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16 April 2005

so many mamdouhs ..... 


so many Mamdouhs …..


"If they do it, it's terrorism, if we do it, it's fighting for freedom."

Anthony Quainton, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1984


The Bush administration has made much of its belief that “terrorists” detained in its “global war on terror” are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions or other International Laws.

But who & where are the “terrorists”?

The US has held more than 700 “detainees” at Guantanamo Bay for up to four years: without charge, without trial & without legal representation, whilst subjecting them to torture. Yet more than 200 of those detainees have thus far been released without charge, including Australia’s Mamdouh Habib & only 4 have thus far been charged with any offence.

ICH reports that US & Iraqi authorities now detain more than 17,000 men & women in Iraqi prisons & detention centres ICH

In a detailed study, Deborah Pearlstein & Priti Patel, of Human Rights First, reveal the scale of the secretive US global detention regime & the extraordinary efforts made by the US administration to avoid its responsibilities under International Law, including observing the terms of the Geneva Conventions Behind The Wire

And whilst western governments take every opportunity to run their “fear meme” on terrorism, to suit their corrupt political purposes, they also hypocritically fail to respond to genuine acts of terror that suit their ends.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at the latest “terrorist trial” in the UK. George Smith, writing in National Security Notes, details the bureaucratic bungling & government deceit & fabrication involved in the trial of the infamous “UK Poison Cell” ……


One of the last claims in Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003 blew away like dust in the wind late last week in the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court.

The trial of the infamous "UK poison cell," a group portrayed by Secretary of State Powell as al Qaida-associated operatives plotting to launch ricin attacks in the United Kingdom and in league with Muhamad al Zarqawi in Iraq, found nothing of the sort. The jury did find "the UK poison cell," known as Kamel Bourgas and others (Sidali Faddag, Samir Asli, Mouloud Bouhrama, Mustapha Taleb, Mouloud Sihali, Aissa Kalef), not guilty of conspiracy to murder by plotting ricin attacks and, generally speaking, not guilty of conspiracy to do anything. Kamel Bourgas had been previously convicted of murder of a British policeman in an unpublicized trial.
National Security Notes


Meanwhile, across the world in the land of the blind, one-eyed cyclops, a real terrorist enjoys state protection. Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post reveals that the US administration is considering granting a CIA trained Cuban exile, Luis Posada, political asylum, notwithstanding his involvement in the bombing of a Cuban aircraft in which 76 people died.


"Given the enmity between the Cuban and U.S. governments, it is possible that U.S. officials may have turned a blind eye to Posada's entrance into our country -- or even worse, facilitated it," Delahunt wrote. "If that were true -- and even if it were not and Posada is allowed to remain here -- it would obliterate America's credibility in the war on terrorism, because it would suggest that we share the views of those who support al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents that 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' " US Asylum Sought by Cuban Tied to Terror Cases


By treating tens of thousands of “detainees” as “terrorists”: subjecting them to secret rendition, indefinite detention without cause or charge, torture & denying them access to due process, whilst harbouring genuine terrorists, the US thumbs its nose at International Law & proclaims a doctrine of “might is right”: a doctrine that will surely come to haunt us all.


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14 April 2005

Look For Media Labels 

An Examination of the Propaganda of Nomenclature

By Ted Rall


04/12/05 "ICH" - (Op/Ed ) - NEW YORK--If you read newspapers, listen to the radio or watch television, you know that the media has assigned Muqtada al-Sadr a peculiar job title: radical cleric. "Gunmen fired on supporters of the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Friday," reports the Associated Press wire service. National Public Radio routinely refers to "radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr." "The protesters were largely supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr," says CNN. Even Agence France-Press refers to him the same way: "Followers of a radical Shiite cleric marched in Baghdad."

I wonder: Does he answer his phone with a chipper "Muqtada al-Sadr, radical cleric!"? Does it say "radical cleric" on his business card?

It's a safe bet that neither al-Sadr nor his Iraqi supporters considers him particularly "radical." And, if you stop to think about it, there's nothing inherently extreme about wanting foreign troops to leave your country. Radical is a highly subjective word that gets thrown around without much reflection. What's more radical, invading another nation without a good excuse or trying to stop someone from doing so? But that's the problem: the media has become so accustomed to absorbing and regurgitating official government propaganda that they never stop to think.

A Google News search of the terms "Muqtada al-Sadr" and "radical cleric" brought up 616 news and opinion stories, the latter derived from the former. Despite the prime minister's obvious status as an American-appointed puppet, "Iyad Allawi" and "collaborationist" yielded zero results. The message is clear: al-Sadr, and by extension Iraqis who oppose the U.S. occupation, are marginal wackos. Those who support it are referred to by questionable legitimatizing honorifics--prime minister, in Allawi's case--because the U.S. government called a press conference to announce him as such.

Repetition is key to successful advertising. The American media uses repeated arbitrary labeling in its supposedly impartial coverage in a deliberate campaign to alter public perception. Americans were meant to feel less sympathy for an kidnapped Italian woman shot by U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint in Iraq after the talking heads repeatedly referred to her as a "communist journalist." A Fox News reporter in the same story would never have been dubbed a "neofascist journalist." John McCain (R-AZ) might become president someday but "maverick senator John McCain" probably won't. Ralph Nader's name rarely appears in print without the unappealing word "gadfly" or a form of "crusading." Why not describe figures in the news using terms that aim for neutrality, like "Italian reporter" or "former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader"?

Labeling bias works to marginalize political outsiders while powerful elites receive their full honorifics. Howard Dean was antiwar firebrand Howard Dean but George W. Bush was never referred to as pro-war crusader George W. Bush. The press calls the founder of the Moral Majority "the Reverend Jerry Falwell," not "radical cleric Jerry Falwell." Even the word "cleric" implies foreignness to a xenophobic public; American religious leaders are the more familiar "ministers" rather than clerics. Instead of telling readers and viewers what to think with cheesy labels, why not let public figures' quotes and actions speak for themselves? Besides, well-known players like al-Sadr and Falwell don't require an introduction.

Loaded labels are commonly used to influence the public's feelings about groups of people as well as individuals. Under Ronald Reagan the Afghan mujahedeen, who received CIA funding and weapons that they used to fight Soviet occupation forces, were called "freedom fighters." Iraqis who take up arms against U.S. occupation troops, on the other hand, are called "insurgents," a word that implies rebellion for its own sake. This was the same term used by the New York Times and other mainstream media to refer to anti-U.S. fighters in Vietnam during the 1960s. Only later, when the Vietnam War became unpopular, did American newspapers begin calling the former "insurgents" members of an infinitely more patriotic-sounding "resistance."

Editors and producers who value balance ought to establish a consistent policy--either negative smears or positive accolades for both sides. Anti-occupation forces should always be called insurgents, guerillas, etc., while pro-occupation troops are dubbed collaborators. Either that, or call them freedom fighters and government loyalists, respectively.

Perhaps the most absurd labeling sin is the media's inconsistent treatment of nations that decide to change their names. When the Khmer Rouge, who went on to kill an estimated four and half million people, renamed their country Kampuchea in 1975, the international media had so little trouble adapting to the new name for Cambodia that they continued using it well into the 1980s, even after Pol Pot had fled into the jungle. Notorious tyrant Mubutu Sese Seko easily convinced the press to start referring to the Congo as Zaire in 1971; his equally despotic successor got them to switch right back. When the SLORC military junta changed the former British colony of Burma to Myanmar in 1989, however, journalists followed the U.S. State Department's refusal to accept the new name. Even "liberal" outlets like NPR still call it Burma or "Myanmar, formerly Burma." We need a consistent rule here, too. Either countries get to call themselves whatever they want or they should be stuck with their current names for eternity.

What hits home hits hardest. I too have been victimized by the idiotic practice of repeat labeling. "Controversial cartoonist Ted Rall" garners no fewer than 58 hits on Google. Care to guess the results for "patriotic cartoonist Ted Rall"?

Ted Rall, Is America's hardest-hitting editorial cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate, is an award-winning commentator who also works as an illustrator, columnist, and radio commentator. Visit his website - http://www.tedrall.com/

Copyright: Ted Rall . All rights reserved. You may republish under the following conditions: An active link to the original publication must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove any text within the article, including this copyright notice.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Enigmatic Flea has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Enigmatic Flea endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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13 April 2005

blessings from the land of enchantment ..... 


An eloquent & savage indictment of the world’s continuing obscene silence in the face of imperialistic barbarism by “the land of enchantment”, written by Anwaar Hussain of the Baltimore Chronicle …..

After having lived for 15 years in a persistent vegetative state, Terri Schindler Schiavo crossed over from here to the hereafter on the last day of March …...

The American President played a lead role in this theater of the absurd. On her death he said, "I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life... The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life."

Some hypocrisy, some gall, some double bloody standards. As the Americans applaud their president who makes murder acceptable and lies seem true, they neither challenge the serious doubts and questions in Iraq's case nor force their government for a presumption in the favor of Iraqis' lives. While their president urges the Americans to build a culture of life, he sanctions his strong forces to make it their duty to prey on innocent lives in Iraq with nauseating impunity. No such debate is taking place on the mainstream American media on the false dichotomies of their government's conduct.
United Vegetative States of America


In the wake of US “shock & awe”, Terry Jones of the Washington Post enlightens us on the sickening legacy of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on its children …..


It now appears that, far from improving the quality of life for Iraqi youngsters, the US-led military assault on Iraq has inexplicably doubled the number of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Under Saddam, about 4% of children under five were going hungry, whereas by the end of last year almost 8% were suffering.
These results are even more disheartening for those of us in the Department of Making Things Better for Children in the Middle East By Military Force, since the previous attempts by Britain and America to improve the lot of Iraqi children also proved disappointing. For example, the policy of applying the most draconian sanctions in living memory totally failed to improve conditions. After they were imposed in 1990, the number of children under five who died increased by a factor of six. By 1995 something like half a million Iraqi children were dead as a result of our efforts to help them.
A year later, Madeleine Albright, then the US ambassador to the United Nations, tried to put a brave face on it. When a TV interviewer remarked that more children had died in Iraq through sanctions than were killed in Hiroshima, Mrs Albright famously replied: "We think the price is worth it." Let Them Eat Bombs

As these war crimes are being committed in our names, it is fitting to review the report of Ramsey Clark and Others to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal: US War Crimes

Whilst little georgie porgie cried crocodile tears at the world’s biggest funeral: for an old man who had repeatedly condemned the gangsterism being perpetrated by the US in his God’s name: Regime Change Was an Immoral Excuse for War

Meanwhile, helping to keep things in perspective, our media kept us laughing at the latest caricature from “brand Windsor“, whilst our own iconic caricature, the little man of steel, busied himself with his latest “core bamboozle”, arguing that we should indeed be grateful that fuel prices are not even higher, thanks to unfettered competition between members of the oil cartel.

Sick & getting sicker: just dumb & getting dumber …..

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11 April 2005

the real terrorists ..... 


“The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors... Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same."

George Orwell, 1984


The US military budget for 2005 is US$420.7 billion, representing more than 51% of the total budget. By comparison, budget expenditure on education & health is dwarfed at US$60 billion [7%] & US$51 billion [6%] respectively.

US military expenditure is estimated to be equal to the rest of the world combined: 8 times larger than that of China, the next biggest spender & 29 times larger than the alleged “rogue states” of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan & Syria.

The US, once the beacon for democracy, has become captive of the military-industrial complex & plainly evidences all the characteristics of a modern fascist state Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

Most of the world would believe that US foreign policy today has been fundamentally shaped by the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In a compelling video documentary, Why We Fight , ICH delves into the forces that have shaped & propelled US militarism, forces that have been at work for more than half a century.

In Foreign Policy In Focus, William D. Hartung, of the World Policy Institute, examines “how weapons makers are shaping US foreign & military policies” Military-Industrial Complex Revisited

In Democracy Now, the Indian activist, Arundhati Roy, examines the reasons for the death of democracy in the US …….

“Ordinary Americans have been manipulated into imagining they are a people under siege whose sole refuge and protector is their government. If it isn't the Communists, it's al-Qaeda. If it isn't Cuba. it's Nicaragua. As a result, this, the most powerful nation in the world - with its unmatchable arsenal of weapons, its history of having waged and sponsored endless wars, and the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear bombs - is peopled by a terrified citizenry, jumping at shadows. A people bonded to the state not by social services, or public health care, or employment guarantees, but by fear.

This synthetically manufactured fear is used to gain public sanction for further acts of aggression. And so it goes, building into a spiral of self-fulfilling hysteria, now formally calibrated by the U.S government's Amazing Technicolored Terror Alerts: fuchsia, turquoise, salmon pink.”
Public Power in the Age of Empire

Glenn Cheyney of The Day observes that Americans seem bewildered by the havoc being wrought by the “real terrorists” in Washington The Smirking Chimp

Writing for ICH, Jerry M. Landay questions why it is that the American people remain silent & passive in the face of the the Bush administration’s assault …..

“History is replete with examples of willing self-enslavement. Consider why so many Americans supported the Iraq war. One explanation comes from Hermann Goering, the loyal Hitler lieutenant who shortly before committing suicide said in a prison interview: "People don't want to go to war[but] the people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger." The New Aristocracy

The wages of fear ….

Whilst the American people have been rendered captive by their own fear, the rest of the world looks on in horror at the crimes being perpetrated in their names.

David Podvin of ICH reprises the “gangsterism” driving the foreign policy imperatives of the Bush administration …..

“No matter how assiduously his courtiers attempt to swaddle him in virtue, our commander-in-chief is a Hun. Bush is not stealing Iraqi oil to enhance American national security. He is plundering a conquered land to enhance petroleum industry profitability. The carnage in Iraq isn’t some horribly misguided attempt at patriotism. It is homicidal mercantilism, the use of the American military to help Exxon Mobil exceed quarterly earnings projections. While killing people for profit constitutes a competent job performance on the part of a mafia hit man, it reflects less favorably on a President of the United States.” The Corporate Assassin

Sleepers Awake !!

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Dear George and Dick 

LewRockwell.com

by Cindy Sheehan

Dear George and Dick,

I apologize (not really, you don't deserve my apologies) for the familiarity, but I don't call the people responsible for my son's death: Mr, or Sir, nor do I have any respect for the offices that you have defiled. The only thing you both mean to me is pain and devastation. George and Dick, you are both shameful cowards who are sending our brave young people to die to make yourselves and your buddies unbelievably and fabulously wealthy. Neither of you have any idea of the true human, sorrowful cost of war nor do you care that you are ruining lives by the thousands and thousands. You both disgust me beyond belief. You are not, never have been, and never will be my President or Vice President.

This is what your irresponsible and reckless policies took from me: One year and four days ago my son, Casey Sheehan, was one of the consequences of your lies and betrayals. One of the tens of thousands that your arrogant, pre-emptive, imperialistic policies have killed. I don't know how any of you can sleep at night...I know I can't.

I have wanted to write this letter for over a year.

We know the intelligence leading to the war was "dead" wrong and gleaned from a known liar (your administration likes liars...familiarity, and all), so I have a question for you...

Why are Americans and Iraqis still dying every day?

Then, George and Dick...you both go around spewing the lying filth that "freedom is on the march in Iraq." Well, I have a challenge for both of you: if you believe in freedom so much in Iraq...then send your own children over there to fight and perhaps die in the occupation without the proper training, equipment, food, water, supplies, armor, or protection. If you aren't willing to send your own children to die for this most grievous bull-crap, THEN BRING THE REST OF OUR CHILDREN HOME...NOW!!! The definition of a just war is one that you are willing to have your own children die for. Apply the definition. Then send your own children if you believe this aggression is just...if not THEN BRING THE REST OF OUR CHILDREN HOME...NOW!!!

Do the right thing and BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, NOW!! Not one more drop of blood, not one more penny for this travesty. Do not let our other children be killed for the ephemeral and ever changing "Mission." My son's death will have meaning and not be in vain if it is for peace: if our troops are withdrawn immediately from this abomination that is Iraq.

I dare both of you to do the honorable thing and read about my son...my first-born...my pride and joy...my love...I wish you would read it and weep, but I know neither of you give one flying flip about me, my family, or Casey.

I pray that either one of you, or both of you, grow a vestigial conscience and pray for forgiveness for the killing that your ignorance and arrogance have caused. One time I ran over a kitten and killed it and I was devastated for days...how do either one of you look at yourselves in the mirror? How do you live with the fact that so many innocent people are dead because of your beliefs and actions? I know I couldn't. I know I would have a hard time living with myself if I was responsible for one death, let alone legions of deaths. I really hope someone grows some courage in the House of Representatives and you both are impeached soon.

Again, I reiterate. Celebrate the new found "Culture of Life" in your hypocritical administration. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. NOW!!!

Do I sound angry? You better believe I am. My son's future was stolen from him. My future with my son is now gone. I never even got to say good-bye to him.

If you have any questions, or would like to hear anymore of my ideas, please feel free to contact me.

Peace,
Cindy Sheehan

April 11, 2005

Cindy Sheehan [SCINDY121@aol.com] is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 She is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace.

Copyright © 2005 LewRockwell.com

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Enigmatic Flea has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Enigmatic Flea endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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10 April 2005

Death of a Conspiracy 

PointBlank Cover Story

Johnny Gosch, Jeff Gannon, Hunter Thompson and the unraveling of a troubling tale.
By Tim Schmitt

Noreen Gosch sits in a booth at the West Des Moines Village Inn, nursing a cup of coffee and managing, despite her larger-than-life personality, to blend into the surroundings and keep a low profile in the almost empty restaurant. She is open with her thoughts and willing to share what information she can, yet she remains guarded - cautious and thoughtful in a manner often mistaken as cold and standoffish. She thinks carefully as she speaks about her son, Johnny, and the players in a bizarre conspiracy surrounding his disappearance in 1982 that continues to evolve, and may finally be on the verge of breaking down.

"Just because you don't want to believe something is true," says Noreen slowly, "that doesn't mean it's not true."

It's a statement that bears repeating: "Just because you don't want to believe something is true, that doesn't mean it's not true."

Anyone who has heard the theories surrounding Johnny Gosch's disappearance on Sept. 5, 1982 (and who in Iowa has not?), knows they are difficult to accept. If there are Satanic pedophiles working in the top levels of government and law enforcement selling kids on the black market and forcing them into prostitution, pornography, extortion and things far worse, it's easier as a human being to simply believe that such things could not be true.

But they could be.

And Noreen knows this all too well. She didn't want to believe her child was kidnapped, sexually abused, tortured, brainwashed and sold into slavery, but she accepts this now as an indisputable truth. And she is not alone.

Many others accept the existence of a vast network of high-profile people - powerful politicians, business leaders, law enforcement and government agents - who exist in a subculture of degenerates who participate in child pornography, snuff films, drugs, devil worship, brainwashing and kidnapping. And Noreen believes that Johnny (and hundreds of other children like him) was forced into this life of depravity by those who kidnapped him.

But Johnny's story has been told thousands of times. It's been analyzed, disputed and ridiculed just as frequently, and we have neither the time and space, nor the inclination to repeat it here in full. As, tragic as it may be, it's old news. Nothing major has happened in the case for some time, and the alleged players in the story have been silent, absent or simply missing for years.

Until recently.

In the past few months there's been a flurry of activity among the people once related to his case and the conspiracy that surrounds it. And in the midst of this commotion, some believe Johnny Gosch has been found very much alive.

Recent events began with Jeff Gannon, the right-wing journalist who was found to have gained access to the White House press pool with few credentials and a fake name. The death of Hunter S. Thompson followed shortly after. The arrest of two men, seemingly unrelated, in Nebraska and Virginia within days of the Gannon story and Thompson's death also play a role in the story.

And all these events, some suggest, are related to the 12-year-old paperboy kidnapped from West Des Moines 23 years ago.

And if they are right, there is much more to come...

Johnny lives

In late January a conservative journalist in Washington D.C. was found to have gained access to the White House press pool despite using a fake name, and despite the fact that he once worked as a high-priced homosexual escort.

Jeff Gannon was a White House correspondent for Talon News who regularly attended White House press briefings and at least four press conferences with President George W. Bush. On Jan. 26, 2005, Gannon asked a question of the president that was so friendly and factually inaccurate that some of his colleagues began looking into his background.

Talon News, it was learned, is a barely disguised tool of the Republican Party, and Gannon's credentials as a journalist consist solely of a training course at the Leadership Broadcast School of Journalism. After two days of training that cost $50, Gannon was officially a graduate of a journalism school and on his way to the White House press pool.

It was soon discovered that Gannon's real name is Jeff Guckert and that he has also gone by the nickname "Bulldog" when listing himself on the Internet as a homosexual escort and personal trainer charging $200 per hour for his "discreet" services.

Gannon was removed from the White House and resigned from Talon News on Feb. 8 "Gannongate" quickly became the presidential scandal of the hour, though the story faded from public view as politicians and the media eagerly turned their attention to such pressing matters as steroids in baseball and the Terri Schiavo situation.

But before long, Internet bloggers had picked up the story and began to think back to the administration of President Bush's father, which was rocked by a scandal that allegedly involved a high-level official giving private, late-night tours of the White House to teenage, male prostitutes. The New York Times and the Washington Post both wrote about the story and the eventual death of Washington lobbyist Craig Spence, who reportedly arranged the visits. Spence, it has been suggested, was preparing to admit publicly that he was using the teenage boys to blackmail high-powered politicians in the beltway. He committed suicide before he had the opportunity to do so.

With a gay escort gaining access to the White House during a Bush administration while many of the same officials from the '80s are back in power, the question became, "Is there a connection?"

Private investigator Sherman H. Skolnick posted a story about the Gannon debacle on www.rense.com, a site know for its conspiracy theories, and publicly stated on Feb. 19 that Gannon is Johnny Gosch.

Andy Stephenson, a blogger from Seattle familiar with the details of the Johnny Gosch case and the child sex rings in Nebraska detailed in the Book, "The Franklin Cover-Up," began, with a group of other writers and investigators, to ponder the claim. They looked at markings on Gannon's body and compared them to those reported on Johnny Gosch. They considered the lack of personal information about Gannon's early years. They considered that Johnny was alleged to have been used as a gay prostitute for blackmail purposes. They considered that the high-powered people alleged to have kidnapped and brainwashed children as part of the government's Monarch Project and MK-Ultra program, including Johnny, did so to use them in a variety of ways to advance their own agendas. And they contacted Noreen Gosch and discussed the idea with her - the first she'd heard of the theory - and they, too, came to the conclusion that Jeff Gannon is none other than Johnny Gosch.

The Internet has been abuzz with the theory ever since. And, in a way, it makes perfect sense. You've got a kid abducted and brainwashed into doing the bidding of government officials as part of top-secret mind-control programs, so now that he's older why not put him into the White House to soften press briefings to make the president look better? The suggestion from many is that Gannon is a Monarch Program child-turned-adult operative.

Gannon, according to investigators like Skolnick, is involved in high-level espionage and is also an expert on torture. He is said to be an expert penetration agent, using sex to compile negative data on U.S. and foreign governmental officials, and is also believed responsible for the Valerie Plame White House leak that allegedly caused 70 CIA undercover agents to be murdered.

Yet others suggest that Gosch took on the persona of James Gannon/Jeff Guckert and gained White House access with the eventual goal of exposing the people who kidnapped him and put him, and his family, through hell. Gannon is alleged to have a publishing deal with a Russian imprint, which some believe will result in a tell-all book that exposes those who've paid for his "services," as well as the pedophile ring that he, as Gosch, was victimized by after his kidnapping.

"I'm convinced 99 percent that he is Johnny Gosch" says Ted Gunderson, a retired FBI agent who has been working on the Gosch case for more than a decade. "The
only way I'd be 100 percent sure is if there was a DNA test or if he admitted it."

He bases his opinion on a confidential source from whom he claims to have videotape testimony that has him identifying Gannon as Gosch.

"My source has told me in the past that he has maintained contact with Johnny Gosch," says Gunderson. "Let's just say he's in a position to know. The kids are all
in touch with each other. It's a bond they all share."

The kids he refers to are those forced into the sex slavery rings and the government-sponsored mind-and behavior-control programs. One of those "kids" is a man named Paul Bonacci, who claims to have participated in the kidnapping of Johnny Gosch and says he was forced to be the first person to molest Johnny. Bonacci has long claimed to be part of the vast network of children trained to work for the government and participate in deviant sexual acts to make the blackmail of politicians possible.

In 1999, Bonacci won a $1 million lawsuit against Larry King, the former head of the Franklin Credit Union in Nebraska, whom he claimed forced him into the pedophile ring. The federal judge ruled Bonacci was truthful in his testimony, which included his claim that he was one of several young male prostitutes known to have toured the White House in the 1980s.

Gunderson claims that Bonacci is not his source for the Gannon-is-Gosch claim, but adds that Bonacci informed him a while back that Gosch had changed his appearance. John DeCamp, author of "The Franklin Cover-Up" says Bonacci told him the same thing.

"I do know that Johnny Gosch altered his appearance and the changes I've heard about conform to how Gannon looks now," he says. "Paul told me you could be standing right next to him and not know it's Johnny."

And he says that Gannon has been asked the question, but refuses to answer one way or the other.

"A fellow in New York City went to his door and asked him about his mother in Iowa and he slammed the door on him," he says. "He wouldn't talk about it at all."

A mother's instinct

Noreen Gosch has seen the videotape that Gunderson made with his confidential informant and believes the man is credible.

"Ted sent me a videotape of his interview with his source and he said Gannon is Gosch, and he said it without hesitation and without blinking an eye," recalls Noreen. "And he said he's known it for months."

When the theory was first proposed, Noreen's phone was ringing every 15 minutes with calls from bloggers, investigators, and radio and TV stations, all asking if she would identify Gannon as her son. She has not done so. She's sat with the numerous photos from the Internet and compared them to those of Johnny, herself and John Gosch Sr. looking for similar features.

"I could see some of the similarities that the bloggers were talking about," she says. "I could see in (Gannon) the features that Johnny had. And the last time I saw Paul Bonacci, he told me that Johnny had changed his entire appearance again. That he shaved his head and is going with that look for now."

She says the birthmark on Johnny's chest is very similar to a mark seen on Gannon's chest in at least one photo. And she points out that Gannon has a spot on his right cheek in the same place as Johnny. Sometimes, she's almost convinced. But it's not quite enough and she just can't - or won't - say for sure that Gannon is her son.
"People have asked me why I can't recognize him if I saw I him in 1997, and I tell them a picture from the Internet is a lot different than someone sitting in your kitchen," she says.

Noreen claims that Johnny visited her at her West Des Moines apartment in 1997, but told her he could not come out of hiding because his life and hers would be put in grave danger.

But what about her gut feeling? Her maternal instinct?

"Honestly, it changes," she says. "Sometimes I think, 'oh, yeah, that looks like him,' and other times the jump is too much to think about. When you factor in the facts, it's hard to believe. I've spent a lot of sleepless nights over this. I really wish I could say for sure."

But Noreen is no fool. She knows the risk of saying, one way or the other, if she thinks this is her son. If it is, and he's chosen not to say anything, she understands that he has reasons for his secrecy that are likely life-threatening and her outing him could very well put him at risk. If she were to claim Gannon is Johnny and is proven wrong later, then any amount of credibility she has left would go out the window.

"Even if he (Gannon) admitted to it, I would still want a DNA test done," she says. "This is so surreal. It's like I'm on the outside looking in. Almost 23 years have passed and we know he's still alive, but to potentially have your loved one found is just unreal. If this would turn out to be Johnny it would be a blessing for everyone to know what happened and to have it all wrapped up."

Subliminal hints

That is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Despite millions of words devoted to the subject on the Web and investigations being conducted by hundreds of Internet detectives, Gannon has not acknowledged the speculation.

Despite this, some say that Gannon has been providing clues to his real identity on his Web page (www.jeffgannon.com), which is still active.

Shortly after the theory was presented, Gannon posted an article titled "Hiding in Plain Sight," and has posted a column entitled "Fear and Loathing in the Press Room," which some suggest is a reference to the recently deceased Hunter S. Thompson, who also was accused of involvement in pedophile, child slavery rings in the 1980s (see below).

Others suggest that his name itself is a clue to his real identity. Both Jeff Gannon and James Guckert share the same initials as Johnny Gosch. Furthermore, shortly after Johnny's disappearance, Noreen made a personal plea to the editor of The Des Moines Register, Johnny's employer. The editor printed her letter in the paper and mocked it by allowing the police department to dissect it. The editor's name was James Gannon.
"I would say that those are subliminal messages," says Gunderson, an attempt on Gannon's part to let slip his identity.

Jim Rothstein, a retired New York Police Detective who spent more than 35 years in the force, much of it investigating child slavery, pedophile rings, agrees that the evidence is strong that Gannon is actually Johnny Gosch.

"To me Gannon looks like Johnny," says Rothstein. "Everything just fits - the profile, the M.O., everything."

Rothstein has been involved as a private investigator on the Gosch case for the past several years, and says he is working to get the final proof needed to determine Gannon's true identity.

"We're working on getting a tail on him and getting a DNA sample to test," he says. "I still can't figure out why no-one knows where he (Gannon) was for 10 years."

There have been some Internet postings that give a timeline of Gannon's life, but according to Rothstein they are based on flimsy information that is not to be trusted.

"Records are easy to create," he says. "Maybe this Guckert kid died and someone took over his identity. If it is not Johnny Gosch, then it's one of the other kids like Johnny Gosch."

Says Noreen: "If all this is true, I don't think he was ready to be exposed just yet."

Hunter and snuff films

The Gannon/Gosch connection was first made public early in the morning on Feb. 20. Later that same day, Hunter S. Thompson was found dead in his home, the victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

Few people would ever have thought to connect Thompson and Gosch, but those familiar with the tales of child abuse and pedophilia documented in "The Franklin Cover-Up," a book first released in 1994 by former Neb. State Sen. John DeCamp, understand the association.

In his book, DeCamp relates many interviews and discussions with Paul Bonacci, the young man who claims to have been involved with the kidnapping of Johnny Gosch. Bonacci told horrific tales of being forced into sex with adults and other children. In one case he recalls being flown into Nevada with another young boy whom he did not know. They took on another passenger there and headed to a secluded location where Bonacci says he was forced to have sex with the younger boy. The young boy, Bonacci claims in this book, was also forced to have sex with adult males, who then killed the boy with a gunshot to the head. Bonacci says he was then forced to have sex with the corpse.

The passenger they took on in Nevada filmed the entire thing, and Bonacci recalled that his name was Hunter Thompson.

"I think it's kind of strange that Hunter Thompson would commit suicide at this time," says Gunderson. "Several kids told us that he directed snuff films. I think it's a strong possibility that he was murdered and I strongly suspect that it's all connected."

And the speculation on the Internet has been that Thompson was either killed to prevent his coming forward, or that he killed himself because he feared his role as a director of child snuff films would be proven true.

DeCamp also expressed some surprise at the timing of Thompson's death and says he still believes Bonacci's claim is true. Stephenson, the blogger from Seattle who has investigated the Gosch case, is also suspicious.

"I wonder, did he know? In light of Paul's (Bonnaci) testimony regarding the snuff film, I submit he knew quite a bit," he says. "The timing of his death was interesting."

The snuff film that Thompson allegedly made with Paul Bonacci is believed, based on Bonacci's description of the surroundings, to have been filmed at Bohemian Grove, a summer camp of sorts for the rich and powerful. Bohemian Grove is a secluded area outside Sacramento, Calif., where world leaders and dignitaries meet annually for a retreat that involves neo-pagan activities, including mock human sacrifices made before a large Owl statue referred to as "Moloch." While conducting this ritual, which they call "The Cremation of Care," participants are dressed in druid robes and chant and sing before Moloch.

Information on these gatherings has been well known for some time, though video footage has only recently been leaked out of the site. The site is very secure and access is available only to a handful of people worldwide. As a child, Bonacci could never have had access to the site, but he described it accurately, including the large owl statue.

Noreen Gosch says that on one recent evening her Web site, www.johnnygosch.com, had more than 50 hits that came from within a 10-mile radius of Bohemian Grove.
The CIA pedophile

In her book, "Why Johnny Can't Come Home," Noreen Gosch writes about a man who contacted her just six months after Johnny's disappearance claiming he worked with a government agency that was investigating pedophile organizations.

George Paul Bishop (often known just as Paul Bishop) claimed he was a "CIA asset" and arrived in Des Moines in July of 1984 to offer his assistance to the Goschs. Before he left, he provided, through his investigation, a detailed map of the kidnapping scene. Bishop, according to Noreen's book, often called the Gosch home from the Washington D.C. office of Sen. Charles Grassley, with whom Noreen had worked on Johnny's case.

"Many times Paul Bishop would call me from Sen. Grassley's office and, when finished speaking with me, he would hand the phone to one of Grassley's aides who I was familiar with," Noreen recalled in her book, published in 2000. "That convinced me Paul was an accepted visitor on the Hill in Washington."

Based on this, Noreen believed that Bishop was responsible for securing her invitation to testify before Sen. Arlan Specter's Hearing on Organized Crime and its Relationship to Kidnapping at the U.S. Capitol. Bishop, in fact, picked Noreen up from her D.C. hotel and accompanied her to the hearings.

Bishop became close to Noreen, even referring to her as "Mom," but suddenly, in 1985, he disappeared from the scene. The phone number he'd left was no longer valid and no one knew how to contact him. No one had seen or heard from him in almost 20 years, until he was suddenly arrested on Feb. 4 of this year in Virginia, after police allegedly found an explicit video of a 16-year-old boy in his home.

Detectives searched Bishop's home and found the tape after receiving a complaint that he was allowing teenage boys to drink and use drugs on the premises.

Noreen wonders now if Bishop was on the wrong side of Johnny's case all along. Was he involved in the kidnapping and merely running a smokescreen at the time to prevent discovery? Was his recent arrest an effort to keep him quiet about the larger story? A threat?

Or was he honest from the beginning and his recent arrest merely an effort to discredit him before he reappeared and started making noise and threatening to expose the powerful people involved?

Either way, Bishop seemed to know a lot about Johnny's disappearance in 1982, and his sudden reappearance on the scene coinciding with the outing of Jeff Gannon, the death of Thompson and the arrest of another man involved with the case (below) is too much of a coincidence for some to accept.

"It's very common to set someone up and arrest him to discredit him," says Rothstein.

The photographer

Rusty Nelson claimed that he once turned down an offer of $50,000 from Hunter S. Thompson to help in the production of a snuff film. The offer was allegedly made because Nelson worked closely with Larry King, the central figure in the "Franklin Cover-Up" accused of running a pedophile and child slavery ring. Nelson would often accompany King to elaborate parties where he worked as a photographer, taking photos of high-profile individuals in compromising positions with young boys and girls.
Nelson testified in court that he participated as a photographer, but claims that, though he took compromising photos, he never took any hardcore pornographic pictures; that he absolutely refused any involvement with child pornography. But he claims that King employed a Nelson look-alike for this purpose in order to compromise both the powerful people in the photos and Nelson himself. Nelson has admitted taking tens of thousands of photos, many of which have been confiscated and either destroyed or permanently sealed to protect those depicted. But many, according to some reports, remain hidden.

Despite his denials, Nelson has served time for his photography work, having been arrested in Oregon years ago with a van full of photos, at least one of which was said to involve a minor engaged in less-than-legal activity. He's been living in Nebraska for some time, providing what information he can to private investigators and trying to put his life back together. Most recently he was working with a friend to open a studio that specializes in wedding photography.

But two days after Thompson's death, Nelson was rounded up by police and arrested, reportedly for failing to register as a sex offender in a county of which he was no longer a resident.

John DeCamp bailed Nelson out of jail and says he thinks the arrest was intended as a warning to him and others that they best keep their mouths shut. Others agree.
"The timing is interesting," says Stephenson. "Especially given Thompson's death and Paul Bishop's recent arrest. I would place a suicide watch on both men.

"I think there's fixin' to be a heap of manure hitting the air circulating device soon," he adds. "I wonder about the timing. I have been wondering why all these people have all of a sudden come out of the woodwork. I wonder if there is a 'purge' going on. I don't think injustice ever leaves the public consciousness. I think there is far more going on here than we know."

So why now? After all this time, why the activity and renewed interest in the Johnny Gosch case and the tales of child abduction, slavery and prostitution in general. Did the theory that Gannon is actually Johnny Gosch hit too close to home and threaten to expose those with secrets to keep?

One suggestion is that increased media attention has the players in the decades-old scandal getting jumpy and looking to protect themselves.

Nick Bryant, the man who confronted Gannon at his home and asked him about Johnny Gosch, has apparently been working on this story for several years and has been shopping the finished product around for a publisher.

Rothstein says he's been working with Bryant for at least three years, and that Bryant was originally commissioned to do the story for Rolling Stone, which has since turned the finished piece down. The New York Times and several other outlets have reportedly shown interest in the story recently, as well.

Bryant declined to comment either on the Gannon situation or his involvement in writing a story. But, Rothstein says since Bryant began showing the piece around, the players involved have once again become active.

"Something is cooking here now," he says. "They'll have to throw someone to the wolves, but there's no telling how high it will go."

Everyone involved in the story acknowledges that it sounds like a wacky conspiracy theory, but the evidence of the conspiracy is too vast, they say, to simply dismiss it.

"I'm a conspiracy realist, because there is a conspiracy out there," says Gunderson, who says just two weeks ago he was chased through his neighborhood by an
unknown man with a gun.

Adds Rothstein: "If two people were involved in kidnapping that kid, then it's a conspiracy. Well, these people don't work alone so it's a conspiracy. They try to discredit you by calling you a conspiracy theorist. Damn right I'm a conspiracy theorist, because that's what it is."

Still, in the end, this is a story about a young boy stolen from his home and his family. This simple tragedy is often lost in the complicated theories and conjecture, but it remains the single, undeniable truth in the entire story.

"I hold out hope that we'll be able to have regular communications with him," Noreen says of her son. "We know he's alive, and up until a couple years ago, we knew what he was doing and where. Maybe he could keep in touch with his mom, but moving back to Des Moines to live a life here? Those windows of opportunity have closed. I hear the horrible things people say about me. I can only imagine what they would say about him given the things he's been through.

"Johnny knows I tried, and who's to say it's all over. We don't know yet. If this is it, we're in the final days and this is all going to blow wide open." PB

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Enigmatic Flea has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Enigmatic Flea endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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U.S. Military Drafts New Detainee Operations Rules 

Reuters


Fri Apr 8, 2005 02:28 PM ET

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has drafted new doctrine for prison operations that aims to fix problems that contributed to abuse in Iraq, but rights groups complain it formalizes a category of detainees who are denied Geneva Conventions protections.

The document sets out for the first time doctrine for wartime detention operations for all branches of the U.S. military, Air Force Lt. Col. John Skinner, a Pentagon spokesman, said Friday. Until now, doctrine largely has been set by the Army.

It also formalizes for the first time the military's ability to hold some detainees as "enemy combatants" -- a classification not contained in the Geneva Conventions spelling out the rights of prisoners of war.

The United States has said that category of detainees is not entitled to rights normally accorded to POWs.

The document comes a year after the military was rocked by the Abu Ghraib scandal in which U.S. forces physically abused and sexually humiliated prisoners at the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad, and other instances of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The guidelines aim to provide a clear command structure for detention operations -- U.S. military police and military intelligence personnel squabbled at Abu Ghraib, contributing to a chaotic environment -- and clarify rules for U.S. personnel.

The document, prepared by the office of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, is being reviewed within the Pentagon and by the various branches of the U.S. military, and is expected to be finalized sometime this fall, Skinner said.

ENEMY COMBATANTS

In establishing a detainee category of "enemy combatant," the document stated, "Although they do not fall under the provisions of the Geneva Convention, they are still entitled to be treated humanely, subject to military necessity, consistent with the principles of GC (Geneva Conventions)."

The document stated that "anyone detained" who is affiliated with organizations on a U.S. government list of "terrorist" groups would be classified as an enemy combatant.

The United States has designated as enemy combatants numerous detainees accused of ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban, hundreds of whom have been held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

At least one prisoner caught in Iraq -- a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen the Pentagon has refused to identify -- also has been declared an enemy combatant.

"This extension to any terrorist group -- from the Shining Path in Peru to Sikh groups in India to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to the Real Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland -- is a radical extension of the doctrine," Human Rights Watch military affairs researcher John Sifton said.

Sifton also noted the document specified that humane treatment of detainees could be limited by "military necessity," which he said ran contrary to international and U.S. law and opened the door to possible abuse of detainees.

Skinner emphasized that it was a draft document, adding, "Don't assume that there aren't things in here that won't change." He was not more specific.

"Our commitment to humane treatment has always been rock solid. I think this draft doctrine to a certain extent is a reflection of that," Skinner said.

Skinner noted the Army was separately reviewing its detention policies, including setting parameters for how certain interrogation techniques could be used.


© Reuters 2005



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Enigmatic Flea has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Enigmatic Flea endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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oils ain't oils ..... 


ALARUM, ALARUM: oil prices hit record levels” scream the headlines!!

The flim flam from the all-knowing analysts, experts & commentators solemnly cites the usual suspects: OPEC, terrorism, the burgeoning Chines economy, the “fear” premium, civil unrest in Nigeria, hurricanes in the gulf of Mexico & the demise of Yukos.

Not a word of course about the US$250 billion in total price increases engineered by the ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, BP & Shell cabal since 2000, giving rise to US$80 billion in increased profits.

But the curse of black gold or texas tea offers us a different prism through which to view the future of democracy, as our world struggles to adapt & reorder itself to the chill of finite realities.

Echoing the words of John Quincy Adams, John Stanton of ICH offers us a bleak & tragic view of a future world, driven by the fundamentalism of blind greed, the force of arms & hopeless oppression ……


“She [the United States] well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence; she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force....she might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....” - John Quincy Adams, 1821 Overview: The Great Energy War


In stark contrast, Vladimir Bravo-Salazar of ICH, offers us a glimpse of a different future, born of hope & being nurtured against the odds in Venezuela ……


Consistent with its values and Constitution, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has proposed an alternative to the neo-liberal doctrines that are driving the current world system. The Venezuelan model proposes as its central premise, in Article 299, that it is the economy that must be at the service of humanity for the benefit of all, as opposed to the neo-liberal premise that humanity should be at the service of the economy to benefit the rich. A New Humanity Century


Should we choose a path to the future driven by the spiritually barren sloganism of the blind, one-eyed cyclops in Canberra, London, Washington & Rome: a path littered with the wreckage of unfettered consumption & the juggernaut of greed, fear & oppression – our final, faltering step to oblivion taken as an economic token?

Or will we find the courage to spurn this counterfeit meme & find the means to realize the most fundamental aspiration of true democracy: the enoblement of us all?

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