Monday 31 March 2008

'Suicide' police chief: Why didn't they call us earlier ask rescue services?

Find the "mysterious group of dark-suited men" and you will find those responsible... All is not as it seems.

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

The police chief who died on a blizzard-swept mountain might have survived if rescue services had been alerted earlier, according to the expert who masterminded the recovery of his body.

Peter Walker has provided the first detailed account of the hunt on Snowdon for Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Michael Todd.

His claims raise a series of disturbing questions about the death of Mr Todd, who was tipped as a future Scotland Yard Commissioner.

Mr Walker, 52, a veteran of hundreds of rescue operations, alleges that mountain rescue services were not called in to search for the police chief, who had been linked with a number of women, until hours after he was first reported missing.

He also claims that a mysterious group of dark-suited men were seen at the bottom of Mount Snowdon after Mr Todd's body was found. He believes the group, who did not identify themselves, were from the Security Services.

Full story...

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Possible Counterterrorist Suspects in Mike Todd Killing

by Trowbridge H. Ford

For viewers who have trouble grasping what I mean by covert operations by hodge-podge governments, especially the United Kingdom and the United States, I shall offer a general explanation of what goes on, and examples to illustrate my claims from the great powers on both side of the Atlantic Ocean.

By hodge-podge government, I mean states which have an informal, covert network of institutions, agencies, social and economic connections, strategically located individuals, agents in the media, etc., which allow them to carry on much more coherent actions than their legal framework, institutional arrangements, and accepted practices would seem to allow. Of course, the basis of this covert network is still the state - i. e., in Britain the Crown, and in the USA the Presidency - but as it has grown in size, and been democratized and decentralized to a degree - what has made coherently running it more complicated - the respective executives have developed connections behind the scenes to keep informed of what is developing, taking action by indirect and informal means when conditions apparently call for it, and pumping out stories in the media to justify or explain away what has been done.

In this context, traditional ways of describing what official institutions there are, and how they work has been seriously superceded by what goes on behind the public view. Instead of talking about republics and monarchies, federations and unitary states, parliamentary versus presidential government, written versus unwritten constitutions, professional versus more politicized bureaucracies, the established media, and the like, we should look at much more relevant arrangements - the institutionalized military-industrial complex, the intelligence community, policing, national security, the internet, NATO, the wars on terror, drugs and HIV, the G8, etc. - to understand what is being done in our name. We have moved too away from the precepts of democratic, representative government to think that it still has much relevance in what our governments actually do, say, and why.

To give just a most obvious example of the vast gap between our societies and our states, just reflect upon the ludicrous solution that the former British Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, suggested for bridging it in the UK. Blair Cabinet Minister Goldsmith was the legal authority for Britain joining America in the pre-emptive ouster of Iraq's Saddam Hussein for allegedly having WMD - perhaps the most politicized ruling in history - and he is trying to limit the fallout from the disastrous decision by calling for the adoption of a pledge of allegiance by Britain's increasingly alienated citizenry. As usual, Goldsmith has been influenced by America's neocons where they have bamboozled their subjects to go along with whatever they dream up, thanks to Americans' reverence for the flag, and its trappings, especially its oath of allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
One Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all."

While I have not seen what Goldsmith actually proposed for Britons to pledge, I suggest this doggerel, though I am sure more enlightened minds can come up with something more fitting:

"I pledge allegiance to the Union Jack of our old Mom,
and to the treasure-trove She has amassed,
One Kingdom under God, indivisible,
With Bits and Pieces for all."

But it will still be difficult to avoid some raillery as the proposal is riddled with absurdity unless Britain is going directly into some form of fascism, with its charismatic fuhrer. We no longer live in an age where one can expect oaths of fealty to do as if we still live in a monarchical age. Some states still have monarchs as their heads of state, but no one can seriously entertain pledges of allegiances now to such lineages. PM Gordon Brown has now attempted to stop the hemorrhaging over the matter by having a serious article in The Daily Telegraph about the need of saving the Union - an effort to bolster the substance of his claims to revitalize the constitution when he first took office - but Justice Minister Jack Straw has shown it to be merely symbolic by what he actually proposed yesterday in the Commons, starting with not changing the political role of any Attorney General.

On a more serious level, the dichotomy between what Britain is essentially trying to achieve in the international arena, especially as a covert, junior partner of the USA, and what it is costing at home is demonstrated almost daily. The Labour government is seeing its hold on the kingdom eroded
constantly. Using Scotland as a staging base, whether on land or at sea, for the wars Washington has planned for the past 30 years has been devastating. Scots are no longer streaming to the colors; they increasingly just want to throw the English out, though they seem most unlikely of getting rid of their covert bits, especially their listening stations, and the stationing of their nuclear submarines. London did too much of this too in securing Northern Ireland during The Troubles. In sum, London is fighting above its weight, relying too much on surreptitious means to maintain some kind of order.

The best current example of this is the killing of Manchester's Chief Constable Michael Todd - what the relevant police immediately dismissed as a tragic act of suicide, and the established media have chimed in with all kinds of crazy stories to justify - e. g., he jumped off the 300-foot Bwlch Glas in Snowdonia, drank himself so silly that he ultimately collapsed unconscious on the snow, stripped off enough clothes to die of hypothermia - the most telling rumour coming from celebrity columnist Max Clifford, claiming that someone with a northern accent that told him over the phone that some credible newspaper was about "to bring down a top copper", what was immediately assumed to be a reference to Todd's affair with Angie Robinson, CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and another one with Anne Neild, Todd's personal assistant. The thrust of all these stories was that the stress of police work made him do it all, ultimately taking his own life.

While the stories were being dismissed as essentially untrue, except for Todd's current relationship with Neild, and his apparent plans to divorce his wife, and marry her, the rumours had their desired effect upon almost all authorities, implying that he had killed himself. The icing on the cover up, it seems, was completed when Duncan Campbell, The Guardian's long-time expert on policing, and apparently the intelligence services' deepest agent in the media, wrote "Nowadays there is nowhere to hide" for the March 13th issue of the London daily. Instead of talking about real facts relating to the killing, though, Campbell used the Clifford rumour, and an analysis of the stresses of police work on various types of chief constables, concluding that Todd would not be the last senior police officer to take his or her own life because of the problems it created with their private life.

Outside of Todd's killing, there was little substance to support Campbell's dire conclusion. There was the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Andrew Timpson who retired in 2000 because of a severe depressive disorder, and Maria Wallis gave up being Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall in 2006 because of the pressure of the position. A predecessor of Todd's at the GMP was Sir John Anderton aka 'God's copper' who served until 1991 despite his strong religious views, and his belief that Aids was caused by people inhabiting a cesspoll. "Anderton survived," Campbell explained, "in what was perhaps a gentler climate."

Then Campbell acted as if Hugh Orde's bastarding a child while previously off-duty as the chief of Police Service of Northern Ireland had somehow been caused by, and had hurt his professional career. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Ian Blair had had to deal with all the blowback after his forces killed that unarmed Brazilian John Charles de Menezes in the wake of the July bombs in July 2005. Campbell threw in the blowback that gay Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat running to replace Red Ken Livingstone as London's Mayor, had received while he was a former top police officer.

All this seemed to be expected, given the character of modern life, and would only become worrying if Campbell had added what had happened to two police officers just when Todd was killed. The day before, the Duchess of Cornwall's chief of security at her country estate Ray Mill near Lacock in Wiltshire, Sergeant Richard Fuller, apparently committed suicide. Two years ago, Camilla had built a new guard house for her team protecting the 27-acre property worth well over £1,000,000 in value, and Fuller had recently added an extention to his cottage near Calne. Could Fuller have been Clifford's top copper about to be brought down?

Then the day after Todd died, police inspector Neil Munro just down the road in Dorset on the South Coast disappeared after he took the ferry from Poole to Cherbourg, his body being discovered a few days after it washed up on the Sandbanks near Portmouth Football Club manager Harry Redknapp's mansion. Almost everyone assumed that Munro too had committed suicide but his death could just as easily been caused from a mishap, or murder.

As if these assumptions by Campbell about the three deaths weren't unjustified enough, he then went on to discuss Todd's career as a police officer in a most predictable, prosaic way - leaving out all its most controversial aspects, what could easily have created disgruntled officers seeking revenge against him, or others seeking to change Todd's agenda. Despite all the public accolades after he was killed, there are plenty of people, most happy to see him dead.

The most obvious ones are those eleven police officers who were forced to resign when Todd started cleaning up the corruption and racism plaguing the GMP after he took over as Chief Constable.

Then there are the officers - especially Bernard Postles, its former detective chief superintendant - who so mishandled a raid for an asylum seeker on the run in the Crumpsall area of North Manchester on January 14, 2003, resulting in the murder of Manchester Special Branch officer Stephen Oake, and wounding of three others. The Manchester SB people were working with SO19 anti-terrorist people from Scotland Yard, and MI5 agents, all hoping to find more evidence of a ricin plot threatening the whole kingdom - what had started with an earlier, successful raid of a flat above a chemist's shop in North London's Wood Green. About the only thing that the raiding party had relevant to the operation was an arrest warrant for the suspect.

When he was not apparently found, though three others of also North African origin were, the scene became one of utter confusion, resulting 30 minutes later in the frenzied knife attack by psychopath Kamel Bourgass. The SB detective chief inspector in charge of the utter fiasco (Operation Salt), "Simon", pled guilty to all the failures before a disciplinary panel the Chief Constable had ordered

Todd, having relied upon what the security forces had told Postles about the low risks of the operation, and what little, consequently, he had planned for it, dumbfounded the press when he so explained, and forced Postles's retirement and the sanctioning of others when he learned otherwise. In sending Postles to the sidelines, though, Todd gained a most bitter opponent because he too had been a high-flying officer up until then. Postles had been the leading officer in the capture of serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman. Todd had gotten the Queen's Police Medal in June 2001 for his "media grabbing" police work, according to some of his fellow Chief Constables, while Postles had gotten his for finally stopping the growing national menace.

Campbell also did not mention the fallout from Todd's unsuccessful inquiry into British assistance of the CIA's rendition program, and what its possible blowback might be. Todd had been the hatchet-man in the resignation of Postles - what was caused by the incompetence of SO19 and MI5 - and he was most apt to behave similarly in light of the security services' failures to learn anything about the risks involved in allowing Washington to use Britain airspace and airports for illegal purposes.

The new director of MI5, Jonathan 'Bob' Evans aka William Perkins, and the Mets' SO19, led by Assistant Deputy Commissioner Peter Clarke - the same people really responsible for the Manchester cock-up - could have at least limited the fallout from the exposure of the Agency's use of UK airports by discovering a few fellows being rendered by inspecting a few parked airliners on the tarmac in the name of counterterrorism, but they did nothing.

As did Sir John Scarlett's MI6 whose agents, especially Robert Andrew Fulton, had done so much to help cover up CIA fiascoes, particularly the Olof Palme assassination, and the Lockerbie tragedy. Instead of getting the Agency's disclosure of its use of Diego Garcia in rendering two suspected terrorists, and passing it on to Todd for his admission of the minor, unsuspected infraction so as to limit his embarrassment, Scarlett let DCI General Michael Hayden do the damage by informing the FO of the matter - what Foreign Secretary David Miliband made a meal of at the Chief Constable's expense.

In sum, there were all kinds of people in policing who wanted to destroy Todd, and it seems that one or more of them did when he went on his hurried mission to Snowden two weeks ago, apparently to meet someone who was to inform him of the growning dangers, only to learn when he got there that the alleged whistleblower was his nemesis. Little wonder that the police almost universally assumed the killing a suicide, and Chief Inspector of HM's Constabulary Sir Ronnie Flanagan has ordered Sir Paul Scott-Lee to investigate the possible personal causes of his suicide for good measure, not who might have killed him. At least in the murder of Dr. David Kelly, the Thames Valley Police went through the motions of something more being involved than just another suicide.

Finally, a footnote should be added about Duncan Campbell's dedicated service to the security services, especially in light of the most undeserved reputation he has. Campbell has been covering up for their activities ever since Sweden's statsminister was assassinated in Stockholm on February 28, 1986.

When the false trail of set-up fallguys finally started to unravel, and the apparent real assassin, Captain Simon Hayward, had been locked up there on a false charge of drug-trafficking for insurance, Campbell used the June 17, 1988 issue of the New Statesman & Society to make sure that nothing positive occurred on any front. While siding with the permanently removed John Stalker from the inquiry into the Shoot-to-Kill murders in Northern Ireland in light of the SAS cull of the three unarmed volunteers on The Rock on March 6, 1988 (p. 1), he gave MI6, the Met's Special Branch officers Detective Chief Inspector David Palmer-Hall and SB commander Rollo Watts, and Major David Walker's security firms, especially KMS Ltd.- all key players in the conspiracy - not only clean bills of health but also directed any new inquiry towards South African security service BOSS' involvement.
("MI6, Whistleblowers in Baltic Battle," p. 7)

And if anyone thinks that Campbell has charged his tune since then, just think about what he just said about Todd's predecessor Sir John Anderton at the GMP, what he did to get Scarlett out of trouble for going after Tony Geraghty, and how he defused the ricin cock-up when Bourgass was given 17 more, concurrent years in prison for the alleged manufacture of deadly poisons and explosives. Anderton did not resign because of his religious and homophobic views but because of his helping make Kevin Taylor a criminal during the Stalker affair - what cost the GMP a $1,000,000 in damages after a civil action in 1991. Geraghty was suspected by MI6 security that he was in the process of telling tales about Hayward. It turned out that he wasn't, and what Campbell finally defused in court by explaining that Geraghty had really disclosed nothing secret.

Also, those viewers who think I have lost sight of America's transgressions in this regard - engaging in an invidious comparison at the UK's expense - should be assured that I haven't. This article has just gone on longer than I anticipated, and I shall have to save its own hodge-podge practices in the name of constitutional government for another piece.

Thursday 20 March 2008

Why Full Inquest into Mike Todd Killing Is Required

by Trowbridge H. Ford

The United KIngdom is neither united nor divided but a hodge-podge somewhere in between. While the Parliament of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and its respective, responsible governments exist, it still has the trappings of a federal state with regional governments in Wales, Northern Ireland, and most clearly in Scotland. Without a written consitution guaranteeing that such arrangements are permanent unless changed officially by some public referenda, and a mechanism for making sure that it is observed, London can still change whatever exists by its own fiat. It has done so in the past, and could certainly do it again if it wants. The whole arrangement seems to be intended for achieving the best of all possible worlds where regions can arrange what they want while the central government still has the power to do whatever it sees fit, especially in times like now when the United Kingdom is on a war footing.

Just glance at all the anomalies which exist now in British constitutional arrangements. While Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988, killing its 259 passengers, and eleven Scots on the ground, London still has maintained control over what resulted after a most convoluted, complicated process to bring the alleged bombers to court - thanks to Washington's indictment of two Libyan intelligence agents - and see that they were tried on neutral ground by Scottish judges, using Scottish criminal procedure, resulting in the conviction of one of them. When the result was shown apparently to be the greatest miscarriage of justice, with the culprit calling either for a retrial or the quashing of his conviction by Scottish authorities, London has stymied the review by refusing to release information in the name of national security regarding the intervention by a foreign state, apparently Libya itself, which would help the defense in overturning his conviction.

The same use of covert authority to help the cause of the London government is well illustrated in how the MoD handles the inquests for UK troops killed in the highly unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, these troops come from all over the UK and beyond, but the MoD conducts all the inquests within the confines of Oxfordshire's RAF Brize Norton airbase where all the corpses are returned to the UK, using additional coroners from the county to handle the large flow of business.

In doing so, though, it has employed the services of a most critical deputy coroner, QC Andrew Walker, who had been most wide-ranging in establishing their cause of death, and those responsible, even including former SoD Geoff Hoon. Contrary to Rule 42 of the 1984 Coroner's Rules, established by delegated legislation, Walker has often charged the MoD of "serious failure" in allowing troopers to die unnecessarily from things like intense heat, friendly-fire incidents, and improper equipment - what the MoD contends would cause it to lose civil actions against it. The current SoD Des Browne has been so angered by Walker's inquests that he has refused to renew his contract, and now has gone to the High Court for a permanent injunction to muzzle any others tempted to do so.

In the Northern Ireland, the most analagous situation that comes to mind is the unsatisfactory inquiry that former Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police John Stalker conducted in the mid-1980s into the deaths of six IRA voluteers in three separate incidents during the fall of 1982 in Northern Ireland. The reason for the controversies over them was primarily because inquests into their deaths were either never completed or seriously compromised in the name of national security to protect the personnel involved. There were strong suspicions that the unarmed men, especially Eugene Toman, were killed as a matter of state-endorsed policy aka 'shoot to kill' one since the judge, Lord Justice Gibson, hearing the case, complimented the suspects for killing not only him but also his associates, Sean Burns and Gervaise McKerr.

Stalker's task was to determine if there was enough evidence, especially from the Security Service aka MI5, to show that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary's Special Branch should be prosecuted, particularly for murder. On September 18, 1985, Stalker delivered his interim report on the shootings, stating that murder had quite possibly been committed in each incident, and that resuming adjourned coroner's hearings, and further investigation, especially of an alleged MI5 tape of the killing of Michael Tighe, after the conclusion of the trial of his associate, Martin McCauley, would determine the matters for sure.

After an inexplicable delay of five months, the Crown's covert government went into high gear to stymie any further action on the killings by Stalker when he tried to complete his investigation. Pressured by an increasingly embattled RUC Chief Constable Sir John Herman - who claimed that Stalker was connected to criminals, thanks to what its dead informer David Burton aka Bertelstein had claimed about him - Sir Philip Myers, Regional Inspector of Constabulary (Northwest), finally acted on a mainland inquiry into Stalker's relationship with Manchester businessman Kevin Taylor when he could not stop Stalker from going to Belfast to settle the last remaining difficulties of his inquiry. The Manchester investigation claimed that Stalker had become completely beholdened as a policeman to the criminally-connected Taylor who was an associate of at least one operator involved in the Shoot-to-Kill murders, Captain Simon Hayward.

Hayward had been one of the Horse Guards, going to ceremonial duties in Whitehall on July 20, 1982, when attacked in Hyde Park by a remote-controlled, IRA nail bomb, killing four of his colleagues, and he had volunteered to go to Northern Ireland during the following emergency in South Armagh where the Shoot-to-Kill murders occurred. While there, he, it seems, was the driver of undercover Army cars involved in the RUC shootouts by reinforced Headquarters Mobile Support Units (HMSU), and Eugene Toman was the first victim of Hayward's campaign. Toman had been fingered by the RUC's so-called Mole, apparently Burton, as one of the culprits who had planted the 1,000 lbs. of explosive which killed three RUC officers at a Kinnego roundabout in September 1982, kicking off the revenge killings for sure in South Armagh.

Hayward was connected to Stalker through his friendship with Taylor. In 1981, Stalker had taken a nine-day holiday with the Manchester businessman, staying on a sailing yacht he owned in Florida,
apparently with all expenses paid one. Then the Stalkers saw the Taylors occasionally at various social functions in Manchester. The boat had later been sold to a man in Spain, suspected "...of using it to ship cannibis." (John Stalker, The Stalker Affair, p. 173) The man was suspected of being part of the Quality Street Gang which carried on drug-trafficking from its villas on the Costa Blanca, especially in Benidorm, and with whom Taylor was connected.

The mere mention of the boat, apparently a catamaran called 'The True Love', and its shipping cannibis set off alarm bells in Britain's security services, as MI6 was using it in an attempt to assassinate Libya's dictator Gaddafi, and it was captained by Simon's brother, Christopher. A few times the two Haywards had visited Ibiza in the hope of getting a line on how to get Gaddafi by following the travels of a leader of the Provisional IRA known as DUKE who also had a villa there. MI6's great fear was that Stalker's continued inquiries into what had happened in Nothern Ireland in 1982 would uncover Hayward's role there, and now here in Sweden, it seems, with the Palme assassination while he was reassessing the role of his bodyguards for Major David Walker's KMS.Ltd. security agency.

Just as Stalker was preparing to leave for Belfast for his showdown with Herman, he was told by Colin Sampson, Chief Constable for West Yorkshire, that he had been "removed forever" from the investigation because of his personal problems, and told to stay at home. The basis of the removal had been what the Manchester police had been able to cook up about Stalker's dealing with Taylor, his alleged criminal activities, and what Philip Myers had persuaded authories in London, especially the Attorney General Sir Patrick Mayhew and Sir Lawrence Byford, HM's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, to do about it. It turned out that they had acted on Herman's statutory request to remove Stalker from the inquiry - what had originally been ordered by Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecution Sir Barry Shaw.

It's quite likely that Stalker would have been disposed of by more forceful means if the Crown had not been able to by seemingly legal means - ones given such publicity by a rampaging press that Stalker has never been able to recover his rightful reputation. The Daily Mail, for example, claimed that the criminal Burton, the dead RUC informer, had the goods on Stalker. The Daily Telegraph claimed that Stalker's inquiry had not turned up any evidence of RUC misconduct. The Sunday Telegraph claimed that Stalker's boss at Manchester, the conniving Chief Constable John Anderton, was the fallguy for Stalker's fiasco. The Observer and The Sunday Times had similar false stories at Stalker's expense. Rarely has the truth been more perverted.

At least, it seems, until this time - the killing of Chief Constable Mike Todd. The press has been working around the clock, cranking out stories about how - e. g., jumping off a cliff, filling himself with gin, taking his clothes off so he could die of hypothermia, etc. - and why he committed suicide,
especially because of his allegedly uncontrollable libido. Almost nothing that has been reported is true, and one can only wonder why the media want to destroy him after he has died.

The way it hopes to achieve this is through the inquiry that the current Chief Inspector of Her Majesty's Constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has ordered Sir Paul Scott-Lee, Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, to carry out: whether Todd's personal life effected the performance of his professional duties. In doing so, Flanagan has stressed that Scott-Lee's inquiry has nothing to do with the inquest that Dewi Pritchard-Jones in carrying out in North Wales - just like Byford's removal of Stalker had nothing to do with his inquiry into the Shoot-to-Kill murders.

And remember that Flanagan is under the darkest cloud because of his failure to prevent the Omagh bombing back in 1998, and his failure to achieve any satisfaction for the victims and their survivors by the failed prosecution of a mere fallguy recently for the tragedy. One can only wonder if the Real IRA was allowed to commit this barbaric act so that the parties in The Troubles would get down to serious business, and finally agree to the Good Friday Agreement.

If this is the case, Flanagan is merely a tool of Britain's covert government, and no wonder Gordon Brown has no intention of getting rid of him.

Something similar must be said about Des Browne finally getting an injunction preventing coroners from making any ex parte statements about how a deceased died. Of course, he would claim that it has nothing to do with the Todd inquest, but only a most naive person would believe it.The problem with coroners in Oxfordshire, especially Andrew Walker, speaking out has been going on for five years now; yet, Browne is only acting in the wake of Todd's killing and when Walker is heading for the termination of his employment.

In sum, the British government is stacking the cards against any real inquest into Mike Todd's death, and only can only wonder why since all the interested parties are making out that he killed himself, like Dr. David Kelly. Only answers to the questions I am raising, and others yet to be disclosed will really determine what happened to the Manchester policemen on that terrible night on Snowdonia.

Monday 17 March 2008

Chief Constable MikeTodd's Killing: MIshap, Suicide or Murder?

by Trowbridge H. Ford

When any unexpected death occurs, especially concerning some high profile person, everyone, especially the media, is quick to explain the killing in terms they prefer, and the governments concerned are willing increasingly to go along with whatever explanation suits its interests, not those of the deceased. The facts used to justify it are often totally invented, while the real ones are ignored, glossed over, or suppressed.

For example, those concerned about suicides - like Professor Keith Hawton during the Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly - were quick to look for clues of no violence in the killing but depression in the deceased, especially if drugs, especially alcohol, apparently contributed to the killing. Then there are all those conspiracy theorists who immediately assume that some terrible plot is afoot, especially conducted by some security service, especially Israel's Mossad. Most people, though, including the press, really couldn't care less what happened, assuming that it is just another misadventure where nature, it seems, determined what really occurred.

Of course, these biases in investigating killings overlook the fact that more and more nations are resorting to 'false flag' operations - ones they carry out to make it look as if they were done by their convenient enemies - to achieve their objectives. The world is far too dangerous for anyone, even the United States, to kill someone in a most obvious way, as that killing of that FARC commander in Ecuador the other day demonstrated. Consequently, all powers, big and small, use third parties to do their dirty work, hoping that the operation will kill two birds with one stone. In addition, no nation has the time, willingness or resources to get to the bottom of such deaths, preferring just to move on in their struggles.

Consequently, unexpected, unexplained deaths of Anglo-American counterterrorist experts are becoming more common and vicious. First, it was former Bureau counterterrorist expert John O'Neill who was sidelined from the CIA-FBI surveillance of the 19 Mulims apparently planning to highjack the four airliners on 9/11 - what the Mossad was most desirous of promoting - only for him to perish in the WTC as its security chief when they turned out to be suicide bombers. O'Neill was committed to making sure that another terrorist attack on the WTC, like the 1993 one, did not occur, but this was decided by his superiors to be a too law enforcement approach to the strategic difficulties which needed preventive wars to solve, making him part of the problem rather than its solution.

Then it was Dr. David Kelly who was set up to be the real source of Downing Street's 'dodgy dossier' about Saddam Hussein's WMD, and when he discovered his abuse after the dictator's ouster, and threatened a fightback, he was bushwacked while on a walk in July 2003 on Harrowdown Hill, and killed, apparently by a Mossad kidon. Kelly, alive, could have triggered public outrage over the fiasco which might well have resulted in a quick withdrawal from Iraq - what America's general on the scene, Jay Garner, was calling for.

Two years later, it was the sacked Foreign Secretary, and then the Blair government's strongest critic Robin Cook's turn to die on Scotland's Ben Stack after he collapsed dead suddenly, apparently from some prescribed drug, and was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by one of an unidentified group of walkers who just happened to be passing by the lonely spot, demonstrating that everything possible had been done to save the whistleblower. Cook was involved in getting to the bottom of why former party leader John Smith was killed in the same manner, opening the door for Tony Blair and his neocons to take Labour to victory over the broken Conservatives.

Then, in 2006, Alexander LItvinenko, a recently recruited MI6 spy who had outlived his usefulness against Russia as another legitimate target of the war on terror by talking about Italian PM Romano Prodi's spying for the Soviets, was brutally poisoned to make it look as if Moscow had done it. London hoped that the set-up assassin, Andrei Lugovoy, would come to Britain to answer the charge - a process which would be made easy on him at the expense of the Kremlin's boss - but he and Putin had suffered too many dirty tricks from the West - starting with its sinking the 'unsinkable' sub Kursk by the US Navy's attack submarine USS Toledo's new shaped-charge torpedo in August 2000 - to fall for any such ploy.

And now Manchester's Chief Constable of Police Michael Todd - who was led by Sir John Scarlett's MI6 to cover up Britain's involvement in America's program of 'extraordinary renditions' - has, it seems, suffered a similar fate by parties unknown while on a walk up Snowdonia on Monday, though one cannot be sure about the details, given all the spin the media is spewing out.

First, we are told that Todd apparently jumped off Bwlch Glas to his death 300 feet below, only to learn that there was no sign of any serious trauma on or inside his recovered body. Then we are told that he was frantic about an apparent exposé of his three-year affair with Angie Robinson, the married chief executive of Greater Manchester's Chamber of Commerce, only to learn that it ended a year ago, and he was now in the process of splitting with his wife anyway. In fact, Todd had a new girl friend, having stayed with her over the weekend before he set off on his fatal trip to Snowdonia on Monday afternoon. And now the press is acting as if he is some kind of British Eliot Spitzer with all his womanizing.

Then they were all kinds of people who were concerned about "worrying texts" he was sendíng out - implying that they were suicidal in nature, and confirming letters allegedly found at the scene - but we are never told about what they actually contained, and why they would be a threat to the persons who received them. It turns out that there were only two such messages, one to his wife, and it is made out to sound like a suicide announcement when it was only informing her that he was finally leaving despite his continuing love for her. Then the existence of the letters was denied.

More important, there was a nearly empty bottle of gin nearby the corpse, "reeking" of it, though we are never told how it could be so if he were found lying face down in the snow, obviously with his mouth well covered up, and he was found in the autopsy to have had only slightly over the legal limit for DWI. Of course, he was not being investigated for that crime, and bringing it up and investigating it is just another diversion, it seems, from the investigation of how and why he died.

Had gin been poured around the corpse, and if so by whom? Is the gin in this case taking the place of the blood in the Kelly one? It certainly looks so when the inquiry's pathologist was allowed unprecedentedly by the coroner to state Thursday at the preliminary inquest that the claims of Todd's intoxification were totally over the top. Of course, the coroner's job is to determine the cause of death - what he has not yet done - rather than go out of his way to shoot down untrue conspiracy theories.

Moreover, the coroner, Dewi Pritchard-Jones, has only belatedly stated that he is willing to entertain the assumption that Todd committed suicide. Isn't a coroner supposed to entertain all possible causes of the deceased's demise, especially murder? Is Pritchard-Jones afraid that he might too be replaced as the coroner, as happened to the Oxford one in Kelly's case?

Most important of all is that no one, especially the media, is talking about Todd's cover up of the UK's role in the CIA's renditions. Only few news outlets have even made mention of his inquiry, and none that he categorically concluded that there was no truth in the claims.

It's all beginning to sound like what happened to Dr. Kelly, though, of course, even a Brown government could not entertain the idea of replacing the coroner by another commission, given the blowback from the infamous Hutton one. If Todd was murdered, his killers would have realized that another coverup by a commission was not possible, explaining why Todd was, it seems, overpowered, stripped of some clothing, filled with as much gin as possible, held down, and then left to die of hypothermia. Freezing to death is much easier to accomplish than bleeding to death, especially if the victim is fighting back.

Todd's problem, like Kelly's, was with the British government getting him to support a position he was not prepared to take. Whereas Kelly was made to appear to support the claim that Saddam's WMD threat was immediate, and of a strategic nature, the weapons inspector had only thought in the late '90s that Iraq could possibly develop tactical weapons of this sort in future. Todd had been persuaded by continuing gross falsehoods by those investigating the claims during his 18-month inquiry into possible British involvement in America's rendition program that there was absolutely no truth to them.

The rendering program had started in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and Washington stampeded all its partners to go along with it despite its dubious international and national legality because of all the 'ticking bombs' out there, and the need of stopping the unknown terrorists before it was too late. Here in Sweden, as in a few other European states, its authorities even allowed CIA agents to operate on its own soil in sending off two suspected terrorists to Egypt for harsh interrogations.
Other countries at least allowed and admitted that CIA flights with suspected terrorists on board had used their airports for the transfers. Britain was in the thick of all this, with 210 alleged flights with possible terrorists on board entering British airspace since 2001.

While the CIA consistently denied that there was any substance to the claims, stories started leaking out from the Agency by former agents, like CIC chief Vince Cannistrano and Larry Johnson, to the contrary - ones so persuasive that Dick Marty, chairman of the Council of Europe's legal affairs and human rights committee, was obliged to investigate the charges. Marty, however, got nowhere in his inquiries until EuroControl, the air-traffic controllers' organization, agreed to supply over flight plans filed electronically by suspected CIA planes involved in renditions. Thanks to what EuroControl supplied about 18 most suspicious flights, and anecdotal accounts by suspects allegedly on them, Marty was able to put together a most compelling case about the process in general, though there was still no hard confirmation of Britain having been involved despite all those suspicious flights in and out of UK airports.

Of course, during all this time, British authorities were a chorus of denial about anything untoward having happened in this regard in its territories. Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made statements in the Commons in 2005, 2006, and 2007, "...saying there was no evidence that rendition flights had stopped on UK territory." ("UK apology over rendition flights," BBC News, February 21, 2008) Other inquiries, especially the one by the Commons' Foreign Affairs Select Committee, had come to the same conclusion, thanks to information that its intelligence community, especially from MI6, had supplied.

As Annie Machon rightly concluded in Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers about such behavior by Blair and Straw regarding MI6's performance, they were telling it this:

"You are above the law. You can get away with it now and can get away with it in the future. In fact, you enjoy the same rights as the KGB officers in the former Soviet Union." (Quoted from p. 287.)

Still, the claims persisted, thanks to the activites by the campaign group Liberty, and Chris Yates, an aviation expert, was appointed to investigate them further. While he was coming to the conclusion that the claims were indeed true, there was evidence surfacing about who those rendered through British territory might be.

In April 2006, the Pentagon admitted that it had been holding Sami Hajj, a Sudanese photographer who had worked for Al Jazeera, since he tried to cross the border into Pakistan in December 2001after the fall of the Taliban. He had been then tortured there, sent on to Morocco for more, and finally on to Gitmo for still more. His plight even captured the attention of New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof. It all seemed a completely gratuitous victimization of a convenient scapegoat for Washington's antagonists.

Then there was the famous Australian David Hicks who joined the Taliban before the 9/11 attacks, and was treated similarly by his captors. And there were others.

Still, Todd would hear none of it after he was appointed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to investigate the Liberty claims in November 2005. In June 2007, it reported the following:

"The issue of rendition has been aired extensively in the media and has been featured prominently in official reports over a recent period of months.

"Mr Todd has now examined all of the information available relating to this issue and has concluded that there is indeed no evidence to substantiate Liberty's allegations.

"There was no evidence that UK airports were used to transport people by the CIA for torture in other countries." (Quoted from "Police reject UK rendition claims," BBC News, June 9, 2007.)

You can imagine the anger and horror early this year when Whitehall learned that this was not, indeed, the case, thanks to the CIA acknowledging that two of its rendition flights had landed on Diego Garcia, British territory, during 2002 - when Hajj and Hicks were rendered to Morocco from Pakistan and to to Gitmo. Diego Garcia was apparently needed for refueling the aircraft
since they would have to fly around Iran on their way to North Africa.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband attempted to reduce the shock and outrage by acknowledging that the two suspects were not British, didn't leave the plane when there, no US detainees were ever held there, and US records showed no evidence of any others being held there either. Still, the Foreign Secretary said the FO was preparing a list of all suspected CIA flights in UK territory, asking for "specific assurance" that they were not used for any renditions.

William Hague, the Tories Shadow Foreign Spokesman, compounded the Government's embarrassment more by stating: "This information will cause widespread concern given the categoric nature of the assurances previously given." ("UK apology over rendition flights," BBC News, February 21, 2008) Hague found the previous denials about the possible use of Diego Garcia "more worrying still." Labour MP and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Mike Gapes, said that it had been lied to about the claims, and that then it had lied to the House accordingly.

Given these circumstances, Mike Todd seems hardly like the kind of cop to take matters simply lying down and dying. Slated to take Sir Ian Blair's place as head of the Metropolitan Police, a position from which he could make the intelligence services, especially MI6, dearly pay for their deep, categoric deceptions about British renditions, he was potentially a most dangerous loose cannon who apparently had to be stopped at all costs as soon as possible because of the "worrying texts" he was increasingly sending. And the ACPO had even improved his chances at the Met by claiming that he was in no way responsible for the rendition coverup.

In short, I thnik that Todd was most likely murdered, though it could have been the result of a misadventure in the mountains. Suicide seems like the least likely possibility, as he had everything to live for, explaining why the intelligence-driven media are trying to make it seem so. In any case, the coroner has yet to establish the cause of Todd's death, his primary responsibility, but by releasing the body for burial, he seems unlikely to seriously investigate the matter further with a full inquest and jury.

The matter, it seems, will just slowly die, like Todd and Robin Cook themselves, until it is simply explained away as another one of nature's mysteries.

Thursday 13 March 2008

Postmortem fails to solve riddle of chief constable's death

THis case gets stranger and stranger, apparently my reports of notes being left was wrong. It's also unclear whether the dmanage to the body was consistent with a fall. Fishy fishy fishy. We all know what happens to people who try and expose the Beast for what it is. They get suicided!

A postmortem examination on the body of Michael Todd, the Manchester chief constable who was found dead in Snowdonia, found no immediately clear cause of death, a coroner said today.

"We had the postmortem examination this morning. No obvious cause of death was found," Dewi Pritchard-Jones, the coroner for north-west Wales told reporters, adding that he hoped toxicology tests would be completed by tomorrow morning.

Police are investigating whether the 50-year-old killed himself at the north Wales beauty spot, or if he was the victim of a hiking accident. Hypothermia could also be a cause of death.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester police said that, contrary to previous reports, there were no notes written to Todd's family near his body when it was found yesterday afternoon.

Full story...

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Manchester police chief Michael Todd is found dead at bottom of cliff

Here's a fishy little story, especially fishy because Todd was investigating CIA "rendition" flights. You may have seen them in your travel agent "Come to Sunny Gitmo for a 3 Year all-inclusive Waterboarding Holiday" anyway, apparently Todd had "personal problems" and "personal letters" to his family were found. Well, call me a conspiracy nut but I have this theory about suicides like this - they ain't fucking suicides! Just like Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't a lone gunman, just like 9/11 was an inside job and just like David Kelly's murder. Humanity is like a nice juicy red apple with a colony of evil worms living in the core.

His body was discovered at the bottom of a cliff in Llanberis, north Wales.

Manchester police chief Michael Todd is found dead

Suicide is said to be one line of inquiry police are investigating.

It is understood Mr Todd, 50, faced personal problems and personal letters addressed to his loved ones are believed to have been found.

However, Greater Manchester Police refused to comment on a BBC report that notes to Mr Todd's family were found on his body.

A police spokesman said Mr Todd went missing on Monday night while walking in Snowdonia.

Rescue teams found a body at Bwlch Glas, an exposed area on Snowdon.

Police said the body had not been formally identified, but they "believe" it is Mr Todd.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said: "Yesterday our chief constable Michael Todd was off-duty walking in Snowdonia.

"Last night we became concerned for his welfare and as a result searches started to find him.

"These searches have continued today and unfortunately this afternoon a body has been found.

"I believe it is Michael but we have not been able to formally identify him at this time."

Full story...

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Israeli Sniper Takes 12-Year-Old Girl's Life

Evil little Israel does it again. Stories like this make my blood boil and in those moments I can completely understand how a Palestinian would strap a bomb to themselves and try to kill as many Israelis as possible! How can actions like this be justified? Sniping a little girl, what knd of sick fuck can do that anyway? What kind of depraved, degenerate so-called "human being" can lay the cross-hairs of their rifle on a little girl and pull the fucking trigger? Talk about sick! And the world stands by and does nothing! What the hell is wrong with this stupid little planet anyway? People say that humans are the most advanced form of life on Earth. Well, I beg to differ; we're still fucking cavemen and if you think I'm wrong then you aren't paying enough attention!

Ok, maybe we're not all screwed.

"I put my hand on her chest to stop the streaming blood. She told me that she could not breathe, her body trembled and she closed her eyes," said Ra'd Abu Saif of his 12-year-old daughter Safa's last moments after she was shot by an Israeli sniper last Saturday.

Safa was shot in the left side of her chest while she was inside her home in Jabaliya, northern Gaza. An ambulance tried to reach her but Israeli soldiers opened fire at it, wounding a paramedic and causing the tires to lose air, and so she bled to death three hours after she was wounded.

Her 39-year-old father Ra'd, 37-year-old mother Samar, and the rest of Safa's family surrounded her, praying for her safety. Her father pressed on the wound while her brother Ali held her hands as her body was severely trembling. She asked her father to help her to breathe.

"Dad, I cannot breathe, all of you leave me please, let me breathe, enough, enough," were Safa's last words, according to her father.

Ra'd tried CPR, but he failed. No more pulse and no more breath.

Safa had gone to fetch some clothes from the second floor when, according to Ra'd, "the Israeli sniper on a nearby building shot her in her chest."

The gunshot penetrated both her chest and the door of the room, and blood poured from her chest and back.

"I heard a gunshot and soon her scream filled the house. I went upstairs, [and saw] her knees gave in and slowly she fell down while calling for her mother," said her 17-year-old brother Ali.

Her father carried his wounded daughter and tried to evacuate her to the hospital but when he reached the door of the house, his brothers prevented him from leaving as Israeli snipers were shooting anything moving.

Several phone calls later, the ambulance center told the family to evacuate the girl. Her mother Samar carried Safa but as soon as she left the house, the Israeli soldiers opened fire at her and the wounded girl fell to the ground. Samar dragged her into the house.

While Safa laid dying, the family waited as explosions, gunshots, drones and helicopters sounded all around them. Israeli forces cut the electricity and shot the water tanks on the roof. The radio and mobile phone batteries lost their power.

Full story...

Monday 3 March 2008

Calling Guam! - Did Misty Debris Bring Down B-2 Stealth Bomber?

by Trowbridge H. Ford

Almost always when any airborne object crashes - whether it be man-made or not, an aircraft or a satellite, a commericial airliner or military one, involving casualities or not - the media and the agencies responsible go into immediate overdrive to explain what happened in the hope of calming fears about something sinister being afoot. Since 9/11, all authorities have wanted to reassure their respective subjects that they are in control of events. When something most unexpected happens, and they suddenly clam up, everyone should immediately expect the worst, especially if they throw a security blanket around any reporting about it.

Just think of all the wild reporting and speculation about the crashes of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21 1988, and the TWA Flight 800 over Long Island more than seven years later. While the press was convinced that both were similar attacks of irrational terrorists simply wanting revenge, there was wide disagreement about who did it, and why - everything from Colonel Gaddafi's terrorists to more home-grown culprits of various sorts.

While Juval Aviv's New York firm, Interfor, hired by Pan Am's insurer to investigate the crash, determined that it had been caused by drug-dealer and arms merchant Monzar Al-Kassar to protect his operations from being exposed by an official CIA investigative team, headed by Major Charles McKee, Washington and London settled for sticking the crash on the Libyans. While former JFK Press Secretary Pierre Salinger and others were sure that the TWA had been shot down by an errant missile, the National Transportation Safety Board finally concluded that it had been the result of a spark in a fuel tank.

The curious often conspiratorial interest in air crashes reached its zenith when millionaire Steve Fawcett went missing last September, and was never found despite the continuous efforts by many, both public and private, especially the Civil Air Patrol. Ultimately, a high-tech supervision camera aka ARCHER on an airplane was brought in to help make up for human deficiencies in the hunt, but it too never found the adventurer who had recently circumnavigated solo the globe in a balloon.

Of course, all the while the conspiracy theorists were working overtime about this disappearance, especially after CNN's crash expert Miles O'Brien speculated that he may have been swallowed up when he flew over Nevada's dreaded Area 51 or that he had unfortunately discovered some new secret while flying over Nellis Air Force Base. There was even thought that he had been kidnapped to help cover up the fact that a nuke might have gone missing when that B-52 took an unscheduled trip over the States with all those others aboard.

In light of this history, it is truly amazing the silence surrounding the first crash of a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on Guam's Andersen Air Force Base a week ago Saturday, just when most of the debrís from the knocked down Misty satellite aka USA 193 was expected to be coming down there to earth. The satellite had collided with a US Navy SM-3 missile about 3.30 AM local time the previous Thursday over Hawaii's Maui island, and the bits and pieces continued to circulate the globe every 90 minutes, arriving over Guam 39 rotations later at around 11:00AM Saturday local time, just when a flight of four B-2 bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing was in the process of taking off one after another. The B-2 that crashed - the second one cleared for takeoff - had done so around 10.50AM.

Of course, the stealth bomber could have just crashed because of some mechanical failure or pilot error, but this seems highly unlikely, given where the crash started, and how the pilots reacted to it. The aircraft suffered some catastrophic failure just as it was gettting airborne, one so bad that the pilots immediately opted to eject rather than try to bring to stricken craft safely back to earth. The most likely explanation of why they did this is that they knew that they had been struck by a flying object - what their radar had shown - and must eject immediately.

Andersen AFB is a gigantic place - an emergency landing field for the Space Shuttle, if required -covering the whole northern tip of the island, and the pilots had, consequently, a great deal of space to engineer a safe landing if it were possible. In fact, the plane seems to have crashed near the control tower according to the best evidence available on the internet to the public - the four videos, taken from a considerable distance away - about it.

Of course, officials could have immediately quelled any damaging speculation about the crash if they had wanted to since the control tower had had a clear view of what happened, and the two pilots miraculously survived the crash in good health, obviously able to tell what they knew, and reacted to. Instead, air base officials declared a complete news blackout of the crash, failing to even identify the pilots in question, and it has continued down to right now. All that is available about it is what a few private individuals had been able to tell the press about what they had just heard, and seen - what authorities then induced others from engaging in. They heard the crash, rushed to where they could see the thick, black smoke rising from where the B-2 had ended up, and mentioned another explosion occurring at the site about 30 minues later - a most unexepected event given the fact that the aircraft was apparently unarmed.

The second explosion raises the possibility that the B-2 is nuclear-powered despite all the claims to the contrary. The Air Force tested a B-36 bomber back in the 1950s to see if it could be made to use a nuclear reactor, but apparently the shielding of the crew from its radiation - about five tons of it - proved too much for efficient flying. Then, of course, the explosion could have been the result of another nuclear reactor - i.e., the one from the shattered Misty satellite - finally reaching the 2,000 degrees C. required in the ensuing fire to degrade its fuel so much that it started melting, triggering a nuclear accident. Of course, any nuclear accident, as a result of the crash, would render the site unsafe for anyone - what apparently resulted since it seemed free of any equipment or emergency personnel when the burning wreck was video taped.

The crash, in sum, seems to have been caused by the US Air Force and Navy involved in the two operations not paying enough attention to what each other was doing. The Misty satellite belonged to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and was the responsibility of the Air Force until General Kevin Chilton, head of its Strategic Command who was monitoring its coming down, signed it over to the Navy to shoot down. Once this was done, the Air Force forgot, it seems, about the debrís, assuming that it was no longer a problem.

How else can one explain the four B-2s taking off from Andersen when the satellite remains were coming around overhead? It was just an preview of what critics of ballistic missile defense (BM0) - the neocons' successor to Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) - imagined might happen in the confusion of real combat, given its technical complexity - i. e., your missile mistaknely shoots down your satellite and rapid response to it rather than the other guy's weaponry.

And this could not have happened at a less opportune time - just when the USA is deeply involved in trying to reorganize its strategic 'defense' in reaction to the end of the Cold War. During it build-up, Washington had taken advantage of the territory it obtained in Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico by winning the Spanish-American War - what consolidated what it had already obtained by a contrived coup d'état in the Hawaian Islands against Queen Lili'oukalini. For a measly $20,000,000, the USA was ceded by Spain all this territory and more by the Treaty of Paris.

From this base, the Americans expanded their grip on the globe by exploiting fear of communist
infiltration and aggression in the name of individual freedom and ecomonic liberalism. By the time Washington triumphed over the Soviet Union, it had nearly 1,000 military bases spread around the world. "They have helped turn us into a new kind of military empire," Chalmers Johnson has written in The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, "a consumerist Sparta, a warrior culture that flaunts the air-conditioned housing, movie theaters, supermarkets, golf courses, and swimming pools of its legionnaires." (p. 23)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington began reorganizing its empire so that it would never be confronted by another antagonist - what led to a doctrine of preventive war against any possible threat, and the realignment of its forces to meet it. The new areas of concern were, of course, the Middle East, and South East Asia, explaining why facilities in Diego Garcia and Guam became increasingly important in meeting the new challenges, especially given the growing hostility to American forces being in the Philippines, Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea. The nations of Asia are becoming increasingly opposed to the costs of the Pentagon's perpetual presence, as Johnson explained.

These problems were made more pressing by America's continuing commitment to defend Taiwan no matter what it entails and costs - what made its relationship with Australia so special. The China Lobby, the forerunner of the Israeli one, has committed the United States into defending Taiwan even if it were to invite a mainland China invasion by declaring unilateral indepedence. To meet the needs of this policy, Washington has required the continuing assistance of Canberra. Australia, Dr. Helen Caldicott has written about her native land in Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War, is an essential partner for the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Navy not only keeping track at places like Pine Gap of what China and Russia are doing, but also directing operations from stations at its Northwest Cape.(p. 126ff.) These secret facilities are so important in Washington's plans that it saw to the overthrow of newly elected Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975 when he threatened to expose, and stop it.

Now Australia is back there in its relations with Washington, thanks to Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister John Howard doggedly following the neocons' war on terror into the Middle East and beyond. In the November Australian General Election, Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd secured a substantial majority, promising to recall Australian troops from the fray. Then, just when the debris from the Misty satellite really started coming down, the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the conviction of four members of Christians Against All Terrrorism cutting their way into Pine Gap in December 2005 for an "inspection" so as to put it on trial. By quashing the $3,000 fine, Chief Justice Brian Martin has succeeded in their objective - what he will explain in due course. ("Pine Gap four cleared," The Australian, February 23, 2008)

Guam seemed to have matters in hand, though, when these changes occurred as the island is increasingly well prepared for any build-up of forces and facilities required by any new challenge in Asia. Its harbor has been improved to handle carrier battle groups, and the island is to be the new home of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force - moved from Okinawa because of growing hostility to the American presence there. Then the Wharf has been expanded to handle a nuclear submarine
squadron, working waters around Indonesia and off China since it has become increasingly difficult to use the pens at White Beach, Okinawa. And nuclear weapons are stored at its Navy Magazine. In sum, Guam is well on its way to becoming a totally militarized bastion, headed by the commander of the Pacific Fleet.

The crash of the B-2 bomber can only intensify Australia's second-thoughts about having American forces using its bases. Now it seems B-2s and B-56s using its Delamere Air Weapons Range, 130 southwest of Katherine in its Northern Territory, for bombing practice is also in jeopardy. Pine Gap's role in the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) of satellites - designed to pick up signals of missile launches anywhere in the world, part of Bush's BMD - might well also be on the block, forcing Guam to assume yet another role in the homeland's defense. The Assies just cannot be happy with what Washington continues to have planned for them when it comes to preventive attacks and unplanned disasters in the so-called war on terrorism.

Given this prospect, little wonder that the US officials responsible for the B-2 crash have taken over its investigation under a news blackout in the hope of limiting the fallout as much as possible.