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Agonies of a 'conspiracy theorist'

Richard Tonkin often contributes to Webdiary, as well as Your Democracy. Here's one for the books. Richard's last piece on Webdiary was, Under oath Prime Minister.

by Richard Tonkin

I'm having an ethical crisis. Over the last couple of years I've been looking in shadows for details, and now I'm wondering if it's a current-affairs equivalent of a meerschacht test.. you know, when a pychologist shows a patient ink-blobs and analyses their interpretation.

I'd read, seen and heard things and added them to pieces of information I knew, and become convinced that the answer I came up with was correct. In blind faith I've looked for proof of my "deductions" and broadcast my fears to the best of my abilities.

When I started looking at Halliburton I became pretty lonely. I'd been shocked to learn, at the time of the Adelaide-Darwin railway that the same company doing so much work in Australia was also involved in such a global levels of U.S. military support, from troop support in Iraq to global provision of support and provision for American bases. I couldn't understand why I felt like the only person in the world to be worried. I concluded that Australia had undergone it's own invasion and regime change by corporate means in order to propagate U.S. necessities.

I started to collect an overview to prove that I was right. That was a year ago. I invite you to skim the glossary I've gathered under the heading of "Halliburton Down Under, Above And Beyond."

When the U.S. gave as one of its prime motives for invading Iraq the fact that Saddam was creating Weapons Of Mass Destruction to use against the West, I assumed that this was propaganda to support the philosophies of the neocon think-tank Project For A New American Century.

When the London transport bombings violated a city population's sense of safety, the combination of UK Foregn Secretary Jack Straw repeating the phrase that the attack bore "all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda" first used by Tony Blair in the wake the Twin Towers Attack I assumed it was a hoax, along the lines of Operation Northwood (the US military's plan to entice American support of an invasion of Cuba by using American snipers to kill Cuban nationals in Florida and blame Castro) that had been instigated by the "West" to fuel a war with the military objective of creating profit for US corporations.

Then President Bush, in response to a question on whether the rise in terrorism and the war in Iraq where signs of the oncoming of the Apocalypes, launched into a speech on how he would "use military might to protect our ally, Israel" from Iran. I automatically assumed that Bush, on behalf of Western society, was planning to "damage control" Armageddon by precipitating a controlled version of the prophecies.

More recently, after an Australian-resident University Of Baghdad Professor Of Agriculture was gunned down while attempting to re-enter the Green Zone, I suggested that his death might be the silencing of someone with the potential capacity to considerably damage the Australian Government. I had as my "precedent" the death of Adelaide-based journalist/operative Paul Moran.

Yesterday an explosion ripped apart a building in Adelaide, and I naturally assumed that being so close to the Mark Of The Beast date of 6/6/06 (which FOX is using to launch a remake of "The Omen") it was the bomb that heralded Adelaide's engagement in the Apocalypse. As the day wore on and the truth of the matter evolved, I realised I was totally and utterly wrong.

I'm sitting here today wondering if I've spent the last three years in a state of paranoid delusion. Is everything I've believed and "deduced" based on self-fabricated trains of thoughts? Am I the "conspiracy theorist" that oh-so-many people believe me to be?

What if something I've written spurs someone else to find the evidence that I can't? That has always been my hope, and it now seems a wild one, yet it's been a major source of self-vindication while I've justified a gathering sense of foreboding about the situation the world finds itself in. This cornerstone of self-belief is also far from as strong as it once was.

I'd like to believe that I've been right, and seem to keep on encountering situations that "feel wrong". I know that there have been details of evidence that support my hypotheses, but these are far from any chain of proof. Does that mean that I should wait for a supportive "defence case" before I spout my beliefs and convictions?

I couldn't win a high school debate with the number of proven "givens" that I've gathered, so what right do I have to attempt to convince "society-at-large" to believe me?

Would anybody care to be my "Agony Aunt"?

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Conspiracy heavy, theory lite...

Do you ever wonder why the spectre of the return of David Hicks has our government so on the back foot? What are they so afraid of? This endless "bad guy" cowboy mantra doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Nor can any amount of political embarrassment explain our efforts to hold him at bay. Much of the pressure seems to be coming from without.

I think Hicks represents a part of the great unravelling - just as the return of Mandela precipitated the fall of the South African government which had become too corrupted by it's efforts to remain entrenched. The return of Hicks may initiate a torrent of questions and uncomfortable facts too overwhelming to be resisted.

My missive begins with the interview of Professor McCoy on Lateline, in which the good Prof revealed that Guantanamo is a node in the CIA network.  Quote: "Guantanamo is not a conventional military prison. It's an ad hoc laboratory for the perfection of the CIA psychological torture. Guantanamo is a complete construction." David's own cage was constructed by master craftsmen, as you know, Richard

Anyone who knows anything about the CIA, knows also how they supplement their already bloated black budget. That monster surfaced all too briefly during the Iran-Contra inquiry. It turns out that pure heavy-duty drugs are amongst the lightest and most compact form of currency there is. Unlike gold, heroin and cocaine are consumable and renewable, ensuring a steady demand. I invite the reader to troll through the CIA's record with respect to this magic coinage. 

Hold that thought.

Now, did you ever wonder about the sanity of the CIA's extraordinary rendition?  Why would anybody bother to charter so many jets to fly the odd obscure "terrist" across the world in so much secrecy? So many governments have coyly admitted to turning a blind eye to these covert and unexamined air-traffic movements. In the history of intelligence, was ever so much effort and expense squandered for so little? Where are the terrists that have been brought to book? Where are the convictions?

Now let's fit the last piece in place.

It is a fact that the poppies of Afghanistan are flourishing, despite a poor growing season, despite the "war on drugs", despite the war with the Taliban and Afghanistan, despite the occupation. No matter that the crops are clearly visible to satellite surveillance, they are cultivated unharmed and unhindered. Why? 

Remarkably, the war on drugs has been as ineffectual as the war on terror. Both "wars" have galvanised, strengthened and encouraged the very things they are supposed to be defeating. It makes you think, doesn't it? Especially as the epidemic of hard drugs lurches to new extremes.

Are you with me possums? I don't even have to join these dots for you, because they already fit where they touch.

So where does all this leave Hicks then? He is a mere sideshow in a carnival of dangerous freaks. You could surmise that he and his fellow detainees may have accidentally discovered a few home-truths during their misadventures in a benighted land. Certainly the CIA are messing with their minds, that is publicly admitted.

But maybe, just maybe, the Bastard From the Bush will defeat the Putsch. 

False Economy a Conspiracy? You betcha!

The OECD which is quoted ad nauseum by Costello, states that collective bargaining gives better productivity than individual contracts.  Howard says they don't understand Australia.  Fair dinkum.  The media says that only 27% under individual AWA's believe that they will be worse off - and yet - The Age runs a Yes/No poll and 77% support Beasley's promise to abolish them - weird eh?   Howard claims the Australian Bureau of Statistics is more valid regarding Australia - who gives the figures to the ABS on which they rely for their Statistics?  Howardistics!  There is however, perhaps an upside to the Liberals trashing Parliament, Conventions and worker's dignity - it must be painfully clear to the average small "l" Liberal voter that they too are suffering.  And so too is their families and the future of their children.  Big Business knows no honesty or integrity - it exists solely to make a profit.  The days of David Jones and Mark Foys and Grace Brothers etc giving reliable service are gone.  Like the U.S. everything is speeding up and the mighty dollar takes precedence over all other considerations. Loyalty to an employer is not longer appreciated and rewarded. We are becoming an American client state without voting rights or even a facsimilie of their Bill of Rights.  The last 10 years has probably damaged our world image enormously just as it only took the Bush administration five years to destroy the respect for the U.S. which needed the entire 2 0th Century to establish.  As a footnote on AWA'S.  IF our Miners believe that, at this time, their AWA's are good they should remember what happened to the Miners of 5 Mines in the early days of Howard's administration.  When things got tough they all closed down without paying any of the benefits that the Miners had accumulated and they received no support from Howard!  Conversley, when Howard's brother was in a similar position, Howard used taxpayer's funds to bail him out!  Shade of Bjelke Peterson?  NE OUBLIE.

The "Comparison con" is now ON.

Is Howard better than Magabe?  Is our economy better than that of the Upper Volga?  Fair dinkum.  Let's have a reality check.  At a time when the basdardry of the Liberal government is having "a bad day" - is the media frenzy over Costello's revelation really a major issue?  OR is it a typical Karl Rove reverse psychology scam to boost Howard's image?  For example:  Both of these Liberal politicians have made lying and half-truths an art form - with the Corporate media's assistance of course. 

While I personally believe that Howard did give Costello an undertaking so as he would not have to face a democratic vote, I question the expose' at this time.  In 1998, Howard badly needed the 15 National Party seats to maintain government. 

In 2001 he badly needed the Tampa/babies overboard lies and the SIEV X crime against humanity. Up to 2004, the Liberals had been laundering tens of millions of taxpayer funds to the venal media  to support the decption of a false, debt ridden economy. 

Now with the I.R. disgrace to Australian workers; the abuse of power; the false "prosperity" and continued blunders by the Cabinet Ministers - Howard badly needs an injection of Media "perceived credibility"! So, as bad as Costello's image is in the eyes of the voters, he has "compared" himself with Howard (the incumbent).  This has been done for the profeteering, Corporate media and their "opinion" journalists, to come to Howard's aid with compliments and political interviews that would make a circus master salivate!!! 

Costello and Howard now have a Howard choice of "debate" on how wonderful their partnership in deception has really been to the benefit of the ever increasing working poor.  What ever Costello may be, he is not the fool who has been appearing on T/V for the new "Tampa".  He just can't help smirking at the fools who believe him and Howard.  So - will he fall on his sword as did Keating?  NO - he will not resign and go to the backbench because, that would need the "courage of his manufactured convictions". 

The current Liberal spin of "in some month's time the voters will wonder what all the fuss was about" will surely service.  BUT, many of us will have been conned yet again by the dealers in misinformation.  Yes - Howard badly needed the Corporate media-based deception again - and they have delivered in spades. 

Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see!  There is no truth - only the powers that be.

The "comparison con" is now ON of 17th July last

Are we free at last from the Howard/Costello spin now? Just try to estimate the amount of times that Howard and his media hacks bludgeon us with images of him with "his people" - now that the comical spin of comparing him (the incumbent) with his loyal but unpopular treasurer is settling into the sunset.

Fair dinkum! If we all took a good look at the deregulated garbage on TV while we await the push towards the "Howard choice" of free to air advertisements or Murdoch's pay TV (also with advertisements) we would surely have to seek a "free from Howard" source!

If only our Labor voters refused to buy any of Murdoch's "newspapers", there would certainly be a change. The "what's in a word" is also haunting us now - Greg Milne is no longer an employee of the "Australian" newspaper - he is a News Ltd columnist!! And why do our women still patronise Spotlight when they have dropped the incomes of female employees back to the bad old days before Gough Whitlam's Labor government progressed to equal pay?

Believe nothing you read and only half of what you see. NE OUBLIE.

Con

Ernest William, at least we know that Howard will be leading the Libs into the next election, which is more than can be said about Beazley. He is still on trial by the union hacks. If his polls numbers don't improve he will be out on his ear.

Why on earth is Beazley so keen on taking on Howard again? He has been beaten by him twice and will be beaten by him again.

As for the woman who worked for Spotlight, let her go out and get another job. There plenty out there as we have not yet reached Labor's figure of 11% unemployment. She is just another poor bugger being manipulated by Combet and Burrows.

Let's all have an opinion - but reason.

The media appears now to be totally corrupted by the U.S. style of negative politics.  Once upon a time - the Westminster system of pre-election hype was simple.  "If given your mandate - we will ...": Or - As your government we will endeavour....": Or - "We give this undertaking" and, most of all, IF they didn't deliver, the responsible person resigned!  THAT was democracy at work. The U.S. Business Corporate decided that to improve their position in competition, it was cheaper and therefore more profitable to denigrte the other "products" than to improve their own.   NEGATIVE.  In a true democracy that would be challenged in court.  And, it took on. Then the once proud government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people was also corrupted into that cheap alternative to true competition.  It fostered the farce which resulted in G.W. Bush's "capture" of the U.S. Presidency.  Well, at least that sure proved that "anyone can become President of the U.S."!  It also raised the spectre of Karl Rove's methodology of reverse psychology viz:  Whatever you are guilty of doing - claim that your opposition is doing it, not you.  When you are untrustworthy, claim only YOU can be trusted: When your record is a shocker, claim that YOU  rely on your record:  When you act only for the wealthy Corporations - claim that it is really for the "people's future". (Like feeding everything to the pigs so that you don't get fat?).  If you think fairly, you will get the message.  Whatever the Liberal M.P's claim - inveriably the opposite is true.  There is no truth - just the Corporate powers that be.

Who elected Alan Jones

Everyone knows that Alan Jones is a bigoted right winger and leans heavily to fascism in his rhetoric.  However, when this person is treated with craven flattery by the Prime Minister, it is time to take a good look at him.  As a public figure with power far exceeding his intelligence, he cannot hide from the scrutiny of the citizens who made him wealthy.  four years ago the ABC commissioned Chris Martin, one of their most respected journalists, to write a book on this predatory animal for the ABC to publish.  Since the project began, the Liberals have changed the Board significantly while, at the same time, attacking it's credibility and impartiality.  The effects of this "take-over" are more and more obvious in the lack of balanced reporting by the ABC "news" broadcasters and the infiltration of Maxine McHugh.  So immediately AFTER the book was finished; its' cover decided and enormous taxpayer funds expended - Alan Jones wrote a threatening letter to the ABC Board.  In spite of the fact that legal advice had been consistent during the writing and after , the book was completed - however, the Board back-flipped as soon as it received Alan Jones' threat and decided NOT to publish it!  They claimed that it was because JONES COULD SUE THEM! Fair dinkum.  Let's have a reality check. ANYONE can sue ANYONE for ANY reason.  IF the fear of that was so powerful, how can Gerard Henderson, Neil Mitchell, Andrew Bolt and almost every Liberal Politician get away with their"opinions"? IF compensation was the fear, that would only be valid IF Chris Martin and his bevy of legal advisors, had INTENTIONALLY FALSIFIED the "facts" disclosed.  As Howard keeps saying while introducing Legislation to reduce privacy - "you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide"!  SO, what does Mr. "two gongs" Jones have to hide?  Since the cowardly ABC Board has lost it's pride for "the people are entitled to know", will they also refuse to allow author Chris Martin to publish his book with someone else?  The only fact that seems to emerge from this fiasco, is that Chris Martin has recorded the actual history of a person who makes a living from denegrating others.  Certainly the media elects governments but - who elects the Media?  There is no truth - just the powers that be.

David R: Chris Masters is clearly so respected a journalist that you can't remember his name ... More coherent MediaWatch report here.

Thank you David R:

I would have preferred that you had advised me without the sarcasm - however I may have touched a nerve and you felt constrained to discredit the "spirit" of my opinion.  So be it.  I do feel however, that the once derided "Auntie" ABC is also losing it's values.  Even with the stand-over tactics of Alan Jones, the ABC Capricornia which I listen to while in Rockhampton, is already skewing its "reports" in favour of the Liberals.  There is a police action concerning false heavy vehicle licenses here.  Now how is this for a media spin?  ABC Capricornia reported that this was done by an AWU UNION OFFICIAL.  Fair dinkum.  Union Officials are not empowered to issue driving licenses of any kind BECAUSE they are Unionists, as the ABC implied!  The person was a Gopvernment accredited Inspector BUT he just happened to be a Union member!  Next time perhaps that ABC reporter might consider adding to those types of reports that the transgressor is a "homosexual, Jewish, black - Union member?  All of which are as irrelevant as the supposed fact of the alleged crime.  Would that satisfy Howard's ABC Board?  No truth - no accountability - no independence - just the powers that be.

the establishment vs. social justice - the hard part

I read a thing from ICH yesterday (25May06), entitled 'Paranoia, depression, or a world of hope'[1]. Going on the title alone, I scored myself as two out of three.

IMHO, the situation is drastic, with no relief in sight.

The evidence is 'in' - we're being ripped-off by the current 'system'. Except in the unlikely case that I enter gross error, I'm not much interested - if at all - in arguing inconsequent detail; I refer you once more to WYSIWYG, and point, say, to the 'death by a 1000 cuts' being inflicted on public health in general, and in particular, the original Medibank as it now (mutilatedly!) appears. Or, you could investigate the globalized 'Flat Earth' of Friedman, which may well be flat, but is also tilted squarely into the poverty gutter with lots'n lots'a us, we the people poised to slide inexorably down, while the fat-to-the-point-of-obscene-cats crow from their secure top-edge roosts, like the carrion-vultures they truly are.

I hypothesise any opposing my thesis, i.e. 'that our current situation stinks and requires drastic reform', would presumably do so by its antithesis: i.e. 'everything in the garden is rosy; no change'. Whether such people do so out of naked self interest (i.e. they've go their snouts deep in the swill), or out of ideological blindess, who knows or cares? - the first boo, hiss.

There will always be exceptions to my generalisations, and some of those exceptions may even be honourable, but in general, most of these fat-to-the-point-of-obscene-cats get there and/or stay there by using some form of chicanery (to put it politely), and when less politely then some or all of lying, cheating, theft and murder - as WYSIWYG shows us in Iraq, illegal invasion thereof: murder for oil.

To head-off any argument over oil, I'll admit that it may not have been the sole reason, only about 99%, say. The other reasons may be some or all of: propping up (the US' illegitimate sprog) Israel, propping up the (next-to-worthless, irresponsibly over-printed) $US, the neoCon ravings of a certain cabal, the questionable sanity of a certain principal, the outright criminality of others and yes, the elimination of a certain tyrant. But one thing it certainly was not for, was the liberation of Iraq, to democratise it or for any other such 'higher' reason: you just can't 'liberate' people by mass-murdering 'em! For those who still maintain that knocking Saddam off was somehow 'right' (and I utterly condemn the method and will do so forever), this: 'it is the greatest treason to do the right thing for the wrong reason.' Knocking Saddam off (some other how) may have been right (60minutes/O’Neill: going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11), but all else was criminally and murderously wrong. No armchair warrior can know what it's like in Iraq, and no MSM informs us. We grieve for the dead, and keen for all surviving victims.

-=*=-

There has been just the once so far in my lifetime, when there was chance of some effective countervailing power going to work for us, we the people, in the person of one super-Gough. But the feet-of-clay which dogged Labor relatively lightly then as extremely heavily now, plus the despicable depredations of the sour-puss snivelling-Libs, a cur's Kerr and Oh, say, 100+ days of very black Murdoch ink gave Gough no peace, and it all blew up; they 'did 'im in' as they did 'im wrong - whether prompted and/or aided by the CIA, who knows. Death of our so far one-and-only Camelot.

Now there is Labor (the Lab part of the Lib/Lab twins) here, 'new'-Labour in the UK and the Dems 'over there' all vying to be pro-business look-alikes, having ditched their responsibilities along with their role of "the workers/peoples' party" - another boo, hiss. We are, just about as good as literally, up shit creek in a barbwire canoe, without a political paddle. We can't hope, that the 'left' parties in Aus, the US or UK will voluntarily reform themselves. They've gone for the dreadful we the people sell-out 'economic rationalism' policies, which may be nothing other than a re-named Reagan 'voodoo economics' where, for example (Cheney to Treasury): "Deficits don't matter".

-=*=-

Deities, it is said, help those who help themselves. If we wanna get out of this trap, we're gunna have to do it ourselves. Boycotts could work, but the great unwashed are unlikely to give up their 'shop till they drop' retail therapy. (Therapy, hmmm? Means something/somebody is sick? Then there's Madison Ave: "You are inadequate... go out and buy something!")

We might be able to do it by voting, and few would have to interrupt their flat-screen TV induced coma. Just put the Lib/Lab twins absolutely last (in the order of your preference, natch) - then may the best independent win! Elected indies have good records of working for their constituents, wouldn't that be a nice change... And a parliament full of indies would have to be better than anything from Lib/Lab; if they just did nothing at least they'd do no harm, and the PS does most/all of the work anyway. Just get rid of the entire 'raft' of Lib/Lab deadwood, and, daaarlings, all (harmful!) ideologies.

-=*=-

Oh, yeah; an' another thing: stop the killing; NO WAR!

-=*end*=-

Refs:

[1] "Psychoanalysts have learned that, when faced with his or her destructive potential, an individual is faced with three major coping strategies. With the paranoid strategy, that person can massively deny the destructiveness within while simultaneously projecting it onto others, as many in this country have been doing the last several years. With the depressive approach, the person can take the blame upon his or her self, engaging in depressive self-attack accompanied by hopelessness and passivity, as has been the case among so many of those unhappy with the direction they see the country taking. Finally, one can refuse to be paralyzed by fear or by despair, face up to reality, acknowledge one’s [own] destructiveness and act to contain its effects along with the fear and destructiveness of the formerly feared and hated others. Only then can one start the difficult process of transforming that destructive energy into a constructive force that builds ties to others and together with them creates an alternative. In perilous times like these, that last possibility is the only one that can lead to a sustainable world capable of surviving and truly worth living in. It remains to be seen if we [Anglo- i.e US, UK & Aus] people are willing to cast aside our fears and live in a world of reality, of uncertainty and occasional chaos, but also a world of hope."
[Stephen Soldz via ICH]

the establishment vs. social justice - gsttd!

G'day jane lahey.

Re: conspiracies; yeah: we got 'em.

IMHO, the situation is drastic, with no relief in sight.

I believe in WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get: but you've gotta keep your eyes, ears - and mind - wide open.

We now know - or can know, if we look (what some might'a knowed long ago): that the MSM lies at us. What?! - 'at' us? Yeah; 'to' us would imply a level of intimacy unjustified - and simply not present: they lie at us, we the people. Worse, the AusBC does it too; either directly by passing on lies - that they ort'a know are lies (after all, they do claim to be professional), or by omission, or simply in the way they report something. (For this last, I recommend (critically!) listening to RN b'fast. Boo! Hiss! But don't listen too long, you might become ill.)

Examples? Lots; consider 'the way they report something,' and look at the allegations levelled against Iran. The IAEA (they ort'a know) estimate Iran may be as far as 10 years away from any A-bomb (even if they really are out to build a bomb, but mad if they're not); yet it is widely reported that Iran is almost there; so close in fact, that they've gotta be bombed, toot-sweet. It's also reported that 'the West' is concerned, when it's all being driven solely by the filthy, murderous US warmongers. (Yeah. Including ‘The Israel Lobby’.)

Then, there's the Iran = Nazi smear I reported on yesterday. In a nutshell, some writer invented a story about Iran passing a law, which would require people to wear specific clothes, and in particular: "Religious minorities would have their own colour schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia, known as zonnar, to indicate their non-Islamic faiths. Jews would be marked out with a yellow strip of cloth sewn in front of their clothes while Christians will be assigned the colour red. Zoroastrians end up with Persian blue as the colour of their zonnar."

The story:
A colour code for Iran's 'infidels'
Amir Taheri
Friday, May 19, 2006
[National Post]

The story was quickly contradicted then later withdrawn, but meanwhile was spread around the world. You might'a heard of it? Howard did, and instead of waiting for confirmation from his briefers, took the opportunity to immediately put the boot in: "Well I hadn’t previously heard of that, but I’m very happy to give you a response. If that is true I would find that totally repugnant. It obviously echoes the most horrible period of genocide in the world’s history and the marking of Jewish people, with a mark on their clothing by the Nazi’s, and anything of that kind of would totally repugnant to civilised countries - if it’s the case - and something that would just further indicate to me the nature of this regime."

Let's look closer at Taheri. Interestingly enough, he's been cited in WD quite recently:
Food for thought from Amir Taheri
Submitted by mike lyvers on May 25, 2006 - 3:06pm.


But that's not all, try this from the democrats website via ICH: Will Elena Benador Start World War III? : Joseph Cannon [1] rightly calls our attention to Elena Benador, the woman who played a crucial role in brainwashing millions of Americans into supporting the invasion of Iraq - and is trying to do the same in Iran.

"Now Benador's clients [3] are working just as hard to get the U.S. to invade Iran. One of her clients is Amir Taheri [4], who is a "commentator for CNN." (CNN does not publish a list of commentators [5], which is extremely suspicious. What are they hiding?) Taheri became infamous this week for writing a bogus story [6] claiming Iran just passed a law requiring Jews to wear yellow stripes."

Worth reading the whole thing, especially the bit about Judith Miller.

Hmmm. Whadda 'bout this: Web Results 1 - 28 of about 78 English pages for judy OR judith miller Elena Benador. (0.45 secs)

From Juan Cole at salon:
Judy Miller and the neocons
Arrogance, poor editing, and getting too close to her sources -- not ideology -- led to her fall.

"Although some critics have noted that Miller associated herself with the neocon Middle East Forum, headed by Daniel Pipes, and had a brief relationship with Benador Associates, a neoconservative booking agency, neither association is more than circumstantial evidence for an ideological affinity with the neoconservatives."

Phew! Enough, for now.

Preliminary comment: We know, that Judith Miller was 'separated' from the NYT, for, amongst other 'sins', exaggerating the WMD case against Iraq. In a word, she's disgraced herself and at the same time shown that the NYT is not always accurate and my own comment the NYT is that it's (unacceptably!) biased, and that not to the 'left'. Ditto, for the WP; same story with different bad actors. Now this Taheri is shown to be going down the same path, and was able to 'lead' Howard - and Harper - 'astray.' Howard and Harper were both able to equate Iran with Nazi, again, tout de suite. Too bloody fast, IMHO; what ever happened to Howard's 'no comment' on hypotheticals?

Preliminary conclusion: IMHO, there is a MSM conspiracy to keep lots'a the truth from the sheople.

Shame!

One absolute prerequisite for a democracy is accurate info; we just don't get that from the MSM. And worse, the AusBC is far too often indistinguishable from the MSM in this respect. One would really have to wonder how they dare, taking our dough as they do.

Now. I'm a computer programmer by profession, not a journo or writer. Starting with my first hearing of "Shock'n Awe," I resolved to fight the warmongers, who turn out to be the tip of a very large & nasty 'iceberg' which takes in the military/industrial complex, and (global) corporations in general and their prostitutes, the MSM & politicians; all together forming 'the establishment.' The wider conspiracy, were such to exist, would be the concerted attack by the establishment against social justice, the latter being our living, where 'our' means we, the people.

You, dear reader, have a few options. One, you can dismiss me as a krazy-conspiracist, with all that implies for not challenging the status quo. Or, you could do something positive; think about it and develop your own strategy. Since my little monogram is landing in WD, I assume you to be more interested in the latter option.

Hey! Wait a sec! Whadda 'bout gsttd?

Oh, yeah. 'Gsttd' is used a lot over at chezPhil's: Get something (useful) to do! Like, turn off your TV and start agitating for truth and social justice. And another other thing: stop the killing; NO WAR!

Hang on (again)!!

(Disclaimer) Richard and Gareth. My post of 25 May, 3.25 pm appeared on the screen all jumbled up!! It did not read the way I had sent it and seems to be an error at Webdiary's end. Some of the text from my reply to Richard ended up in my reply to Gareth, and the text in my reply to Gareth was all out of sequence. In order to rectify any confusion caused, the text below is the way it should have appeared in the original post:

Richard. (Original post) I am very baffled by your reply to my post. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but you appear to be criticising me for a stance I didn’t take.

You seem to be saying that I am dismissing conspiracies and conspiracists as ‘crackpots’, when in fact I wrote my post with the aim of doing the exact opposite – I was wanting to give them legitimacy as a credible political movement whose time has come.

I went back over my post, and realised some of my wording was ambiguous and misleading – particularly the sentence regarding the ‘inmates taking over the asylum’; I meant this to refer to the way in which conspiracists have been viewed to date – I was not describing conspiracists themselves.

I fully endorse your wish that, ‘future generations will look back at our here-and-now and see the first society to truly question the motives of its "leaders".’ I do regret not making myself clearer in my previous post and hope that you and other readers might re-read it in this light.

One thing that concerns me is that the powers-that-be are in the process of creating a conspiracy to wrest control of the Internet by convincing us by stealth that it constitutes a threat to the public good. (It’s already happening with all the hysteria over kiddy porn and dirty bombs etc.) But that’s a conspiracy discussion for another day.

Gareth. (Original post) Most of the points you make are valid and, yes, conspiracism, like all movements can attract its share of extremists and literalists. But much of today’s conspiracy movement is driven by a need to know and understand, not to manipulate.

I feel your concern that ‘people are relying on sites like [independent media and blogs] as their primary source of news and factual information’ is largely unfounded. As with food, it’s more natural for people to seek a balance.

In fact, given the way the mainstream media have degenerated into little more than a mouthpiece for celebrity worship and sanitised imperialism, they are the ones who can no longer be relied on as a primary source of news and factual information.

David C: Hi Jane, sorry about your post, I don't know what happened at this end.  I had a few problems with the font for some reason.  We're a bit short staffed with moderators at the moment so some backlogs have developed - apologies to those who have had to wait to see their posts.  Might have been some mix-up in the rush to catch up. 

Hang on!

Richard. I am very baffled by your reply to my post. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but you appear to be criticising me for a stance I didn’t take.

I went back over my post, and realised some of my wording was ambiguous and misleading – particularly the sentence regarding the ‘inmates taking over the asylum’; I meant this to refer to the way in which conspiracists have been viewed to date – I was not describing conspiracists themselves.

I fully endorse your wish that, ‘future generations will look back at our here-and-now and see the first society to truly question the motives of its "leaders".’ I do regret not making myself clearer in my previous post and hope that you and other readers might re-read it in this light.

One thing that concerns me is that the powers-that-be are in the process of creating a conspiracy to wrest control of the Internet by convincing us by stealth that it constitutes a threat to the public good. (It’s already happening with all the hysteria over kiddy porn and dirty bombs etc.) But that’s a conspiracy discussion for another day.

Gareth. Most of the points you make are valid and, yes, conspiracism, like all movements can attract its share of extremists and literalists. But much of today’s conspiracy movement is driven by a need to know and understand, not to manipulate.

In fact, given the way the mainstream media have degenerated into little more than a mouthpiece for celebrity worship and sanitised imperialism, they are the ones who can no longer be relied on as a primary source of news and factual information.

I feel your concern that ‘people are relying on sites like [independent media and blogs] as their primary source of news and factual information’ is largely unfounded. As with food, it’s more natural for people to seek a balance. You seem to be saying that I am dismissing conspiracies and conspiracists as ‘crackpots’, when in fact I wrote my post with the aim of doing the exact opposite – I was wanting to give them legitimacy as a credible political movement whose time has come.

Not about the other thing

Here, Richard, this should get the cogs grinding again.

From the blog of Jeff Jonas, informatics wonk, Hunting Bad Guys, Phone Records and a Few Good Dead Men:

... Here is one very telling, and chilling, glimpse into this world.  In 1996 the DEA discovered that the Cali drug cartel had a “mainframe” computer with a database containing the phone records of all Cali residents.   Using link analysis to cross reference phone calls that occurred between the cartel’s own people and American and Colombian narcotics officials (including US diplomatic, military and DEA personnel) the Cartel was able to detect, capture and kill at least 12 informants. [2] ...

Considering the huge quantities of cocaine being shipped to the West, eg.,  National Drug Threat Assessment 2006 (html) and the expensive equipment used by the cartels to secure their market, one is led to think that if Usama shared with these guys, then the nukes are already stashed away in u-store warehouses, probably in the very same electorates nominated by Kim Beazley today.

(You'll notice that I did not mention Mossad. ;) )

I still rely on the MSM for news

Jane Lahey, I’m a little worried that you hold Webdiary in a similar light as a site like “Whatreallyhappened.com”, and even further suggest that this is a good thing.

Webdiary at least aims to be a balanced source of debate on important issues (according to the charter). I haven’t seen WD advertise itself as some kind of self appointed guardian of the truth, something which most of the worst conspiracy blogs and sites do. I personally try to avoid most of the more absurd debate that occurs on WD from time to time. I’m saddened that yet again the deliberate murder of civilians is being defended on the “We can live in truth or lie in death” thread.

I don’t subscribe to the popular view that independent media and blogs have an entirely positive impact. Sure they are a great way to exchange/discuss people’s views and opinion. They are also a great way to obtain and provide independent analysis of world events. I’m worried that too many people are relying on sites like these as their primary source of news and factual information. Rather than informing people, I feel that this is going to increase the degree of ignorance your average person has of real life issues and events. Right wing folk flock to sites that support their own point of view (e.g. timblair.net) left wing folk head to their favourite sites (like whatreallyhappened.com). I’m sure there is a site for every single variation of political spectrum. In the end I think we’ll end up with no better understanding of the what, why and when of world events. In fact, I think we’ll end up with worse. We’ll all just think we know “what really happened”. We’ll once again end up with the situation where only the powerful and wealthy really know what’s going on.

In praise of conspiracism

Having followed this thread, but so far refraining from posting, I thought I'd throw in some thoughts before it finally disappears off the screen.

There are many indications that later generations may look back on this time as the era of conspiracism. Over time, it is evolving into a clearly defined political movement – as did capitalism, socialism, feminism, environmentalism and so on.

Political ‘-ism’ movements are often specific to their time, and come about because of a combination of technological, social, political and cultural changes. Capitalism, for example, rose as a challenge to feudalism, which was breaking down as a result of the technological inventions that led to the Industrial Revolution.

Conspiracies have always been around. They have been freely acknowledged by political observers, such as Machiavelli, as tools for the gaining and maintaining of power. So too, investigative journalism has been around for at least a century, looking under rocks and unearthing skullduggery and cover-ups by the wealthy and powerful.

However, it’s only been in the last decade that Internet technology and email looping have created the kind of environment for conspiracism to flourish as a grassroots socio-political movement. Investigative journalism is now within the reach of ordinary people, and they’re rising to the occasion.

In recent years there has been an unprecedented flourishing of websites and organisations, such as Media Lens, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Move On.org, What Really Happened … oh, and of course Webdiary, that monitor the powerful in ways the mainstream media can’t. Many of these websites get several million hits a week.

Also, there is now an unprecedented trend in conspiracy documentaries, such as The Corporation, Farhenheit 911, and The World According to Bush. Once, if these were even produced at all, they would have been shown to very limited audiences in underground cinemas or suburban living rooms. Now they are being profitably screened by the big cinema chains to large mainstream audiences. Even the 911 conspiracy film, In Plane Site, was recently screened on Channel 10.

Instead of being viewed as the inmates taking over the asylum, conspiracism is gaining legitimacy. Less and less does the word ‘conspiracy’ generate the expected snigger and put down. And less and less is it being teamed with the word ‘nutter’. As the political lies get bigger, and the stakes get higher, conspiracism might well become our salvation.

Conspiracie hamlet most foul

Spot on Jane, and I am not surprised that dear Eastie does not approve.  That was a giggle.

Here is the beginning of ,methinks ,mehumble conspiracie hamlet most foul thinks,of the cracks appearing. In true Us style,one starts with those who know the big boss' secrets and hit them with a firing squad charge that aint too hard to prove and before you can say blubber blubber,they are squealing all about bigboss' antics.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2006/06/nepal-commission-summons-former-royal.php

Nepal is a great but bloody example of how to take back the farm.

 

Cheers

PS    I hope they hurry up as I want to go back there soon.

One Of "Them" ?

Jane Lahey, if there was a conspiracy theory that conspiracy theorists were being conspired against, I think you'd be quite happy. The attitude your post conveys is typcial of many, and shows how easily idealogical babies can be thrown out with jingoistic bathwater.

Much of what is in The Corporation and Farenheit 9/11 is factual... sure, take it with a grain of salt if you must, but don't dismiss everything that's being said 

I like to think that future generations will look back at our here-and-now and see the first society to truly question the motives of its "leaders."  I hope you wouldn't cast these people amongst "the crackpots"... unless you're a deliberate discrediter- One Of Them ? (that's a joke, Joycie!) 

Conspiracies are plentiful - if you THINK.

G'day Richard.  I am in Rockhampton at the present time and every petrol station of every brand has exactly the same price.  Conspiracy? It is a truism that it pays to advertise and the Howard multi-million dollar laundering of taxpayer's money is certainly an example of "crime does pay".  Pay for comment has always been Howard's method of choice since he came to power.  Buy the media and you have at your disposal, the only way the voters receive their information. Have we already forgotten that the previous Howard Attorney General, Darryl Williams who was exposed as employing the U.S. company Universal McCann (with our money) to advise on ways to avoid scrutiny?  The way was to approach all of the rural newspapers in southern N.S.W. and offer to increase the Howard government's advitising IF they ensured that their editorials were only complimentary to Howard.  Like all of the "caught-out" Howard Ministers - he was allowed to retire.  Howard has always used our money to buy his unwarranted support from radio and TV broadcasters and the Moguls of misinformation.  He conspired to replace all heads of Public Service departments and created a law which forbids them to give evidence or comment in any way.  He conspired to ensure that the High Court had more Liberal appointees than any other.  He conspired to emasculate the Cole inquiry by narrowing the terms of reference.  He will conspire to ensure the result of that exercise is edited by himself.  During his tenure of Office the media has gone from only the Editorials publishing opinions to a gaggle of bigoted politically motivated "journalists" who are only threatened with Howard's lawyers IF they print "leaked" documents which he did not approve.  Certainly he and his conga-line are the most complete criminals of conspiracies this once lucky country has ever seen.  There is no truth - just the powers that be.

Murdoch Protecting Halliburton ?

Please read my last posting on the Kovco thread,   If the Bosnian contractor's daughter is correct, the situation now exists that Halliburton has for weeks withheld the information that it lost the body of one of its civilian contractors.  This is not going to go down well with the families of U.S. contractors working in Iraq, not to mention the Bosnians.

Even in the most outlandishly conceivable of stuff-ups somebody must've realised the problem before I did.  Information has come to light by the most unlikely of methods- community radio.   However when it became time to re-write the News version to that which was published by the Australian today, the crucial Kellog, Brown and Root lines have been forgotten.

[extract from news.com.au

Ms Sinanovic said her father died of a brain hemorrhage in Iraq after playing table tennis on April 17.

He had worked for the American engineering and construction company Kellogg, Brown and Root.

Ms Sinanovic said the company had indicated they would pay compensation to her family.

"(But) there is no amount of money that could pay for the death of somebody in any case," she said.

Ms Sinanovic told the radio station's presenter she was the first person from Australia to contact her over the bungle.

Another Australian piece today doesn't mention any company at all.

[extract]

It was a genuine misidentification of the body. There was a startling resemblance between the two," one senior government source says. At no point during the viewing did Hoekstra express any doubts about the identity of the body.

The mistaken identification was discovered only the following day, on April 26, when an employee of Sinanovic's company went to the mortuary to claim the Bosnian contractor's body.

This story flies in the face of this piece I've just found, from The Australian last week

[extract]

Victorian Coroner Graeme Johnstone insisted on identifying the Bosnian's body before it was returned to Kuwait, where a further identification was carried out involving the Bosnian ambassador and colleagues from Mr Sinanovic's employer, the US contractor KBR.

It is understood Mr Johnstone insisted that Mr Sinanovic's papers and identity tags - which arrived in Sydney with Kovco's body last month - be hand delivered to him in Melbourne.

Why has the Australian failed to re-provide these pertinent pieces of data today? 

If I asked whether the Murdoch press might be protecting Halliburton's reputation in this issue, would I be over-extrapolating?

Some days it's hard to tell 

Pass the buck?

G'day Richard. The enormous blunders of this Howard regime continue unabated.  The latest disaster on the disgraceful treatment of a dead soldier on active duty boggles the mind.  If we ignore the media hype and their desperate efforts to excuse the responsible Minister Nelson (and of course Howard) let's have a reality check.  As a returned serviceman, my understanding has always been that the dead servicemen or women of our country are the responsibility of the Military.  Therefore the claimed flight from Baghdad to Kuwait by the RAAF was correct procedure initially.  BUT WHO made the inexcusable decision to employ a private Kuwaiti contractor to transport our soldier to Australia?  While it is the responsibility of the Military, it could not or should not have been done without the permission of the Minister at least.  This is a government of depraved indifference and it would be consistent with their behaviour to try to save a few dollars more by using private enterprise.  The subsequent abuses of duty of care would not have happened had the military maintained the vigil and personal responsibility expected in those circumstances.   Well may Nelson say he is angry - at who? And when will HE be rewarded? The unaccountable Howard government continues to behave in the most embarrassing manner which places us well and truly in the area of a "banana republic" of which Howard wants to be the President.  NE OUBLIE.

Now for East Timor.

Even though the heads of the East Timorese government did not ask for troops, Howard sends them anyway.  As I understand it from the conflicting reports on the venal media, they have only asked for additional police.  However, now that it is done irrespective of the specific wishes of that small country's government, can be have a "cast iron", "iron clad" and "specific" guarantee from Howard and Nelson that, heaven forbid, IF any fatalities occur with our troops in what Howard describes as an "extremely dangerous" situation - WILL THOSE SOLDIER/S, MALE OR FEMALE, BE RETURNED TO AUSTRALIA BY THE AUSTRALIAN MILITARY?  The Chief of the Defense Force took the blame last time but I am sure that he did not make the decision to employ a Private Contractor in Kuwait!  WHO DID?

A promise - core - specific or iron clad?

Perhaps a subject that is hard to discuss nevertheless, the result of people complaining about the treatment of Pvte Kovco's body deserves more than just a Nelson "blind eye". It has been reported that the Howard government will have any of our service personnel's fatalities returned to Australia by Military aircraft or CHARTERED AIRCRAFT!! Here we go again - private enterprise under the Howard corporations government cannot even keep private enterprise out of profiteering from the possible casualties on active duty of our servicemen and women? How low can he get before even the Liberals wake up? They too may have some family or friends in the danger zones where Howard has sent our military as Bush's "deputy Sheriff". Watch out for his use of our Reservists for overseas duty. NE OUBLIE.

East Timor

 Ernest William, it is my understanding that Beazley also agreed to send troops to East Timor, I heard him say so in parliament. Perhaps you think we should send Bill Shorten after the great job this dill did in Tasmania, all he has managed to do is squeeze a few dollars out of Channel 9 for his union, and cost the jobs of umpteen miners.

By the way I thought you don't read or listen to the venal media.

a tiny pimple on the arse of the world - but the (local) biggest

G'day Roger; I too dimly recall a US Howard/Major mix-up, but I can't locate a reference. However, large bits'a the US MSM and general population are just sooo parochial, it's little wonder. I also recall a survey being done 'over there' revealing a truly dismal % who could point to Iraq on a map. I also agree that on a scale of one-to-ten Aus might not even make it; but legally and (im!)morally, we're just as much in the shit as the US and UK - although some 4k-a-day legal-smartarse would probably be prepared to 'defend' Howard if (when?) the Nuremberg trials were to be reconvened for B, B & H etc.

I located Almendingen on a map; it's a bit off my normal track(s), although I did over-night in Thun, once. One of my maps is a dinky little 3-D job, from a box of Swiss chocolates, believe it or not. It shows well the valley along the Jura - valley is 'Graben' in German as you probably know, but it's not the Röstigraben; widerluege.

Ah The Chocolate Box

Phil, got the chocolate box map. Ate the chocolates a long time ago (actually I think the wife did) and kept the box as a momento.

Yes, 'graben' refers to anything that is dug out. In Berne, named after the Bären (European Grizzlies) that used to inhabit the area, there is the famous Bärengraben, a large pit that houses a family of Grizzlies. They are a very popular tourist attraction.

Interesting connection with Jura valley of course, the Jura mountains being the place where the Jurassic Period was first identified and studied.

Don't know what any of this has to do with conspiracies but I'm working on it.

all is lost - err, I think... but wait!

If there were to be a conspiracy (or three), you'd hardly expect to be able to gather much, even any 'probative' evidence, unless any conspirators were toadally incompetent. (Cue Costello: "Haw, haw, haw! - Let us prey.") OK, OK, they (B, B & H etc) may well be jointly and severally incompetent (some more and some less), but perhaps far less likely their minders (from the CIA, say - or the NSA, DoD, Mossad - the list is long, far too long).

There is no doubt in my mind - and I'm not alone - that B, B & H agreed on their nice little (illegal!) invasion looong before they deigned to tell us; we've even 'seen' GWBush affirming beforehand that he was going with or without a UNSC resolution, even with or without Bliar (or Aus, but really daaarlings, we hardly count - or get a mention, even). He (W.) tried suggesting painting a US spy plane in UN colours, to tempt Saddam into some sort'a 'casus belli' transgression.

They (B, B & H etc) have all the cards; the military, the spies, (most? all?) of the 'public servants' and (horror of horrors) the traitorous MSM, to boot. In Aus, remember, we've had the Podger and Shergold threats, analogous in UK and US; we hardly get a leaker worth his/her salt, and if any story 'breaks' badly, the neoCons and other Cons, most of the (corrupt!) MSM (incl. big bits'a the AusBC; Boo! Hiss!) and even in here, they all spin and spit in turn or in unison; anyone who 'resists' the official line (the 'pushed paradigm') is avalanched, vilified, insulted etc.

Then there's the oppositions which do not oppose, i.e. Latham posing in front of a US flag. More, even worse treachery. Beazley is worse again, nothing more than a (sick!) joke. What an utter disgrace.

The suspicion is, that B, B & H etc are just puppets; if not 'just' for the 'big end of town', then someone/thing more sinister (Illuminati, banksters, etc). Whatever. One thing certain is, that we the people are being 'dudded'. Dudded? Yeah. I've mentioned it before; not just the 'normal' rich getting richer; that's gone into overdrive. Not just the abandoning of the 'great unwashed'; the so-called 'great society' (welfare state) is being curtailed when not dismantled. Not just the reduction in education opportunities; jobs are being de-skilled, transferred to 'cheap imports' (immigrants, back-packers) when not actually exported.

The problems go further, deeper. Multi-nationals control mining, incl. oil. They 'vertically integrate', including shipping and distribution. In Iraq at the moment, oil majors (mainly US, a few UK) are attempting their most ambitious rip-offs yet, 'from the sand to the sea' PSAs - then on to the US$ oil exchanges, their own refineries and all the way to the pumps we gotta use. Their profits have 'gone massive. Sweep it all up'. In Aus, we're getting ripped-off by the miners; no-one queries me when I mention 'resource-rent', why not?

Back to conspiracies. Just as (IMHO!) there's an Anglo-conspiracy acting in Iraq, there's an Anglo-conspiracy acting in our 'markets'. Not exclusively, of course, but almost all players are playing by the same (filthy!) rules. And 'over' all squats the US 'eagle', threatening nukular annihilation.

We, the anti-wars, along with a few brave anti-conspiracists, resist. We are 'allowed' - to speak, to live - but only as long as we are ineffective. We must hope, that someday the sheople will awake, see what's going on and finally say "No!"

To give up - to 'move on', would be to surrender, to debase our own yearnings for fairness and justice. I SAY NEVER! Never give up.

"Sisyphus"?

We can only keep trying Phil.   I believe that the media is the enemy of the Australian people because they abuse the power of pursuasion that we have given them - and pay for!  The ordinary people should look hard at the Liberal and National party Federal MP's in their electorates. They are the ones who put Howard and his government of incompetents in power - unseat them and the little dictator is no more. 

The media is as much a beneficiary of the Howard Corporate government as any of the others - so why should we believe anything they put forward?  Just get rid of the local conservative who puts these people in control of our once proud country.

G'day Phil.

A bit late in replying to your entry however, I agree with you that we must never give up our right to criticise the government of the day, no matter who it is.  They may call us "Sisyphuses" but I consider that a compliment. 

The crimes of the Howard government against the Australian people and the international community (and its laws) are now legend.  Yet, like a sea of continual waves, the almost daily blunders and immorality of his administration seems to be lost by so many more,  waiting to wash over them.

"How does Howard get away with it?"  In a word, MEDIA.  The two billion so-called lavish Costello budget, forgot about the remaining 15 billion and the media said nothing. It was a "let them eat cake" budget and no matter how much the media lies, that will be quickly realised by the ever-suffering white and blue collared workers.

Conversely, Kim Beasley's speech was as good as they get and the standing ovation he received was not even mentioned by any of the media - just another conspiracy!

The fact that Howard and his sycophantic Ministers are receiving "billion" dollar exposure is surely not lost on those who will pay the taxes for it?  I cannot imagine how Australians could honestly vote for the people who make Howard the leader of our country.  I recommend to all that they look seriously at the local representative Liberal or National, and make judgement on how THEY perform!  These are the ones responsible for Howard and his ministry of incompetents.  We do not elect Howard - they do.  So if Australians are sick and tired of being hounded with the unwarranted complimentary exposure of these arrogant fools, look at the person in your Federal Electorate who gives Howard the power with which he is crushing our society.

BBH-H=BB

Phil, I was in the US for 3 months when the Iraqi invasion started. It was non-stop news for weeks, 24 hours a day. I tend to listen to National Public Radio in the US and got a different slant on it from the FOX/Turner/CBS/NBC patriotic, jingoistic pap. However, as an Australian I was curious as to how our involvement would be reported in the US seeing that our role was played up massively back home.

In the whole time I heard Australia mentioned twice. Once on the radio and once on television. In fact, the Spanish were given an almost equally prominent profile to the British. I guess that played well to the large Hispanic minority in the US. Now if my memory is not playing tricks on me and I am not confusing another incident, I believe that in the TV report John Howard was referred to as John Major.

It seems important to us that we congratulate ourselves on our role but the reality is that we were and are largely irrelevant and very much a boil on a gnat's arse in the development of the New World Order. If it was not for our ore, coal and gas we would just be another one of thousands of Pacific islands.

Everyone knows about Pine Gap?

Get serious.

Geoff Pahoof blithely states "That it may have been used in directing specific US and other allied military attacks comes as much surprise as flat beer in a Pommy pub." Most Australians are much more likely to have your don't know, don't care and even if I did it's just the way things are attitude, but that's only because that's how the news is fed to them.  Unless you're the kind of person who wants to search these things out on the web like, thank God, Richard Tonkin, there is no way in the world you can have a clue about what's really happening to Australia, let alone the US. Plenty of well informed people have no concept that Australia is so tightly woven into the world domination plan conceived by some very, very dangerous people. 

Howard has put all our eggs in the neoconservative basket. I wonder how many people realise the implications of that?

Evidence? Be careful, Richard!

Richard, if you think that you are going to get hard evidence on the various conspiracies that swirl around the world, forget it. The type of conscienceless, shadowy, degenerate people who engage in conspiracies are not going to leave evidence lying about for anyone to pick up.

Look at the AWB conspiracy (between the memory-challenged Government and the AWB), the petrol-pricing conspiracy (which occurs every long weekend), the media conspiracy (you liberalise cross-media ownership laws and we'll support you at the next election), the Iraq Conspiracy (you say you're our ally and send a few troops and we'll cut you in on the oil and/or the re-construction or give you a trade deal)... in a  world dominated by greed and right-wing politics that's just how it goes.

Rumour has it that people who get too close to uncovering conspiracies simply disappear. Whether they are dead or just bought off is anyone's guess.

Richard, as it has always been, there are ruthless people in the world who will let nothing stand in their way. Absolutely nothing. Be careful!

Rendition, the "AWB Conspiracy"

Daniel, the last case along the lines you are referring to that I encountered was the Four Corners account of David Hick's being removed from a US ship for 'probing". What I'd like to know about is the background to the many (mostly ironic) suggestions I receive to be careful that I don't "disappear."

As to the AWB "conspiracy", in which the c-word has often used by Downer to pour scorn on his detractors, have a look at the the extract I've just placed on Malcolm B Duncan's newest thread. Now that's a conspiracy! A Prime Minister, a Foreign Minister and an ambassador working together to conceal information from an electorate on the eve of an election - wow! Craig Rowley and I dropped some big hints about Ambassador Thawley in early February.

A forecast? Don't be suprised if Mark Vaille "disappears" to save the scalps of the offending Liberals. We're not talking about anal probes in Egyptian prison camps, just some judicious scalping in order to save other skins. Reasoning? Howard and Downer are much more important to COW international propaganda than poor Mr Mark. Let's wait and see.

Who elects Howard?

G'day Richard.  It amazes and deeply concerns me at the blatant spin the media lowers itself to, for the purpose of keeping Howard's government in power.  We are told that we are foolish conspiracy theorists - by whom?  The very conspirators themselves! 

Fancy the ridiculous situation of the Minister Ian Campbell making his decision on the crocodiles in Northern Australia after speaking to Howard's BBQ mate and "child endangerer" Steve Erwin!!! He is NOT a crocodile hunter as the media knows quite well, he runs a zoo.  But if he is a corruptible, he is as good as any to sell the doctrines.  Maybe he is being chosen as the next leader of the Liberal Party?

Pine Gap Osama Death Missiles

Speculation that a central Australian location might be in use to kill Osama would have been dismissed as part of a conspiracy theory.  However the claim has been made today by a noted international affairs authority.

Australia's Pine Gap base was used to send 32 cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden.

The missiles failed to kill the Al Qaeda leader as he had left the target site approximately twenty minutes earlier.

International affairs commentator and policy advisor Mr Keith Suiter said on  Adelaide radio this morning that the US surveillance installation at PIne Gap assisted in monitoring Bin Laden's satellite phone call and pinpointing his location for the missile attack.

Speaking on ABC 891 Mr Suiter said that one of the problems with the plan was that many of the missiles destroyed each other while attempting to strike the same target.

A podcast of the interview will be available from the ABC Adelaide website.

I hope that Webdiarist Bryan Law is reading this... he's currently on trial for attempting to reveal the true nature of the Pine Gap installation.

Could Howard self-destruct?

Richard, loved the bit about the missiles destroying each other as they converged. I laughed and laughed! It's kind of like simultaneously throwing a thousand darts at a dartboard. So much for American military superiority.

Australia's involvement is, however, no laughing matter. Our turn for terrorism is coming soon, thanks to Howard. It's a pity he and his band couldn't self-destruct, just like the missiles!

Self destruct

Daniel Smythe, isn't it bad enough watching Beazley and the Labor Party self-destruct. If you want another good laugh watch Beazley's reply to the Budget, his last desperate effort before they toss him out on his ear.

Daniel and Mark

Daniel and Mark (no Mark that isn't me). I'm not hard to find... and I haven't made it difficult for anyone to find me,either, as you''ll see by this google (around ten of them aren't me).

On budget night three years ago I was on ABC's PM for entirely another reason. At the time, being manager of a venue that looked like being in trouble because of housing development, I'd campaigned interstate and linked up with what I (correctly) saw as a national cultural problem.

To attempt to rationalise what I'm trying to do now I should add the assistance we had been given by local, interstate and national media were a signifigant catalyst in embarking on my Halliburton campaign.  The encouragement I've been given by many media professionals, as well as members of various industry communities kept me going when I felt like a lone voice, and the unveiling of facts both here and abroad led me to believe I was on the right track. I still do.

The difference now is that I will avoid conjecture until I can more effectively substantiate my claims.

When you've made a difference once, and llearned to do some things that seemed to help, it's nearly impossible to sit on your hands when you see something you regard as a cultural injustice.

As a sort-of-aside, there was a great Larson cartoon in the paper yesterday... an Indian Chief holding up to a crowd a necklace of beads while saying "aren't these beauties" which was accompanied by the caption "the last public appearance of the chief of the Manhattan tribe."   It encapsulates what I have believedis a crime being perpetrated against Australians.

Daniel, thanks for your encouragement, and for all the helpful advice of others I am grateful. It's made some of the things written about me elsewhere more bearable. I haven't been hiding, just watching and thinking.
 
'Im not going to stop what I'm trying to do, but I'm definitely going to be more careful in how I go about it. However if something occurred that I'd considered likely and said nothing, I'd never forgive myself.

A Giant Stride Forward. Richard Accepts Solids!

OK Richard, let me see if I've got this straight. You will still assume the most florid explanations possible for events based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. You believe this approach is intellectually sound based on the number of occasions in the past when something you had thought turned out to be more or less "true". But you will shut up about it until you can point to something that can be represented as plausible corroboration pops up. Or at least until one of the other raving crackp ... oops, I mean "truth searchers", comes out with something like you were thinking. You would never forgive yourself if you didn't.

Is that about it?

Ahuh. Well that's a form of progress, I suppose.

Let's see. At this rate I reckon that we should be able to coax you down from the palm tree in about twenty years.

Close to the mark

Geoff Pahoff, no that's not quite about it. I've always looked for stonger evidence than just a matching concern, no matter how much I might be frond of a notion. As you know, you don't have to go too far to find a site supporting any argument. I don't regard supportive rhetoric as substantiative... I do my best to use supportive material from sources known to be reputable.

With this in mind I've looked a little further into the Osama missiles story.

[extract from New York Times, 21/8/98]

With about 75 missiles timed to explode simultaneously in unsuspecting countries on two continents, the operation was the most formidable U.S. military assault ever against a private sponsor of terrorism.

The targets were identified by Pentagon officials as an extensive terrorism training complex in Afghanistan, 94 miles south of Kabul, and a factory for the building blocks of chemical weapons near Khartoum, the Sudan.

 [from washingtonpost.com, December 2005]

The story of the vicious leak that destroyed a valuable intelligence operation was first reported by a best-selling book, validated by the Sept. 11 commission and then repeated by the president.

But it appears to be an urban myth.

The al Qaeda leader's communication to aides via satellite phone had already been reported in 1996 -- and the source of the information was another government, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan at the time.

The second time a news organization reported on the satellite phone, the source was bin Laden himself.

Causal effects are hard to prove, but other factors could have persuaded bin Laden to turn off his satellite phone in August 1998. A day earlier, the United States had fired dozens of cruise missiles at his training camps, missing him by hours.

Bush made his assertion at a news conference Monday, in which he defended his authorization of warrantless monitoring of communications between some U.S. citizens and suspected terrorists overseas. He fumed that "the fact that we were following Osama bin Laden because he was using a certain type of telephone made it into the press as the result of a leak." He berated the media for "revealing sources, methods and what we use the information for" and thus helping "the enemy" change its operations.

I can claim these references as validating sources for the story I heard this morning (downloadable from here), though if Mr Suiter appears to have referred to the number of missile used in each of the two simultaneous attacks.

Just walking you through this, Geoff,  to demonstrate how I look for and at things. I hope this helps.

Daniel Smythe, I'm not sure about your line  "Rumour has it that people who get too close to uncovering conspiracies simply disappear. Whether they are dead or just bought off is anyone's guess."  Making unsubstantiated claims like this is the sort of thing that's getting us into trouble... however right you may or may not be. It's the sort of thing that's an easy target for the idiots.

Unsubstantiated?

Richard, I assume you've heard about rendition: a process whereby people under suspicion are grabbed by 'democratic' Governments, incarcerated, sent on flights to unknown destinations where they are imprisoned and tortured. Do you think the Governments involved are really going to provide evidence of this? And if a leak occurs, the Government will just deny it is happening or suffer memory loss.

I don't believe my claims are unsubstantiated at all. It's happening now and it's likely to become more prevalent!

Pine Gap? Tell Me About It.

Richard, I will make one further attempt from a different angle. Telling me that Pine Gap had a role in a missile strike on Al Qaeda is a bit like a fisherman telling me that a flathead was caught with fishgut and not sandworm. I don't know whether or not it is true. I have no reason to suppose it is not true. And as I have no aptitude for or interest in fishing, I don't care.

For as long as I can remember I've known what the true purpose of Pine Gap is about. Or at least as much as I want to know. Is there anybody left who doesn't? It is a joint military installation with the US which has an important role in US military intelligence and satellite communications. Did we really need Bryan Law to tell us that? That it may have been used in directing specific US and other allied military attacks comes as much surprise as flat beer in a Pommy pub.

More strength to its right arm, I say. In any event, is it really worth getting so hep up about the bleeding obvious?

Pine Gap Possibilities

O.K. Geoff now we could go a little hypothetical. What if Al Qaeda deemed Pine Gap a threat to their operations and send a team through the fence.

Here's a little from Bryan's piece last year:

[extract

Again we climbed through and realised all the power of the greatest empire in history could not stop two untrained, unfunded, unarmed Christian pacifists from entering one of their most important and secure bases - even after we had told them we were coming.

I looked around at the huge white domes and radar dishes around us. It was obviously not possible to climb onto one of the white domes as I had sometimes fantasized. Adele headed for a tower next to a building and climbed on to the roof. I followed.

Once on the roof we placed photos, leaflets, and other information on the roof and gave thanks to God. Shortly after we watched as a security guard on a bicycle road around. We still had not been seen. But the guard then rode around to the back of the building and must have noticed the banner on the fence. Meanwhile Adele and I took photos of one another with a huge white dome behind us. The security guard came back in sight and quickly climbed a tower holding a radar dish directly in front of us. Amazingly (although by this time nothing would surprise us), he must have looked around for a minute before seeing us. I waved, and he scrambled back down.

Within a minute there were a number of Federal security guards and police assembled below us.

 Maybe there was scanning equipment in place that would've detected more threatening articles than crucifixes and pamphlets, maybe not.   Maybe Bryan and crew proved how easily an Australian/American modern-day version of Pearl Harbour could come to pass?

The above paragraph is my own pure conjecture, as is the one below.

What if Downer's stories of Australia being within Korean missile range actually turned out to be true? If so then the Axis of Evil's foremost concern might be knocking out the JORN detection system. This might be achievable by knocking out dishes, but much more effective would be disabling its headquarters in Adelaide.

Worse, what if the above two ideas were carried out in concert?

Whether or not I believe either possibility likely, I conjecture that if a set of calculations were carried out on the proposed national nuclear dump pertaining to possible environmental damage due to a nuclear containment breach from a missile attack(the figures were worked out for ARPANSA by Halliburton), then such hypotheses as I have raised above will have been well and truly considered by both US and Australian military, and contingency plans laid.

Totally unproven I know, Geoff, but extremely possible, and I wouldn't have thought about it unless Bryan and Co did what they did.

As to whether or not Pine Gap was used in the Al Qaeda strikes, I can only say that I doubt that Dr Suter would care to risk his reputation on it. 

Here's a profile

Dr Keith Suter is a social commentator, strategic planner, conference speaker, writer and broadcaster (appearing on radio an average of once per day and as the TV Channel 7 Network “Sunrise” foreign affairs editor).

He is Senior Fellow, Global Business Network Australia and the Executive Director of National Goals and Directions (a think tank working on Australia's future). He is also a Consultant on Social Policy at Wesley Mission, Sydney, Consultant to Aged and Community Services (NSW), Health Services Association (NSW) and the Conflict Resolution Network.

Dr Keith Suter is also the Chairperson, Environment Committee, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chairperson, International Humanitarian Law Committee of Australian Red Cross (NSW), Chairperson, International Commission of Jurists (NSW) and Director of Studies, International Law Association (Australian Branch).

Maybe it's worth giving a rat's about Pine Gap after all, if only for potential ramifications of events relating to it.  I do not claim that the above-mentioned calamities are likely... just worth contemplating.

So, Geoff, am I out of my tree yet, or just "out of my tree"?

Cheers Richard

For what it's worth Richard, I'm convinced you're on the right track, and my respect for you has only increased with your frank acknowledgement of your learning experiences, and willingness to candidly discuss them with readers. This is the Webdiary that Margo envisioned. I for one am proud that you're with us and only expect for you to continue to grow as you continue to look under new stones.

Viva intelligent curiosity and investigation.

Wanted

Saturday's SMH has a wanted add for a Richard Tonkin - for a school reunion. The wanted Richard has siblings Valerie and Robert, and used to live at Woodford in the Blue Mountains.

I can't find the ad online, but if it's you, Richard, and you can take the risk that it's not Them trying to flush you out, then I can provide the rest of the details.

Wanted no. 2

Mark, I made an encouraging comment about Richard early in this post but it seems that he missed that too!

Is he being elusive accidentally or is he lurking in a dark, rain-swept alley somewhere clad in a trench coat and fedora looking like an add for TCM?

I've no idea Phil Kendell

The problem being now that with the use of the word "conspiracy" one can virtually dismiss or divert much serious investigation.

However as you bring up Iraq we could examine George Bush's theft of the Presidency with the help of a handful of right-wing judges appointed by his brother. Did we really think then that he had a plan to invade Iraq no matter what or that the fierce, rich and powerful opponenets of the great FDR vowed to overturn his socialised policies and that the offspring of those immensley wealthy corporate barons now fund a host of "think tanks" that work relentlessy to diseminate "research" to a US media that has been reduced to a handful of owners who think along similar lines? Who knows what the long term plan is here? But the right man is now in  the White House who appears intent on removing all of FDR's influence. And he didn't arrive there by his own efforts.

Was the attack by Patrick's Stevedores upon the lawful unionised wharfies that included bankrupting one company and replacing it with another which was ruled illegal by a court and then the eventual dropping of court cases in that debacle that meant we never were able to learn whether the PM had an active hand in it, a prelude to the recent IR changes that achieved exactly what Patrick's desired, a long term plan? Do we call that just like-minded people working together to achieve their political outcome or does it entail elements of a conspiracy?

On and on we could go and only ever see the outcome of people's actions when they get together to plot and plan in hindsight, many years later when it's too late or to raise it means you will be dismissed as a "conspiracy theorist."

Those Who Met Scott Parkin Needed

I've just found, on Sydney Indymedia, a call for testimonials to assist proving that Scott Parkin is not a threat to national security.

Parkin's was one of the cases uncovered by Newsweek of the Pentagon's espionage on US civilians. Newsweek found a file on Parkin's heinous crime of handing out peanut butter sandwiches.

After staging an anti-Halliburton protest in Sydney, Parkin was detained by police and immigration officers and deported, all at his own expense. His expulsion was due to ASIO's advice that Parkin was a threat to national security. For more information see my piece The Halliburton Peanut Butter Files.

Statutory declarations need to be sent to Friends of Scott Parkin, PO Box 2152, Fitzroy VIC 3065. The appropriate form can be downloaded at http://www.ag.gov.au/statdec

This is an inspiring thread.

Cognomen

Hamish, perhaps you could consider substituting the term "site conspirators" for "site administrators."

History and Causation

Richard...late to the party though I am, I'd like to make a few comments re the perils of doing history on the fly - especially when modelled on the work of the very best historians. The reason this is so chancy an endeavour is that - when faced by a crucial historical turning-point - the best historians are never satisfied to merely report the most obvious causal chains, and almost invariably turn up a whole raft of other factors which can clearly be seen as influential...but only after the fact.

It's this last that proves the crucial difference, because it allows the kind of testing re such hypotheses that we don't have the luxury of when dealing with current affairs. I'm reminded here of Ernst Mayr's argument on history as science, and the nature of causation in highly contingent systems:

“Causality in simple interactions is often highly predictive.... However, such a simple solution is rarely available in biology, except at the cellular-molecular level. The problem is particularly perplexing whenever the effect is the end of a whole chain of events. It is perhaps a residue of teleological thinking that makes us search at the beginning of the process for the cause producing the predictable end effect. But in biology, this approach is usually not successful; in fact, it is often misleading.... An interaction between two individuals, prior to its conclusion, goes through a whole series of stages, during most of which each of the acting individuals has several options available. Which of these he will choose is not strictly determined at the beginning of the stage, but depends upon a number of factors and contingencies. Strict causality can usually be construed only when the chosen option at each step of the chain of actions is looked at retrospectively. In fact, the whole process (even its random components) can be considered to have been causal when retrospectively considered. One could therefore say, somewhat paradoxically, that causation in complex situations is an a posteriori reconstruction, or, to put it differently, causation consists of a series of steps which, taken together, can be called the cause.”
(Mayr, "This is Biology", pp.66-7)

Add to this the prevalence of tacit collusion - driven by similar interests - and the near-impossibility of keeping secrets (ask any criminal?), and you should be able to see my (multiple) problems with "conspiracy" thinking...it's not only largely unnecessary - given that those to benefit will tend to act so without any "formal" conspiracy - it's also nigh-on impossible to keep secret, as well as being similarly difficult to actually detect amongst all the other self-serving behaviours that might appear to be part of it.

all the best

Spare me please

JHC: Spare me please!

Causation consists of a series of steps which, taken together, can be called the cause.

How did this guy ever reach that simple conclusion? This is verbal torture mate.

An interaction between two individuals, prior to its conclusion, goes through a whole series of stages, during most of which each of the acting individuals has several options available. Which of these he will choose is not strictly determined at the beginning of the stage, but depends upon a number of factors and contingencies.

I reckon he has been reading the Karma Sutra in his study of biology. Fair enough I suppose.

Forgive me JHC. I like to read your stuff, but spare me this please. It's not a conspiracy is it, by any chance?

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