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Friday, December 16, 2005


This is a mischevious letter I put into the Independent in the firm conviction that they wouldn't print it. In theory when a clear error is found journalistic integrity should require them to publish but looking at their letters & editorial stance when it comes to non "consensus" views of greenery they are about as Independent as a left sock:
As a professor of renewable energy Professor Twidell, is perfectly entitled to ignore the facts about the low cost & high reliabliity of nuclear power in favour of saying that a windmill is an "ecological hand of human life" whatever that means, though any engineering student who said the same would be failed..

He is, however, displaying a surprising amount of ignorance, even for an ecologicaly aware person in saying that "every other form of life" lives without nuclear power. The fact is that along the mid atlantic rift many millions of species live entirely off the heat from volcanic vents. Such heat, of course, comes from the Earth's core, is maintained by natural radioactivity & has been sustained for billions of years. DNA evidence suggests that these creatures are the oldest species living & this may be how life came about.

The environment is perhaps a more complicated thing than "environmentalists" know.
the original letter to which this was a reply was:
Sir: James Lovelock's theory, that life on Earth optimises and controls our environment, is admirable ("The green man", 3 December). For me, it supports commitment to renewable energy. So how can Lovelock support nuclear power? Quoting from his writing, he sees "human inability to live in harmony with the Earth comes from our ignorance ..[of Gaia]". The solution lies in "what people do ... to reach symbiosis and homeostasis" with each other and the planet.

This means having our own lives and industry within ongoing natural processes. Renewable energy comes from energy already flowing in the natural environment; we use this, then put it back to continue its way to the stars. We add no pollution and we release no extra carbon; we participate in a planetary process. For me, a wind turbine is an ecological hand of human life. Like all hands, it should be efficient and not ecologically disruptive, but nevertheless part of our symbiotic life within nature.

Considering all renewable resources, modern technology allows humans sufficient for a sustainable economy, which we must keep intelligently in homeostasis with a healthy planet. Going nuclear separates us from every other form of life and encourages a parasitic human lifestyle; the very danger that Lovelock warns against.



I have previously expressed my enormous respect for Professors of Mathematics & will happily extend that to physicists & those who crunch numbers generally. I feel no need to extend it to ignorami who believe it is part of their job to instruct their students to vote only for politicians who want to spend more on "renewables".


Peter North sent this found at It has a breakdown of US government involvement at all levels in the Kajina Holocaust & obviously has not had much coverage in English:

Author: Ivo Pukanic

Source: Nacional, Croatian weekly magazine

May 24, 2005

Thrilled with Operation Flash, President Clinton gave the go ahead for Operation Storm

The United States was actively involved in the preparation, monitoring and initiation of Operation Storm: the green light from President Clinton was passed on by the US military attache in Zagreb, and the operations were transmitted in real time to the Pentagon


Considering that the US was much more interested in the situation in BiH than in Croatia, they asked Croatia to permit them to install a military base with ummanned aircraft. The United States not only monitored the complete Operation Storm, but they also actively participated with the Croatian Military in its preparation, and in the end directly initiated the operation. The green light from the White House and then President Clinton for Operation Storm was passed on by Colonel Richard C. Herrick, then US military attaché in Zagreb. Several days prior to the commencement of Operation Storm, Herrick visited Markica Rebiæ in Zagreb. Rebiæ, Miroslav Tudjman, then director of HIS and Miro Medimurac, then head of SIS, held the most intensive communications with the American military and intelligence agencies. As such, in 1996, Rebiæ was awarded the Meritorius Service Medal by Peter Galbraith, then US Ambassador to Croatia.

Herrick passed on the message that the US had no opposition to the beginning of Operation Storm, that the operation had to be ‘clean and fast’ and had to be completed in 5 days time. As Nacional has learned, Rebiæ was surprised that such an important political and military message would be passed on through those channels, and following Herrick’s visit, he immediately informed the state administration of the message in writing, and there is certain record of this today in the archives. As such, it is important to note the Ambassador Peter Galbraith was completely left out of the chain of ‘command’, and that this message came directly from President Clinton, Anthony Lake (then National Security Advisor) and Willian Perry (then Defense Secretary) via Rebiæ to Minister Gojko Šušak and President Tudjman.

This was the climax of the cooperation between the US and Croatia, which began to develop in 1992 at the beginning of the Serbian-Muslim war. In 1995, Clinton was preparing for his re-election, and Bob Dole was the Republican candidate who had requested that Congress remove the arms embargo for the Muslims in BiH. For Clinton, the Balkans became an important issue due to internal matters in the US and his stay in the White House. In their strategy to resolve the crisis, they decided to use Croatia to attack the Serbian forces in BiH, and therefore the Split Declaration was signed by Izetbegoviæ and Tudjman, which permitted the entry of HV forces under the leadership of Ante Gotovina into BiH for the purposes of cooperation with Army BiH. In order to realize that operation, HV had to climb the Dinarid mountains above Knin and liberate the city and Krajina through Operation Storm, and then immediately transfer their troops into BiH in order to pressure the Serbs and force Miloševiæ to sign the Peace Accord in Dayton.

This was a battle against the clock for Clinton, for he needed a quick solution to the crisis in order to halt Dole’s initiative and to prove himself before his voters as a decisive president who could resolve such great crises such as the one in the former Yugoslavia, the horrors of which were shown daily on CNN and other American TV stations. In order to keep the English and French off his back, Clinton bypassed the classical diplomatic channels, in order to be able to claim that he had not participated if the operation were to go sour. However, considering that the operation, led by Richard Holbrook on his behalf, ended successfully, and the men emphasized their success in their respective books.

The first contact at the highest intelligence levels began in 1992, when James Clapper was director of DIA (the Defense Intelligence Agency). His men in Croatia were Colonel Richard Herrick and his assistant Ivan Šaraè. Šaraè was a fourth order [master] sergeant, the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer. Of Croatian descent, he emigrated to the US when he was 17 years old. After a few years, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Zagreb at the beginning of the war there as he was familiar with the circumstances and knew the language. Colonel Herrick was a construction engineer, however, over time he climbed the ladder in the American military and became one of Clapper’s most trusted men.

Quickly a sort of ‘trade’ between the two agencies began. Croatia gave DIA Russian 500 kg underwater mines and the most modern Russian torpedos as well as the encryption codes used by the Yugoslav Army and the Russian army. These weapons were transferred to the US via the Split airport. When the transport was conducted, the entire airport was closed off. Hercules C-130s landed in the night, the arms were loaded and transferred to the US or one of their European bases under the greatest security measures. Also, the Croatian agency revealed the location of a chemical weapons factory in Bijelo polje near Mostar which the Serbs had transferred to Serbia. This was a well-concealed factory which was unknown even to General Bienefeld, who was the greatest expert for chemical weapons in Croatia. With the help of samples found, the American experts were able to uncover all the types of toxins produced there which had possibly been sold to Iraq or other potential enemies of the US. This was only the beginning of cooperation, by which the US immediately delivered wiretapping equipment aimed at monitoring Serbia and Montenegro, a system which could simultaneously record 20,000 telephone conversations. This cooperation was conducted with the US NSA.

Prior to Storm, the operations Summer 94 and Summer 95 had to be carried out. In planning the operations of bringing Croatian troops above Knin, the US assisted in the intelligence part of the operations. In order to precisely plan the penetration into the Bosnian mountains inland of Knin, much information was needed on the movement of Serbian troops, their communication system, codes and establishment of shelling points.

Considering that the US was much more interested in the situation in BiH than in Croatia, they asked Croatia to permit them to install a military base with ummanned aircraft. The basic condition was that this be the best-kept secret, so that it would not appear that the US had taken sides in this war. The island of Brac was selected, as it could be well protected. There all the equipment and personnel led by the CIA experts, with the long-range unmanned aircraft which could cover the entire territory of BiH to the Serbian corridor on the Sava River. The entire Krajina region in Croatia was also in its range. At that time, no one had any idea what was going on and what was being hidden on the island of Brac. Nor did the US allies, the Germans, have any idea. They sent their military attaché there on 1 January 1994. He hired a rent-a-car and drove the outer fence of the base and began taking pictures, thinking that the alertness in the base had faltered on New Year’s Day. However, he was quickly spotted by SIS and arrested. Only when he was brought into Gotovina for questioning was it learned that this was the German military attaché in Zagreb, Hans Schwan.

After this incident, the entire base was transferred to Šepurina near Zadar, and a triple line of defense placed around it. Equipment was brought in from the US overnight, and from Šepurina, the unmanned aircraft could cover every corner of Krajina and BiH. The Americans had a silent agreement with HV to hand over all the photos of the terrain and the Serbian troops, while the images were transferred via satellite in real time to the Pentagon. Three US and three Croatian officers monitored the situation at all times.

Prior to Operation Flash, which was supposed to serve as a dress rehearsal for Storm, at exactly midnight, six hours prior to the beginning of the operation, Herrick and Šaraè were called into the police and were informed that the planned action would begin in a few hours time. In the Police Ministry, at exactly midnight, the staff of Operation Flash was formed, which was transferred to the Defense Ministry at 6 a.m. When the staff was moved, the American military attaché moved with it. He constantly requested updates and sent them directly to Clinton in the White House. Each morning, the American President was informed of the preparations and every part of the operation. The Americans were thrilled by the way Flash was carried out, they realized that this model of cooperation with the Croatians was ideal, and could be decisive in the battle against Miloševiæ in BiH and could ultimately result in removing him from power. The Pentagon coordinated the entire action via Richard Herrick, and the CIA activities were coordinated by Marc Kelton, head of the CIA branch in Zagreb, who cooperated closely with Miroslav Tudjman, then head of HIS.

At the time Storm was under preparation, the Americans supplied HV with intelligence on the movements of Serbs in Krajina and the movements of YNA on the eastern borders of Croatia. They feared that Miloševiæ would launch a counter-attack with two tank brigades in eastern Slavonia if the Croats launched an attack on Knin. Through intensive monitoring of communications between Belgrade and Knin, and within Serbia, they came to the conclusion that there would be no counter-attack. It was risky that the Serbs might launch an attack from Knin itself when Gotovina and his units arrived on the Dinarid mountains above the city. Had the unmanned aircraft and monitoring showed offensive maneuvers by the troops, Storm would have begun ten days earlier.

In the wee hours of 4 August 1995, the Croatian units were issued the command to turn off all telecommunications devices between midnight and 4 am. Later it was learned that the Americans had used that time to electronically intercept and destroy the Serbian telecommunications devices.

HV was left with one hour, from 4-5 AM to use their radio ties to coordinate the operation. Just prior to Storm, the American military attaché was again called to the operation staff. Ivan Šaraè was again with him. One or two days prior to Storm, Herrick, who had prepared Storm with the Croatian officers and gave the operation the green light on Clinton’s behalf, was replaced by Colonel John Sadler. At exactly midnight, they arrived at the operative staff and from there followed all the events in the field. This time, the entire Operation was transmitted in real time via satellite to the Pentagon, where these images remain archived today. The signal transmitted to the signal by the Americans was also received by HV, and with the help of those images, the firing upon Serbian positions and the military base near Knin could be monitored to within millimeters. In addition to electronically destroying the Serbian communications, the US military also acted militarily against the Serbian positions, when it fired on the anti-aircraft battery near Knin from American combat planes that flew over the battle area. That news was released only once, on the 6 o’clock news. Afterwards, the US sharply condemned this, and that news was never repeated. No one believed the official American explanation for the rocket attack, and today the general perception is that this was direct US assistance to HV, only that even ten years after Storm this must not be admitted, due to US-British relations, as Britain had a completely different perspective on how to resolve the Balkan issue. And it still does today.

The US was thrilled with the how fast and clean the operation was conducted, and with its outcome, which permitted the lightning fast entry of HV into BiH and penetration all the way to Banja Luka and, finally, Belgrade’s consent to sign the Dayton Accord. The American control and satisfaction of the complete operation was later confirmed in the statements that the operation was carried out properly, and as such, the US-Croatian cooperation in intelligence and military matters intensified. General Colonel Patrick Hughes, Clapper’s successor as director of DIA, visited Croatia, intensified cooperation in the sector of electronic monitoring of Serbia and Montenegro, other intelligence was swapped, MPRI began its intensive training of the Croatian military and Rebiæ was decorated for his efforts.

The first word that Croatian officers might have to stand trial for the events during Storm was heard in 1997. The US immediately responded and requested on a dozen occasions in discussions with the Hague Prosecutor that Storm, as a militarily-clean operation, be left alone, as Nacional has learned from a high-ranking diplomatic source. At that time, there was a problem concerning the extradition of Mladen Naletiliæ Tuta to the Hague, and the US promised Croatia that the Hague would not raise charges for Storm if they handed Naletiliæ over. Naletiliæ was extradited, and Carla Del Ponte outwitted the American administration and began with her demands that the Croatian generals be investigated as suspects in Storm. The US was dismayed but was not allowed to show this, trying to resolve the matter through quiet diplomacy instead, which to this day has not succeeded. Therefore it would be a step in the right direction for the Hague to request that the Pentagon hand over all the images recorded by the ‘Predator’ unmanned aircraft during and after Storm.

Furthermore, for the interests of truth, all of the high ranking American military and intelligence officers involved in the entire operation, which ended the war in the Balkans and removed Miloševiæ from power, should be called to testify in the Hague. Those responsible for the crimes which took place after the operation are known, and they are the ones which should stand before the court, as they should have eight or nine years ago. Had these men been tried then, Carla Del Ponte today would have no aces up her sleeve, and Croatia would not have the problems it has, with the entire operation proclaimed a ‘criminal operation’ and the entire state administration of the time a ‘criminal organization’.


Operation Storm [A Croatian Perspective]

A great link to the previous comments post - with photos and additional material from a Croatian point of view. Check it out!!,


Thursday, December 15, 2005


David Cameron's election has got some senior Lib Dems panicking.

I think there are 3 main reasons for keeping Charles Kennedy as leader - in reverse order:

1) Coups produce long term wounds which do not easily heal. Much of the Tories problems can be traced to the manner in which Thatcher was removed & the hatreds it inspired. In retrospect it would probably have been better to have lost the next election, had the bloodletting when out of office & relied on Kinnock to mess it up.

2) There is no alternative who would be better. Simon Hughes is a very good campaigner but is clearly of the socially inclusive side of the party rather than the classic liberal side (readers will be aware I think of myself as classic liberal). This would merely give an opening to Cameron's mob. Menzies Campbell will be discussed later*.

3) Charles is actually pretty good. He is clearly motivated by an understanding of why government should be intrinsically distrusted, which is rare in professional politicians. he is the only leader in contemporary British history who is clearly on the libertarian side of the libetarian/statist axis of the political compass. I consider this axis to be much more important than the traditional left/right one. He & probably he alone was responsible for steering an unflinching course on the illegal Iraq war & on ID cards & internment. By comparison the Tories got them selves into a ridiculous fankle being initially pro-war, calling the PM a liar on WMDs then saying they would have gone to war without WMDs i.e. in undeniable breach of law. He is also the only one who could credibly negotiate a coalition with either party.

By comparison Cameron has yet to prove that he has anything apart from youth & inexperience to stand on.

Having said that, we are going to have to do something other than just waiting for the other 2 parties to mess up.

I would suggest 2 things to concentrate on.

Under Mr Kennedy we have barely mentioned proportional representation. Perhaps this is because everybody knows it is what we stand for & it had got a bit boring. If so this is a mistake. Every advertiser knows that when people complain about seeing an advertising slogan to often it is starting to work. The case for PR is stronger & clearer than it has ever been. We may lose a couple of points on the grounds that while it is democratic we are also supporting our interest, but the Lab/Tories lose far more on the grounds that the reason they oppose it is that they are putting their interest ahead of democracy, which makes them look rather nasty.

One can now argue that FTPT isn't really in the Tory interest any more (Tories got 60,000 more votes than Labour in England & still lost) which makes them look silly & nasty at the same time.

I would like to see somebody saying at every debate on internment that such Bills are opposed by the representatives of over 64% of voters & supported by those of less than 36% (the Labour vote). There is ground which is advantageous to every party & a democratic electoral system is one which we should fight on at every opportunity.

The other is the economy. The economy is almost always the most important issue in elections. Mr cable managed to outflank the Tories at the last election with the proposal to abolish the DTI. More importantly he proved that he really understands what is wrong with our economy & how to fix it. Mr Brown is normally considered a Labour intellectual but clearly Cable is far more competent. I have repeatedly made my view known that we should adopt the Irish model to achieve growth so you can discount a bit of this if you wish.

We should establish as an immediate aim that we can bring growth up to the world average of 5% & ultimately to the 7% Ireland has managed. Such targets would, of themselves, be a standing indictment to Labour & indeed to the Tories who never really did much better than Labour. Neither have a decent growth record over the last 90 years - as with Mr Cameron inexperience here, handled properly, may comparatively inspire confidence. (Personally I would also call for us to go nuclear in a big way & support GM, X-Prizes for space development & new technology generally but but this is perhaps reaching metaphorically as well as literally for the Moon)

I would also quite like to see, now that the Kyoto bandwagon is about to crash, that we use David Cameron's leap aboard (pretty much the only policy he has definitely supported) as an opportunity to quietly dismount. I think when the shine wears off Cameron he will look rather dull.

Those policies & strong pressure on the other parties to discuss PR together with clear willingness to discuss alliance with anyone under a hung Parliament should put us in a very credible position.

*Menzies Campbell: while, to our shame, all MPs supported going to war to help our KLA employees engage in genocide, Menzies (pronounced Ming) Campbell was, with the exception of then leader Nazi Ashdown, the most unstinting in his enthusiasm. Like all MPs he knew that the KLA were engaged in genocide because foreign Secretary Cook had told Parliament that most of the civilian murders were of Serbs killed by the KLA (it is quite possible that he was wrong in that the KLA also murdered large numbers of anti-Nazi Albanian civilians but that does not diminish the moral case).

I would openly regret seeing an enthusiastic supporter of genocide running the party - again.


From today's SCOTSMAN we have news of how Scotland is spending so much more than we produce. To be fair the paper doesn't mention that Gordon Brown is borrowing about 30 billion for the UK as a whole of which our share would be about 2.5 billion.
SCOTLAND's annual subsidy from England has shot up to a record £2,200 a head, according to official government figures, having more than doubled since Labour came to power.

Gordon Brown's spending bonanza has pushed Jack McConnell's budget to Scandinavian levels at a time when Scotland's tax burden dropped below that of England, Poland and Canada.

The figures from the Scottish Executive sparked a political storm yesterday as MSPs asked why it has failed to translate world-class spending into world-class public services.

In its annual survey of the Scottish economy, the Executive said the government spent £45.3 billion in 2003-4, putting Scotland in a rare club of countries where state spending is more than half of the entire economy.

But only £34 billion was generated in tax. This leaves an £11.3 billion gap, which has to be filled by tax collected in England, as Wales and Northern Ireland are also heavily subsidised.

The figures do not include North Sea oil and gas; but the study shows that even if Scotland had collected every penny of tax raised offshore, it would still have required a £7 billion subsidy from England.
But Jim Mather, the SNP's economic spokesman, said he was alarmed at the growing disconnect between economic growth and government spending in Scotland.

"If the figures are correct, the Executive has serious questions to answer about their stewardship of Scotland's economy," he said. "Is there any other country in Europe that has experienced such a devastating slip in revenue against expenditure?"

Mr Mather said that rising oil prices would help Scotland, but only if the country was independent. The tax haul from oil is expected to almost treble, from £4.3 billion in 2003-4 to £11.7 billion in 2006-7.

Labour seized on the GERS report to say it destroyed the case for Scottish independence. "This is a hammer blow to those who talk about independence, or even fiscal autonomy. This shows that there is money that Scotland gets from being part of the UK which it wouldn't get if it was independent," a spokesman said..................

State spending in Scotland is next year forecast to soar to £51.6 billion - or 52.2 per cent of the national economy. This is not only higher than the UK's 45.2 per cent, but also any country in the developed world save Sweden, Denmark and France.

But the tax revenue for Scotland in 2003 - the last full year where figures are available - shows Scotland has the seventh lowest tax take among the world's 30 most developed countries..........
The self satisfied Labour position which is essentially that we are running the place so badly that you can't afford an alternative, is particularly disgusting. All government money is ultimately taken from individuals who had to work for it. There is no justification whatsoever for such waste. As a Lib Dem I think our party is going to have to take a look at ourselves. My hope is that after the next Scottish election we have a Lib/SNP/Con executive which makes a serious attempt to reach, at least, the poor standards of competence of Westminster. This would require some going back on previous promises by one party not to work with another but, after all, if you are in politics to serve the public interest rather than to grandstand you ought to be willing to pitch in.

It is worth pointing out that the if we actually used the extra £7 billion (£4.5 billion excluding borrowing) to cut most of corporation tax, just over £2 billion, business rates, ditto, & to build a new nuclear power station every 2 years, £500 million a year, we would run the serious risk of becoming the world's fastest growing economy. Particularly if we saved another few hundred million by cutting government regulators.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


According to the Sunday Herald
A SPLIT emerged in the Scottish Liberal Democrats last night after a senior MP said there was a case for building a new generation of nuclear power stations.
John Thurso, the party’s Scotland spokesman, said new reactors could be the “the least worst option” for maintaining security of supply and reducing carbon emissions.

He also dismissed “emotional” arguments against the controversial form of power generation and claimed a solution to radioactive waste would be found. But his comments contradict the Scottish LibDems’ stance of opposing new nuclear power stations.

The junior coalition partners in the Executive will use the UK government’s energy review to harden their position on nuclear power and further commit themselves to renewables. They have said no new reactors should be commissioned unless the problem of radioactive waste is resolved – a position also adopted by the coalition.

But Thurso, whose Highlands constituency includes the Dounreay nuclear reprocessing plant, says he cannot sign up to his party’s policy. “I take a different view. We should not rule it out,” he said.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Thurso said he would be relaxed about the energy review backing new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

“If, as may be the case, the answer were to be nuclear, in those circumstances it would not give me a problem. It would be responsible to consider nuclear as one of the options,” he said, adding that nuclear could be the “least worst option” in terms of guaranteeing security of supply.

“If nuclear fulfilled the criteria I set out, it would not give me the level of worry it gives other people. I see no reason to rule it out on emotional grounds. We need honest information.”

Asked if renewables, a key plank for Scottish Liberal Democrat energy policy, could fill the gap left behind by the closure of existing nuclear power stations, Thurso said: “No. The point about renewables is they are not constant. You must have a baseload capacity when a particular form of renewable is not producing power.”

Thurso also contradicted his party’s view on nuclear waste – Lib Dems believe the issue is unlikely to be resolved – by saying he was confident of a solution.

“I wouldn’t want to prejudice the review, but I have talked to engineers and scientists who have told me there is no technical problem with nuclear waste. It is simply a question of political will. There are technical solutions that have been around for some time.”
100% correct.
There are quite a number of people in the Scot Lib Dems who support nuclear. I know this because when I spoke in favour of this in 2002 at conference the vote for the leadership amendment absolutely opposing nuclear was only about 60/40. This despite the fact that in his leadership speech Jim Wallace had said that he didn't see how any loyal Lib Dem could support nuclear & then Ross Finnie was brought on to make a very capable speech which made no mention of the virtues, or otherwise, of depending on renewables & concentrated entirely on asking us not to embarrass the leadership. He also guaranteed that the Executive would not permit blackouts.

On a later occasion the local party, not purely at my behest, put forward a pro-nuclear amendment which we were told would not be allowed on the grounds that it would "unbalance the debate" on power policy. I also know other Glaswegianactivists favour such discussion.

In the event of debate being allowed I will certainly seek to speak.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Underneath is an article I read on Friday in the Herald with which I firmly disagree. This rather looks like print a journalist rubbishing the competition.

There is one complaint I can agree with - that the net can be like an enormous department store where nothing is ever permanently sold out which can load the customer with more choice than they want. Except for the herald article as it goes subscription only.

The other complaints are:

That a dubious claim can be circulated damaging to an individual & for which they have no redress is true - however in the circumstances given Wikipedia went to some lengths not only to remove the slur but to make it more difficult to do again & this seems to be the case with most sites because, having no distribution monopoly a reputation for being interesting & accurate is all we have.

By comparison, unless you are a millionaire the press can & will say anything they want & the Press Council will, whatever their code says, support them. I can state this for a fact because a few years ago the Daily Record's free stablemate, the Glaswegian, accused me of being a Nazi for objecting to our attacking Yugoslavia. They certainly did not behave like Wikipedia.

Her main claim - that

" is the biggest and fastest game of Chinese whispers the world has ever known. The fact that never was starts life as a rumour posted on a website. The rumour becomes the basis for a speculative newspaper article. The newspaper article goes into a central electronic library, only to be dug up later, shorn of any doubt or caveats, and presented as fact "

is just wrong. The reverse is true because the net is the ONLY place where you can immediately link to the primary source. It is newspapers which can & do (even in the example given) report each other & eventually that "everybody knows" that Milosevic is known as the Butcher of Belgrade/that there is a consensus on global warming/the no low threshold theory of radioactivity is universally accepted/Jack the Ripper actually existed/much juvenile crime is caused by video nasties etc. On the net saying "I read it somewhere but the evidence isn't to hand" doesn't work.

As an unimportant but useful example - on an article on Techcentralstation I recently made a pest of myself by checking the provenance of the ancient Chinese saying "may you live in interesting times" (which appears to me credible only if the speaker is about to die or a time traveller). It took only a few minutes to prove (it is all on the discussion board there) that in fact it originated in a speech by Robert Kennedy & had been picked up & repeated by journalists for 4 decades without being doubted.

I think the print journalists lose in terms of accuracy to the net almost every time.


Dangers of world’s biggest game of Chinese whispers

Alison Rowat December 09 2005

John Seigenthaler Sr, to use a good ol' US term, is a stand-up kind of guy. A former editor of the Tennessean, he made his name in journalism fighting corruption. Once he even saved a suicidal man from throwing himself off a bridge. In the early sixties he left journalism for a time to serve as an assistant to Robert Kennedy, the attorney general. He was so close to Camelot's other doomed prince that the family asked him to be a pallbearer at the funeral.
It came as some surprise, then, to find out that he had not only been involved in Bobby's assassination but that of his brother John, too.
Who said so? The great god Internet, or rather one of its many offspring. This one goes by the name of Wikipedia and bills itself as "the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit". You may know Wikipedia. It might be on your button bar, nestling between eBay and BBC News. Like Google, Wiki is an internet phenomenon. Started four years ago by Jimmy Wales, it invites Joe and Josephine Public to play writer. Anyone can contribute an article on almost any subject, from chewing gum (existed in ancient Greece apparently, will stick firmly when spat on the ground) to Noam Chomsky (will stick firmly to a subject when riled). From a few pages, Wikipedia now carries close to one million articles and has 700,000 registered users.
It is a noble idea, brilliantly executed, and for the most part it was thought to be reliable. Except, unfortunately, in the case of John Seigenthaler Sr. The 78-year-old, according to his Wiki biography, "...was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John and his brother Bobby. Nothing was ever proven." As is the way with the internet, the information had flown out of Wikipedia and straight into other reference sites.
Had Seigenthaler read this lie in a newspaper he could have picked up the phone, called the editor and arranged for an immediate retraction. If he was feeling severely annoyed – and who could blame him – he might have gone straight to a lawyer and sued for a telephone-number-sized sum. Things did not turn out to be quite so simple on the internet.
All he could find out from Wikipedia was the anonymous writer's IP (internet protocol) number. He traced this to a telephone company, only to hit another brick wall. To force the phone company to divulge the identity of the masked biographer he would have to sue. But under US law, online corporations cannot be taken to court in the same way as newspapers or broadcasters. Just as Royal Mail is not held responsible for passing on letters that contain blackmail threats, or the telephone company liable for shoddy goods sold over the phone, service providers are deemed to be impartial middle men.
Wikipedia, stung by Seigenthaler's criticisms, has now banned contributions from anonymous contributors. Rather than go away, however, the row about the overall reliability of information on the internet is gathering pace.
That there is such an unease bordering on panic shows the extent to which millions have come to rely on the internet as an oracle. Ask it a question, any question, and answers come in there thousands. The one question that is only just beginning to be asked, however, is the only one that really matters. Can we trust this stuff?
There used to be a joke among computer geeks about users suffering GIGO – garbage in, garbage out – problems. Now those same bods are said to be suffering from a new form of GIGO – garbage in, gospel out. They believe the information that computers churn out because, well, it comes from computers. Someone must be in charge. Even the most savvy of surfers, the ones who joke about the internet's unreliability and pride themselves on their impeccable sources, are not immune from information contamination now and again.
The credibility gap opens up because the internet, at its worst, is the biggest and fastest game of Chinese whispers the world has ever known. The fact that never was starts life as a rumour posted on a website. The rumour becomes the basis for a speculative newspaper article. The newspaper article goes into a central electronic library, only to be dug up later, shorn of any doubt or caveats, and presented as fact.
But the case for the defence of total internet freedom is a strong one. Information from the internet has empowered countless millions, from the parent in search of a treatment for their child's illness to the car buyer hunting for a good deal.
The internet has allowed citizen to speak unto citizen and nation unto nation. It has initiated and fed democratic uprisings, exposed scandals, brought governments to book. It is such a force for good the world's most repressive regimes – such as China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia – go all out to censor it.
It also seems churlish, not to mention obscene, to complain about wading through reams of iffy information on the web when 800 million people on the planet cannot read and write. And when it comes to choosing material that should be banned, most people would opt to banish porn rather than piffle any day. So what's the problem?
The problem is that quality has been sacrificed in the pursuit of quantity. The internet is not like a department store. Last season's stock of facts and suppositions is not cleared out to make way for the next lot. The shop just keeps on growing bigger and the bewildered customer finds himself having to wade through rack upon rack of rubbish before finding something that suits.
Sooner or later they will get fed up and stop shopping there. Or, worse, someone will call in on their behalf and come home with a dodgy dossier on weapons of mass destruction. Garbage in, deaths of innocents out.
What has happened with Wikipedia is unfortunate. A genuinely well-intentioned project has had its reputation dented. But if the Seigenthaler row makes internet users ask searching questions about what they read on the net, and just as importantly where it comes from, then it will have done some good.
If it makes them switch off the computer and read a book, then all the better. Those fact searchers feeling especially courageous might even consider picking up a phone or – and this is a scary one – leave the computer screen behind and talk to a real live person. According to the internet, such fabulous beings are still out there.


More Kyoto scandal from Montreal - propaganda extraordinaire!

By: Lorne Gunter,
National Post (Toronto) November 28, 2005

Beginning this week and carrying on well into
next, Montreal's canape caterers, its Beaujolais
purveyors, Voss water suppliers, fresh Ahi tuna
mongers and Wagyu beef importers will be busy as
can be. Every chef with a tall hat, every waiter
with a tux, every chambermaid, doorman and maitre
d' will be rushed off his or her feet.

The UN is in town.

The 11th "conference of the parties" (COP11),
made up of those countries that signed the 1997
Kyoto accord on global warming -- some 3,000
official delegates and 6,000 observers --doesn't
talk catastrophe on an empty stomach. Why would
it? The vast majority of participants will be
there on the tab of their taxpayers back home --
official government delegates, government-funded
scientists, and NGO members whose travel is being
covered by a government grant.

There will be celebrities, too, drawn by the
desire to have their famous faces associated with
a fashionable cause. And environmentalists and media and demonstrators.

But what there won't be is any objective debate
about the science of global warming.

For the UN and the host Canadian government, the
issue is settled: Man-made global warming (GW) is
real and its solution will require lots of
centralized planning and regulation. Ending
global warming will feed big national governments
and busybody international organizations just as
surely as all those caterers, purveyors and
suppliers will feed COP delegates. Therefore,
delegates won't hear from anyone who questions the theory.

Ottawa has hired Montreal's Stonehaven
Productions to ensure delegates hear only from
those celebrities who agree with the GW
orthodoxy, too. Stonehaven is the producer of the
highly biased television series The Great Warming
and the equally subjective upcoming Secrets of
the Last Glaciers, which is billed as a
documentary about the race by scientists against
"the very greenhouse conditions we've created" to
extract critical scientific data from
high-elevation glaciers "before they melt away."

Stonehaven has recruited pop stars and actors to
deliver highly polished propaganda pieces
throughout the COP. It's even written their blurbs for them.

The clips are full of blame and doom. "An
uncertain shadow is building on our children's
planet ... and only we can stop it."

"We have only one home -- a little planet so
finely tuned that life thrives. But something's
changing that balance -- and warming our world."
It's humans and human activities. "Will we do anything about it?"

But producer Karen Coshof, who is also the
producer of The Great Warming and Secrets, made
the mistake of asking Olympic gold-medal skier
and entrepreneur Nancy Greene Raine to be one of
the talking heads. Raine said sure, but, in an
e-mail to Coshof, said she wanted to write her
own message and added "I would need your
assurance that it would be used." On Nov. 15,
Coshof replied "Of course you can write your own,
and you have my personal assurance it will be used."

Raine's draft stated: "Scientific discoveries in
the years since the Kyoto Protocol was signed
have rendered it out of date. It is time to
re-evaluate Canada's position ... The Kyoto
Protocol is not in our best interest, and will
not prevent climate change. The billions being
wasted trying to stop this natural phenomenon
should be diverted to solving real environmental
problems that we can control."

That's when the back-pedaling began.

"We cannot send political messages in these
clips," Coshof wrote to Raine, "Our focus is on urging action."

Of course urging action is by its very nature a
political act, particularly urging such obviously
one-sided action as the COP-11 celebrities.

Coshof then seemed to hope she could put Raine
off by telling her she had just 48 hours to have
the clip taped and sent to producers. Greene
said that was no problem, but asked again, "Can
you confirm that my comments as I wrote them would be used?"

Only a week after giving Greene her "personal
assurance it will be used," Coshof claimed she
was "just assembling" the celebrity messages and
that Stonehaven were "not the arbiters of the
final product." "My advice to you," Coshof
closed, was "probably best forget this."

And my advice to you, if you are expecting
objective, scientific analysis when you are
watching coverage of the COP11: Probably best forget it.
Lorne Gunter is on the editorial board of the
National Post and is a columnist with the
Edmonton Journal - he may be contacted at

Provided via weekly email - which you can & should ask to have sent to you.

Comparisons with the previous item are interesting. Genocide in Yugoslavia & melting of the ice cap are not obviously linked phenomenon. However in both cases we find the same suspects in the media & government engaged in selecting, distorting, selectively reporting, hyping, censoring, lying & sometimes even fabricating "news" in a way which allows them to keep the populace cowed & easily led while they expand their power & feed off the public trough (& find the snouts of allegedly left-wingers in as deep as anybody).

Latest News:
The BBC happily reports that at the 11th hour Montreal has succeeded & an agreement has been reached.

This agreement, it turns out, doesn't actually commit anybody to do anything (thankfully) but it does commit thrm to have another shindig like this.

CROATIAN HOLOCAUST "it would have been on the evening news if it had happened"

Contributed by Pete North:

Natasha Radakovic, spokeswoman for Croatia's president Franjo Tudjman, insisted that masses of Serbs leaving Croatia were doing so of their own free will. "If there was any ethnic cleansing, it was done by the Serbs themselves. We did not ask anyone to leave. On the contrary."
"Clinton made 1995 Ethnic Cleansing in Krajina Possible"

"...After the fall of Krajina, Croatian chief of staff General Zvonimir Cervenko characterized Serbs as "medieval shepherds, troglodytes, destroyers of anything the culture of man has created."
"During a triumphalist train journey through Croatia and Krajina, Tudjman spoke at each railway station. To great applause, he announced, "There can be no return to the past, to the times when [Serbs] were spreading cancer in the heart of Croatia, a cancer that was destroying the Croatian national being."
"He then went on to speak of the "ignominious disappearance" of the Serbs from Krajina "so it is as if they have never lived here... They didn't even have time to take with them their filthy money or their filthy underwear!"
"American ambassador Peter Galbraith dismissed claims that Croatia had engaged in "ethnic cleansing," since he defined this term as something Serbs do." (12)

"...I recently brought up the subject in a conversation with one of my own children, who had never heard about the 250,000-275,000 Serbs who were driven out of Krajina, after more than 500 years of living in the area. She thought I was making it up because she was sure it would have been on the evening news if it had happened."
[Ahh yes, our faithful and eternally vigilant "Fourth Estate", otherwise known as the Western corporate-controlled media, our freedom-loving "Free Press" in action, once again fearlessly "safeguarding our liberties" from the tyranny of government oppression & deception - somebody please hand me an airline sick bag...]

The above excerpts are from an article written by Mary Mostert from the US. Note the figure of 250,000 to 275,000 refers to conservative estimates of those Serbs cleansed in "Operation Storm" in August 1995 [other estimates are as high as 350,000 people].

The above figure does NOT take into account the earlier 300,000+ Serbs ethnically cleansed from Krajina and Croatia proper over a five year period from May 1990 to August 1995.

Mrs Mostert should have added "Western Corporate Media & NATO/EU Nazi sympathetic politicians" to her article's title : "Clinton made 1995 Ethnic Cleansing in Krajina Possible"

See her site: [formerly]

Note how even today with the latest news of the arrest of one of Tudjman's generals ,[Ante Gotovina] who led - under US training,arming,command,control & communication guidance[ through the ex-Pentagon generals' US mercenary firm, MPRI] - the genocidal operation known as 'Operation Storm' - Reuters and other Western news wire agencies still refer to the former Krajina Serbs as "Serb rebels who occupied one third of Croatia in a rebellion in 1991" [this is a current quote from Reuters which has not changed its tune for fifteen years; Reuters is still,after all these years, deliberately engaging in a campaign of disinformation and obfuscation; Reuters again intent on misleading the Western public into thinking that the Krajina Serbs were really "invaders" of "Croatian territory".

According to what Reuters is insinuating, the Krajina Serbs [who lived there for more than three centuries BEFORE the founding of the US republic in 1776] really did not belong in Krajina at all, but illegally "occupied" that "part of Croatian territory" [yet another blatant Reuters historical falsehood from its early 1990's news-wire reports, repeated incessantly like some kind of Orwellian mantra: the fact of the matter is that Krajina was NEVER a constituent and integral part of Croatia prior to its recognition by the Vatican and Germany,followed by the acquiescent EC,in early 1992]

This disinformation and whitewashing of Tudjman's Ustasha Nazi ethnic cleansing/pogroms, and blatant genocide perpetrated against the Krajina Serbs serves one purpose: to cover up WESTERN COMPLICITY in the genocide - specifically, Clinton, Christopher and Galbraith giving Tudjman the "green light" to pepetrate such a horrendous act - along with the cover up of the crime by the Western Corporate controlled media [especially Reuters,ITN,BBC,CNN et al].

That is why the as yet unproven claim of the "massacre of 8,000 muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces at Srebrenica" aka "the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War 2", is incessantly drummed into our heads by Reuters and its ilk, while the enormity of the genocidal Nazi crime of 'Operation Storm' is deliberately whitewashed and trivialized by Reuters as "Serb occupiers who left/fled the area after Croatian forces re-captured/re-took the territory in Operation Storm".

What is infinitely more OFFENSIVE & OUTRAGEOUS is how these Western corporate media WHORES and their globalist-monopoly-capitalist elite PIMPS[Western politicians & diplomats]have the unmitigated gaul,the audacity to INVOKE THE WW2 NAZI HOLOCAUST against the Serbs [See ]and then to add insult to injury,to falsely accuse the Serbs of being "similar to Holocaust deniers" when the Serbs rightly point out that UN and OSCE observers on the ground like Carlos Martins Branco and Captain Schouten in Bosnia [and Roland Keith in Kosovo] unequivocally state ON THE RECORD that they NEVER saw ANY evidence of such massacres [as in Srebrenica] alleged by Western politicians and media[see]- especially of the scale and magnitude alleged by the former Izetbegovic controlled SDA government in Sarajevo and the Thaci/Haradinaj KLA-UCK terrorist gang of Nazi thugs in Kosovo[see]

Incidentally, Western politicians & diplomats at the UN changed the name of the KLA-UCK into the "Kosovo Protection Corps" - Orwell's '1984' "freedom is slavery" & "DoubleThink" in action yet again - now the terrorist "Kosovo Protection Corps" is funded by the UN to commit pogroms against Serbs, Jews & Gypsies - give me another airline sick bag...]

All of these lies by the Western corporate media WHORES were repeated over and over and over - in true Goebbels fashion ["a lie repeated often enough becomes the Truth"] - to make it clear to the gullible & historically ignorant Western masses that it is "the Serbs" who are the new genocidal Nazis. Every other ethnic group fighting the Serbs - ethnic groups WHO ACTUALLY FOUGHT ON THE SIDE OF HITLER DURING WW2, WHO WILLINGLY ENGAGED IN A HORRIFIC GENOCIDE AGAINST SERBS,JEWS,GYPSIES & ANTI-FASCISTS TO THIS DAY GLORIFY THOSE EVIL DEEDS AND ARE COMPLETELY UNREPENTANT ABOUT THEM -are actually now the new "moderate Western-oriented democrats fighting for tolerance and a multi-ethnic society" [you guessed it, a Reuters quote again!]
Then the entire Serbian people were/are portrayed by the Western corporate media and politicians as being similar to the racist Ku Klux Klan and modern day Nazis.

In fact Serb civilians were subject to daily pogroms, "Kristalnachts", genocidal expulsions and mass murder in Krajina and Croatia proper by the Ustashi HOS/HSP/HOP Nazis,the ZNG and armed HDZ party members and to this very day by the Thaci/Haradinaj KLA Nazi thugs in Kosovo without a word of protest by the Western media WHORES or Nazi-sympathetic Western politician PIMPS; Milosevic himself was/is portrayed as a "demagogue", "brutal dictator" and "genocidal racist" - "another Hitler" who "whipped up Serbs into a nationalist frenzy in his quest for a Greater Serbia".

Let's see how truthful and honest the Western corporate media - especially Reuters - and the Western PIMP politicians in the EU & US really were/are, by checking out the following URLs:

To those who might be reading this; who supported the NATO bombing of Serbia & the Bosnian Serb Republic of Srpska back in 1995 & 1999, while now screaming and hollering profanities at the "neo-cons" and George W.Bush over his invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; you may be able to get the TRUTH/FACTS by doing some independent research in order to finally realize that the US/NATO/EU establishment is manipulating and engineering global Islamist terrorism and inter-ethnic as well as religious hatreds [as clearly seen in the Balkans] in order to further their geopolitical strategies vis-a-vis Eurasia/Central Asia and the encirclement of Russia - which is also directly tied to the breakup of Yugoslavia - hence the demonization and disinformation campaign against the only group opposed to the [illegal] breakup: the Serbs who were vilified by some on the "Left" [in agreement with the Western corporate media WHORES] as "ultra nationalists" or "xenophobic racists" {for example Vanessa Redgrave the marxist who was on the box this morning talking about a report by her Saudi friend prince something - I would certainly call her a whore : Neil}.

If the supposedly "anti-racist" Left did some independent research they would have discovered that Western politicians - led by the globalist-monopoly capitalist scumbags in the US [see the PNAC,CFR,Carnegie Endowment websites for clues] - was covertly supporting the most RABIDLY RACIST neo-Nazi and fascist movements in Croatia - primarily HOS/HSP and the Ustashi/ Communist partisan hybrid known as the HDZ party which came to power in May 1990 ; as well as the most militant Islamist fanatics of the Iranian-backed extremist SDA party of the late Alija Izetbegovic (who incidentally, illegally usurped control of the collective presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina prior to the outbreak of war and the constitutionally illegal "referendum" on secession from the former SFR Yugoslavia. [])

It should come as no surprise that much of the "anti-war" movement [a large part of which is infiltrated and manipulated by the White House via the FBI/CIA and phony front organizations] {Human Right Watch, Medecins Sans Frontiers, Radio Free Europe at least some of Amnesty International & anything touched by Soros or the Rockefeller or Carnegie Trusts - Neil} is as completely phony as "the war on terror" [witness the saturation Western media coverage given to Michael Moore's film 'Farenheit 9/11' including the celebratred "anti-war" hero, Scott Ritter; conversely witness the total news blackout on any criticism of the war against Serbia/Yugoslavia and the lies of the bogus ICTY 'tribunal'] .

"...Holbrooke, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Clinton White House all played key rôles in supporting the Islamists who, as it transpired, were consistently working with al-Qaida and the Iranian Government, among others, in planning major terrorist attacks on the US."
[ 03.htm]
"...Agim Ceku, an Albanian Kosovo by birth, began his military career as an officer in the former federal Yugoslavian Army (JNA). When the initial Yugoslav breakup occurred in 1991, Ceku was quick to switch his loyalty to the Croatian cause of independence. As a colonel in the Croatian army, Ceku commanded the notorious 1993 operation now known as the Medak Pocket.

"It was here that the men of the Second Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry came face to face with the vulgar savagery which Ceku was capable of, over 200 Serbian inhabitants of the Medak Pocket were slaughtered in a grotesque manner –female rape victims were found after being burned alive. Our traumatised troops that buried the grisly remains were encouraged to collect all possible evidence “in order to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...Throughout the air campaign against Yugoslavia, Ceku was portrayed as a loyal ally and he was frequently present at the NATO briefings with top generals such as Wesley Clark and Michael Jackson."
"...KLA Commander Agim Ceku was appointed Chief of Staff of Kosovo's new KPC. In the words of Bernard Kouchner during the inauguration ceremony:
I look to him [Agim Ceku] to lead the new members of the Corps in the footsteps of Cincinnatus, the model citizen-soldier of ancient Rome -- who left his plow standing in the field to answer the call to arms & and at the end of the war refused all honors in order to return to his civic duties

"The mainstream media’s favorable treatment of the antiwar movement cries out for explanation":

"...If the Democrats were to win the 2004 presidential elections, continuity in US foreign policy would be maintained. More importantly, the "war on terrorism" and the lies concerning Al Qaeda and 9/11 would also be maintained."

"...That U.S. leaders have consciously sought to dismember Yugoslavia is not a matter of speculation but of public record. In November 1990, the Bush administration pressured Congress into passing the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, which provided that any part of Yugoslavia failing to declare independence within six months would lose U.S. financial support. The law demanded separate elections in each of the six Yugoslav republics, and mandated U.S. State Department approval of both election procedures and results as a condition for any future aid. Aid would go only to the separate republics, not to the Yugoslav government, and only to those forces whom Washington defined as "democratic," meaning right-wing, free-market, separatist parties".

Do you know what Gandhi once said in response to a question, "What do you think of Western Civilization"?
Gandhi replied: "It would be a great idea" [ see]

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