Dr. German Velasquez, head of the drug action programme at the World Health Organisation, is coordinating a WHO investigation into the pharmaceutical industry's pricing of life-saving drugs in developing countries. He was attacked in Rio de Janeiro and had his arm slashed with a knife. He was attacked in Miami by two men who waved a pistol, threatened him with death and kicked him to the ground, and expressly told him: "We hope you learned the lesson of Rio. Stop criticising the pharmaceutical industry." Finally he was threatened twice by telephone at his home in France by a man who expressly related the treats to Miami. So just what is the connection between organized crime and the pharmaceutical industry?
Jim Bell wrote an infamous essay called 'Assassination Politics', cleverly combining a rather violent form of anarchism with ideas about digital cash and internet anonymity. He has now been sentenced to ten years in jail for stalking federal agents. It seems very iffy that he did anything other than investigate what he honestly felt was wrongdoing. Even if he stepped over the line, it is clear that he is being sentenced for having the temerity to write such an article. The Powers That Be have always had this terrible fear that one day some prole will wake up and come up with an idea that will upset the whole apple cart. It's a shame they didn't get Marx sentenced to ten years before he got up to no good. The best defence to this kind of repression of speech is for everyone to read Jim Bell's work (and, of course, ensure that this fundamental attack on the right to free speech is overturned in court).
This is an outstanding article by Gore Vidal on current American hero Timothy McVeigh. Some thoughts: 1) McVeigh's letters betray a surprising intelligence; 2) McVeigh, like the strangely similar Lee Harvey Oswald, probably was up to something, but almost certainly not what he was murdered for; 3) the more you learn about the FBI, the worse it looks (the combination of incompetence and evil is reminiscent of the CIA in the 60's); 4) all signs point to the fact that the bombing was a botched sting operation with the FBI trying to snag a bunch of militia types, only to be fooled by the militia who changed the timing of the bombing, and 5) on an interesting side note, was Louis Freeh protecting his fellow Opus Dei member Robert Hanssen, thus explaining how Hanssen was able to get away with his spying for so long?
Remember the tragedy of all the people dying in Spain due to contaminated cooking oil? Turns out it probably wasn't the oil at all, but a cover-up by the Spanish government of organo-phosphate pesticide contamination. This article tells the sordid story very well, and points out that the problem continues. What about organo-phosphates and mad cow disease?
It is almost impossible to comprehend the reality of what is being done to the Palestinians in the light of the way the mass media describes the issues. The victims are depicted as the aggressors and the aggressors are depicted as the victims. Up is down and down is up. This is another good article by Said on the subject.
Everyone's in a big flap because it has come out that the United States knew about the genocide in Rwanda in time to stop it but did nothing (or worse, encouraged the U. N. to withdraw its peacekeepers). This inactivity has been blamed on confusion. having too much information, not having enough time, etc., etc. What about the obvious: the United States did nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda because the genocide was consistent with the interests of U. S. corporations as part of a larger 'African game' to gain mining rights in central Africa?
This is another National Post article where the content of the article seems to be secondary to the massaging of opinion. It seems likely that it is going to be proven that the United States was behind the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. This is a horrible thing, and looks real bad on the United States. Therefore, lets get out an article showing what an awful guy Lumumba actually was. He was a Commie! Allen Dulles said he was 'a mad dog' (if Allen Dulles thinks you're a mad dog, is that a compliment or an insult?). He asked for prostitutes while on a state visit to Ottawa (and received stenographers-this part of the article rings true!). So I guess it was a good thing that the Americans had the head of another state tortured to death.
The National Post can be interesting to read, not for its content but for the fact it so transparently reflects what a certain power group wants you to think. One article on the middle-east mess purports to tell us the mechanics of how the Palestinian Authority sets up attacks by the armed Israeli soldiers against stone-throwing Palestinians so the Israeli forces will look bad on television (unfortunately, it doesn't explain how the Palestinian Authority forces the Israelis to set up illegal settlements on Palestinian territory). Another article tries the ludicrous non sequitur that because there are a lot of extremely rascist writings about Jews published in the Arab world that somehow this makes it legitimate for Israel to shoot unarmed civilians and bulldoze their homes and olive trees. Whatever it is the Palestinians are doing must really be working for it to be necessary to publish such illogical drivel.
One of the most useful things about the recent protests in Genoa is that the use of agents provocateurs by the police has now been established. The fact that many, if not all, of the most thuggish protesters are working for the police should put the issue of violence in the protests into proper perspective.
Cryptome is the most interesting site on the internet. Where else would you find such a heap of interesting ideas as are contained in this article by Gordon Logan? Leaving aside the Bulgarian stuff, is it plausible to believe that the British powers-that-be would be so desperate to get the Conservatives elected that they would have contrived to start the foot and mouth disease? I would say that it is not likely, as the Conservatives are the party of the large rural landowners, and agricultural disease is hardly in their best interests. Having said that, the fundamental political point that the American oligarchs are desperate to keep the American dollar as the de facto world reserve currency is valid. The current American economic situation is not based on American productivity, American ingenuity, the internet, or any of the other nonsense we are fed every day. It is based on the fact that third-world mattresses are filled with American dollars, oil and illegal drugs and illegal arms are paid for in American dollars, and basically the American dollar is the default currency everywhere in the world. If Britain joins Euroland the American hegemony based on the monopoly position of the dollar would start to erode. It is sensible to theorize that drastic steps to stop Britain from adopting the Euro might be taken by the American oligarchs or their British allies.
The forces of truth and justice win again as Barrick Gold has forced The Guardian to apologize and pay monetary damages for a libellous article printed in the Sunday Observer. Gregory Palast, the author of the article, also has to remove it from his website, although the libel action was in the U. K. and the website is based in the U. S. The article quoted an Amnesty International report on the death of Tanzanian miners, allegedly killed when bulldozers filled in their pits on the orders of a mining company that Barrick later acquired. All responsible citizens should read and memorize the original article (and perhaps have it tatooed on their persons) just to see what perfidious nonsense it must be.