warrant for the 2 men says that he doesn't believe they were British. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    If "they" hate freedom and success, why aren't "they" attacking Norway

    A good question don't you think, considering Norway's freedoms and successes. The Online Journal has this report:

    Americans like to think they are spreading freedom and democracy around the world. You guessed it. Not true. The war in Iraq has cost $200 billion so far, but the Iraqi justice minister can't prosecute foreign fighters on Iraqi soil who detain and manhandle Iraqi citizens without judicial procedure. As many as 10,000 Iraqis are in detention in grossly abusive locations, of which Abu Ghraib is only the most notorious. Foreign fighters, of course, are the multinational forces, made up of an effective coalition of two—Britain and the US. Iraqi women have come under Sharia law, after 50 years of sharing legal equality with men. Think about that, as a test of spreading democracy! Iraqi farmers are required to buy seeds from corporations after five millennia of giving the world the genius of their wisdom and experimentation. Now, by virtue of Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority "intellectual property" law, included in the current Iraqi constitution, Iraqi farmers have no right to plant seeds not licensed by the state.
    The article certainly is thought provoking, for those who may be quite ignorant. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Council tax protester freed

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, Sylvia Hardy, the pensioner who was jailed just a few days ago for not paying her council tax has now been freed, it seems that someone has paid the amount due:

    Albert Venison, chairman of the Devon Pensioners' Action Forum, which has been supporting Miss Hardy, told BBC News 24 that he had been told the fine was paid on her behalf. But she had been "very emphatic" to Exeter City Council in the past that in no circumstances were they to accept such payments on her behalf, he said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    60% of Brits say Blair's Iraq policies a failure

    According to this report, from Angus Reid, a poll carried out by ICM shows that 60% of Brits now believe that Blair's Iraq policies have been a failure, only 22% believe the policies have been successful, while 18% don't know:

    On Sept. 18, British defence minister John Reid said the country would be willing to increase its Iraq contingent, saying, "We don’t need (more troops) at the moment, but if that’s necessary, of course we would do that. There’s no quitting and running, we’re there until the job is done." 46 per cent of respondents believe the presence of British forces in Iraq is doing more harm than good, while 32 per cent disagree.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Report says up to 500 killed in Togo election violence

    According to this article, from Yahoo, a UN report has said that between 4-500 people were killed in Togo earlier this year:

    "The principal responsibility for the political violence and violations of human rights (lay with) the whole of the repressive state security forces," the report said, pointing fingers at police, the military police and the various branches of Togo's armed forces. "These groups coordinated with partisans of the ruling party," the report said, blasting the "impunity" with which the party in power conducted its coordinated strategy of repression. An estimated 2,500 soldiers dressed in civilian clothes and armed with knives, machetes and nail-headed clubs helped party militants repress opposition rallies, according to the report.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Taliban says it shot down US helicopter

    This report from ADNKI:

    According to the Arab information website Moheet, Taliban spokesperson Abdul Latif Hakimi says their men launched several rockets against the aircraft. He also claimed there were some 20 people on board, all of whom were killed, but US military officials have rejected all the claims. US military command says it is still not known what caused the CH-47 Chinook helicopter to crash. Speaking in a news conference, spokesman Colonel James Yonts said: "There is no evidence of the involvement of enemy fire in the helipcopter crash. We do not have any evidence to back up what the Taliban claim."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Australia may withdraw troops from southern Iraq in May

    According to this article, from Channel 9, Australia, an Australian commander has said that a task force stationed in southern Iraq would probably be gone by next May:

    In a speech to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) dinner - his first public address since taking the top defence job in July - Air Chief Marshal Houston said the government had committed the task force to stay in Al-Muthanna Province for a year from May this year. "At this stage everything in Al-Muthanna is going well. I mentioned the training of the forces that will take over security for the province and that is well on track," he said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Only 37% of Americans believe invading Iraq was right

    Angus Reid reports on a poll carried out by Harris, which shows that only 37% of Americans now believe that invading and occupying Iraq was the right thing to do. 49% believe the illegal invasion was wrong, and 14% appear to be confused. Meanwhile, only 19% of Americans believe that the situation in Iraq is getting better. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Another Reuters cameraman held without charge

    Reuters reports that a second journalist has been held captive by the US in Iraq, the organisation has demanded that he either be given a chance to defend himself, or released:

    Freelance television cameraman Samir Mohammed Noor, who was arrested by Iraqi troops at his home in the northern town of Tal Afar four months ago, was found to be "an imperative threat to the coalition forces and the security of Iraq" at a secret hearing last week, a U.S. military spokesman said. He is at the Camp Bucca internment camp in southern Iraq and his case would be reviewed within six months, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill said. U.S. officials have repeatedly refused to disclose what accusations have been made against him.
    No doubt there'll be several weeks, if not months of beatings and abuse for that man now. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    10 people killed outside Iraqi police recruitment centre

    I wonder if those responsible were "prodded into action", by the proactive preemptive operations group. This report from Yahoo:

    Dozens of Iraqis were waiting outside the recruitment centre in the Baquba al-Jadida district of the town northeast of Baghdad when the suicide bomber set off his explosives belt at about 10 am (0600 GMT). Many of the victims were newly-recruited policemen reporting for their first day at work, police said Tuesday.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Britain to fire, and replace the Basra police force

    The Christian Science Monitor reports that our defence secretary, John Reid, is planning on firing the entire police force in Basra, and replacing it with a new "military style unit". No doubt that "military style unit" won't ask any embarrassing questions about why special forces are running around in Basra in traditional Arab dress planting bombs:

    Scotland on Sunday reported that Mr. Reid has ordered a complete "root and branch" review of security in the area, which is under British control, following last week's violent clashes between British troops and the Iraqi police.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    22 bodies discovered in eastern Iraq

    According to this article, from Yahoo, the bodies of 22 men have been discovered near the Iranian border. I wonder if those are the victims of some of those death squads we heard so much about, moulded from the "El Salvador" model:

    The men, who could not immediately be identified, were blindfolded and had their hands bound, an interior ministry official said Tuesday.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Breaking News: Fathers 4 Justice stage protest at Westminster

    The BBC is just showing footage of a protester scaling the roof of parliament. Apparently, the protest is being carried out by Fathers 4 Justice. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    2 more dead Americans in Afghanistan

    Reuters reports: US troop deaths take Afghan toll this year above 50

    A U.S. soldier and a U.S. Marine have been killed in militant attacks in Afghanistan, bringing American combat deaths in the country this year to 51, the bloodiest period for U.S. forces since the fall of the Taliban.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    De Menezes family due in London

    The BBC reports that the relatives of murdered Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes are due to visit London today:

    The family has expressed a desire to "punish" the police and see officers jailed over the killing, and has also called for the resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.
    I quite agree with them. Justice must be done, and murderers should not get away with their crimes. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    More than 3000 people killed by violent attacks in Baghdad since late spring

    And how many of those responsible for those attacks were "prodded into action" I wonder by America's "proactive preemptive operations group"? From the Washington Times:

    The crowds on the sidewalks have thinned -- kidnapping and other forms of lawlessness since the invasion mean Baghdad's comparatively liberated women seldom leave home without a good reason. Car bombings and other insurgent attacks, as unknown in Baghdad before the invasion as suicide subway bombings were in London until this summer, have killed more than 3,000 people in the capital since late spring.
    And the so called battle of "good against evil" goes on. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Pentagon aware of death for porn site, and doesn't care

    This piece, from AmericaBlog: Pentagon is aware of death-for-porn site and basically doesn't care

    Centcom spokesman Matt McLaughlin said that, in general, "Centcom recognizes DoD regulations and the Geneva Convention prohibit photographing detainees or mutilating and/or degrading dead bodies." He added, "Centcom has no specific policy on taking pictures of the deceased as long as those pictures do not violate the aforementioned prohibitions."
    Centcom there, giving "their boys" a pat on the back for their sick and twisted actions. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Christian" school expels pupil with lesbian parents

    According to this article, from the American Chronicle, a so called "Christian" school in the US has expelled one of their pupils because their parents are lesbians:

    Shay Clark was kicked out of Ontario Christian School after school officials learned she has two moms. School superintendent Leonard Stob informed the girl's biological mother her family violated the school's draconian policy. It requires that at least one parent may not engage in practices that are "immoral or inconsistent with a positive Christian lifestyle." I wonder if Stob would expel a student if one of his parents is a tax cheater, adulterer or drunkard -- I seriously doubt it.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    370 people arrested for pro peace protest

    The Washington Post reports that 370 people were arrested for protests in front of the White House yesterday:

    "You are a coward! You didn't meet us in Crawford; come meet us now," said Beatriz Saldivar of Fort Worth, whose nephew, Army Sgt. Daniel Torres, was killed in action nearly eight months ago during his second tour in Iraq. In August, Saldivar had joined antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan during a protest outside the president's Texas ranch, when Sheehan had asked to talk with Bush about the death of her son, Casey Sheehan, in Iraq.
    Cindy Sheehan was, apparently the first to be arrested in yesterday's protests. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    FEMA plans to reimburse churches for Katrina aid

    Why should religious groups get any federal money? Surely their stance should be that they are willing to assist in whatever way possible without getting anything back? At least, that's what I thought true religious groups would believe. If anything, why didn't the Bush regime make a donation towards the religious groups' efforts much earlier, rather than seemingly paying them for charity work? The Washington Post has this article:

    After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US congress to give Bush $50 billion more for war

    According to this article, from Yahoo, the US congress is set to give Bush an extra $50 billion for his crusades in Afghanistan and Iraq:

    Overall, Congress already has given the president about $350 billion for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan and fighting terrorism worldwide since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service, which writes reports for lawmakers. That total includes $82 billion that lawmakers approved in May.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair and Reid on a mission to grab £40 billion Saudi arms deal

    The Guardian today reports that Blair and Reid have been trying to persuade the Saudis to buy £40 billion worth of arms from Britain:

    Defence, diplomatic and legal sources say negotiations are stalling because the Saudis are demanding three favours. These are that Britain should expel two anti-Saudi dissidents, Saad al-Faqih and Mohammed al-Masari; that British Airways should resume flights to Riyadh, currently cancelled through terrorism fears; and that a corruption investigation implicating the Saudi ruling family and BAE should be dropped. Crown prince Sultan's son-in-law, Prince Turki bin Nasr, is at the centre of a "slush fund" investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
    No doubt Blair & Co will give in to these demands. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Peaceful assault on the epicentre of evil

    Thomas Paine's Corner has this very interesting read, looking at the thoughts of someone who'd attended the demonstrations in Washington:

    “The White House and the Pentagon look so innocuous, yet behind their innocent facades lurk sinister forces which have unleashed much misery and suffering upon the world,” I thought as I scrutinized each of them armed with an insight gleaned from many hours of study.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Haroon Aswat - working for MI6

    The New Criminologist has a report looking at a man believed to be connected to the London bombings, Haroon Aswat. According to US and French sources, Haroon Aswat was working for MI6, and an FBI agent has demanded that a federal agent stops talking about how the FBI obstructed an investigation into Aswat. It all seems like a very tangled web doesn't it:

    In a chilling observation, our source, who has been verified as having carried out executions on behalf of H.M. Government, and MI6, and a man who has served 25-years for terrorism offenses, added: “The Northern Ireland Bank Robbery…the Dublin Art theft…the stealing of millions of pounds of UK Government Bonds – two in the name of Mark Thatcher – has all been covered up…MI6 would order me to commit murder, then the SAS would try and shoot me because I knew too much.” “International terrorism is VERY BIG business,” our source confirmed. “The U.S. and UK trade in terrorism like it is some kind of off-the-shelf commodity. Forget the destruction of lives to normal people, women and children. I have been there and done it all. Your Dr Parker has done the right thing. Like me she is cladding herself with insurance – like a Kevlar jacket, and I wish her all the best.”
    I guess that at least we all know about America's "Proactive Preemptive Operations Group", which attempts to "prod terrorists into action". However, as yet, there doesn't seem to be any sort of documentation about a similar British project. In some senses, the powers that be in Britain are much more secretive than those in the US. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Special branch infiltrated anti apartheid movement

    According to this article, from the Guardian today, newly released documents have revealed the extent of surveillance on the anti apartheid movement:

    They show how Special Branch penetrated the movement from top to bottom, infiltrating meetings, recruiting informers and obtaining documents. Officers snooped on leaders including MPs, two of whom are now Labour ministers. Police spies slipped into meetings of local groups which were attended by as few as five genuine campaigners.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Power cuts continue in Baghdad

    The Independent today reports on the continuing power cuts in the Iraqi capital:

    Few failures in Iraq 30 months after the fall of Saddam Hussein infuriate Iraqis more than the continuing shortage of electricity. Baghdad's power now works in maddening shifts - two hours on, four hours off, then two hours on again. The throb of small generators, enough for a television and a few feeble lights, provides a background buzz in every house.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    8 Muslim students taking Birmingham University to court

    The Guardian today reports that 8 Muslim students, from Birmingham University are taking the university to court on allegations of discrimination. Following allegations of vote fraud in elections held to decide on delgates attending the National Union of Students conference, the students concerned have said that they had no right of appeal. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lynndie England guilty of abusing Iraqis

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, Lynndie England has been found guilty of abusing Iraqi captives at Abu Ghraib:

    In photographs published around the world, the 22-year-old army reservist was shown holding a naked Iraqi prisoner by a leash and pointing to an inmate's genitals. She now faces up to 10 years in jail. The case, at Fort Hood, Texas, was the latest in a series of prosecutions or plea bargains of low-level soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib. "The accused knew what she was doing," said Captain Chris Graveline, the lead prosecutor. "She was laughing and joking ... She is enjoying, she is participating, all for her own sick humour."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    40 Peace protesters arrested at the Pentagon

    Democracy Now has this report: Dozens of Peace Activists Arrested During Protest at Pentagon

    FRIDA BERRIGAN: Forty of us have been arrested for shutting down two entrances to the Pentagon this morning. And we’ve been arrested and charged, and brought signs that said, “War is terrorism,” “War is terrorism with a bigger budget,” and pictures of the victims, both the U.S. soldiers and the Iraqi civilians. And so effective in shutting down the Pentagon for, I’d say, more than an hour.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Images sick US troops traded for access to a porn site

    AmericaBlog has some of the images which sick and twisted US soldiers traded for access to a pornographic site: US soldiers allegedly trading pictures of dead Iraqis & Afghanis for porn See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Documents reveal blunders on Lofti Raissi

    You may remember Lofti Raissi, the man who was wrongly described as a terrorist by British and US authorities sometime ago. The Guardian has this report:

    When he finally appeared at Bow Street magistrates court, US authorities said he would most likely face charges of conspiracy to murder. They alleged that he had personally trained four of the hijackers, including Mohammed Atta, and that they had evidence including video and telephone taps. The video turned out to be a webcam shot of Mr Raissi not with a hijacker, but with his cousin. Five months later a judge said the allegations against Mr Raissi were unsubstantial and ordered his release. His wife had earlier been released without charge as was his brother, Mohammed, who was detained at his Hounslow, west London, home on the same night.
    The same people who were in charge at that time are still in charge now. So, given the facts as laid out in the article, why should we trust American and British authorities, when they have plans to detain so called "terrorist suspects" for upto 3 months? Why should we trust them enforcing the so called "glorification of terrorism" law? It's quite clear that innocents have quite obviously been caught up in the so called "post 9/11 world", we cannot trust authorities with the powers that they want to have, when they act in such a way as they have done. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    5 Iraqi school teachers killed by gunmen

    According to this article, from Reuters, gunmen have killed 5 primary school teachers in Iraq, and a bus driver, the "people" who did this should be ashamed of temselves, how do they sleep at night?

    He said the gunmen arrived at the school in two civilian cars, led the teachers and the school driver to a part of the school where no children were present, and shot them.
    Were those gunmen "prodded into action" I wonder? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Were special forces planting bombs in Basra?

    The simple, and quick answer to that question appears to be yes, in light of the numerous reports in the US media that those 2 Britons detained by Iraqi police last week in traditional Arab dress were arrested for planting bombs, as well as shooting at police and civilians. (Although the British media doesn't inform us about that) This article makes an interesting read, from Global Research:

    The American journalist Dahr Jamail wrote in April 20, 2004 that the recent spate of car bombings in Baghdad was widely rumoured to have been the work of the CIA: "The word on the street in Baghdad is that the cessation of suicide car bombings is proof that the CIA was behind them. Why? Because as one man states, ‘[CIA agents are] too busy fighting now, and the unrest they wanted to cause by the bombings is now upon them.’ True or not, it doesn’t bode well for the occupiers’ image in Iraq." (http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-jamail200404.htm)
    And we mustn't forget about the "Proactive Preemptive Operations Group", which attempts to "prod terrorists into action". Exactly how many terrorists have been "prodded into action" by the US and Britain? Were any of those suspected of involvement with the London, or Madrid bombings "prodded into action". I think the citizens of both Britain and Spain deserve the answer to that question. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    More than 1000 Abu Ghraib captives to be freed

    The US captors must have got bored with their current intake at the Abu Ghraib torture chamber, and most likely want some "fresh meat". Reuters reports on the gesture:

    The release will take place in stages over the coming week, with 500 prisoners to be set free on Monday, a statement said. "These detainees were selected for release following a careful and thorough review of their files by a special Iraqi-led review board which determined they had not committed serious crimes," the military said.
    If more than 1000 of the American's captives had not committed serious crimes, then why were they at Abu Ghraib in the first place? No doubt there are plenty who remain there who have not committed any serious crimes either, who are being tortured and abused for the Americans' amusement. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The US: A terrorist state

    According to this piece, from Newsweek, Hugo Chavez has stated that the US is a terrorist state. There is plenty of evidence to back up this assertion: 1 - The US has a terrorist training camp on its soil, at Fort Benning, Georgia. The training camp, formerly known as the "School of Americas" has provided assistance and support for brutal dictatorships, and has trained people who have later carried out acts of terrorism. 2 - The US had plenty of foreknowledge of the attacks of the 11th September, 2001, yet the Bush regime did absolutely nothing to prevent them. And that isn't only my opinion, but also the opinion of a Republican senator. 3 - The US justice department blocked attempts in 2002 to bring criminal charges against Haroon Aswat, a man who authorities say is linked to the London bombings. 4 - Our so called "closest ally" botched up investigations by Britain and Pakistan not only once, as in the case above, but twice. A plan to capture people linked to the London bombers was thwarted when some in the US leaked someone's name (Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan), which caused those linked to him to flee from Pakistan. 5 - The Bush regime used lies and misinformation to provide the justification for an illegal invasion of another country, killing tens of thousands of innocents. The list goes on... See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Most Scots want troops out of Iraq

    The Scotsman reports that, according to a poll, 74% of Scots want British troops out of Iraq:

    Fifteen per cent of those interviewed said the troops should stay in Iraq indefinitely - 11% were unsure. The Scottish Opinion Research Agency interviewed 419 Scots last week for the survey in the Sunday Mail.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Reports of anarchy at the superdome overstated

    In other words, the reports of anarchy at the New orleans superdome, following hurricane Katrina were deliberately manipulated to show the victims of that disaster in a bad light. Now, I wonder who would want to do that? This article, from the Seatttle Times:

    That the nation's frontline emergency-management officials believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the news media and even some of the city's top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent. The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law-enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.
    So, who would benefit from deliberately misleading people? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Doctors flee Iraq

    According to this article, from the Peninsula, over 1000 doctors have fled from Iraq in the past year alone, due to the instability there:

    The syndicate estimates 1,500 medical professionals- doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists-have fled in the past year alone, although precise numbers are difficult to obtain. Almost as many left in 2003 and in 2004, Alusi said. Many have fled to Jordan and other Arab countries, while others have moved to Europe. Scores have also headed to the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, where there is much less violence and where pay and conditions are far better than in the centre of the country.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Prescott urges Blair to name date for his departure

    The Independent today reports, that according to a new book, deputy prime minister, John Prescott has urged Blair to name the date for his departure by next year's Labour Party conference:

    Mr Prescott warned Mr Blair that the Labour Party would not tolerate him staying in No 10 without making clear when he will stand down. The revelation came as party members gathering in Brighton for this year's conference focused on the uncertainty over the timing of Mr Blair's departure from Downing Street.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Guantanamo detainee says US wanted him to spy on Al Jazeera

    According to this article, from the Guardian, a captive who has been held for over 3 years without any charges by the US, at their Guantanamo torture chamber, was told that he would be released as long as he spied on journalists at Al Jazeera:

    The journalist has been in the prison without charge for three-and-a-half years after being accused by the US of being a terrorist, allegations he denies. He claims that he has been interrogated more than 100 times but not asked about alleged terrorist offences. Instead, Sami Muhyideen al-Hajj says US military personnel have alleged during interrogation that al-Jazeera has been infiltrated by al-Qaida and that one of its presenters is linked to Islamists.
    Of course, the US makes these sorts of claims all the time, but they never seem to have evidence to back their claims up. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "The constant" gardener raises questions of Pharmaceutical's ethics

    The Independent has this very interesting article today, which takes a look at a film called "The constant gardener". The film raises the issue of how large multinational phramaceutical companies exploit those in the third world, for profits in our "civilised societies". The article goes on to raise questions about some highly unethical practices carried out by phrmaceutical companies:

    The crimes of the pharmaceutical industry - from the price protection of Aids drugs which have denied life-saving medicines to millions, to the cover up of lethal side effects to protect profits - are well documented.
    Indeed. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts"

    How many more cronies are out there?

    Time takes a look at cronyism in America, where connections are more important than experience:

    The Office of Personnel Management's Plum Book, published at the start of each presidential Administration, shows that there are more than 3,000 positions a President can fill without consideration for civil service rules. And Bush has gone further than most Presidents to put political stalwarts in some of the most important government jobs you've never heard of, and to give them genuine power over the bureaucracy. "These folks are really good at using the instruments of government to promote the President's political agenda," says Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and a well-known expert on the machinery of government. "And I think that takes you well into the gray zone where few Presidents have dared to go in the past. It's the coordination and centralization that's important here."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Labour leadership vetoes debate on Robin Cook

    You may remember, I posted a few days ago that several Labour Party members had wanted to debate the legacy of Robin Cook, the former foreign secretary, who resigned over Iraq. The Independent reports today that the leadership doesn't want his legacy to be debated:

    Twenty local parties had backed the motion, which threatened to embarrass Tony Blair by highlighting Mr Cook's resignation over Iraq and his rejection of many Blairite reforms, including the expansion of the role of private companies in public services. The motion made a sideswipe at the invasion of Iraq, arguing that "our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules". It also challenged the increasing role played by the private sector in public services such as the National Health Service, calling for "the defence of public services and the public service ethos", including renewed efforts to "make the ideological case for health and education as a public realm in which citizenship is more important than market power".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    51% of Brits want troops withdrawn from Iraq

    According to this report, from the Guardian today, a poll has found that 51% of Brits want troops withdrawn from Iraq. 64% believe that the situation in Iraq is getting worse, and only 12% believe that the presence of British troops in Iraq is helping the situation:

    Mr Blair continues to retain majority support among Labour voters, with 68% backing him. But overall only 39% of voters are now satisfied with his leadership. That represents a sharp fall from 47% last month. One explanation may be that 71% of voters say Mr Blair is devoting too much time to international issues. That includes 69% of Labour voters who think this is the case. Overall only 25% disagree.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US soldiers considered abuse as a sport

    The Chicago Sun Times reports on sick and twisted Americans abusing and torturing their captives in Iraq:

    The soldiers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the abuse took place almost daily and often came under orders. Anything short of causing an inmate's death was allowed, they said.
    The residents of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, nicknamed soldiers at the nearby base "the Murderous Maniacs," New York-based Human Rights Watch said. "The soldiers considered this name a badge of honor."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    IRA expected to make announcement today

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, the IRA is set to announce today that it has put all its weapons beyond use:

    After saying in July that its armed struggle was over, the IRA has spent weeks working with Gen de Chastelain to put arms beyond use, and decommissioning has been overseen by two church witnesses, one Protestant, one Catholic. Sinn Féin's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, will travel to Washington tomorrow, where he is expected to brief Irish-Americans on a breakthrough which he claimed could be more significant than the IRA's 1994 ceasefire.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Military tells Bush the US needs a national plan for disasters

    I would have thought that was obvious to anyone really, and that it didn't need to be said, however, the military has apparently told Bush that a national plan for search and rescue efforts is needed in the US. From CNews:

    He heard from Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, joint military task force commander for Hurricane Rita, and Maj. Gen. John White, a task force member, who conceded there had been confusion in search-rescue operations after hurricane Katrina. White told the president that a national plan, various levels of government and agencies could get a jump-start and save more lives.
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    Chavez blasts the Bush regime

    According to this article, from News 24, the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has blasted the Bush regime for their treatment of their own people, saying even chickens get better treatment in Venezuela, than American citizens under the rogue regime:

    "In Cuba, when they know a hurricane is coming, chickens, hens and people are all evacuated," Chavez said in an interview with The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine, stepping up his rhetoric against the US government. "A hurricane recently destroyed many towns in Cuba but not a single person died because no one was there. The government prepared its people and took them to shelters, whereas here (in the United States) they left the poor without protection, especially the blacks."
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    Group lists the 13 most corrupt in the US congress

    This from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: Group Lists 13 'Most Corrupt' in Congress

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says in its report that the 13 members, among them Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), might have violated a variety of congressional ethics rules.
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    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    South Koreans want US troops to leave

    According to this piece, from Angus Reid, a poll has found that 54% of South Koreans want American forces out of their country:

    The U.S. has close to 230,000 troops stationed all over the world, not including U.S.-based forces currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In August 2004, U.S. president George W. Bush announced plans to close some overseas military bases, which would reduce the number of soldiers in South Korea to 25,000 by 2008.
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    Tens of thousands protest against war in San Francisco

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports on protests held in their city yesterday:

    Police estimated 20,000 people marched today. Organizers pegged the crowd at 50,000. Either way, it was one of the largest anti-war protests since the U.S. invaded Iraq two years ago. Protesters gathered in San Francisco’s Dolores Park this morning, then marched for two hours to Jefferson Square Park, where the park was jammed with a standing room only crowd of bodies.
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    Bush's appeal to raise cash for rebuilding in Iraq raises just £337

    According to this article, from today's Observer, an appeal by Bush to raise funds for rebuilding Iraq has raised only £337:

    This coincides with concern over the increasing cost of the war. More than $30 billion has been appropriated for the reconstruction. Initially, America's overseas aid agency, USaid, expected it to cost taxpayers no more than $1.7bn, but it is now asking the public if they want to contribute even more. It is understood to be the first time that a US government has made an appeal to taxpayers for foreign aid money. Contributors have no way of knowing who will receive their donations or even where they may go, after officials said details had be kept secret for security reasons.
    No wonder people are reluctant to contribute. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraqi women say their freedoms are slipping away

    Thanks to the "glorious liberators", Iraqi women are facing restrictions on their freedom, this report from Yahoo:

    "Women cannot walk freely out in the street," said activist Ban Jamil, who directs the Rasafa Branch of Assyrian Women Union, a local non-governmental organisation in Baghdad. "Women face lack of respect when they walk uncovered," said Jamil, a Christian, who said women are insulted if they show too much skin or walk in public without wearing the Islamic veil, or hijab, to cover their hair.
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    Tensions remain high in Basra

    The Indpendent ponders what those two special forces arrested in traditional Arab dress, for planting explosives, and firing at police last Monday were doing:

    Not only did it appear that lethal force had to be used to suppress the riot, causing an unknown number of Iraqi deaths, it was also claimed that the two undercover men had opened fire when they were stopped at a police roadblock, killing at least one policeman. There were also sharply conflicting accounts of why troops crashed into the station: to determine where the pair were, according to one version, or to rescue a negotiating team, according to another. The surveillance team had been handed over to militants and were found at a house in the district, the military said, but Iraqis denied this, saying the building was within the compound.
    There are serious questions which Blair & Co must answer. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Pro war rally attracts a crowd

    They look rather pathetic really don't they, there must be, oh, at the most, 15 or 16 people there. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Why is porn a top priority at the FBI?

    Surely the FBI have much more important things to worry about? This report from the Star Tribune:

    The effort is, said the FBI, "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. As one "exasperated FBI agent" told the Post, "I guess this means we've won the war on terror. We must not need any more resources for espionage." Well said, but there is an explanation, making the rounds in Washington, that makes sense: that this may be an effort by Gonzales to make himself more acceptable to the religious right and therefore a more likely Supreme Court nominee. It's not going down well with the FBI professionals, who think terrorism, organized crime, narcotics, child pornography and public corruption are a tad more important.
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    US army plans to buy anthrax in bulk

    The New Scientist has this rather worrying article:

    One "biological services" contract specifies: "The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities." Other contracts are for fermentation equipment for producing 3000-litre batches of an unspecified biological agent, and sheep carcasses to test the efficiency of an incinerator for the disposal of infected livestock.
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    US troops beat their captives routinely, and for fun

    The New York Times reports on the sick and twisted individuals who think that torturing and abusing their captives is fun:

    Three former members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division say soldiers in their battalion in Iraq routinely beat and abused prisoners in 2003 and 2004 to help gather intelligence on the insurgency and to amuse themselves.
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    Photos from London protests

    The BBC has a compilation of photos from yesterdays anti war protests in London: In pictures Anti-war march through London See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    On the arrest of a senior Bush regime official

    Newsweek has this interesting look at the arrest in the US of a senior Bush regime official, David Safavian, the person in charge of overseeing federal contracts:

    Safavian received prior approval from his agency's ethics officer. But the Feds say he had neglected to mention that Abramoff at the time was seeking to lease property from the GSA and had sought Safavian's help. When a whistle-blower's complaint led to an inquiry, Safavian falsely told the GSA inspector general, and later the FBI, that Abramoff had "no business" before the agency, the Feds charge.
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    Brown to continue with Blair's agenda

    The BBC reports that Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has promised to continue with the Blairite agenda if he takes over from Blair. I've said for some time now, there really is not much difference between Blair and Brown. When Brown takes over, people will really not see much of a difference:

    Gordon Brown has vowed to continue Tony Blair's programme of reform if he becomes the next Labour leader. The chancellor said there was "no going back" as change was needed to ensure Britain could compete internationally.
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    Is Bush a socialist?

    That's the question posed in this article, at the Times, which ponders the fact that Bush has, in 5 years added $1.5 trillion to the US national debt. Personally, I don't think he has the social policies to be a socialist, his fiscal policies favour the rich, and the reason his country is in so much debt, is because of their disasterous foreign policies:

    This was one reason I found myself forced to endorse John Kerry last November. He was easily the more fiscally conservative candidate. Under Clinton, the US actually ran a surplus for a while (thanks, in part, to the Gingrich-run Congress). But most conservatives bit their tongues. Bush promised fiscal tightening in his second term and some actually believed him.
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    5 Americans dead in Afghan helicopter crash

    According to this report, from the BBC, 5 Americans have died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan:

    Afghan officials say the helicopter had dropped off troops and was returning to base when it crashed. Military officials say there is no indication of hostile fire, but has launched an investigation. Abdual Latif Hakimi, who claims to speak for the Taleban, told the BBC: "We brought the helicopter down with an anti-aircraft rocket". A spokesman for the governor of Zabul, Gulab Shah Ali Khil, told the BBC the coalition forces were conducting an operation in the Mara area of Day Chopan district.
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    Washington demonstration the largest since the invasion

    The Washington Post reports on yesterday's huge protest in Washington:

    Signs, T-shirts, slogans and speeches outlined the cost of the Iraq conflict in human as well as economic terms. They memorialized dead U.S. troops and Iraqis, and contrasted the price of war with the price of recovery for areas battered by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Riffs on Vietnam-era protests were plentiful, with messages declaring, "Make Levees, Not War," "I never thought I'd miss Nixon" and "Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam." Many in the crowd had protested in the 1960s; others weren't even born during those tumultuous years. Protest organizers estimated that 300,000 people participated, triple their original target. D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who walked the march route, said the protesters achieved the goal of 100,000 and probably exceeded it. Asked whether at least 150,000 showed up, the chief said, "That's as good a guess as any.
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    Woman arrested over de Menezes leak

    According to this article, from today's Observer, a woman has been arrested in connection with the leaking of details of Jean Charles de Menezes's murder on the 22nd July. The leaked details proved that the Met Police were lying over certain aspects of Mr de Menezes's murder. The police seem to have been much quicker arresting someone who apparently helped expose their lies than they have been in arresting some of their own who took part in the murder:

    The Leicestershire force confirmed that the woman was arrested at one of several London addresses searched on Wednesday. It is not known if she is an employee of the IPCC or ITV News. Neither organisation would comment last night. Shami Chakrabati, director of civil rights campaigners Liberty said: 'We must hope that the investigation into the shooting itself is being pursued with at least as much rigour as these leak inquiries.'
    Indeed, let's hope so. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US image in a bad shape

    I'm not surprised the US image is in a bad shape considering the rogue regime's blatently criminal actions. The Washington Post has this report:

    The panel's report, which has been seen by senior officials but not yet officially released, said a fact-finding mission to the Middle East last year found that "there is deep and abiding anger toward U.S. policies and actions." The Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy cited polling that found that large majorities in Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia "view George W. Bush as a greater threat to the world order than Osama bin Laden."
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    AIPAC and the anti war protests

    According to Wayne Madsen's website, the reason why very few members of the US congress appeared at the anti war protests yesterday in Washington was because they were warned not to do so by the powerful Israeli lobby, the AIPAC:

    According to Democratic sources on the Hill, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts was the chief conveyor of the AIPAC warning to his colleagues.
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    Britain to begin troop withdrawal in May

    According to this article, from today's Observer, Britain will begin a withdrawal from Iraq in May 2006:

    According to the agreement under negotiation, each phase would be triggered when key security, stability and political targets have been reached. The phased withdrawal strategy - the British side of which is expected to take at least 12 months to complete - would see UK troops hand over command responsibility for security to senior Iraqi officers, while remaining in support as a reserve force. In the second phase British Warriors and other armoured vehicles would be removed from daily patrols, before a complete withdrawal of British forces to barracks. The final phase - departure of units - would follow a period of months where Iraqi units had demonstrated their ability to deal with violence in their areas of operation.
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    Blair changes his mind on global warming

    The Independent today reports that our so called prime minister has changed his mind on global warming, and has decided to follow the rogue regime's lead:

    Tony Blair has admitted that he is changing his views on combating global warming to mirror those of President Bush - and oppose negotiating international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol. His admission, which has outraged environmentalists on both sides of the Atlantic, flies in the face of his promises made in the past two years and undermines the agreement he masterminded at this summer's Gleneagles Summit. And it endangers talks that opened in Ottawa this weekend on a new treaty to combat climate change.
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