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June NYC 9/11 * Griffin * Star Wars * Pot

03 June 2008

”I wanted to express my strong support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative.
There has never been a better time to get such an initiative on the ballot,
because the 9/11 Truth Movement's case against the official account of 9/11
..All that is necessary is enough people to commit themselves to work enough
hours to gather those signatures. If you help get this initiative on the ballot,
your name will surely be included in the universe's list of heroes.”

-- David Ray Griffin

1) Ballot Initiative – Griffin – Able – McClellan – Mineta – Detrick +
- - DRG Statement of Support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
- - Able Danger, the movie, June 6 – Brooklyn, NYC
- - McClellan provides a glimpse into Bush regime's machinations
- - Mineta Recalls Cheney Activity In White House Bunker On 9/11
- - Fort Detrick Scientists Think Killer Anthrax Came from their Facility
- - Lawyers want 9/11 trial dismissed
- - Hunger strike for 9/11 truth
- - The New England 9/11 Symposium: Recap (Updated 5/26)
2) Radar, Star Wars, & the Czech Republic
- - Hunger Strikers Message from Prague
- - Democracy Now! and “War, Inc.” - John Cusack’s New Film
3) Voters Can Just Say No to Bad Drug Policy
- - Letter to editor Re: “Prison—for Pot?” Article

Vox pop surreal circumstance trust no one
When allegiance to a flag under covers false pretenses.
Stylized miscue and truth skips a beat, bewildered, alone,
Fantasizing contemplation while time slips by a portal of hope closing.

And love seems far away removed, where a sanctuary once existed
where time is not absolute as a memory twists and fades, and fate
loses its hold, too soon, to recover ideals lost in the comfort zone
before it is too late or forever unknown.

Editor’s Notes:

Reaching the goal of the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative to collect 30,000-verified petitions by around the end of June for a ballot initiative in 2008 may be close. According to Les Jamieson, they have close to 10,000 petitions so far, and adding more everyday. If you want to join in this important work and live outside NYC, send money, and contact everyone you know in NYC. Anyone who is willing to come to the city to help will be provided with free lodging. An independent investigation is imperative for us all. I have first-hand confirmation of the sincerity and notable work of Les Jamieson, founder, NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, web designer, and volunteer coordinator. For more information, call Les - (718)492-2192.

David Ray Griffin’s endorsement of the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative is huge. Perhaps next in line to give this campaign a big boost will be William Rodriguez. Jamieson contacted Rosie O’Donnell at a book signing about the campaign, and she asked him to contact her through Willie. Meanwhile we cannot depend on celebrities. We are too close and need more input now. Please consider supporting the most direct path for an independent 9/11 investigation, send $25 or more to the Initiative. This campaign at the very least raises awareness, but only united can we accomplish this in 2008; otherwise, hopefully, Les Jamieson and others (after a rest) will push on through to 2009. But then we would miss out on a referendum campaign ASAP and during a presidential election year.

Experiencing the US premiere of Able Danger, the movie at the Brooklyn International Film Festival was like going through a time warp. I grew up in Brooklyn. Cortelyou Road never looked so good; now it hosts an activist café-book store Vox Pop. In and out of the film, Sander Hicks comes through to inspire and challenge lies and ruthlessness. Able Danger combines what is real with a tongue in cheek (or elsewhere) humor with artistry regarding the deep dark CIA Intel that knew about 9/11 before it happened. Now more people will be exposed to this because of the film. Watch this youtube link for a CNN, Lou Dobbs news clips on Able Danger. You can also read this review of the film, Able Danger by Carol Brouillet.

In NYC I also visited my high school, Erasmus Hall and distributed copies of my article about a demonstration on the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The receptionist at Erasmus took quite a few copies, and said she would make more. This article also includes information on the NYC Ballot Initiative, William Pepper, new forensics on Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. You can download this from files for Valley 9/11 Truth. June 5, 2008 marks forty years since this second Kennedy brother was killed, who also had an intention to stop the Vietnam War. William Pepper plans to file for a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan, and is also a commissioner for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative.

"We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement
of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

-- George Orwell

1) Ballot Initiative – Griffin – Able – McClellan – Mineta – Detrick +

- - DRG Statement of Support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
- - Able Danger, the movie, June 6 – Brooklyn, NYC
- - McClellan provides a glimpse into Bush regime's machinations
- - Mineta Recalls Cheney Activity In White House Bunker On 9/11
- - Fort Detrick Scientists Think Killer Anthrax Came from their Facility
- - Lawyers want 9/11 trial dismissed
- - Hunger strike for 9/11 truth
- - The New England 9/11 Symposium: Recap (Updated 5/26)

- - DRG Statement of Support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
Note from David Ray Griffin,
Statement of Support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
David Ray Griffin
June 1, 2008

Although I was not able to be present at the rally either in person or by telephone, I wanted to express my strong support for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative.

There has never been a better time to get such an initiative on the ballot, because the 9/11 Truth Movement's case against the official account of 9/11 is now extremely strong---much stronger than it was just two years ago.

For example, new evidence has been brought forth to show that the official account of the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 cannot possibly be true. The NIST Report has been shown to be completely inadequate, and a former employee of NIST has spoken out to verify what we already suspected---that NIST has become totally politicized, so that its scientists are little more than "hired guns."

Besides the fact that the NIST Report has been discredited, so has The 9/11 Commission Report. Philip Shenon's book has made public what we in the movement have long known, that the 9/11 Commission was controlled by a man, Philip Zelikow, who represented the Bush-Cheney White House. Shenon even shows that Zelikow had outlined the whole report before the Commission's staff had begun its work.

Moreover, some central pillars of the official account have been demolished by the FBI. It has said it has no hard evidence that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the attacks, that there were no cell phone calls from passengers to relatives from any of the planes, and that Barbara Olson's famous phone call from Flight 77 to her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson, never happened.

Equally important, there has been a tremendous influx of professionals with relevant kinds of expertise in the movement---military officers, pilots, CIA and other intelligence officials, architects, and engineers. A few years ago, critics ridiculed our claims about the World Trade Center by saying that these claims were not supported by any architects and engineers. But in the past year, some 400 architects and engineers have signed Richard Gage's petition for a new investigation.

Accordingly, if there IS a new investigation, and if it is this time a GENUINE investigation, there can be little doubt what the outcome will be. As I argued in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, the evidence that 9/11 was an inside job is overwhelming. The only task is to get people to look at the evidence.

I hope, therefore, that many dozens of people make the commitment to go out in the next few weeks to gather signatures. We know from polls that close to 50% of residents of NYC were already suspicious of the official story several years ago. There are, accordingly, more than enough people out there willing to sign the petition. All that is necessary is enough people to commit themselves to work enough hours to gather those signatures.

If you help get this initiative on the ballot, your name will surely be included in the universe's list of heroes.

Best wishes,
David Griffin

Also posted also at
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FN note: If NYC is too far please, or not cost-effective due to traveling costs, please consider supporting the campaign by sending a financial contribution. You can send a check made payable to 9/11 Ballot Initiative, and mail it to NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, 1173A Second Avenue, Suite 155, New York, NY 10065.

Or for supporting volunteers collecting signatures ASAP, send a check made payable to: Civic Empowerment Network (in memo write: NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative) and send to: 9/11 Ballot Initiative, P.O. Box 1063, Cooper Station, NY 10276

For a video of Les Jamieson, of the Civic Empowerment Network talking about the proposed voter initiative to amend the New York City Charter to create a temporary commission to investigate the events of 9/11. Produced by Gary Popkin. Originally aired August 7, 2007.

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- - Able Danger, the movie, June 6 – Brooklyn, NYC

Dir: Paul Krik, United States, 85 min, 2008, Feature
US Premiere. Cast & Crew in attendance.

WHERE: Brooklyn Lyceum: 227 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
WHEN: June 6, 2008 - 8:00pm

For film web site and to see trailer:
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Note: A review on Able Danger was posted in last FN issue May 15, 2008
ABLE DANGER * 9/11 Ballot * Poppy * CO2

You can also read this Review of the film, Able Danger by Carol Brouillet.

For CNN, Lou Dobbs news clips on Able Danger, CIA cover-up, see:

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- - McClellan provides a glimpse into Bush regime's machinations
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Jun 2, 2008, 00:21

Any look behind George Bush’s Iron Curtain is a good look. So, Scott McClellan’s new memoir, What Happened, comes as a breath of fresh air from the house of silence, where, as McClellan tells us that full “campaign mode” press on the public (and press) was always on. And that a “political propaganda campaign” was always running like an old mimeograph machine, most notably to “manipulate sources of public opinion” and “downplaying the major reason for going to war,” which, as I see it, was all about oil and control of the Middle East.

That a Bush press secretary should admit this is news, especially for all those folks who still believe there really were weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was about to use momentarily to bring us that mushroom cloud over the American horizon. Karl Rove and Condi Rice be damned, the book’s very subtitle gives you a clue to the real deal: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception. For that is what it is, was, and continues to be, even with a whistleblower from within.

McClellan, a formerly zip-lipped defender of administration staff and policy, sounds off at Karl Rove misleading him about his role in the CIA case (read Valerie Plame’s outing). He nails Condi as fending off blame, and calls Cheney “the Magic Man” who pulled the strings from behind the scenes like the Wizard of Oz, and left no fingerprints.

In a chapter called Selling the War, McClellan reiterates from the horse’s mouth what we already knew and felt: that the truth was manipulated repeatedly and Bush “managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option.” It obviously wasn’t. He follows with “What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.” Amen.

McClellan adds, “Over that summer of 2002, top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.” It has been recently noted that Bush and his Boyz (Powell, Rice, Cheney, Libby, et al) repeated the war phrases (weapons of mass destruction, imminent use, et al), nearly 1,000 times in the run-up to war. So now “the plan” is officially documented.

Nevertheless, McClellan was once right up there with the rest of the gang pitching the war from the podium. So hindsight, as valuable as it is, never quite matches foresight, and begs the question, “What took you so long, Scott?” Pragmatically speaking, better late than never, though I personally could not for the world justify that war to any parent of one of the 4,000 lost American solders, especially knowing that set-up. And one wonders how much real immunity from the carnage this buys McClellan.

The real question is what does this mean really to the world’s most artful dodger and liar, George W Bush. McClellan tells us Bush demonstrated a persistent “lack of inquisitiveness.” That lack, many might interpret as a lack of compassion, decency, and respect for law. After all, a million Iraqis have been blown away, as well, so far. And Bush still has his feet deeply planted on their graves. What does it take budge him? Impeachment, arrest, a people’s takeover of the government? A trial at The Hague?

After all, this is one book by one man. And Americans are notorious non-readers, willing to settle for the pabulum of Fox News and other major TV news venues and their sound bite non-realities. The dead remain dead. Who will resurrect them? The war continues. More fall.

McClellan also originally wrote in an email, “Like many Americans, I am concerned about the poisonous atmosphere in Washington. I wanted to take readers inside the White House and provide them an open and honest look at how things went off course and what can be learned from it. Hopefully in some small way it will contribute to changing Washington for the better and move us beyond the hyper-partisan environment that has permeated Washington over the past 15 years.”

This would seem to include the Clinton years, and is not elaborated on as to why. I suppose one could fill in the blanks, but hard facts would be better, especially from a man who followed Bush from Texas to Washington, and early on saw him as “out-of-touch, in a political bubble,” one who doggedly refused to admit a mistake. Yet McClellan still claims, “Bush is plenty smart enough to be president” -- just not too reflective about his job, is that all it is?

But Bush’s job concerns the well-being of not just the United States but the whole world as its superpower. McClellan says, “A more self-confident executive would be willing to acknowledge failure, to trust people’s ability to forgive those who seek redemption for mistakes and show a readiness to change.”

Well, this would include more than a canny political intelligence, but some heart, mind and soul for humanity, which, thanks to Bush’s thickness, could go up in smoke too easily, especially with the administration’s penchant for considering nuclear options, as in depleted uranium, mini-nukes, and even the big ones.

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

For a related article:

“Ex-Press Aide Writes That Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq”
By Michael D. Shear

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."

Link =>

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- - Mineta Recalls Cheney Activity In White House Bunker On 9/11

During the BBC documentary "Clear The Skies", Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta describes the activities of vice president Dick Cheney in the White House Presidential Emergency Operations Center on September 11, 2001 before the Pentagon attack, which is at odds with the account provided by the 9/11 Commission. Watch the youtube video from:

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- - Fort Detrick Scientists Think Killer Anthrax Came from their Facility

Even experts at the U.S. bioweapons facility at Fort Detrick think that the anthrax which was used in the 2001 attacks came from their facility:

"In an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.

"Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared ... to duplicate the letter material," the e-mail reads. "Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, 'But I told the General we didn't make spore powder!'

"Indeed, 3 of the 4 suspects the FBI is investigating are employees of Fort Detrick, which is run by the Army.

This new information verifies that the anthrax came from the Fort Detrick military base (confirmed here).

Some people are pretending that someone unconnected with the army bioweapons facility at Fort Detrick stole the anthrax. However, as the above-quoted article states:

"Fort Detrick is run by the United States Army. It's the most secure biological warfare research center in the United States," a bioterrorism expert told FOX News."

It is not very likely that someone could steal anthrax from the most secure facility in the U.S., run by the Army.

Indeed, the FBI apparently knew in 2002 who mailed the anthrax letters. See this, this, and this.

And yet government investigators and prosecutors have covered up and refused to disclose who did it for 6 years. Initially, the FBI tried to frame an innocent man for the attacks.

More importantly, "The FBI has completely shut Congress out of its now five-year investigation into anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill and around the nation". In other words, Congress -- which legally has every right to know what really happened, and which was the main victim of the attack -- is being kept in the dark. If the FBI really didn't know who did it, and was really conducting an honest investigation, why would it stonewall Congress?

There is strong evidence that the anthrax attacks were a false flag attack. Indeed, the bioweapons expert who actually drafted the current bioweapons law (the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989) while working for President George H.W. Bush has said that he is convinced the October 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people were perpetrated and covered up by criminal elements of the U.S. government. The motive: to foment a police state by killing off and intimidating opposition to post-9/11 legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the later Military Commissions Act. See also this.

At the very least, the FBI and the White House are actively covering up for the person who really did it.

Source URL:
also posted

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- - Lawyers want 9/11 trial dismissed
By Andrew O. Selsky
May 29, 2008

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Defense lawyers accused the government of rushing the Sept. 11 defendants to trial at Guantanamo to influence the U.S. presidential elections, and asked the military judge to dismiss the case in a court filing obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The filing also shows that the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, who resigned in October over alleged political interference, was sanctioned by the military on May 23 after testifying for the defense in a Guantanamo hearing.

The former prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, wrote that the action will discourage any other military members from providing information about the controversial war-crimes tribunals. The tribunals' legal adviser, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, told the AP Davis was sanctioned because of poor job performance and not because he testified.

Military lawyers for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants revealed that prosecutors are seeking a Sept. 15 trial date — weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

The five men accused of mounting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed almost 3,000 people are to be arraigned June 5 at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — the most high-profile of the military commissions, as the war-crimes proceedings are called.

"It is safe to say that there are senior officials in the military commission process who believe that there would be strategic political value to having these five men sitting in a death chamber on Nov. 4, 2008," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, a defense attorney.

Davis recently testified that while he was chief prosecutor, "There was that consistent theme that if we don't get these (trials) rolling before the election, this thing is going to implode, and if you get the 9/11 guys charged it would be hard ... for whoever wins the White House to stop the process."

Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president, supported the Military Commissions Act that in 2006 resurrected the war-crimes tribunals after the Supreme Court earlier declared the previous system unconstitutional.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, who are battling for the Democratic nomination, opposed the measure.

Hartmann denied political interference affected decisions on whom to try and when to try them.

"It has not existed at all," Hartmann told the AP on Wednesday. "I say that absolutely, without equivocation."

But at an April 28 hearing for Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Davis testified that Hartmann pushed to pursue "sexy" cases over less dramatic ones. The military judge subsequently ordered Hartmann's removal as legal adviser in that proceeding.

Documents attached to the new filing showed the military acted against Davis less than a month after his testimony, saying he had served dishonorably and would be denied a medal for his more than two years as prosecutor.

Hartmann, who had clashed with Davis when he was chief prosecutor, said he didn't get the decoration because "his performance was not up to standard." Hartmann worked with Davis from July to October 2007.

"He had a very important position as chief prosecutor, and had an obligation to lead people, to inspire them and to train them," Hartmann said by telephone. "And that wasn't happening."

In response, Davis e-mailed AP a performance report from Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, Hartmann's predecessor, that said Davis' "personable leadership style infused enthusiasm and focus despite political uncertainty, delays, countless issues" in the Bush administration's attempts to bring suspected terrorists to trial. The review, covering September 2006-April 2007, said Davis was the "perfect choice" to "bring masterminds of 9/11, USS Cole, & embassy bombings to justice."

"I have got no regrets about the way I ran things," Davis told AP. "I will put my leadership up against (Hartmann's) any day."

In their filing Wednesday to Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, the judge presiding over the Sept. 11 trial, the lawyers asked for Hartmann to be removed as legal adviser to war-crimes trials. Sixteen of the 260 men being held under indefinite detention at Guantanamo face trial after having been charged.

Source URL:

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- - Hunger strike for 9/11 truth

Phoenix 9/11 Truth Activist Hunger Strike at McCain's Office

Began: Memorial Day, 5:00PM, May 26, 2008 at the office of
Senator John McCain, 5353 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Contact: Tim King Office: 480.329.9090, e-mail:
Fir entire press releaee and more, see:

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- - The New England 9/11 Symposium: Recap (Updated 5/26)

The New England 9/11 Symposium, held this past Saturday (5/17/08) in Keene, NH,
was a tremendous success. We had a great turn out and received local and, of course,
independent media coverage. -- For the complete article, see:

For FN’s archives, see:
The Bush Conspiracy and 9/11 Investigative Reports,
looking into the unanswered questions.

2) Radar, Star Wars, (Inc.) & the Czech Republic

- - Hunger Strikers Message from Prague
- - Democracy Now! and “War, Inc.” - John Cusack’s New Film

- - Radar, Star Wars, & the Czech Republic
By Andre Vltchek
Z Magazine

On March 1 the Czech Republic experienced the wrath of extra- tropical cyclone Emma passing through its territory at almost 180 kilometers per hour, disrupting infrastructure, killing two people, and leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity. One of the worst hit areas was around the city of Pilsen, known for its industry and beer.

That same day groups of neo-Nazis screaming "Nenavidim" ("I hate") besieged Pilsen's train station. Defying the wind and security forces, they marched in front of an enormous synagogue shouting racist slogans. They were immediately squeezed between the riot police and those who came to protest against their show of force, including the city mayor, as well as a sizeable group of anarchists.

While the cyclone and neo-Nazis were busy on the homefront, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was meeting George Bush in Washington. The two heads of state were trying to conclude negotiations about the construction of the U.S. radar base in West Bohemia, against the will of the great majority of Czech people (two-thirds according to the latest poll). Talks failed, but apparently only because of a Czech demand for stricter environmental rules. Both sides expressed hope that the dispute could be settled quickly.

The United States plans to build the radar base in the Brdy military district, some 90 kilometers southwest of Prague and 30 kilometers from Pilsen, along with a base for 10 defense missiles in Poland, as elements of what Washington calls a "missile defense shield." The Czech center-right government has been negotiating with the United States over the radar base for about a year and plans to end the talks in late spring. The project is sharply criticized by Russia, several European Union states, and the majority of Czech citizens.

Filip Pospisil, deputy chief-editor of A2 (a Prague-based weekly magazine) and independent representative for Prague-1 District, explained, "No chance the issue will be resolved through a national democratic consensus of the citizens—through the referendum.... An argument used against the referendum by the government is that the issue is very complex and should be decided by experts. Another argument is that it is difficult to even define the question itself."

But in the villages everybody understands the issue very well. Brdy Highlands may be a remote and, by Czech standards, poor area, but people there, like everywhere else in the country, are passionate followers of political trends and international developments. And they have strong opinions about the military superpower that is planning to build its base very near their homes.

Lubomir Fiala is mayor of Visky, one of the smallest villages in the country with only 42 permanent residents and just one grocery store—run by the mayor. Gentle rolling hills and fields surround Visky, but Kota 718 is just a couple of miles away. This is where "the American radar" is supposed to be built.

"We decided to run our own referendum last year," explained Fiala. "The result happened to be very straightforward: 100 percent against. Citizens of Visky don't want to have any radar or any foreign troops. And we believe that our country as a whole doesn't need any foreign soldiers on its soil either. But our government is making decisions without consulting the people from this area."

Fiala recounted the area's history: "We are at the edge of an enormous military area. Brdy [Highlands] were given to the army in 1925. Then Hitler built bases here and, later on, during the Cold War, there were Soviet missiles in the ground between the villages of Borovno and Misov.... We've had enough of foreign troops on our land and this time we are going to fight to the last drop of blood to prevent it from happening. To me it is very simple: I am representing this village. People of this village are against the bases. I am against the bases. Therefore, there should be no American bases here.

"We understand that the Bush administration wants to conclude talks and begin building the radar before the presidential elections. The Russians are against it and that will be a tremendous problem. On top of it, we are told lies. They say that the base will be safe. But we know that it will be dangerous, hazardous to our health. There are plenty of experts who can testify to that. There will be radiation and it can be already defined where the rays will be directed."

Villagers of Visky and neighboring Trokavec explain that the naturally pristine Brdy Highlands are the source of drinking water for the entire Western part of the Czech Republic. One villager, talking through a fence, tells me, "Our little villages were always getting a little money from the government because they are right next to the military zone. It was calculated for decades that if there would be a military conflict, if enemy missiles would hit the military installations, our villages would be either annihilated or evacuated. We are sick of living next to a pile of weapons belonging to foreign powers. The majority of people were forced to leave in the 1950s, when the Soviets decided to employ their weapons in nearby forests. We love this land. All we are asking for is tranquility and peace and no foreign troops. But the Americans are already here; they are surveying the area, periodically and secretly. "

No To The Radar—No To The Foreign Bases" reads the sign on the window of the local pub in Trokavec village. Across the road begins a depressed agricultural area with deep puddles in front of the rustic houses, rotting tractors, and other farm equipment. Prague—with its hotels, opera houses, and galleries, cafes, and museums—seems to be on another planet.

As I photographed the countryside, an old woman approached me. "I am afraid," she said. "Here we are all afraid. We suspect that they are going to build something terrible around here; something much worse than what the Russians built decades ago. Please help us stop it."

Mayor Fiala remarks: "It is all done to satisfy the interest of American multinational companies, isn't it? These games that cost trillions of dollars and countless human lives. I have nothing against the American people, but I can't stomach American expansionism. My grandmother lived in America decades ago and even then she was complaining about the same things. Czechs have to be finally on their own. We were for too long under the military boots of others."

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

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Action Alert! Monday, June 02, 2008
- - Hunger Strikers Message from Prague

For more news and information on such campaigns:
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652; Brunswick, ME 04011 - Tel (207) 443-9502 & (Blog)

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- - Democracy Now! and “War, Inc.” - John Cusack’s New Film

“War, Inc.”: John Cusack’s New Film Satirizes the Corruption, Profiteering and Hubris Behind the Iraq War

Interview - Democracy Now!

John Cusack joins Democracy to talk about War, Inc.; his new film taking on issues few in Hollywood today would dare to: war profiteering, mercenaries, political corruption and embedded journalism. A political satire, the film stars Cusack as Brand Hauser, a hit-man for hire who is deployed to the fictional country of Turaqistan to kill a Middle Eastern oil baron. Hauser’s employer is Tamerlane, a secretive for-profit military corporation headed by a former US vice president played by Dan Aykroyd. We also speak to Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill, author of the bestselling book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

For complete article, and links to listen or watch, see:

3) Voters Can Just Say No to Bad Drug Policy

- - Letter to editor Re: “Prison—for Pot?” Article

Prison--for Pot?
Massachusetts voters can Just Say No to bad drug policy.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
By Maureen Turner

I call Dick Evans to interview him. But he has his own question—or, more specifically, an assignment—for me: "I challenge you to find anyone who believes adults who choose to use marijuana responsibly deserve to be arrested, prosecuted and locked up."

Evans is pretty sure I'll come up empty; he's even willing to bet a lunch on it. A Northampton attorney and former member of the Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, Evans spent decades advocating for the reform of drug laws, and while officially "retired" from the cause, he still tracks it closely.

These days, there's a lot to track. In November, Massachusetts voters could have the chance to decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, making it a civil, not criminal, infraction. On the federal level, U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Ron Paul, a Texas Republican (and renegade presidential candidate), are co-sponsoring legislation that would remove federal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. ("The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly," Frank said as he announced the bill on Bill Maher's HBO show "Real Time." That's one for Dick Evans.)

Add to that the increasing public debate about who ends up behind bars for drug crimes, and how much we as a society pay to prosecute and imprison them, and it's tempting to say there's a groundswell of interest, from across the political spectrum, in re-examining our drug laws. But as Evans and other long-time activists will tell you, when it comes to drug policy, change is slow in coming. Progress is made in small, incremental steps, which sometimes fall far short of what reformers would like to see.

"I think we can get lost in the increments," says Evans. While small changes can be important, he urges that focus be kept on what, in an email to the Advocate, he called "the 900-pound gorilla that terrifies so many people, and that is the broad question of whether, in 2008, the responsible use of marijuana by adults with no visible harm to themselves or anyone else ought to remain a crime, wrecking people's lives and diverting public revenues from urgent needs."

Plenty of Massachusetts voters share Evans' view, at least according to a series of questions that have appeared on local ballots in recent years.

Since 2000, activists—most notably, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, or MASS CANN (the state affiliate of NORML)—have worked to get non-binding public policy questions on marijuana reform on the ballots in four state Senate districts and 33 Representative districts. All were approved by a majority of voters.

A handful of the ballot questions addressed the legalization of medical marijuana; there was also one that would allow the growing of industrial hemp, and another to allow the state-regulated—and state-taxed—sale of marijuana to adults.

But the vast majority of the questions—28 of the total 37—went directly to the issue of decriminalization, asking voters whether possession of a small amount of pot should be a civil violation. Voters in every district approved the question, by majorities ranging from 59 to 76 percent.

While public policy questions are non-binding, they do serve as an important way of demonstrating to legislators the priorities of their constituents. Whether or not legislators heed those messages is, of course, another matter.

At the very least, the message was heard by activists, who saw Massachusetts presenting a prime opportunity for reforming marijuana laws. That led to the creation of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, or CSMP, the group behind the proposed November ballot question.

Under current Massachusetts law, marijuana possession can lead to jail, probation or a fine; a conviction can also result in the suspension of your driver's license, the loss of your right to possess firearms and the denial of student loans. While first offenses without mitigating circumstances are typically continued without a finding and dropped after one year if the defendant has no further legal problems, critics of the system say there are a number of ways prosecutors can pursue a tougher penalty—if, for instance, the arrest happened near a school zone. They also contend that the defendant's race and class can affect how aggressively a drug charge is pursued, a contention borne out by several recent studies.

Even if a defendant's charges are continued and then dropped, she still has to go through the costly and onerous legal system; as MASS CANN puts it, "Prosecution itself is used as a form of punishment."

If approved, the November ballot question would amend state law so that adults found guilty of possessing one ounce or less would face a $100 fine; those under 18 would also have to complete a "drug awareness program" and perform community service. The initiative has been endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union as well as NORML and MASS CANN.

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- - Letter to editor by Jonathan Mark

The cover article and graphic in the May 29 issue, "PRISON--FOR POT? Massachusetts Voters Can Just Say No To Bad Drug Policy offers a beacon of hope for justice and democracy. Ballot referendums are the voice by a majority of voters. In this day and age of let em down corporate politics, the people united and active, still have a voice.

Last weekend I went to New York City in support of a ballot initiative there ( to investigate the events of September 11, 2001, and to see the US premiere of the film, Able Danger. In this day and age of intelligence-games gone mad politics with undeclared wars, based on lies, going on longer than the Second World War, it is time for change. We, the people can still have a voice. In this and many other articles, the Valley Advocate really lives up to its name. Thanks!

Jonathan Mark

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