Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sound familiar? US refuses to allow UN inspectors to investigate its WMDs

The United States said Wednesday that it remained opposed to international inspections of biological weapon sites, even though it stressed its commitment to a UN treaty covering such arms and invaded Iraq in part over its alleged stalling of -- UN weapons inspectors.

"When it comes to the proliferation of bio weapons and the risk of an attack, the world community faces a greater threat," Ellen Tauscher, US Under Secretary of State on arms control and international security told state members of the Biological Weapons Convention.

"While the United States remains concerned about state-sponsored biological warfare and proliferation, we are equally, if not more concerned, about an act of bioterrorism, due to the increased access to advances in the life sciences," she added, stressing the importance of bolstering the treaty.

However, the new US administration is still against an additional protocol that would authorize international inspections of biological weapons sites.

"The Obama Administration will not seek to revive negotiations on a verification protocol to the Convention," said Tauscher.

"We have carefully reviewed previous efforts to develop a verification protocol and have determined that a legally binding protocol would not achieve meaningful verification or greater security," she added.

At BWC talks in 2001, the Bush administration scuttled negotiations for such a protocol, saying that intrusive checks could compromise US security and trade secrets.

Outlining the new US administration's strategy on the issue, Tauscher said Washington believed that compliance to the treaty could be encouraged through "enhanced transparency... and pursuing compliance diplomacy to address concerns."

The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, signed by 163 countries, bans the development, production and reserves of biological weapons.

Source: The Raw Story

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Will you get caught by the REAL ID deadline?

Will you get caught by the REAL ID deadline?

REAL ID is scheduled to go into effect on January 1. The good news is that it may be repealed by then. The bad news is that it may be replaced by something worse, the PASS ID.

Please tell Congress to repeal REAL ID and reject the PASS ID.

This is what I wrote in my letter . . .

REAL ID has proved to be unworkable and unwanted.

  • 36 states will not be in compliance with REAL ID by the January 1 deadline
  • Fifteen states have passed statutes prohibiting it, and another ten have passed resolutions denouncing it.

If REAL ID is not repealed,

Read The Rest Here

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German ex-diplomats say constant support for Israel must cease

Twenty-four former German ambassadors urged the German government to take a harder position against Israel and to rethink its Middle East policy.

In letters sent to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, they ask for a more resolute stance against Israel’s settlement policy.

”Israel will not be able to keep on hoping to gain peace and retain its hold on Palestinian territories at the same time,” the group wrote in a position paper quoted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily.

The idea for the position paper was Martin Schneller’s, former German ambassador to Jordan. Among the diplomats who singed it were Hans-Georg Wieck, former chief of Germany’s Federal Intelligence service (BND), and German ambassadors Gerhard Fulda and Michael Libal.

Remember the past, look to the future

The diplomats stressed that Germany has committed itself to protect Israel’s security “as a historical legacy,” however, true security can “only be achieved through political means, not through occupation and colonization or by relying on military superiority. Instead, it can be reached by a withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories and a subsequent Palestinian state.”

The German Middle East policy, added the paper, should focus on the “urgent necessities of the future”, without forgetting the German-Jewish past.

The Middle East conflict as it is would constitute a “breeding ground for extremism that seriously threatens public safety, not only in the region itself but also in Europe and other parts of the world,” continued the paper.

The paper further calls for a “tougher stance” against Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which would demand they implement the two-state solution. “The continuation of certain benefits or financial support to one side or the other, as well as an increasing convergence with the European Union, could be made dependable of concrete progresses in conflict management.”

The fact that the letter mention financial sanction, even if very vaguely, is considered breaking a German taboo.

Among the changes the diplomats wish to instate is involving Hamas in the political process as a negotiating partner. They also demanded the Gaza crossings be opened.

The diplomats claim that the “assertion that a Palestinian state will threaten Israel’s existence can no longer be accepted seriously, but a continued conflict will inevitably lead to unforeseeable risks.”

‘We’re not anti-Israel’

The paper, its authors stressed, is not meant to be anti-Israel. Former ambassador Michael Libal told German television that “We are not against Israel, we’re just for peace in the Middle East.”

The group said it wants to encourage the German government to support US-led peace initiatives, even if it calls for the use of some pressure.

Currently, he said, the principle of solidarity can be interpreted as supporting every Israeli policy by any Israeli government. “I think, in the long run, we’ll do Israel a greater service by participating in the international effort to achieve peace.”

German news website “Deutsche Welle Online” reported Wednesday that German diplomats had been secretly complaining for quite a while, that Germany thwarts any attempts to force Israel to adhere to international agreements.

The website cites the example of a consumers ban on settlement-produced goods by some European countries, which Germany hindered, as well as Germany’s efforts within EU bodies to curb the growing criticism of Israel’s the settlement policy.

Source: Austrailians for Palestine

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Palestinian Christians call for economic sanctions and boycott of Israel, echoing Apartheid-era appeal

Sent on behalf of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel ( )

Senior Palestinian Christians from all the denominations in the Holy Land will call this week for economic sanctions and boycott of Israel to end its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, echoing a call by black South African theologians at a crucial stage in the campaign against Apartheid.

In a historic moment of unity among Palestinian Christians, signatories to a document by the Palestine Kairos Initiative will call for “a response to what the civil and religious institutions have proposed… the beginning of a system of economic sanctions and boycott” on Israel. “This is not revenge but rather a serious action in order to reach a just and definitive peace,” they will say.
In a document entitled “A moment of truth: A word of faith and hope from the heart of Palestinian suffering,” senior theologians and church leaders will emphasize co-existence among Christians, Muslims and Jews and urges Christians worldwide to revisit interpretations of the bible that attach “a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights.”

The document’s authors call on individuals, churches, governments and the international community to implement a system of economic sanctions and boycott of Israel, adding that these are not acts of revenge but are intended “to reach a just and definitive peace that will put an end to Israeli occupation… and guarantee security and peace for us and for Israel itself.”

The document resembles the Kairos Document of 1985, in which a group of black South African liberation theologians called for reconciliation, justice and an end to the atrocities of the Apartheid regime.

Journalists are warmly invited to attend the document’s launch on Friday, December 11, 2009 at the International Centre of Bethlehem (Dar Al Nadwa) from 14:00-19:00.

Source: Austrailians For Palestine

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Google expands tracking to logged out users

Now, everyone has their activities tracked in the name of a better service

Anyone who’s a regular Google search user will know that the only way to avoid the company tracking your online activities is to log out of Gmail or whatever Google account you use. Not any more.

As of last Friday, even searchers who aren’t logged into Google in any way have their data tracked in the name of providing a ‘better service’.

Read The rest Here

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Google CEO says privacy doesn’t matter. Google blacklists CNet for violating CEO’s privacy.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says privacy isn’t important, and if you want to keep something private, “maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” (in other words, “innocent people have nothing to hide.”)

Bruce Schneier calls bullshit with eloquence: “For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.”

But JWZ has the kicker, when he reminds us that Eric Schmidt’s Google blackballed CNet’s reporters after CNet published personal information about Schmidt’s private life:

Read The Rest Here

Help draft the “Internet Bill of Rights”

Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström is drafting an Internet Bill of Rights for introduction into the European Parliament, and he’s seeking your advice on the language:

I will give a first draft of an answer to the first question: What sections should be in the Internet Bill of Rights?1. Fundamental rights. The European Convention on Human Rights should be respected on the net as well, including Article 8 (the right to privacy) and Article 10 (information freedom).

Read The rest Here

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Nuremberg Revisited: Obama Administration Files To Dismiss Case Against John Yoo

John Yoo is being defended in court this month by the Administration. Not the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration. As with the lawsuits over electronic surveillance and torture, the Obama administration wants the lawsuit against Yoo dismissed and is defending the right of Justice Department officials to help establish a torture program — an established war crime. I will be discussing this issue tonight on MSNBC Countdown.

The Obama Administration has filed a brief that brushes over the war crimes aspects of Yoo’s work at the Justice Department. Instead, it insists that attorneys must be free to give advice — even if it is to establish a torture program.
In its filing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department insists that there is “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict.” Instead it argues that the Justice Department has other means to punish lawyers like the Office of Professional Responsibility. Of course, the Bush Administration effectively blocked such investigations and Yoo is no longer with the Justice Department. The OPR has been dismissed as ineffectual, including in an ABA Journal, as the Justice Department’s “roach motel”—“the cases go in, but nothing ever comes out.”

The Justice Department first defended Yoo as counsel and then paid for private counsel to represent him (here). His public-funded private counsel is Miguel Estrada, who was forced to withdraw his nomination by George Bush for the Court of Appeals after strong opposition from the Democrats.

Yoo is being sued by Jose Padilla, who was effectively blocked in contesting his abusive confinement and mistreatment as part of this criminal case and in a habeas action. The Bush Administration brought new charges to moot a case before the Supreme Court could rule. The Court previously sent his case back on a technicality.

It is important to note that the Administration did not have to file this brief since it had withdrawn as counsel and paid for Yoo’s private counsel. It has decided that it wants to establish the law claimed by the Bush Administration protecting Justice officials who support alleged war crimes. They are effectively doubling down by withdrawing as counsel and then reappearing as a non-party amicus.

The Obama Administration has gutted the hard-fought victories in Nuremberg where lawyers and judges were often guilty of war crimes in their legal advice and opinions. The third of the twelve trials for war crimes involved 16 German jurists and lawyers. Nine had been officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice, the others were prosecutors and judges of the Special Courts and People’s Courts of Nazi Germany. It would have been a larger group but two lawyers committed suicide before trial: Adolf Georg Thierack, former minister of justice, and Carl Westphal, a ministerial counsellor.

They included Herbert Klemm, who was sentenced to life imprisonment and served as minister of justice, director of the Ministry’s Legal Education and Training Division, and deputy director of the National Socialist Lawyer’s League.

Oswald Rothaug received life imprisonment for his role as a prosecutor and later a judge.

Wilhelm von Ammon received ten years for his work as a justice officials in occupied areas.

Guenther Joel received ten years for being an adviser (like Yoo) to the Ministry of Justice and later a judge.

Curt Rothenberger was also a legal adviser and was given seven years for his writings at the Ministry of Justice and as the deputy president of the Academy of German Law

Wolfgang Mettgenberg received ten years as representative of the Criminal Legislation Administration Division of the Ministry of Justice,

Ernst Lautz (10 years) had been chief public prosecutor of the People’s Court.

Franz Schlegelberger, a former Ministry of Justice official who was convicted and sentenced to life for conspiracy and other war crimes. The court found:

‘…that Schlegelberger supported the pretension of Hitler in his assumption of power to deal with life and death in disregard of even the pretense of judicial process. By his exhortations and directives, Schlegelberger contributed to the destruction of judicial independence. It was his signature on the decree of 7 February 1942 which imposed upon the Ministry of Justice and the courts the burden of the prosecution, trial, and disposal of the victims of Hitler’s Night and Fog. For this he must be charged with primary responsibility.

‘He was guilty of instituting and supporting procedures for the wholesale persecution of Jews and Poles. Concerning Jews, his ideas were less brutal than those of his associates, but they can scarcely be called humane. When the “final solution of the Jewish question” was under discussion, the question arose as to the disposition of half-Jews. The deportation of full Jews to the East was then in full swing throughout Germany. Schlegelberger was unwilling to extend the system to half-Jews.’

It was the “ideas” that these lawyers advanced that made the war crimes possible. Other officials were tried but acquitted. All of these officials used arguments similar to those in the Obama Administration’s brief of why lawyers are not responsible for war crimes that they defend and justify. Bush selected people like Yoo to justify the war crime of torture. If they had written against it, the Administration might have abandoned the effort. The CIA director and others were already concerned about the prospect of prosecution. The Obama Administration’s brief revisits Nuremberg and sweeps away such quaint notions. Indeed, the brief for Yoo could have been used directly to support legal advisers Wolfgang Mettgenberg, Guenther Joel, and Wilhelm von Ammon.

If successful in this case, the Obama Administration will succeed in returning the world to the rules leading to the war crimes at Nuremberg. Quite a legacy for the world’s newest Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Source: Jonathan Turley

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Our Dead Constitution

by Timothy Baldwin

dead-constitutionOur Constitution is dead. Rigor mortis set in a long time ago. Peculiar enough, many Americans who claim to love our constitution believe it is alive and well with hot red blood running through its vein. Plainly put: they are naïve, deceived or ignorant. Those who killed the constitution (and their posterity, with whom we are living today) pick up the dead corpse, move it around like a puppet on strings, put make up on it to make it look pretty, prop it up against a wall to stand on its own, and proclaim and swear an oath to us and God that they will preserve, defend and protect what they know to be dead. Ironically, they accomplish this, in part, through what they term a “living constitution”, which has bled the life’s blood from our constitution. Unfortunately, most Americans fail to see that our political circumstances are very similar and parallel to those which our founders considered to be a line in the sand.

Claude Halstead Van Tyne, in his book, The Causes of the War of Independence, describes the circumstances which caused America’s War for Independence. The cause was not “taxation without representation” per se. It was not “the government is too big” per se. It was not “taxes are too high” per se. It was the concept that government is limited by the principles of freedom found in the laws of Nature and Nature’s God and secured by their constitution; and government actions taken beyond those limitations are to be met with resistance. In Van Tyne’s description of this causation, what is strikingly similar to our current situation is that Great Britain considered their constitution to be “living” and to give Parliament and King George the power, authority and right to essentially act in whatever manner it deemed appropriate. Van Tyne observes,

“The contrast cannot be too strongly insisted upon. Samuel Adams and many of his fellow countrymen, on the one hand, believed that the British Constitution was fixed by ‘the law of God and nature,’ and founded in the principles of law and reason so that Parliament could not alter it, but Lord Mansfield and his followers, on the other hand, asserted rightly that ‘the constitution of this country has been always in a moving state, either gaining or losing something,’ and ‘there are things even in Magna Charta which are not constitutional now’ and others which an act of Parliament might change. Between two such conceptions of the powers of government compromise was difficult to attain… Such differences in ideals were as important causes of a breaking up of the empire [of Great Britain] as more concrete matters like oppressive taxation.” The Causes of the War of Independence, Volume 1, (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1922), 235, 237.

Great Britain’s political ideology is the same ideology that 99% of our federal politicians demonstrate today! This is just what Congressman Henry Hyde (R) expressed in 2006, when he responded to Congressman Ron Paul’s claim that Congress must declare war before G.W. Bush can constitutionally launch (what is now) an eight year and growing war half way across the world, sending hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to risk their lives and die and spending hundreds of billions of tax payer monies to support the same. Hyde says, “There are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events, by time. Declaration of war is one of them. There are things no longer relevant to a modern society.” James T. Bennett, Homeland Security Scams, (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2006), 133. Did the vast majority of Congressmen (Republican and Democrat, House and Senate) believe the same as Hyde? We know they did because they continued to shirk and even ignore their constitutional obligation to declare war, while funding the same with our money and with our lives–all contrary to the constitution, to the lessons of human history and to the principles of self-government and limited government.

Many thousands of persons all across America repeatedly and continually scream the voice of discontent of unconstitutional government. Thousands of books have been written on how the constitution has been ignored, trampled, despised, and even laughed at by those we elect to uphold that very document and the principles founding it. I do not need delineate the (not so “light and transient”) abuses, encroachments, and usurpations upon our constitution. It is a known fact. It is admitted. There is no hiding it. The long train of abuses is evident, established and provable. Our federal government has, through fraud, deceit, force and bribe, converted our once Constitutional Federal Republic into a Despotic National Oligarchy. We now have the same (if not worse) form and type of government that we seceded from in 1776. Yet, many people who claim to love the constitution will criticize those who recommend a different course of action other than voting for a President who will hopefully appoint a “conservative” judge to the supreme court; other than focusing our solutions on Washington D.C.; other than playing political games with those causing and controlling all that we claim to despise; or other than confining our redress to federal courts and two political parties.

Thomas Paine witnessed those during his living-constitution/government-despot days whose only method of redress was to send correspondence and complaint to King George and Parliament, hoping for reclamation of freedom through the very system that was enslaving them. To these plans of action, Thomas Paine says, “There was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease.” Thomas Paine and Mark Philip, ed., Oxford World’s Classics: Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, Common Sense and other Political Writings, (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 27. To Thomas Paine, changing the plan of action to resist and arrest tyranny was simply Common Sense. Thankfully, our founders agreed. Thankfully, this change meant truly standing for freedom, natural rights, limited government, self-government, federalism and constitutional government. This change necessarily meant putting off the old man and putting on the new. It necessarily meant burying the dead and quickening the fetus of freedom.

The United States Constitution was formed and framed on certain immutable principles: principles which acknowledge that God is the Source of all rights; the Definer of all authority; the Judge of all actions and laws; the Giver of life, property and pursuit of happiness. Those principles never die. They live forever. However, as our founders expressed in the Declaration of Independence, governments can become destructive to these ends. Indeed, they can. Understand: Great Britain’s history was similar to America’s. It contained men and women of principle and courage who were catalysts to providing freedom throughout Europe. Europe indeed is the home of the forefathers which our founders studied and adored. Great Britain’s constitution was formed and framed upon the principles expounded upon by Enlightenment philosophers, jurists, lawyers, judges, and theologians. Yet, their constitution died–not because of natural causes, but because those who were constrained by it killed it.

History proves this: not even a (free) constitution can secure freedom where the principles of it are abandoned and the applications of it are ignored. French philosopher Charles Montesquieu (whom our founders relied upon heavily in political thought) confirms this in his book, Spirit of Laws, when he says, “The constitution may happen to be free, and the subject not…It is the disposition only of the laws, and even of the fundamental laws, that constitutes liberty in relation to the constitution.” Charles de Baron Montesquieu and Julian Hawthorne, ed., The Spirit of Laws: The World’s Great Classics, vol. 1 (London: The London Press), 183. How observant he was.

Why is America not free? Is it because we do not have a free constitution? No. Is it because the principles that formed our constitution do not create freedom? No. Is it because Obama is in the White House? No. Is it because Democrats are evil? No. Is it because God was “kicked out” of our public schools? No. Is it because abortion was made “legal”? No. Is it because America engages in unjust wars? No. Is it because America’s presidents have entangled in foreign affairs? No. Those are simply fruits of the root of our dead constitution. Our constitution is dead because our agents, the government, have created a matrix, a system whereby our original constitution and its principles have no application to their power. They are merely bound by their arbitrary discretion–the very definition of tyranny. Even worse, our constitution is dead because the people and the states have consented to its murder.

Like a loved-one who has passed on, I love and miss our constitution (not that it has been alive since I was born in 1979). Yet, while I love the constitution, I love the freedom it was designed to protect much more, and I put freedom and its principles above and beyond the document and words of our constitution. Indeed, the words of the constitution do not create freedom. History and common sense teach us this (which is why America cannot “spread democracy” to the world). Thus, I do not love the words contained in the constitution. Rather, I love the principles of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God which formed the words. I do not love the three separate branches of the federal government: I love the limits of power and authority they were instituted to secure. I do not love federalism: rather, I love the security it brings to ensure that my children live in freedom.

Thankfully, since principles derived from the laws of God never die, we the people of the states continue to have the power of truth to reestablish and reinstitute forms of government to secure our freedom. Thankfully, we have fifty sovereign and independent states to activate the principles of free government within those political borders, resisting and arresting any attempts from outsiders who would attempt to enslave their citizens. Thankfully, our forefathers bequeathed to us a framework, legacy, heritage, and foundation of hope and freedom. They bequeathed to us truths we hold to be self-evident.

We all have fond memories of our constitution when it was alive and well, but the time has come when we who love the freedom it protected must admit that those who are supposed to be bound by its mandates, principles and limitations have killed it, and they need to be treated like the murderers they are, just as Thomas Paine said about his government: “A common murderer, a highwayman, or a housebreaker, has as good a pretence as he.” Paine and Philip, ed., American Crisis I, 64. These murderers have put us into a place in nature before the constitution was quickened and made alive by the people of the sovereign states of America. See, Locke and Macpherson, ed., Second Treatise of Government, 14–15. We are literally better off not having made alive this document that is literally being used against us, our posterity and our freedom. They are forcing us to consider recalling and retaking all the powers we gave them (as our agents) for the protection of our and our posterity’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness–our natural rights from God. In fact, this is what John Locke confirms about our natural right:

“Absolute arbitrary power, or governing without settled standing laws, can neither of them consist with the ends of society and government, which men would not quit the freedom of the state of nature for, and tie themselves up under, were it not to preserve their lives, liberties and fortunes, and by stated rules of right and property to secure their peace and quiet. It cannot be supposed that they should intend, had they a power so to do, to give to any one, or more, an absolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate’s hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them. This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination.” Locke and Macpherson, ed., Second Treatise of Government, 72.

The people of the states must get serious about this matter. We must put the fear of God and the fear of the people before the eyes of tyrants. Otherwise, they will be like those described in Romans 3:16-18 (KJV) and we will continue to suffer for it: “Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” When the people of the states of America recognize our natural power to abolish, alter and institute new forms of government to secure the ends of freedom, we will have a free constitution alive and well and a free people benefiting from its life. We will once again have government (of, by and for the people) that has the fear of God and the people before their eyes and that will act accordingly.

Tim Baldwin is an attorney who received his Juris Doctor degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a former felony prosecutor for the Florida State Attorney’s Office and now owns his own private law practice. He is author of a soon-to-be-published new book, entitled FREEDOM FOR A CHANGE. Tim is also one of America’s foremost defenders of State sovereignty. See his website.

Source: 10th Amendment Center

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Israelis shot mental patient 'under controversial military directive'

by Jonathan Cook

The National

December 10. 2009

NAZARETH // The fatal shooting by Israeli soldiers of an Israeli man earlier this week as he tried to scale a fence into the Gaza Strip was reportedly part of a drastic procedure the army was supposed to have phased out several years ago.

The Israeli media reported that Yakir Ben-Melech, 34, had bled to death after he was shot under the "Hannibal procedure", designed to prevent Israelis from being taken captive alive by enemy forces.

One critic, Uri Avnery, a former Israeli legislator and leader of Gush Shalom, a small radical peace group, defined the procedure as meaning: “Liberate the soldier by killing him”.

The controversial directive, which was once one of the army’s best-kept secrets, was drafted more than 20 years ago after the Israeli government had come under domestic pressure to release hundreds of enemy prisoners for the return of three captured soldiers.

Israel is currently involved in just such negotiations over Gilad Shalit, a soldier who has been held prisoner in Gaza by Hamas for more than three years. According to reports, he may be freed in the near future in a deal expected to see several hundred Palestinians released from Israeli prisons.

Israel was supposed to have stopped the Hannibal procedure after it withdrew its occupying army from south Lebanon in May 2000.

However, there is strong evidence that it has continued to be used, particularly during the events that triggered Israel’s attack on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and again last year during Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Ben-Melech, a patient at a mental health clinic in nearby Ashkelon, tried to enter Gaza in the early hours of Monday in what his family believe was a bid to save Sgt Shalit. The army says guards fired several warning shots as he ran towards Gaza before shooting him in the leg.

Several Israeli military correspondents, apparently briefed by the army, reported that the Hannibal procedure had been invoked in Ben-Melech’s case.

The use of the procedure was also confirmed by Zvika Fogel, a former deputy head of the army’s Southern Command, an area including Gaza. He told the Reshet B radio station: “The Hannibal procedure is definitely the right procedure. We cannot afford now some soulmate next to Gilad Shalit.”

However, in an apparent sign of continuing sensitivities on the issue, English-language editions of Israeli newspapers did not mention the procedure. The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s only major newspaper produced in English, excised a reference to the procedure included in an early report on its website, and the army’s spokesman avoided answering questions about whether the procedure had been used in Ben-Melech’s shooting.

Later explanations from the army focused instead on the threat Ben-Melech supposedly posed. One official told Ynet, Israel’s largest news website: “The [border] guards had no way of knowing who he was and feared that his attempted infiltration was part of a larger-scale terror attack.”

Ben-Melech’s sister-in-law, Ilanit, responded that the army’s account made no sense. “He ran in the direction of Gaza, not the soldiers, so why did they shoot him?”

The Hannibal procedure only came to light accidentally in 2003 after a slip-up by the country’s military censor allowed a reference to remain in a report published by the daily Haaretz.

In a follow-up article, the newspaper revealed that the directive had been formulated in 1986 in the wake of a deal in which Israel had released more than 1,100 Palestinians for three Israelis. Gabi Ashkenazi, the current chief of staff, was among those who drafted the procedure.

The order, described as the most controversial in the Israeli army’s history, was that “a dead soldier is better than a captive soldier”, according to Haaretz. The directive reportedly created a furore in the army at the time, with some commanders and rabbis considering it immoral, though no mention of it was made public for many years.

It was last used officially in October 2000, five months after Israeli forces withdrew from south Lebanon, when Hizbollah captured three soldiers along the border. Attack helicopters fired on a vehicle in which it was believed the soldiers were being held.

The soldiers’ bodies were returned by Hizbollah, along with a captured Israeli businessman, four years later in a deal that included the release of 400 Palestinians and 35 Arab nationals.

The procedure, according to Haaretz, was revoked in 2002, although several soldiers told the paper that they had been told to follow it despite its official annulment.

There have been a number of indications, in addition to the shooting of Ben-Melech, that the procedure is still in force.

It appears to have been invoked after two Israeli soldiers were captured by Hizbollah on the Lebanese border in summer 2006, an incident that triggered a month-long attack by Israel on Lebanon.

Eitan Baron wrote in a blog that his brother Yaniv, a 19-year-old tank driver, had been sent in hot pursuit of the Hizbollah team holding the two soldiers on a Hannibal procedure mission.

Yaniv Baron and four other crew members died when the tank ran over a mine and was then fired on by Hizbollah in what was widely assumed to be an ambush.

According to Mr Baron, Yaniv’s battalion commander told the family after his death that the procedure had been invoked. “They [the tank crew] were familiar with the procedure, and without giving it a second thought, started driving,” Mr Baron wrote.

Further revelations about the procedure emerged last January, during Operation Cast Lead, when the Israeli media reported that Israeli soldiers being sent into Gaza had been told to avoid capture at all costs.

Channel 10, a television station, quoted an officer from Battalion 501 of the Golani Brigade saying: “No troop member from the 501 battalion is to be kidnapped at any cost, nor in any situation, even if this means blowing up a grenade in his possession, killing himself and those trying to kidnap him.”

An officer from the Givati Brigades was also quoted, citing the Hannibal procedure, adding: “We will not have two Gilad Shalits at any price.”

During Operation Cast Lead, Hamas claimed that it had captured soldiers on two occasions but that the Israeli army had killed the Hamas fighters and soldiers in aerial attacks. Three Israeli soldiers were reported to have died in friendly-fire incidents.

A number of Palestinians, including children, have been shot by the Israeli army after getting close to the perimeter fence that surrounds Gaza. Last year Israel announced that it would shoot any Palestinian who entered a zone extending several hundred meters inside the fence.

Source: The National

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DHS Lowers the Boom on the Bogeyman

by Christopher M. Montalbano

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said today that the Bogeyman is the greatest threat to the security of America's children.

At a press conference today DHS spokesman Ernest Konnyu stated "The academic criminal justice community, the law enforcement community, and the policy world have spent decades studying the Bogeyman phenomenon," and added that the rapid increase of unsolved child disappearances over the last decade is alarming. He said "The consensus of the experts is that the Bogeyman exists, and that he poses an unacceptable risk to the entire human race. If this trend continues to accelerate, as the computer models predict, by 2099 no human child will reach the age of 10 before disappearing. This will mean the end of humanity."

Konnyu said that this "long overdue" finding on the part of the DHS will now authorize the department to take steps under the Patriot Act to address the threat. As a first measure, the DHS may command all state and local law enforcement bodies to enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew for all U.S. residents except government employees. "If you're out there after sundown, you might be the Bogeyman" said Konnyu. Another proposed measure is the installation of audio/video surveillance in all private homes to ensure that all the children are washing behind their ears, not speaking bad words, and saying their prayers so that the Bogeyman won't get them. Under the proposed regulation parents who fail to control their children properly would pay fines and forfeit the custody of their children to the state.

This announcement comes coincidentally on the opening day of the UN-sponsored Conference Of National Groups Against Monsters and Evil in Salem, Massachusetts. Conference chairman Prof. Alfred Falschangst of the University of Narrstadt, Germany welcomed the statement. "It is wonderful news that the U.S. will aggressively fight the Bogeyman," he said "but more must be done. The ideal approach would be for all governments to take custody of all children between the ages of 3 and 12. Only then could they be reliably protected from this danger."

Conference delegate Prof. Miguel Aterrar of La Universidad de la Santa Inquisicion in Ciudad de los Mentirosos, Spain, also greeted the announcement with approval. He said: "This declaration by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will surely be the last nail in the coffin of the Bogeyman deniers."

Attempts to contact Bogeyman skeptics for comment have so far yielded no results. All prominent skeptics have apparently disappeared, and no trace of their whereabouts has yet been found. When asked about this, a high-level DHS officer expressed the opinion that they are probably just hiding from the Bogeyman.

Source: Lew Rockwell

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Noam Chomsky: More to fear from US, Israel than Iran

Top American intellectual Noam Chomsky says that the general public should fear more from the US and Israel than Iran.

During a lecture entitled “Obama, the Middle East and the Prospects of Peace” delivered at Boston University on Tuesday, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor stressed that Iran is acting within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“All states [must] resolve their conflicts within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he said.

“Who was that resolution directed at? Nothing in the resolution relates to Iran. Iran is not threatening the use of force, and as far as anyone knows, they are staying within the bounds of the treaty,” Chomsky added.

He said people may have more to fear from the two countries that the American public would not typically associate with terrorism.

“The resolution is actually directed at the two states that consistently and regularly do resort to force and the threat of force, namely the United States and Israel,” he said.

“Those are the countries that carry out aggression regularly and repeatedly, that invade other countries, occupy other countries, invoke terror and violence and they’re unique in that respect,” Chomsky added.

He stated that the US government and its media have propagated exaggerated reports about Iran’s nuclear program.

“There has been a massive propaganda campaign that demonizes Iran, that portrays it as a major threat to world peace that has been going on for the past three years,” Chomsky said.

Source: Dandelion Salad

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Normalising the Crime of the Century By John Pilger

By John Pilger
Information Clearing House
December 09, 2009

I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day only to learn he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he had resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

“Everyone knows,” he said, “except parliament and the public.”

“And the media?”

“The media – the big names – have been invited to King Charles Street (the Foreign Office) and flattered and briefed with lies. They are no trouble.”

As Iraq desk officer at the Foreign Office, he had drafted letters for ministers reassuring MPs and the public that the British Government was not arming Saddam Hussein. “This was a downright lie”, he said. “I couldn’t bear it”.

Giving evidence before the arms-to-Iraq enquiry, Higson was the only British official commended by Lord Justice Scott for telling the truth. The price he paid was the loss of his health and marriage and constant surveillance by spooks. He ended up living on benefits in a Birmingham bedsitter where he suffered a seizure, struck his head and died alone. Whistleblowers are often heroes; he was one.

He came to mind when I saw a picture in the paper of another Foreign Office official, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Tony Blair’s ambassador to the United Nations in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. More than anyone, it was Sir Jeremy who tried every trick to find a UN cover for the bloodbath to come. Indeed, this was his boast to the Chilcot enquiry on 27 November, where he described the invasion as “legal but of questionable legitimacy”. How clever. In the picture he wore a smirk.

Under international law, “questionable legitimacy” does not exist. An attack on a sovereign state is a crime. This was made clear by Britain’s chief law officer, Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, before his arm was twisted, and by the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers and subsequently by the secretary-general of the United Nations. The invasion is the crime of the 21st century. During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers like “sanctions” and “no fly zones” and “building democracy”, more people have died in Iraq than during the peak years of the slave trade. Set that against Sir Jeremy’s skin-saving revisionism about American “noises” that were “decidedly unhelpful to what I was trying to do [at the UN] in New York”. Moreover, “I myself warned the Foreign Office … that I might have to consider my own position …”.

It wasn’t me, guv.

The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media so that the only issue that matters, that of prosecution, is never raised. When he appears in January, Blair will play this part to odious perfection, dutifully absorbing the hisses and boos. All “inquiries” into state crimes are neutered in this way. In 1996, Lord Justice Scott’s arms-to-Iraq report obfuscated the crimes his investigations and voluminous evidence had revealed.

At that time, I interviewed Tim Laxton, who had attended every day of the inquiry as auditor of companies taken over by MI6 and other secret agencies as vehicles for the illegal arms trade with Saddam Hussein. Had there been a full and open criminal investigation, Laxton told me, “hundreds” would have faced prosecution. “They would include,” he said, “top political figures, very senior civil servants from right throughout Whitehall … the top echelon of government.”

That is why Chilcot is advised by the likes of Sir Martin Gilbert, who compared Blair with Churchill and Roosevelt. That is why the inquiry will not demand the release of documents that would illuminate the role of the entire Blair gang, notably Blair’s 2003 cabinet, long silent. Who remembers the threat of the thuggish Geoff Hoon, Blair’s “defence secretary”, to use nuclear weapons against Iraq?

In February, Jack Straw, one of Blair’s principal accomplices, the man who let the mass murderer General Pinochet escape justice and the current “justice secretary”, overruled the Information Commissioner who had ordered the government to publish Cabinet minutes during the period Lord Goldsmith was pressured into changing his judgement that the invasion was illegal. How they fear exposure, and worse.

The media has granted itself immunity. On 27 November, Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector, wrote that the invasion “was made far easier given the role of useful idiot played by much of the mainstream media in the US and Britain.” More than four years before the invasion, Ritter, in interviews with myself and others, left not a shred of doubt that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had been disabled, yet he was made a non-person. In 2002, when the Bush/Blair lies were in full echo across the media, the Guardian and Observer mentioned Iraq in more than 3,000 articles, of which 49 referred to Ritter and his truth that could have saved thousands of lives.

What has changed? On 30 November, the Independent published a pristine piece of propaganda from its embedded man in Afghanistan. “Troops fear defeat at home,” said the headline. Britain, said the report, “is at serious risk of losing its way in Afghanistan because rising defeatism at home is demoralising the troops on the front line, military commanders have warned.” In fact, public disgust with the disaster in Afghanistan is mirrored among many serving troops and their families; and this frightens the warmongers. So “defeatism” and “demoralising the troops” are added to the weasel lexicon. Good try. Unfortunately, like Iraq, Afghanistan is a crime. Period.


Yeswecanistan by William Blum

Baghdad attacks put Iraq security back in spotlight + 118 killed, 197 injured

Secret letter to reveal new Blair war lies

The Iraq War ‘Inquiry’: ‘Revelations’? What revelations? By William Bowles

Iraq Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer Confirms That Iraq War Was Illegal by Andy Worthington

Source: Dandelion Salad

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Bank-Friendly Dems Shut Down House, Threaten To Kill Wall Street Reform

by Ryan Grim

A group of Democrats friendly to Wall Street interests forced a delay in consideration of the landmark financial regulatory reform bill scheduled to hit the House floor on Wednesday, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told reporters in the Speaker's lobby.

Frank accused the New Democrat Coalition of blocking the bill because its members are being prodded by big banks to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and to allow major financial institutions to avoid state laws tougher than federal regulations.

A Democratic leadership aide confirmed that centrist and conservative Democrats are threatening to vote no, leaving the caucus short of the needed votes.

"The big banks in particular are trying to get more preemption," said Frank. "It's a state-consumer battle with the big banks. We want compromise. They want to offer an amendment that makes it easier to preempt state consumer laws."

New Dem Vice Chair Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) is demanding that her preemption amendment, which would in effect mean that state regulations on the financial industry could be no tougher than federal guidelines, be given a vote on the House floor. It was first beaten back in committee in October.

Bean and other advocates of preemption say that uniform national standards are preferable to allowing each state to make different rules. Opponents note that federal regulators have been less than adept over the past several years at reining in corruption and excess.

Blue Dog Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) is also pushing an amendment that would abolish the CFPA, a top priority of the administration and the brainchild of Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, said Frank.

Minnick worked to defeat the CFPA in committee but was unsuccessful. While the House sits in recess, leadership and opponents of reform within the caucus are negotiating their way out of the deadlock.

When a bloc of Democrats wants to exert its influence in an extreme way, it threatens to "take down the rule" -- legislative lingo for, in effect, blocking consideration of the bill on the floor.

When Frank was first asked whether Democratic leadership had the votes it needed to proceed on the floor, six loud bells rang out.

"Do you know what you're listening to now?" asked Frank. "They're now sounding six bells. Do you know what that means? It means a recess. What do you think, the kids have to go out and play in the yard? That's your answer."

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told HuffPost he had the same political instincts. "If they had the votes, we'd be out there debating the rule," said a smiling Boehner. "It's that simple."

UPDATE: 9:10 p.m. "New Dems have reached an agreement that includes a balanced compromise on our key issues. This agreement will allow us to create an empowered Consumer Financial Protection Agency that will place tough new federal regulations on financial institutions from large banks to payday lenders to mortgage brokers," reads a statement put out by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Chair of the New Democrat Coalition and Bean, New Dem Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the New Dem Financial Services Task Force.

"We look forward to continuing to work with House Leadership and the Obama Administration on enacting comprehensive reform that will achieve our long stated goals of overhauling our nation's financial regulations to ensure more effective oversight, greater transparency and robust consumer protection."

The deal, HuffPost is told, has been reached in principle and allows a Murphy/McMahon/Kratovil amendment relating to derivatives used by end users to go to the floor.

And instead of getting a floor amendment, Bean will get some of her language on preemption inserted into the manager's amendment that Frank will introduce.

The agreement clears the bill to move forward.

Source: The Huffington Post

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Billions More in Easy Money for Wall Street -- Are We Too Ignorant About Finance to Stop It?

By William Greider, The Nation.

A permanent security blanket for big boys of finance will further inflame public opinion. Only the public isn't likely to know.

The sale pitch for financial-reform legislation pending in the House claims it would put an stop to "too big to fail" bailouts for the leading banks. The reality is the opposite. The federal government would instead be granted unlimited authority to spend whatever it takes to prop up the big boys when they get in trouble. Only in the next crisis, Congress won't have to be asked for the money. The financial rescues will be funded by the secretive Federal Reserve, not the Treasury, with money the Fed itself creates.

And the emergency lending could be pumped into any financial institution in trouble--not just behemoth commercial banks but investment houses like Goldman Sachs, insurance companies, hedge funds or any other pools of private capital whose failure regulators believe would threaten the system.

This sounds nutty and it is. A permanent security blanket for big boys of finance will further inflame public opinion. Only the public isn't likely to know. The crucial terms for Fed financing are set by an innocuous-sounding amendment offered by Representative Brad Miller of North Carolina. Any financial holding company designated as a "systemic risk" and subject to stricter regulatory standards "shall have the same access to the discount window lending of an appropriate Federal Reserve Bank as is available to a member bank of each Federal Reserve bank."

This last-minute amendment, if included on final passage, solves a huge problem for the Obama administration--how to pay for the next bailout if another financial calamity unfolds. In the House banking committee, the administration's legislation originally sought unlimited authority for the Treasury and the president. But committee members choked on the implications after Representative Brad Sherman of California denounced it as "TARP on steroids." TARP was the original $700 billion bailout jammed through Congress last year. Citizens are still angry and some members of Congress who voted for TARP are likely to lose their seats.

Solution? Let the Fed do it behind closed doors. The Federal Reserve's discount lending to commercial banks is normally not disclosed to the public since it might signal the bank is in trouble and undermine investor confidence. That secrecy can hardly be sustained in another crisis, however, since financial markets will swiftly figure out which financial firms are the lucky winners in the Fed's fail-or-flourish lottery.

The so-called reform legislation has many other problems--too many to clean up at this stage in the legislative process--but somebody should start right now to raise a righteous stink about the core provisions. As I have been writing for months, putting the Federal Reserve in charge as super-regulator is the path that leads to the corporate state. A limited circle of privileged players would enjoy a permanent line of credit from Washington, while their competitors in business and finance would struggle at great disadvantage. This top-down economy would combine the worst qualities of both socialism and capitalism. Unfortunately, the hybrid nature of the monstrosity may not become clear, even to members of Congress, until the next crisis, when it will be too late.

Source: Alternet

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Bayer Admits GMO Contamination is Out of Control

Source: Organic Consumers

Bayer has admitted it has been unable to control the spread of its genetically-engineered organisms despite 'the best practices [to stop contamination]'(1). It shows that all outdoors field trials or commercial growing of GE crops must be stopped before our crops are irreversibly contaminated.

$2 million US dollar verdict against Bayer confirms company's liability for an uncontrollable technology

Greenpeace welcomes the United States federal jury ruling on 4 December 2009 that Bayer CropScience LP must pay $2 million US dollars to two Missouri farmers after their rice crop was contaminated with an experimental variety of rice that the company was testing in 2006.

This verdict confirms that the responsibility for the consequences of GE (genetic engineering) contamination rests with the company that releases GE crops.

Bayer has admitted it has been unable to control the spread of its genetically-engineered organisms despite 'the best practices [to stop contamination]'(1). It shows that all outdoors field trials or commercial growing of GE crops must be stopped before our crops are irreversibly contaminated.

A report prepared for Greenpeace International concluded that the total costs incurred throughout the world as a result of the contamination are estimated to range from $741 million to $1.285 billion US dollars.(2) The verdict indicates that Bayer is liable for what could turn out to be a large proportion of these costs, as it awards damages in the first two of more than 1,000 currently pending lawsuits. The decision must be used to support all claims for losses incurred by other US farmers whose crops have suffered from GE contamination.

(1) Bayers Defense lawyer, Mark Ferguson as reported in Harris, A. 2009.
Bayer Blamed at Trial for Crops 'Contaminated' by Modified Rice. Bloomberg News 4th November 2009, available at:

(2) E.N. Blue (2007) Risky Business. Economic and regulatory impacts from the unintended release of genetically engineered rice varieties into the rice merchandising system of the US. Report prepared for Greenpeace International, available online at

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Let the Copenhagen wealth transfer begin

Source: National Post - Adrian MacNair

Part of the problem with the climate change issue is that it isn’t seen as an ongoing review of scientific models and theories about human impact on planetary warmth. It has taken on a political and religious tone which makes any attempt to peer review the consensus subject to ridicule. We know that dissidents of the consensus evidence were shunned and blacklisted according to the hacked [or leaked] Climatic Research Unit emails from the University of East Anglia. Those who have challenged the prevailing urgency of action have been mocked, ridiculed, and relegated to the status of apostates.

Canada received it’s first Fossil of the Day “award” Monday at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, for its “unwavering commitment to stand firm in its inaction”. Levying shame-inducing awards on people, organizations, and countries, has been the hallmark tactic of the climate zealots for years now. By designating such a prize, on an entire country no less, it has all of the intent of telling us that this isn’t a debate between adults. It’s between an adult, and a petulant child.

The Federal Reserve is preparing to grab more power

by John Tate

This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on Barney Frank's financial regulatory reform bill, which is yet another thousand page-plus attempt to increase the powers of Congress and the Federal Reserve while destroying more of what little free market our country has left.

Contact Congress and tell your representative you have seen enough of the federal government's thousands of pages of regulations and tinkering around in our economy.

Composed of several bills, the final package up for vote is H.R. 4173, slyly titled "The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act." With amendments, this legislation now exceeds 1500 pages!

H.R. 4173 would create more government bureaucracies to interfere with market operations, and, according to Subtitle G of the bill, the federal government would also have direct authorization to take over and break up any financial institution it deems to be "too big to fail."

So imagine what Congress, well-skilled in articulating pseudo-justifications, would then be able to do, by law, to any institution that resisted its interventions!

Your representative needs to hear from you immediately! Find your congressman's information here.

Be sure to urge your representative to set a new tone in Washington by instead supporting an up or down, standalone vote on Audit the Fed, H.R. 1207. Before Congress even considers the Federal Reserve's future role in our economy, it should know what the Fed is up to with the powers it currently has.

It's long past time to deliver the answers the American people want and deserve about what is being done with their money.

Tell your representative to oppose H.R. 4173 and to push for a standalone vote on Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill!

Source: Campaign For Liberty

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Copenhagen and Global Warming: Ten Facts and Ten Myths on Climate Change

By Prof. Robert M. Carter
Global Research, December 9, 2009
James Cook University, Queensland, Australia

Ten facts about climate change

1. Climate has always changed, and it always will. The assumption that prior to the industrial revolution the Earth had a “stable” climate is simply wrong. The only sensible thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it.

2. Accurate temperature measurements made from weather balloons and satellites since the late 1950s show no atmospheric warming since 1958. In contrast, averaged ground-based thermometers record a warming of about 0.40 C over the same time period. Many scientists believe that the thermometer record is biased by the Urban Heat Island effect and other artefacts.

3. Despite the expenditure of more than US$50 billion dollars looking for it since 1990, no unambiguous anthropogenic (human) signal has been identified in the global temperature pattern.

4. Without the greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature on Earth would be -180 C rather than the equable +150 C that has nurtured the development of life.

Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for ~26% (80 C) of the total greenhouse effect (330C), of which in turn at most 25% (~20C) can be attributed to carbon dioxide contributed by human activity. Water vapour, contributing at least 70% of the effect, is by far the most important atmospheric greenhouse gas.

5. On both annual (1 year) and geological (up to 100,000 year) time scales, changes in atmospheric temperature PRECEDE changes in CO2. Carbon dioxide therefore cannot be the primary forcing agent for temperature increase (though increasing CO2 does cause a diminishingly mild positive temperature feedback).

6. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has acted as the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby that led to the Kyoto Protocol. Fatally, the IPCC is a political, not scientific, body.

Hendrik Tennekes, a retired Director of Research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, says that “the IPCC review process is fatally flawed” and that “the IPCC wilfully ignores the paradigm shift created by the foremost meteorologist of the twentieth century, Edward Lorenz“.

7. The Kyoto Protocol will cost many trillions of dollars and exercises a significant impost those countries that signed it, but will deliver no significant cooling (less than .020 C by 2050, assuming that all commitments are met).
The Russian Academy of Sciences says that Kyoto has no scientific basis; Andre Illarianov, senior advisor to Russian president Putin, calls Kyoto-ism “one of the most agressive, intrusive, destructive ideologies since the collapse of communism and fascism“. If Kyoto was a “first step” then it was in the same wrong direction as the later “Bali roadmap”.

8. Climate change is a non-linear (chaotic) process, some parts of which are only dimly or not at all understood. No deterministic computer model will ever be able to make an accurate prediction of climate 100 years into the future.

9. Not surprisingly, therefore, experts in computer modelling agree also that no current (or likely near-future) climate model is able to make accurate predictions of regional climate change.

10. The biggest untruth about human global warming is the assertion that nearly all scientists agree that it is occurring, and at a dangerous rate.

The reality is that almost every aspect of climate science is the subject of vigorous debate. Further, thousands of qualified scientists worldwide have signed declarations which (i) query the evidence for hypothetical human-caused warming and (ii) support a rational scientific (not emotional) approach to its study within the context of known natural climate change.


Myth 1 Average global temperature (AGT) has increased over the last few years.

Fact 1 Within error bounds, AGT has not increased since 1995 and has declined since 2002, despite an increase in atmospheric CO2 of 8% since 1995.

Myth 2 During the late 20th Century, AGT increased at a dangerously fast rate and reached an unprecedented magnitude.

Facts 2 The late 20th Century AGT rise was at a rate of 1-20 C/century, which lies well within natural rates of climate change for the last 10,000 yr. AGT has been several degrees warmer than today many times in the recent geological past.

Myth 3 AGT was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times, has sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years (the Mann, Bradley & Hughes “hockey stick” curve and its computer extrapolation).

Facts 3 The Mann et al. curve has been exposed as a statistical contrivance. There is no convincing evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in AGT were unusual, nor that dangerous human warming is underway.

Myth 4 Computer models predict that AGT will increase by up to 60 C over the next 100 years.

Facts 4 Deterministic computer models do. Other equally valid (empirical) computer models predict cooling.

Myth 5 Warming of more than 20 C will have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and mankind alike.

Facts 5 A 20 C change would be well within previous natural bounds. Ecosystems have been adapting to such changes since time immemorial. The result is the process that we call evolution. Mankind can and does adapt to all climate extremes.

Myth 6 Further human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause dangerous warming, and is generally harmful.

Facts 6 No human-caused warming can yet be detected that is distinct from natural system variation and noise. Any additional human-caused warming which occurs will probably amount to less than 10 C. Atmospheric CO2 is a beneficial fertilizer for plants, including especially cereal crops, and also aids efficient evapo-transpiration.

Myth 7 Changes in solar activity cannot explain recent changes in AGT.

Facts 7 The sun’s output varies in several ways on many time scales (including the 11-, 22 and 80-year solar cycles), with concomitant effects on Earth’s climate. While changes in visible radiation are small, changes in particle flux and magnetic field are known to exercise a strong climatic effect. More than 50% of the 0.80 C rise in AGT observed during the 20th century can be attributed to solar change.

Myth 8 Unprecedented melting of ice is taking place in both the north and south polar regions.

Facts 8 Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are growing in thickness and cooling at their summit. Sea ice around Antarctica attained a record area in 2007. Temperatures in the Arctic region are just now achieving the levels of natural warmth experienced during the early 1940s, and the region was warmer still (sea-ice free) during earlier times.

Myth 9 Human-caused global warming is causing dangerous global sea-level (SL) rise.

Facts 9 SL change differs from time to time and place to place; between 1955 and 1996, for example, SL at Tuvalu fell by 105 mm (2.5 mm/yr). Global average SL is a statistical measure of no value for environmental planning purposes. A global average SL rise of 1-2 mm/yr occurred naturally over the last 150 years, and shows no sign of human-influenced increase.

Myth 10 The late 20th Century increase in AGT caused an increase in the number of severe storms (cyclones), or in storm intensity.

Facts 10 Meteorological experts are agreed that no increase in storms has occurred beyond that associated with natural variation of the climate system.

Robert M. Carter is a Research Professor at James Cook University (Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South Australia). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience.

Global Research Articles by Robert M. Carter

Source: Aletho News