June 16th, 2008

Chris Keeley

US Bases in Iraq (The wages of fraud)

Subject: US Bases in Iraq (The wages of fraud)

Re:   Gareth Porter's superior essay entitled: Bush Pledges on Iraq Bases Were a Ruse

Note:  Investigative historian Gareth Porter has written a supurb analysis of the current issue involving planned US military bases in Iraq.  The article is repeated in full below my introductory comments.

Ray Close

Some of you have said you cannot accept that honorable men like Robert Gates, Ryan Crocker and David Petraeus would knowingly collaborate in a secret effort to exaggerate Iranian involvement in covert action in Iraq that caused the deaths of Americans and would thereby justify retaliatory action against bases in Iran from which such activity was allegedly being carried out.

That campaign of "sexed up" intelligence has suddenly died down. Why? If it was true last month that the Iranians were causing Americans to die in Iraq, isn't that just as dangerous a challenge to our national interests today as it was yesterday?  Apparently, a tentative plan to use that accusation as justification for military action has been shelved, at least temporarily --- so the "intelligence" justification (the background mood-music) that was to precede the attacks is no longer such an urgent priority.

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Chris Keeley

Doctors, Research and Drug Payments

June 16, 2008

Doctors, Research and Drug Payments

To the Editor:

Re “Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay” (front page, June 8) and “Hidden Drug Payments at Harvard” (editorial, June 10):

The first obligations of those who conduct lifesaving research at American medical schools, teaching hospitals and research universities are to protect the safety of patients and assure the integrity and objectivity of science.

Researchers and their institutions must reveal to research participants potential financial conflicts of interest and comply with reporting requirements.

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Chris Keeley

Jets bomb desert drug find

(via Dose Nation)

Jets bomb desert drug find

Seen here is 236.8 tons of hashish burning. Afghan commandoes found the dope buried in the desert. They called in British fighter jets to bomb the stash, thought to be the world's largest amount of illegal drugs ever found by authorities. An article about the bust in The Scotsman is punctuated with some stats on other massive drug finds of late:
 Web Upload Ts  Th1 11620085Raf 5 million
Ecstasy tablets seized in Melbourne in 2005 were claimed as the largest haul of street-ready tablets in the world, worth £120 million.

9 tons
of cannabis resin was seized by Vietnamese police last month in the largest drug haul in its history. Found in 400 cartons covered by jeans, en route from Pakistan to China, it was estimated to have a street value of £45 million.

of cocaine was seized by US Coast Guard officers who boarded a 330ft ship off the Pacific coast of Panama in 2007. It was the largest single sea-based seizure of cocaine by a US agency, with an estimated street value of £250 million.
Link (via Dose Nation)