November 24th, 2005

Chris Keeley

Animal-protection groups have lobbied to restrict sonar, saying the sound blasts disorient the soun

Report Says Sonar Harms Whales and Dolphins
Thursday, November 24, 2005; A03

NAIROBI, Nov. 23 -- Increased naval military maneuvers and submarine sonars in the world's oceans are threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises that depend on sound to survive, a United Nations report said Wednesday.

The report concluded that the use of powerful military sonar is harming the ability of 71 types of cetaceans -- whales, dolphins and porpoises -- to communicate, navigate and hunt.

The report, by the U.N. Environment Program and the Convention on Migratory Species, said species such as the beluga whale, Blainville's beaked whale and the goosebeak whale are at risk.

Researchers found that a stranding of 12 goosebeak whales in the Ionian Sea in the 1990s coincided with NATO tests of an acoustic submarine-detection system.
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There are no laws governing noise pollution in the oceans, but western governments, considered largely responsible with their increased military presence in the seas, say they need more research before taking action.

Charles Galbraith, a senior wildlife adviser to the British government, said, "The issue is still in a relatively grey area in terms of scientific proof, and we need to do more research before the government can review its defense systems."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Chris Keeley

The White House announced Wednesday that Bush had signed an executive order Tuesday blocking all pro

Bush Issues Sanctions Against Mugabe
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 23, 2005; 7:04 PM

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush is targeting the U.S. accounts of leading government officials and others in Zimbabwe, saying those who work to support President Robert Mugabe must restore democracy or face sanctions.

The White House announced Wednesday that Bush had signed an executive order Tuesday blocking all property and financial holdings in the United States owned by 128 people and 33 farms and businesses in Zimbabwe. It also bars U.S. citizens from having financial dealings with them.

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Recent constitutional changes in Zimbabwe will prevent white owners from recovering confiscated farms and could be used to strip critics of their passports and right to travel.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe that include banning Mugabe and other government officials from traveling to EU countries.

Chris Keeley

Even projecting a "war on terror" as total war, trying to envelop the whole American society within

The long march of Dick Cheney

For his entire career, he sought untrammeled power. The Bush presidency and 9/11 finally gave it to him -- and he's not about to give it up.
By Sidney Blumenthal

Nov. 24, 2005 | The hallmark of the Dick Cheney administration is its illegitimacy. Its essential method is bypassing established lines of authority; its goal is the concentration of unaccountable presidential power. When it matters, the regular operations of the CIA, Defense Department and State Department have been sidelined.

Richard Nixon is the model, but with modifications. In the Nixon administration, the president was the prime mover, present at the creation of his own options, attentive to detail, and conscious of their consequences. In the Cheney administration, the president is volatile but passive, firm but malleable, presiding but absent. Once his complicity has been arranged, a closely held "cabal" -- as Lawrence Wilkerson, once chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, calls it -- wields control.
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The making of the Iraq war, torture policy and an industry-friendly energy plan has required secrecy, deception and subordination of government as it previously existed. But these, too, are means to an end. Even projecting a "war on terror" as total war, trying to envelop the whole American society within its fog, is a device to invest absolute power in the executive.

Dick Cheney sees in George W. Bush his last chance. Nixon self-destructed, Ford was fatally compromised by his moderation, Reagan was not what was hoped for, the elder Bush ended up a disappointment. In every case, the Republican presidents had been checked or gone soft. Finally, President Bush provided the instrument, Sept. 11 the opportunity. This time the failures of the past provided the guideposts for getting it right. The administration's heedlessness was simply the wisdom of Cheney's experience.

-- By Sidney Blumenthal