Saturday, December 31, 2005

George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon:

"George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon" and additional articles follow my brief comments. Pay particular attention to the article on the changes made in the line of succession at the Pentagon/DoD.

For those who think the news about Bush authorizing the spying on U.S. citizens is new, got news for you, this has been going on for so long that it has only emboldened the Bush/Cheney cabal to take it to new heights. Here’s a good piece from Pacific News Service on this very thing: “Bush Domestic Spying is Old News”. Don’t get me wrong, it tickles me to death that the Bush cabal has gotten its “bell rung”; Bush himself has got to be held to account, period. Impeachment is only the first step. Trial and jail has got to be the second step for Bush, and the entire cabal around him and Cheney. That would then just leave our dysfunctional congress to deal with.

Please give your support to and for: The March for Millions of Veterans—2006”.

I for one am more than just a little fed up with the political rhetoric from congress while they do absolutely nothing to address the problems veterans are facing with an under funded V.A. They won’t fund the V.A.; at the same time the Transportation Safety Administration wants to scour veterans medical records to look for “mental defectives” —can’t let the crazies on planes, don’t ‘cha know.

A little "Bush & family" hard at work: "The Exotic Adventures of Neil Bush" and "Bush Money Network Rooted in Florida, Texas"; Also see, "The Bush Family Coup". To simply state that we need some serious change in Washington, D.C. is a gross understatement to say the least. -- Jack

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George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably; Both Claimed That a President May Violate Congress' Laws to Protect National Security
----
Friday, Dec. 30, 2005

On Friday, December 16, the New York Times published a major scoop by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau: They reported that Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans without warrants, ignoring the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

It was a long story loaded with
astonishing information of lawbreaking at the White House. It reported that sometime in 2002, Bush issued an executive order authorizing NSA to track and intercept international telephone and/or email exchanges coming into, or out of, the U.S. - when one party was believed to have direct or indirect ties with al Qaeda.

Initially, Bush and the
White House stonewalled, neither confirming nor denying the president had ignored the law. Bush refused to discuss it in his interview with Jim Lehrer.

Then, on Saturday, December 17, in his radio broadcast, Bush admitted that the New York Times was correct - and thus conceded he had committed an impeachable offense.

There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons.

These parallel violations underscore the continuing, disturbing parallels between this Administration and the Nixon Administration - parallels I also discussed in
a prior column.

Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.

In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance.

Given the national security implications of the story, the Times said they had been sitting on it for a year. And now that it has broken, Bush has ordered a criminal investigation into the source of the leak. He suggests that those who might have felt confidence they would not be spied on, now can have no such confidence, so they may find other methods of communicating. Other than encryption and code, it is difficult to envision how.

Such a criminal investigation is rather ironic - for the leak's effect was to reveal Bush's own offense. Having been ferreted out as a criminal, Bush now will try to ferret out the leakers who revealed him.

John Dean’s Full Article May Be Read
Here:
http://writ.corporate.findlaw.com/dean/20051230.html
……………….

Justice Deptartment Opens Inquiry into Leak of Domestic Spying
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/123005Y.shtml
……………

Military Service Chiefs Demoted in Line of Pentagon Succession
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/30/politics/30succeed.html?pagewanted=all

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (AP) - The three military service chiefs have been dropped in the Bush administration's doomsday line of Pentagon succession, pushed beneath three civilian under secretaries in the inner circle of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

A recent executive order from President Bush moved the Pentagon's intelligence chief to the No. 3 spot in the succession hierarchy. Mr. Rumsfeld is No. 1, and the second spot would be the deputy secretary of defense, but that position is vacant at the moment. The Army chief, who long held the No. 3 spot, was dropped to sixth.

The changes, announced last week, mirror the administration's new emphasis on intelligence gathering versus combat in 21st-century wars.

The line of succession is assigned to specific positions, rather than the people holding those jobs.

But this version of the doomsday plan moves up the top three under secretaries, who are Rumsfeld loyalists and who previously worked for Vice President Dick Cheney when he was defense secretary.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said the changes were recommended because the three under secretaries have "a broad knowledge and perspective of overall Defense Department operations." He said the service leaders were more focused on training, equipping and leading a particular military service.

Thomas Donnelly, a defense expert with the American Enterprise Institute, said the changes would centralize power and make it easier for the administration to assert political control.

"It continues to devalue the services as institutions," Mr. Donnelly said.

The first to succeed Mr. Rumsfeld remains the job of the deputy secretary, a position now vacant because the Senate has not confirmed Mr. Bush's nominee, Navy Secretary Gordon R. England.

It is expected that Bush will eventually move Mr. England into the No. 2 Pentagon job without Congressional approval through what is known as a recess appointment.

10 Good Things about Another Bad Year

As we wrap up 2005, Global Exchange and CODEPINK Co-Founder Medea Benjamin reminds us in the article below that there were indeed some progressive victories this year! We hope you'll take some time to celebrate them, and then join us in 2006 as we continue to work together for peace and justice.

Happy New Year,Global Exchange

10 Good Things about Another Bad Year
By Medea Benjamin
t r u t h o u t Perspective

As we close this year, a year in which we were pummeled by the Iraq war, attacks on our civil rights, and Mother Nature's fury of hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, there is no shortage of reasons to feel bruised and beaten. But to start the New Year with a healthy determination to keep on fighting, we need to reflect on the good things that happened. And there are plenty.

One continent alone - South America - could provide more than ten examples of wonderful progressive victories, but I'll just list some of the highlights.

1.--Hugo Chavez has shown how an oil-rich nation can use the country's wealth to provide education, healthcare and small business opportunities for its people - and we here in the US have discovered an oil company we can feel good about buying gas from: Venezuela's CITGO.

2.--Bolivians have, for the first time in their history, elected an indigenous president, Evo Morales. The former llama farmer and coca grower has fought against "free trade" and the privatization of his nation's resources, and has brought new hope to indigenous people throughout the continent.

3.--Anti-war activists - who once represented a much-maligned minority - now represent the majority of Americans who agree that the war in Iraq was a mistake and the troops should come home as soon as possible. And with Cindy Sheehan and Cong. Jack Murtha, we finally had spokespeople the mainstream media listened to!

4.--In an historic blow to the Bush administration's five-year attempt to destroy the Kyoto Protocol, the climate summit in Montreal ended with even stronger measures to combat global warming. At home, nearly 200 cities are taking their own Kyoto-type actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

5.--The Senate ended the year with a spurt of defiance, refusing to permanently extend the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, blocking the Republican maneuver to attach Arctic oil drilling to a defense spending bill, and passing John McCain's anti-torture amendment.

6.--Despite a concerted offensive to lift the president's sagging public support, George Bush's approval ratings are still below 50 percent, his economic agenda (from the privatization of social security to the repeal of the estate tax) has unraveled, key cronies from Lewis Libby to Tom DeLay have fallen from grace, and 2006 might just put impeachment back into the congressional lexicon.

7.--Labor, community activists and women's groups have mounted a spirited campaign against the behemoth of behemoths, Wal-Mart. And a California jury awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., who were denied such basic rights as lunch breaks, with 40 similar lawsuits pending in other states.

8.--With the wild swings in gas prices, SUV sales have plummeted (Ford Explorer down 52%, Chevrolet Suburban down 46%), the sale of hybrids has doubled, and the US House of Representatives actually held a forum on the "peak oil theory."

9.--In a great win for farm workers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers forced the fast food giant Taco Bell to raise the price for picking tomatoes (nearly doubling many workers' salaries), and now they're ready to take on an even bigger bully: McDonald's.

10.--The global movement for peace and justice proved it was alive and kicking: witness Argentina during the Free Trade Agreement meetings, Hong Kong around the World Trade Organization ministerial, and the ongoing rallies against the war. The steady growth of the fair-trade movement also shows that we are not just protesting, but we're also building a more sustainable economy.

Let's make 2006 the year we broke the right-wing tide, refused to give pro-war, free-trade Democrats a free ride, and built a "people's movement" with some muscle to it. We might just get some lessons from our southern neighbors. If Mexico City's progressive mayor Manuel Lopez Obrador becomes Mexico's next president, Latin America's revolutionary fervor will be smack up against the Texas border.

Que viva el poder popular en 2006!

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Global Exchange
2017 Mission Street Suite 303
San Francisco, CA 94110(415) 255-7296
http://www.globalexchange.org/

VA Help Lines Found to Regularly Provide Wrong Information

May this new year of 2006 bring us a lot of good things, like an end to war in Iraq for one; and among those other “good things” I hope for is that Rep Steve Buyer, Jim Nicholson and David Chu quit, retire, get fired—whatever, just go away and stop your betrayal of this nation’s veterans! The more they attempt to privatize the V.A. the worse it becomes for veterans seeking services. And our so-called “congress” to date has been little to no help on this. So, in response, get ready for: "The March for Millions of Veterans 2006" --Jack


VA help lines found to regularly provide wrong information

BY CHRIS ADAMS
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A veteran who turns to the Department of Veterans Affairs for information about benefits might want to get a second opinion.

According to the VA's own data, people who call the agency's regional offices for help and advice are more likely to receive completely wrong answers than completely right ones.

To see how well its employees answer typical questions from the public, VA benefits experts in 2004 called each of the agency's U.S. regional offices, which process veterans' disability claims. The so-called mystery callers, saying they were relatives or friends of veterans inquiring about possible benefits, made a total of 1,089 calls. Almost half the time they got answers that the VA said were either completely incorrect or minimally correct.

According to an internal VA memo on the mystery-caller program that's buried deep in the department's Web site, 22 percent of the answers the callers got were "completely incorrect," 23 percent were "minimally correct" and 20 percent were "partially correct." Nineteen percent of the answers were "completely correct," and 16 percent were "mostly correct."

The program also found that some VA workers were dismissive of some callers and unhelpful or rude to others.

One caller, for example, said, "My father served in Vietnam in 1961 and 1962. Is there a way he can find out if he was exposed to Agent Orange?" The VA's response, according to the VA memo: "He should know if they were spreading that chemical out then. He would be the only one to know. OK (hung up laughing)."

The memo said the response was "completely incorrect" because it gave no information - and also was "rude and unprofessional."

The 2004 survey found improvements in some categories compared with a similar study with identical questions in 2002. Timeliness improved, but scores on "willingness to help" and "courtesy/professionalism" dropped. VA workers also used "too much jargon," confusing to many veterans, the memo said.

VA officials acknowledge that the agency needs to do better. Daniel Cooper, the department's top benefits official, said in a memo to the VA regional offices that the results of the mystery-caller program "are below expectations and are disappointing to the organization. ... We must be able to provide prompt service and give correct answers with the courtesy and professionalism that our customers deserve."

This week, VA officials said they'd taken steps since 2004 to improve their performance, among other things setting up a small pilot program to monitor employees silently as they answered veterans' questions.

While the VA said the pilot program improved performance, thus far it's been used in only four out of 57 regional offices. Other offices are scheduled to begin the silent monitoring by the end of fiscal 2006.

Beyond that, the VA said it was working to improve its service by boosting training and using role-playing exercises for some phone calls with the public. Other quality-improvement programs are expected to be put into place in 2006 and 2007.

Veterans across the country said their experience with VA call centers suggested that there was still significant room for improvement.

"The VA needs a change of attitude," said William B. Jones, a veteran from Greenville, S.C., who's been butting heads with the agency for several years. Jones, a semiretired physician, said he'd received bad medical information and repeatedly had gotten the runaround in his attempt to get compensation for ailments that he said were linked to his military service.

"I often get no answer at all," said Jones. "I call their 1-800 numbers and generally you get a computer and talk to no one. I've had that not once but probably a dozen times. When you do talk to somebody, you get frustrated because you can't really find out if the case is proceeding. They say they are working on it, but they don't give any details."

Responding to Jones' complaints, the VA said it "takes very seriously any frustrations veterans may experience when attempting to contact us. ... VA continues to work on ways to provide better access and quality customer service."

The mystery callers also judged the courtesy, willingness to help and promptness of the people who answered the VA's phones. They found that many VA offices were helpful and friendly - even as they provided bum information.

Bum information, however, is the biggest problem.

One mystery caller, for example, asked about benefits after a Vietnam veteran died of lung cancer. Many conditions have been linked to the herbicide Agent Orange, which was widely used in Vietnam. But the VA regional office said lung cancer was "not one of the conditions related to Agent Orange."

According to the VA's evaluation, that answer was "completely incorrect (wrong information given - lung cancer is one of the conditions related to Agent Orange.)"

Another mystery caller asked about a grandfather who'd been injured in the Korean War. "When he dies, is he eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery?" the caller asked.

Response: "I can't answer for Arlington. You can call your congressmen. They love doing those kinds of things for their constituents."

The VA's evaluation: "Completely incorrect. ... Unprofessional; unwilling to help."

Another mystery caller asked whether her husband could get help from the VA for a back problem he'd had for years. "I don't know," the VA regional office said. "He just has to file a claim."

The evaluator found that the response was completely incorrect because it didn't give an answer, and the VA official was "discourteous" and "unwilling to help."

(To read the VA survey online, go to:
www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin20/letters/vba04)

When callers posing as veterans' friends or family members called the Department of Veterans Affairs to ask questions about benefits, they often got incorrect and/or rude responses. Some examples from a VA survey, along with VA experts' evaluations of the responses:

CALLER: "My son served in Vietnam, and he just died of lung cancer. I have custody of his 10-year-old daughter. Are there any benefits for my granddaughter?"

RESPONSE: "What is your son's Social Security number?"

CALLER: "I don't have it."

RESPONSE: "Well, I can't help you if you don't give me any information. ... What is your monthly income?"

CALLER: "About $200 a week."

RESPONSE: "Well, that sounds like it is awful high, and you wouldn't be eligible."

VA EVALUATION: "Completely incorrect," because benefits might be available for such a child. The VA worker was also "very discouraging" and "didn't express empathy in recent loss of son."

CALLER: "My husband just started going to college using the Voc-Rehab program, and I was just wondering how long he has to use this program."

RESPONSE: "I don't know. He needs to ask his vocational rehabilitation counselor the next time he talks with him."

VA EVALUATION: "Completely incorrect," because it didn't answer the question. Also was "unprofessional and discourteous."

CALLER: "My brother is being discharged in two weeks from the Marine Corps. Are there any veterans' preferences for state or federal jobs?"

RESPONSE: "No preference. Everyone is a veteran. With government, you get points if you're a veteran. For a disabled veteran, there's points. Nothing out of the ordinary."

EVALUATION: "Completely incorrect," because it gave the wrong information. Also: "tone discourteous; unwilling to help."

CALLER: "My dad was killed in a training accident while on active duty just before Desert Storm. Does the VA offer any benefits for me to go to college?"

RESPONSE: "Was your mother in receipt of benefits from the VA? ... Did your father die on active duty? ... Well, if your mother was in receipt of benefits, you would be eligible. But you're telling me that your mother was not in receipt, so you are not entitled."

EVALUATION: "Completely incorrect" because the child would be entitled if his father had died on active duty. Also: "tone was discourteous."

Source:

VA memo on "2004 Mystery Caller" program. The memo is available online at: www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin20/letters/vba04(underline)42.doc
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Additional Information on the Problems At the V.A:

VA Watchdog Larry Scott
http://www.vawatchdog.org/
......

Vets for Justice
http://www.vetsforjustice.com/
......
Veterans Health Budget Falls Short, Critics Say

Despite the increase, critics say the new Veterans Administration budget may not be enough to meet the growing demand on a health care system already strained by the needs of soldiers, including Guard and Reserve, returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s barely adequate,” said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. “Unless something is done to shore it up, we anticipate they will be back asking for more.”

Full Article Here:
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/5377590p-4863252c.html
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A Political Debate On Stress Disorder

The spiraling cost of post-traumatic stress disorder among war veterans has triggered a politically charged debate and ignited fears that the government is trying to limit expensive benefits for emotionally scarred troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Full Article Here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/26/AR2005122600792.html

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"The March for Millions of Veterans 2006"
http://www.millionvetmarch2006.com/



Iraq and the Laws of War


Iraq and the Laws of War
By FRANCIS A. BOYLE
Professor of Law, University of Illinois

Any violation of the laws of war, international humanitarian law, and human rights committed by its puppet Interim Government of Iraq are legally imputable to the United States government. As the belligerent occupant of Iraq, both the United States government itself as well as its concerned civilian officials and military officers are fully and personally responsible under international criminal law for all violations of the laws of war, international humanitarian law, and human rights committed by its puppet Interim Government of Iraq such as, for example, reported death squads operating under the latter's auspicies…

Full Essay Here:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11367.htm

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Iraq: Road to Anti-Americanism
by Abu Khaleel

Can America be Seen as an Enemy of Iraq?

Many – too many – Americans cannot understand how other people in other countries have such a poor opinion of their country. Many cannot comprehend how their good, benevolent country can be seen as an evil enemy by anybody.

They cannot see how their country with its open democracy and free press, where people can voice their opinions freely, where anyone can move freely from place to place, select the job and the lifestyle of their choosing, have complete freedom in their beliefs, religious or otherwise, can raise their children the way they like, can rise to success on their own merit and capabilities, unhindered by social or racial stigmas, can self-correct any irregularities in society such as racial or sex discrimination through peaceful means… can be seen as evil by any sane human being.

The conclusion most frequently reached within America is that there must be something fundamentally wrong with those people - even if those people are the majority of the human race. Many begin to believe that those people hate them for what they are; they hate their freedom and what their country stands for. This is true to the extent that such foolish sentiments can be uttered by senior public figures, including the President… and yet they are met with very little ridicule.

Too many Americans seem to be happy with this explanation of why terrorists target America.

Full Article Here:

http://iraquna2.blogspot.com/2005/12/iraq-road-to-anti-americanism.html




Thursday, December 29, 2005

War Resister Jerry Texiero, the Marine Corps and Who Betrayed Whom?

War Resister Jerry Texiero, the Marine Corps and Who Betrayed Whom?
By: Jack Dalton

“Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Henry Kissinger as quoted in the book “Kiss the Boys Goodbye

Just when was it we in this nation lost our ability to choose if and when we would be willing to kill another human being, or be killed ourselves? When was it that following the “rules” became more important than following what is right? Case in point: Jerry Texiero; who as an active duty Marine in 1965 refused to deploy to Vietnam and took off (For details see:
Marine Refuser From 40 Years Ago Faces Court Martial). 40 years later the Marine Corps has Jerry incarcerated at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Why would the Marine Corps take so much interest in Jerry Texiero and want to court-martial him 40 years later, when we all know for absolute fact
the ‘American War On Vietnam’ was contrived, a war crime on a grand scale, and a war in some ways that has never ended? After all, the Agent Orange we “salted” the earth with in Vietnam is still killing large numbers of people there, as well as here with veterans of that mess; thousands have been and still are being killed by all the unexploded ordinance and land mines all over the country, especially in Quang Tri Province.

The Marines want to court-martial Jerry to send a message to the growing number of active duty military, who are becoming resistive to their participation in this new war of choice in Iraq, that if they are unwilling to deploy to Iraq, they will suffer the same fate as
Sgt Kevin Benderman, who is doing 15 months at the RCF (or Gulag if you prefer as do I); If they take off, they will be hunted for the rest of their lives, like Jerry Texiero.

The military, the Department of War and the Pentagon are in serious manpower trouble and they need to make examples of people for the purpose of intimidation and coercion—make them afraid to do anything but “follow orders”; to send a loud message to others so they will not follow the example of people of conscience. That’s why Sgt Benderman is in jail, and why the Marine Corps wants to court-martial Jerry Texiero.

Two different men separated by 40 years; two different created wars and both are being “beat up” by an out of control Pentagon and Military for their refusal to be used for rather nefarious purposes. And all due to the fact both men refused to be turned into mindless obedient killers—or dead in the process, in mind and spirit if not body. They have refused to used as the “pawns” as stated by Kissinger among many, many others.

Recruitment is down even with the lowered enlistment standards; officers are leaving in bigger numbers as are enlisted ranks’ divorces are soaring as a result of extended and repeated deployments to Iraq; thousands of active duty military have followed in the footsteps of the active duty war-resisters during the war on Vietnam and have left the country;
suicides in just the Marine Corps alone since the invasion of Iraq has increased by over 29%, far above not only the national average but the increased overall military average as well.

I have received many emails behind the story about Jerry Texiero saying that while the War on Vietnam may have been wrong, Jerry still volunteered to join and due to that he had an obligation to follow the “rules” and go to Vietnam regardless of what he though or how he felt about the war he was being ordered to go into. My reply to that thinking is simply this—Hogwash!

When we enlist in the military, yes there are rules that must be obeyed and followed. No problem with that. Without that the military would simply fall apart, I realized that (after all, I did spend over 4 years in the Marine Corps myself). However, that all changes when it comes to being sent into a war that up front we know to be wrong, illegal, and by definition a war crime; A War Against the Peace.

When it comes to following orders to kill or be killed, every single human being has the inalienable right to choose whether or not they will be a participant in those killing fields! To tag or label someone as a “criminal” for making the conscience choice not to kill is absurd. Simply “following orders” does not relieve one of the responsibilities of their actions, period. That is all compounded when the war you are being ordered into has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the security or defense of this nation; which is what we all swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend—this nation. No oath was sworn to be of assistance to “Empire Building” period. Not 40 years ago and surely not today.

It was not Jerry Texiero who broke the faith, it was not Jerry Texiero who betrayed his oath; it was not Jerry Texiero who violated any trust; it was not Jerry Texiero who betrayed honor; it was not Jerry Texiero betrayed anything…it was those in command and control of the nation and the military who broke the faith, who broke trust, who betrayed everyone in uniform and the people of this nation as a whole.

It has been said that free speech does not give a person the right to walk into a crowded theater and yell “fire”. My answer to that has always been—but what if there is a fire? The same principle applies to Jerry and his supposed “rule” breaking; what if the rules are wrong?

The following report/essay,
“War Resistance, Amnesty and Exile – Just the Facts” by Harold Jordan, explains in great detail the so-called Amnesty programs initiated in the 70’s by Ford and Carter. I strongly urge you to read it carefully and closely. Harold Jordan also goes into the tremendous numbers of people in uniform who opposed the War On Vietnam with up to 550,000 that went AWOL or deserted (those are the Pentagon’s own numbers).

Why does the Marine Corps want to prosecute Jerry Texiero?—what if the same numbers of people in uniform today do what those in uniform did during the War on Vietnam and start putting down their guns in large numbers? Interesting proposition is it not? Now with so many standing in opposition to this new imperialistic misadventure in Iraq, what if those involved in following the “rules” take their lead from Sgt Kevin Benderman or Jerry Texiero and say no, or just put down their gun and just leave?

No, it was not Jerry Texiero who betrayed anything. It is those who have been and are currently turning our Department of Defense into the Department of War; who for decades has been slowly turning this nation’s military into the U.S. Multinational Corporation’s enforcement arm. Or as Henry Kissinger who was quoted in the book, “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” stated, “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
..............

Reference:


More info: Tod Ensign, Citizen Soldier (212) 679-2250 citizensoldier1@aol.com

War Resistance, Amnesty and Exile - Just the Facts
by Harold Jordan
http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/conscientious-objection/Vietnam-war-resisters.htm
......................

Jack Dalton is a disabled veteran of the American War on Vietnam and writer that lives in Portland, OR. His blog is
Jack’s Straight-Speak and his email address is jack_dalton@comcast.net. He is widely published on the internet and was a contributor to the book, “Neo-Conned! Again!”, Published by Light in the Darkness publications, IHS Press.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bush's Secret Surveillance State

The following articles lay out very nicely what we are facing under the "New World Order" brought to us by Bush/Cheney & Co., Inc. It not only "can" happen here, "It" has happened here to a very large degree. Bush/Cheney & Co., Inc. have, along with a dysfunctional congress are driving this nation into a complete "police state" as much to hide their criminality behind the veil of "secrecy" as anything else.--Jack

The new technology at the root of the NSA wiretap scandal

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051220-5808.html
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CQ's Report on Govenment Secrecy
http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/articleview/163
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The National Security Agency Declassified
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB24/press20051219.htm
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Top Secret
By: Charlie Reese
http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese250.html
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The Agency That Could Be "Big Brother"
By: James Bamford
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11382.htm
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OMB Watch Statement on Bush's Unathorized Domestic Spying
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3223/1/192?TopicID=5
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"The Law Is King"
By: Sidney Blumenthal
http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/blumenthal-lawking.html
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Bush’s Secret Surveillance State
by
Anthony Gregory
http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory103.html
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National Lawyers Guild Condemns Electronic Surveillance By President As A Violation Of The Fourth Amendment
http://www.nlg.org/news/statements/electronicsurveillance2005.htm
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What will the other 49 states do when one officially becomes a fasciststate?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/wews/3133362
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NSA-Spying Files Bigger than White House Said
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122405A.shtml
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President Bush has been summoning newspaper editors lately in an effort toprevent publication of stories he considers damaging to national security.
http://tinyurl.com/dr45c
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John Yoo: Architect of Imperialism
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705K.shtml
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Jonathan Schell The Hidden State Steps Forward
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705B.shtml
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ACLU Investigates Spying on Local Group
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705G.shtml
...............
Bush's use of secret wiretaps was done because warrant requests were beingdenied.
http://tinyurl.com/ancou
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Rice authorized National Security Agency to spy on UN Security Council inrun-up to war, former officials say
http://tinyurl.com/9ntqc
...............
1995: GOP investigates Bill Clinton's cat. 2005: GOP refuses to openinvestigation on illegal wiretapping by President Bush.
http://tinyurl.com/88w6d
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Martin Garbus Police-State Powers Are Our Biggest Threat
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1228-34.htm
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Internet Censorship

Internet Censorship

Spies, spies, spies everywhere; Pentagon spying on everyone; NAS spying on the Pentagon spying on everyone else; and all the internet servers and providers are right there to help spy, stifle information, remove people from the net, shut down web sites and other wise be helpful in creating “The New World Order” being crammed down our throats. A couple of days ago I was notified by Blogspot.com that my blog was tagged as a “spam-blog”. Yesterday when I sent out my newsletter, no one with an AOL email address got it. They were one and all bounced back as “undeliverable, permanent failure”. But this is not the first time I have run into this with AOL. I went thru this with Hotmail and MSN 6 weeks ago. Then it was “access denied by server”. Is this the freedom that people in uniform are being asked to kill and die for? If so, we are in even more trouble as a nation than what I though. As if an illegal invasion and occupation of another country wasn’t enough already. As a nation, we didn’t learn a thing from COINTELPRO 35 years ago. -- Jack (Note: I just sent the newsletter out today and wonder of wonders, nothing got kicked back, at least not today)

Internet Censorship
By: Wayne Madsen

Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East.

Progressive and investigative journalist web site administrators are beginning to talk to each other about it, e-mail users are beginning to understand why their e-mail is being disrupted by it, major search engines appear to be complying with it, and the low to equal signal-to-noise ratio of legitimate e-mail and spam appears to be perpetuated by it.

In this case, "it," is what privacy and computer experts have long warned about: massive censorship of the web on a nationwide and global scale. For many years, the web has been heavily censored in countries around the world. That censorship continues at this very moment. Now it is happening right here in America.

The agreement by the Congress to extend an enhanced Patriot Act for another four years will permit the political enforcers of the Bush administration, who use law enforcement as their proxies, to further clamp censorship controls on the web.

Internet Censorship: The Warning Signs Were Not Hidden

The warning signs for the crackdown on the web have been with us for over a decade. The Clipper chip controversy of the 90s, John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness (TIA) system pushed in the aftermath of 9-11, backroom deals between the Federal government and the Internet service industry, and the Patriot Act have ushered in a new era of Internet censorship, something just half a decade ago computer programmers averred was impossible given the nature of the web. They were wrong, dead wrong.

Take for example of what recently occurred when two journalists were taking on the phone about a story that appeared on Google News. The story was about a Christian fundamentalist move in Congress to use U.S. Military force in Sudan to end genocide in Darfur. The story appeared on the English Google News site in Qatar. But the very same Google News site when accessed simultaneously in Washington, DC failed to show the article. This censorship is accomplished by geolocation filtering: the restriction or modifying of web content based on the geographical region of the user. In addition to countries, such filtering can now be implemented for states, cities, and even individual IP addresses.

With reports in the Swedish newspaper Svensa Dagbladet today that the United States has transmitted a Homeland Security Department "no fly" list of 80,000 suspected terrorists to airport authorities around the world, it is not unreasonable that a "no [or restricted] surfing/emailing" list has been transmitted to Internet Service Providers around the world. The systematic disruptions of web sites and email strongly suggests that such a list exists.

News reports on CIA prisoner flights and secret prisons are disappearing from Google and other search engines like Alltheweb as fast as they appear. Here now, gone tomorrow is the name of the game.

Google is systematically failing to list and link to articles that contain explosive information about the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, Al Qaeda, and U.S. Political scandals. But Google is not alone in working closely to stifle Internet discourse. America On Line, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are slowly turning the Internet into an information superhighway dominated by barricades, toll booths, off-ramps that lead to dead ends, choke points, and security checks.

America On Line is the most egregious is stifling Internet freedom. A former AOL employee noted how AOL and other Internet Service Providers cooperate with the Bush administration in censoring email. The Patriot Act gave federal agencies the power to review information to the packet level and AOL was directed by agencies like the FBI to do more than sniff the subject line. The AOL term of service (TOS) has gradually been expanded to grant AOL virtually universal power regarding information. Many AOL users are likely unaware of the elastic clause, which says they will be bound by the current TOS and any TOS revisions which AOL may elect at any time in the future. Essentially, AOL users once agreed to allow the censorship and non-delivery of their email.

Microsoft has similar requirements for Hotmail as do Yahoo and Google for their respective e-mail services.

There are also many cases of Google's search engine failing to list and link to certain information. According to a number of web site administrators who carry anti-Bush political content, this situation has become more pronounced in the last month. In addition, many web site administrators are reporting a dramatic drop-off in hits to their sites, according to their web statistic analyzers. Adding to their woes is the frequency at which spam viruses are being spoofed as coming from their web site addresses.

Government disruption of the political side of the web can easily be hidden amid hyped mainstream news media reports of the latest "boutique" viruses and worms, reports that have more to do with the sales of anti-virus software and services than actual long-term disruption of banks, utilities, or airlines.

Internet Censorship in the US: No Longer a Prediction

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Cisco Systems have honed their skills at Internet censorship for years in places like China, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and other countries. They have learned well. They will be the last to admit they have imported their censorship skills into the United States at the behest of the Bush regime. Last year, the Bush-Cheney campaign blocked international access to its web site -- www.georgewbush.com -- for unspecified "security reasons."

Only those in the Federal bureaucracy and the companies involved are in a position to know what deals have been made and how extensive Internet censorship has become. They owe full disclosure to their customers and their fellow citizens.
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Internet Censorship
CHOICE AMERICA NETWORK: http://choice.blog.com/456563/


Reference:

COINTELPRO
http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/cointel.htm


A Short History of FBI COINTELPRO
http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9905a/jbcointelpro.html






Monday, December 26, 2005

Iraq: Depleted Uranium aka "Baghdad Boils?!"


There are two must read articles in this post: The first is on the growing scandal over the use of Depleted Uranium weapons as the reason Anthony Principi stepped down as head of the Veterans Administration. The second is “Iraq: Depleted Uranium aka “Baghdad Boils?!” Both are absolute must reads.

The U.S. used over 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (among other Agent “colors”) in Vietnam. The U.S. and the Pentagon said it was harmless to humans. They new better and deliberately covered up the truth—it kills people as well as plants! Except for a relatively small group of people in this nation, most do not have any idea what Agent Orange was and is. I’ve asked many, many people about Agent Orange and they all have asked me, “Agent What”. Time has a way of erasing history in this nation to say the least.

We know that the Depleted Uranium that Iraq has been, and is currently, being bombarded with has turned Iraq into what is essentially a “Nuclear” wasteland. In short, the use of depleted uranium weapons is not only killing Iraq and the Iraqi people, but it is also killing those using the DU weapons—our own troops.

Just like they did over the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the Pentagon, DoD, Congress and the White House, they lie when telling us that there is no evidence that DU harms people. I wonder if ten years from now, as more and more die from DU contamination, if the memories of the American people will be as bad about DU contamination as it has been and is over the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Will Iraq be left to struggle like Vietnam; will veterans contaminated by DU be hung out to dry as have been so many veterans for the American War on Vietnam? There are already 518,000 vets from the first American invasion into the Gulf—how many more in the next few years? -- Jack
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Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged Monday that the reason Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down… was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War. 12-24

“The VA Secretary (Principi) was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” wrote Bernklau. “He, and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, (it) ... is far too big to hide or to cover up!”

“Terry Jamison, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, at the VA Central Office, recently reported that ‘Gulf Era Veterans’ now on medical disability, since 1991, number 518,739 Veterans,” said Berklau.

“The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence,” stated Berklau. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers (from the 2003 Iraq War) as ‘spectacular … and a matter of concern!’”

When asked if the main purpose of using DU was for “destroying things and killing people,” Fulk was more specific: “I would say it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people!

http://www.sfbayview.com/012605/headsroll012605.shtml
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Iraq: Depleted Uranium aka Baghdad Boils?!
iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/74482
December 23, 2005

There’s a possibility that the US Department of Defense (DoD) is hiding the US casualties under a disguise of 'Baghdad Boils’, a disease plaguing the US troops in Iraq, claimed to be caused by the sand fly bites, but possibly by depleted uranium (DU) radiation. To explore this issue I’ve forwarded the following article to DU experts in the world to have it checked and I’m now publishing it as a preliminary announcement here in iraq-war.ru. I’ll keep you updated on this as soon as I hear of them (if confirmed you can’t miss the fat mainstream headlining).

DEPLETED URANIUM

Recent evidence proves that depleted uranium (DU) is the definite cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Fourteen years after its introduction, DU has revealed as a death sentence, lately brought forth by Leuren Moret:
http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtm


The biological particulate effect targets the Master Code in the DNA and causes numerous diseases difficult to define, but in effect devastating the human body for example with multiple malignancies and developing cancers. Out of 580,400 soldiers in first Gulf War, 11 thousand have died and already by 2000 there were 325,000 permanently disabled, the number increasing by 43,000 every year.

Besides, DU has internally contaminated their sexual partners, who have developed endometriosis and have been forced to have hysterectomies due to health problems. 67 percent of a test group of 251 soldiers have had babies with severe birth defects (missing members, organs, immune system diseases).

The United States has deliberately developed the DU in order to utilize the deadly properties of the DU and contaminated not only 42 states in United States, Sinai in Yom Kippur war (1973), Yugoslavia, southern Iraq (and areas nearby) in the first Gulf War and from 2003 on again in Iraq.

One of the reasons that the US deploys it allies in the southern parts of the Iraq, because it does not want to expose its own troops to the deadly radiation there from the first Gulf War. Thus the British, and the other coalition troops have been generously given the responsibility of the southern Iraq.

BAGHDAD BOIL

In a story 'Skin ulcers plague men from N.C. unit’ we are told: "In addition to the combat casualties suffered during a tour of duty in Iraq last year, an N.C. National Guard brigade also had to medevac 13 men back to a U.S. hospital after volleyball games left them vulnerable to one of the Iraq war's most exotic hazards – an outbreak of skin ulcers that can grow for years.

The victims, all men from the same small unit, contracted cutaneous leishmaniasis, characterized by weeping sores that refuse to heal, said Lt. Col Tim Mauldin, the brigade's top medical officer.

The illness is nicknamed "Baghdad Boil." At the time the guardsmen contracted it last year; the only way to treat it was to fly them back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for up to three weeks of intravenous treatments with a drug called Pentostam"

Using Pentostam in the treatment of sand fly bite is most curious for two main reasons:

(1) One is tempted to suspect the US diagnosis, because for leishmaniasis, phlebotomus argentipes (also known as Kala-azar), a disease indeed caused by the bite of sand fly, there is a new, oral drug, Miltefosine is now available. The medicine is effective which makes the US use of sodium stibogluconate (commercial names: Pentostam or Stibanate) instead very curious, until we read the comment of Lt. Col Tim Mauldin concerning the sores (rather: 'malignancies’) known as Baghdad Boils: "No matter what you do, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger."

(2) Pentostam is administered into veins and "results in a greater than 50% decrease in parasite DNA, RNA protein and purine nucleoside triphosphate levels" (cf. section 5, Pharmacological properties ). It is not immediately obvious how the bites of tiny sandflies could cause changes in the Master Code in the DNA?

(3) Although the sand flies are unlikely cause for the Baghdad Boils, we can seek a different, more natural explanation for the disease is from the unit itself, to which all thirteen man belong. The 30th Enhanced Heavy Separate Brigade (Mech), "Old Hickory", has one battalion of M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and two battalions of M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/30in-bde.htm


The main weapon of the M1A1 is the M256 120mm smoothbore cannon, designed by the Rheinmetall Corporation of Germany. Engagement ranges approaching 4000 meters were successfully demonstrated during Operation Desert Storm. The primary armor-defeating ammunition of this weapon is the armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot (APDS-FS) round, which features a depleted uranium penetrators:
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m1.htm.

On the other hand, we know already from the first Gulf War that: "Soldiers who served in Bradley fighting vehicles, where it was common to sit on ammunition boxes where depleted uranium ammunition was stored, are now reporting that many have rectal cancer."

CONSEQUENCES:

Having recognized the previous facts we are left with the following consequences:

(1) Depleted uranium explains the changes in the Master Code in the DNA caused by Baghdad Boils much better than the 'sand flies’ (if the sand flies are not simply considered as an army code word for 'uranium particles’ or alike). In fact, the diagnosis of Baghdad Boils as 'leishmaniasis’ put forth in several connections by Dr. Roger Bate is itself highly suspicious as Dr. Bate is a visiting fellow at American Enterprise Institute, a front for international armed looting around the world.

(2) As the United States treats the cancer developing multiple malignancies of its tank crews with Pentostam (and not Miltefosine), this shows that the US Armed Forces and the Pentagon are indeed aware of the effects of the depleted uranium, which again shows that they are lying in their denials of its cancer-producing effect, thus giving a direct answer to "QUESTION 11. WHAT DOES THE U.S. GOVT. KNOW ABOUT DU?": http://traprockpeace.org/moret_25nov03.pdf.

They know everything, even how to slow down the mutations caused by DU.

(3) More than 2000 U.S. service members have officially contracted the disease since the Iraq War began in early 2003, most of them in Iraq (though some also in Afghanistan). When these 'walking dead’ are added to the current DoD casualty figure (2160) as soon to be dead, the US death toll tops 4,000 with a single jump. The entire US colonial expeditionary force, the 300,000 having served in Iraq are soon to be counted as US Casualties, either dead or disabled by DU.

(4) As the depleted uranium penetrators are the main rounds of the US M1A1 tanks, and the extra rounds for the tanks are carried in the M2 Bradleys, there is no doubt, that after 1000 days of war, the entire US armored equipment in Iraq is totally contaminated making these vehicles literarily dead man’s chests. Actually the US tank crews are more safe outside than inside of them, despite the current conditions in Iraq.

(5) As the US Armed Forces in Iraq are actually living dead, a zombie army soon to follow the destiny of the previous army in the First Gulf War and their Armored Vehicles hopelessly contaminated by DU, the US army actually has no troops nor tanks. This means that its fate is sealed. The United States has lost the war in Iraq as soon as the troops get the information of how they are and have been deceived by an enemy worse than that they face in Iraq, the US government.

(6) Despite of this we may have even more to worry: in her recent articles Leuren Moret tell that the US has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 40,000 Nagasagi Bombs, making four nuclear wars together. This, according to her may be enough for a death sentence for all of us, who will die in silent ways. To prevent this from happening we must not listen to Mr. Bush, who claims that the future generations will be grateful for sacrifices in Iraq: http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_3331907.

The current deception of the US solders themselves by the US Government could not make the issue more clear: no matter whether you are friend or foe, there is nobody the Government of the United States wouldn’t betray. To stop them all you have to do is pass this story to the US combat troops in Iraq. Explaining them what exactly stepping into US tanks means, will leave them unmanned. This in turn will stop the armoured brigades, which in turn stops the US divisions and armies – and in the end the US government war. As soon as the war is stopped, the entire human kind must step in and help the Iraqi people to clean the country from the depleted uranium.

I’m most thankful for your assistance in this already.

Section I: Depleted Uranium (more sources from articles themselves)

1. Depleted uranium: "Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets: A death sentence here and abroad" http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml

2. Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm

3. QUESTION 11. WHAT DOES THE U.S. GOVT. KNOW ABOUT DU? http://traprockpeace.org/moret_25nov03.pdf

4. A Monumental War Crime ... DU
http://www.iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/74185

5. Leuren Moret Speaking on Depleted Uranium
http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2003/DU-Leuren-Moret21apr03.htm

6. Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/cancer_epidemic_.html


7. Marin Depleted Uranium Resolution Heats Up GI's Will Come Home To A Slow Death
http://www.coastalpost.com/04/08/01.htm

8. The United States is Actively Engaged in War Crimes and Polluting with Deadly Nuclear Materials
http://www.albasrah.net/en_articles_2005/1205/HRA_141205.htm

9. New Information on Iraq
http://www.albasrah.net/en_articles_2005/1205/du_141205.htm

10. The UNITED STATES of MONSTERS: DEPLETED URANIUM
http://uruknet.info/?p=18218&hd=0&size=1&l=x

11. Iranian president calls for war crimes charges on U.S.
http://www.iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/71438

12. Squeezed To Death
http://uruknet.info/?p=18640&hd=0&size=1&l=x

13. World Uranium Weapons Conference 2003 http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers.htm

14. International Criminal Tribunal For Afghanistan at Tokyo
http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004/Afghanistan-Criminal-Tribunal10mar04.htm

15. Leuren Moret: Depleted Uranium Is WMD
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0510/S00138.htm

16. Discounted casualties – the human cost of depleted uranium http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/abom/uran/index_e.html

17. Heads roll at Veterans AdministrationMushrooming depleted uranium (DU) scandal blamed
http://www.sfbayview.com/012605/headsroll012605.shtml

18. Casualties in Iraq
http://democracyrising.us/content/view/46/74/

19. Pentagon Brass Suppresses Truth About Toxic Weapons
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/pentagon_brass.html

Section II: Baghdad Boil(some samples, google yourself for more hits):
Baghdad Boil to Return? (by Dr. Roger Bate, 05/13/2004)
http://www.techcentralstation.com/051304C.html

Topic: BAGHDAD BOIL: parasites infect many U.S. troopsLINK:
Baghdad Boil' Afflicting U.S. Troops http://www.veteransforpeace.org/Baghdad_boil_041804.htm

Soldiers, Civilians Returning from Middle East: Be Aware of "Baghdad Boil"
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=27577

RELIEF FROM BAGHDAD BOIL
http://www.tothepointnews.com/content/view/1346/44/