Thursday, June 29, 2006

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#5: Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiments Abroad

original posting: 20 Feb. 2002

"...the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations."

Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
By JAMES DAO and ERIC SCHMITT | New York Times
February 19, 2002

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.

The plans, which have not received final approval from the Bush administration, have stirred opposition among some Pentagon officials who say they might undermine the credibility of information that is openly distributed by the Defense Department's public affairs officers.

The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations — for instance, by dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.

But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.

The small but well-financed Pentagon office, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was a response to concerns in the administration that the United States was losing public support overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.

As part of the effort to counter the pronouncements of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their supporters, the State Department has already hired a former advertising executive to run its public diplomacy office, and the White House has created a public information "war room" to coordinate the administration's daily message domestically and abroad.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, while broadly supportive of the new office, has not approved its specific proposals and has asked the Pentagon's top lawyer, William J. Haynes, to review them, senior Pentagon officials said.

Little information is available about the Office of Strategic Influence, and even many senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose and plans. Its multimillion-dollar budget, drawn from a $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget authorized by Congress in October, has not been disclosed.

Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.

The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not traditionally done these things."

One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said.

General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.

"It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon official said.

Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments, officials said.

Asked if such e-mail would be identified as coming from the American military, a senior Pentagon official said that "the return address will probably be a dot-com, not a dot- mil," a reference to the military's Internet designation.

To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.

Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything to counteract it," a senior military official said.

Proponents say the new Pentagon office will bring much-needed coordination to the military's efforts to influence views of the United States overseas, particularly as Washington broadens the war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan.

But the new office has also stirred a sharp debate in the Pentagon, where several senior officials have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal.

Those critics say they are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, but also the instruments and staff of the military's globe- spanning public affairs apparatus.

Mingling the more surreptitious activities with the work of traditional public affairs would undermine the Pentagon's credibility with the media, the public and governments around the world, critics argue.

"This breaks down the boundaries almost completely," a senior Pentagon official said.

Moreover, critics say, disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.

The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States. In the mid-1970's, it was disclosed that some C.I.A. programs to plant false information in the foreign press had resulted in articles published by American news organizations.

Critics of the new Pentagon office also argue that governments allied with the United States are likely to object strongly to any attempts by the American military to influence media within their borders.

"Everybody understands using information operations to go after non-friendlies," another senior Pentagon official said. "When people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and tactics on friendlies."

Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public information, declined to discuss details of the new office. But she acknowledged that its mission was being carefully reviewed by the Pentagon.

"Clearly the U.S. needs to be as effective as possible in all our communications," she said. "What we're trying to do now is make clear the distinction and appropriateness of who does what."

General Worden, an astrophysicist who has specialized in space operations in his 27-year Air Force career, did not respond to several requests for an interview.

General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.

The Office for Strategic Influence also coordinates its work with the White House's new counter terrorism office, run by Wayne A. Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations.

Many administration officials worried that the United States was losing support in the Islamic world after American warplanes began bombing Afghanistan in October. Those concerns spurred the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence.

In an interview in November, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained the Pentagon's desire to broaden its efforts to influence foreign audiences, saying:

"Perhaps the most challenging piece of this is putting together what we call a strategic influence campaign quickly and with the right emphasis. That's everything from psychological operations to the public affairs piece to coordinating partners in this effort with us."

One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence is the Army's Psychological Operations Command. The command was involved in dropping millions of fliers and broadcasting scores of radio programs into Afghanistan encouraging Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers to surrender.

In the 1980's, Army "psyop" units, as they are known, broadcast radio and television programs into Nicaragua intended to undermine the Sandinista government. In the 1990's, they tried to encourage public support for American peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.

The Office of Strategic Influence will also oversee private companies that will be hired to help develop information programs and evaluate their effectiveness using the same techniques as American political campaigns, including scientific polling and focus groups, officials said.

"O.S.I. still thinks the way to go is start a Defense Department Voice of America," a senior military official said. "When I get their briefings, it's scary."

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#4: John Pilger, The Colder War

original posting 8 Feb. 2002

[NOTE FROM JEFF: if a true journalist is out there it is John Pilger. If I were Australian, I would be very proud indeed to know that Pilger is an Aussie.]

The Colder War

"..on July 3, 1979, unknown to the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly authorised $500million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and "destabilise" the Soviet Union...The al-Qaeda training camps are kindergartens compared with the world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia."

John Pilger
January 29, 2002

LAST week, the US government announced that it was building the
biggest-ever war machine. Military spending will rise to $379billion,
of which $50billion will pay for its "war on terrorism". There will be
special funding for new, refined weapons of mass slaughter and for "military
operations" -- invasions of other countries.

Of all the extraordinary news since September 11, this is the most
alarming. It is time to break our silence.

That is to say, it is time for other governments to break their silence,
especially the Blair government, whose complicity in the American rampage
in Afghanistan has not denied its understanding of the Bushadministration's true plans and ambitions.

The recent statements of British Ministers about the "vindication" of
the "outstanding success" in Afghanistan would be comical if the price of
their "success" had not been paid with the lives of more than 5,000 innocent
Afghani civilians and the failure to catch Osama bin Laden and anyone
else of importance in the al-Qaeda network.

The Pentagon's release of deliberately provocative pictures of
prisoners at Camp X-Ray on Cuba was meant to conceal this failure from the American public, who are being conditioned, along with the rest of us, to accept
a permanent war footing similar to the paranoia that sustained and
prolonged the Cold War.

The threat of "terrorism", some of it real, most of it invented, is the
new Red Scare. The parallels are striking.

IN AMERICA in the 1950s, the Red Scare was used to justify the growth
of war industries, the suspension of democratic rights and the silencing
of dissenters.

That is happening now.

Above all, the American industrial-complex has a new enemy with which
to justify its gargantuan appetite for public resources -- the new
military budget is enough to end all primary causes of poverty in the world.

Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, says he has told the Pentagon
to "think the unthinkable".

Vice President Dick Cheney, the voice of Bush, has said the US is
considering military or other action against "40 to 50 countries" and warns
that the new war may last 50 years or more.

A Bush adviser, Richard Perle, explained. "(There will be) no stages,"
he said.

"This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are
lots of them out there ... If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and
we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever
diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Their words evoke George Orwell's great prophetic work, Nineteen
Eighty-Four. In the novel, three slogans dominate society: war is peace,
freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. Today's slogan, war on
terrorism, also reverses meaning. The war is terrorism.

The next American attack is likely to be against Somalia, a deeply
impoverished country in the Horn of Africa. Washington claims there are
al-Qaeda terrorist cells there.

This is almost certainly a fiction spread by Somalia's overbearing
neighbour, Ethiopia, in order to ingratiate itself with Washington.
Certainly, there are vast oil fields off the coast of Somalia. For the
Americans, there is the added attraction of "settling a score".

In 1993, in the last days of George Bush Senior's presidency, 18
American soldiers were killed in Somalia after the US Marines had invaded to
"restore hope", as they put it. A current Hollywood movie, Black Hawk
Down, glamorises and lies about this episode. It leaves out the fact that the
invading Americans left behind between 7,000 and 10,000 Somalis killed.

Like the victims of American bombing in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and
Cambodia, and Vietnam and many other stricken countries, the Somalis are
unpeople, whose deaths have no political and media value in the West.

WHEN Bush Junior's heroic marines return in their Black Hawk gunships,
loaded with technology, looking for "terrorists", their victims will
once again be nameless. We can then expect the release of Black Hawk Down

Breaking our silence means not allowing the history of our lifetimes to be
written this way, with lies and the blood of innocent people. To understand
the lie of what Blair/Straw/Hoon call the "outstanding success" in
Afghanistan, read the work of the original author of "Total War", a man
called Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter's National
Security Adviser and is still a powerful force in Washington.

Brzezinski not long ago revealed that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly authorised $500million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and "destabilise" the Soviet Union.

The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years poured $4billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan (Talibanmeans "student").

Young zealots were sent to the CIA's spy training camp in Virginia, where future members of al-Qaeda were taught "sabotage skills" -- terrorism. Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York, within sight of the fated Twin Towers.

In Pakistan, they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by
the SAS. The result, quipped Brzezinski, was "a few stirred up Muslims" --
meaning the Taliban.

At that time, the late 1970s, the American goal was to overthrow
Afghanistan's first progressive, secular government, which had granted
equal rights to women, established health care and literacy programmes
and set out to break feudalism. When the Taliban seized power in 1996, they
hanged the former president from a lamp-post in Kabul.

His body was still a public spectacle when Clinton administration officials
and oil company executives were entertaining Taliban leaders in Washington
and Houston, Texas. The Wall Street Journal declared: "The Taliban are
the players most capable of achieving peace. Moreover, they were crucial to
secure the country as a prime trans-shipment route for the export of
Central Asia's vast oil, gas and other natural resources."

NO AMERICAN newspaper dares suggest that the prisoners in Camp X-Ray
are the product of this policy, nor that it was one of the factors that led
to the attacks of September 11. Nor do they ask: who were the real winners
of September 11?

The day the Wall Street stock market opened after the destruction of
the Twin Towers, the few companies showing increased value were the giant military contractors Alliant Tech Systems, Northrop Gruman, Raytheon (a contributor to New Labour) and Lockheed Martin. As the US military's
biggest supplier, Lockheed Martin's share value rose by a staggering 30
per cent.

Within six weeks of September 11, the company (with its main plant in
Texas, George Bush's home state) had secured the biggest military order
in history: a $200billion contract to develop a new fighter aircraft. The
greatest taboo of all, which Orwell would surely recognise, is the
record of the United States as a terrorist state and haven for terrorists.

This truth is virtually unknown by the American public and makes a
mockery of Bush's (and Blair's) statements about "tracking down terrorists
wherever they are". They don't have to look far.

Florida, currently governed by the President's brother, Jeb Bush, has given
refuge to terrorists who, like the September 11 gang, have hijacked
aircraft and boats with guns and knives. Most have never had criminal
charges brought against them.

Why? All of them are anti-Castro Cubans. Former Guatemalan Defence
Minister Gramajo Morales, who was accused of "devising and directing an
indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians", including the
torture of an American nun and the massacre of eight people from one family,
studied at Harvard University on a US government scholarship.

During the 1980s, thousands of people were murdered by death squads
connected to the army of El Salvador, whose former chief now lives
comfortably in Florida. The former Haitian dictator, General Prosper
Avril, liked to display the bloodied victims of his torture on television.
When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the US government, and
granted political asylum.

A leading member of the Chilean military during the reign of General
Pinochet, whose special responsibility was executions and torture,
lives in Miami. THE Iranian general who ran Iran's notorious prisons, is a
wealthy exile in the US. One of Pol Pot's senior henchmen, who enticed
Cambodian exiles back to their certain death, lives in Mount Vernon, New York.

What all these people have in common, apart from their history of
terrorism, is that they either worked directly for the US government or
carried out the dirty work of US policies.

The al-Qaeda training camps are kindergartens compared with the world's
leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until
recently as the School of the Americas, its graduates include almost
half the cabinet ministers of the genocidal regimes in Guatemala, two-thirds
of the El Salvadorean army officers who committed, according to the United
Nations, the worst atrocities of that country's civil war, and the head
of Pinochet's secret police, who ran Chile's concentration camps.

There is terrible irony at work here. The humane response of people all
over the world to the terrorism of September 11 has long been hijacked
by those running a rapacious great power with a history of terrorism
second to none. Global supremacy, not the defeat of terrorism, is the goal; only the politically blind believe otherwise.

The "widening gap between the world's "haves" and "have nots"', says a
remarkably candid document of the US Space Command, presents "new
challenges" to the world's superpower and which can only be met by
"Full Spectrum Dominance" -- dominance of land, sea, air and space.


original posting: 7 Feb. 2002

[NOTE FROM JEFF: I received material from this group or persons for a while but they seem to have "new-aged" out of existence...]

excerpt from

"In the beginning this planet was created with a certain destiny path in mind. Its creators (the "elohim", a group of vast, intelligent beings who combined forces to create this sector of reality) envisioned a rich environment where the planet's theme of "seeking harmony in diversity" could play out...

In a relatively short time from now many things will begin playing out that were prophesied to occur sooner, but had been delayed so that the message for change could reach the greatest number of potential "recruits"...

The elohim are here. They have incarnated as ordinary humans in order to act as lightning rods, to draw down and anchor the energy of change and to assist in the birthing of a new age..."

peace and love to you

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#2: Dr. Helen Caldicott, Anti-Nuclear Activism

original posting: 7 Feb. 2002

Dr. Helen Caldicott (Australia) is founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and co-recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.


Future address:

3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90010-1438
(telephone number to be established)

Present contact:

Dr. Helen Caldicott, President

Mission: To insure the survival of the planet by eliminating ongoing threats from nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

Approach: To reveal and expose the acute dangers and iniquities in the current nuclear policies and strategies. Using the media, to inform, educate and inspire the public to create mass movements in order to take appropriate action. The model is the nuclear freeze movement involving 80% of the American public in the 1980s, which helped to bring about the end of the Cold War.

Funding Requirements: The five year budget for ICSNA is $11,450,000. The budget will fund an office space in Los Angeles and the salaries of ten full-time fellows, two experienced media people, one IT expert, an office manager, and the president. It will also fund office equipment, including computers, fax lines, and telephones. The budget breaks down to $2,230,000 per year.

The Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age
Board of Directors

Helen Caldicott, M.D.
Richard Saxon, M.D.
Pauline Saxon
Nina Merson

Board of Advisors
Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

John Gofman, M.D., Professor Emeritus Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, First Director Biomedical Research Division Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Past Associate Director Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Donald Louria, M.D., Chairman Emeritus Department Preventative Medicine and Community Health New Jersey Medical School

George Woodwell, Director of Woods Hole Research Center

Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll Jr., U.S. Navy (retired) President, Center for Defense Information

Nancy Rogers, Associate Director of Development, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford

Betty Dooley, Past President, Women's Research and Education Institute

Helen Caldicott, M.D., Founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Co-Winner 1985 Nobel Peace Prize


A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.

Thomas Paine, from the Introduction to Common Sense, 1776

Thomas Paine's admonition that time makes more converts than reason was surely apposite for the 18th Century and perhaps even the 20th, but in the first decade of this new century time is a luxury we do not have with regard to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The continuing and imminent risk of accidental or planned nuclear war creating the final medical epidemic of the human race makes action urgent. Epidemics of cancer and congenital deformities posed by nuclear power and its waste are imminent and will be unforgiving.

The mere passing of months and years will not solve this nuclear problem. Instead we must act definitively and with urgency to bring reason - eloquent, focused, well disseminated - to the task of turning back forever the nuclear tide that has washed over this globe for six decades.

While many voices have been raised in opposition to what followed from the splitting of the atom, they have often been muted, challenged, and indeed effectively suppressed by the louder voices of the "establishment", i.e., the Western military-industrial and nuclear complex and the successive governments and mainstream media which have been its clients since the end of World War II.

The Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age (ICSNA) will be established in order to educate the American public through the media about the profound medical consequences of the National Missile Defense program, of the ongoing nuclear arms race and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, and of the Bush Administration's push to build hundreds of new nuclear power plants in the near future.

As the public becomes better informed about these issues, a mass movement of people will arise to influence their elected representatives in the U.S. Congress, the Senate and the White House. New laws will then be enacted and old laws changed, ending the role of nuclear power in America, ending the push for a "missile shield" and moving the world towards multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Enunciation Of The Problem
· 5,500 strategic nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert sit poised in their silos in both Russia and the United States ready to be launched with only a 3-minute decision time by either President Bush or President Putin. The nuclear nations maintain a total of 30,000 nuclear weapons 13 years after the end of the Cold War.

· A new Manhattan Project, the misleadingly named Stockpile Stewardship program, is taking place at the nuclear weapons labs, where they are designing, testing, and constructing new nuclear weapons, spending far more money than at the height of the original Manhattan Project and during the Cold War.

· 103 aged, dangerous nuclear power plants populate the United States, waiting for a catastrophic accident to happen. A total of 413 nuclear power plants populate the globe.

· The Bush Administration is actively promoting the construction of hundreds of new nuclear reactors in the U.S. as a response to the "energy crisis" and to global warming. Deceptive industry campaigns are going ahead full force disguising nuclear power as "environmentally preferable".

· Sophisticated American nuclear corporations are actively promoting and selling the concept of nuclear power to countries in Eastern Europe and the developing world.

· The Bush Administration has plans to militarize space, to create a four layered "missile defense system" and to actively violate the complete Test Ban Treaty and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. The U.S. Space Command's intent is to practice vigorous anti-satellite warfare and antimissile warfare, including nuclear war in space.

· In the absence of a U.S. and international consensus to abolish all nuclear weapons and shut down all nuclear power plants worldwide, there is a strong threat that terrorists will attack nuclear reactors and also use primitive but effective nuclear weapons upon specific targets.

Description Of The Project
The Institute For Common Sense In The Nuclear Age will establish a cadre of intelligent and well-informed voices to be placed in strategic positions in the media and in public forums to educate the American population about these nuclear dangers.

Education is the key to creating change in society. As Thomas Jefferson said, "An informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion".

Most citizens are almost totally unaware that thousands of nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert, that George W. Bush plans to militarize space and that a second Manhattan Project is currently underway.

Despite the fact that the Democrats now control the U.S. Senate, most politicians are fundamentally influenced and controlled by special interests which financed their election campaigns - this includes very large donations from the military-industrial complex, which continues to be instrumental in instigating the Bush "Star Wars" project (National Missile Defense).

The younger generation is almost totally unaware of the dangers that nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants pose to their future health and well-being. A visiting professor at Douglass College at Rutgers in 2001, Dr. Caldicott can personally attest to this dismal state of affairs.

Ironically the nuclear power and weapons industries - though still powerfully pervasive - are extremely vulnerable. The Cold War is over and the recent catastrophic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will not be solved by the use of America's nuclear arsenal.

Furthermore, the nuclear power industry is itself vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and is in desperate straits globally - reduced to selling itself as the alleged solution to global warming. Nuclear power produces massive quantities of carbon dioxide during the mining, milling and enrichment of uranium (a nuclear power plant must operate for 18 years before it produces any net calories of energy).

There is no long-term solution to the disposal of thousands of tons of deadly nuclear waste, and from a purely scientific perspective, there never will be.

With the high profile media presence of ICSNA education campaigns, the public will comprehend the catastrophic human and environmental consequences of continued dependence on these technologies for "defense" and energy, and the wisdom and sanity of multilateral nuclear disarmament and conversion to safe, renewable power sources.

Goal of ICSNA / Measuring Campaign Effectiveness
ICSNA will establish a unique U.S.-based-anti-nuclear research, media and educational institute designed to decisively counter the propaganda and lobbying activity of the Pentagon, the Bush Administration, the military-industrial corporations, and the nuclear industry itself.

The mission of ICSNA will be nothing less than ending once and for all the on-going world-wide production of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants and nuclear waste - and to do so in a fashion that is both powerful and unique.

Each year, the Institute will track the success of its educational efforts in several ways. First, by measuring the number of ICSNA-sourced opinion pieces placed in major media and the number of television and radio appearances by ICSNA Fellows. Second, by closely observing the amount and quality of media coverage of ICSNA. And third, by monitoring the change in public opinion by reviewing Congressional activity and voting records, and through public opinion polling when possible. Once the ICSNA educational campaigns commence, the Institute will monitor the progress of Star Wars and the Bush Administration's push for new nuclear reactors.

What Will Set The Institute Apart And Why Will It Be Uniquely Significant?
This is the right moment for the Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age. The public is hungry for informed, intelligent and pungent debate to be conducted on the American media, dominated as it presently is by the right-wing, pro-nuclear Heritage Foundation and its many cousins including the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Foundation.
v The Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age will provide these opportunities.
· ICSNA will deal with nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Few, if any, other organizations handle both issues although they are obviously intimately linked.

· ICSNA's conceptual context will be global public health, i.e., the framework within which our research and education efforts are formulated will be the profound medical consequences of nuclear war and the nuclear power industry.

· ICSNA will educate the public about the severe problem of highly radioactive waste resulting from nuclear weapon and nuclear power production, its contamination of the environment, the medical consequences of this leakage, and the impossibility of safe disposal of this severely toxic waste for 500,000 years.

· The goal of ICSNA is to enter into and dominate the media debate. For too many years the weapons and power industries, their lavishly-funded "front" organizations and their political representatives have dominated the struggle for public opinion and media attention. As the Heritage Foundation says in their most recent annual report, "Day in and day out [we] are engaged in a war of ideas." It is time they and their ilk had a truly formidable opponent.

· We will analyze and translate misinformation about nuclear weapons and global security, and about nuclear energy, making the truth available to the public through media talk shows, news programs and op-ed pieces. ICSNA Research Fellows will in time become as ubiquitous as those of the Heritage Foundation, who will be forced to answer for their litany of misinformation and bias. It is to spokespersons that represent military-industrial interests, think tanks and the nuclear power industry, illegitimately called "experts", to whom the media most often defer. Most people who oppose nuclear weapons and power are too often labeled "activists" and thus rarely taken seriously.

The Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age will be synonymous with credibility and authority because of the intellectual rigor of its research, the sophistication of its publishing and public relations efforts, and the eloquence and persuasiveness of its spokespersons.

Research Fellows - not all of who need be in residence - will be recruited for their expertise in medicine and biology, engineering, the law, physics, and military/strategic studies. A number of highly-regarded experts in their respective fields have already informally indicated their keen interest in becoming Institute fellows. Their assignments will be to research and write position papers and books, opinion page articles, and briefing materials for legislators, corporate citizens, politicians, educators, and policy makers. Those who are media-oriented will be placed on national and local talk shows, in order to educate the public and in turn inspire a mass movement of deeply concerned citizens, who, by tapping into their democracy, will turn the pro-nuclear tide of the U.S. into an antinuclear tide of common sense in the nuclear age.

Media Consultants - will disseminate researched information via traditional and new media outlets so that ICSNA has the maximum political and public educational impact. Further, one person will be dedicated to placing speakers at influential forums around the country, setting up editorial-board briefings with major newspapers, and organizing public meetings and conferences.

A Cyberspace Expert - will publish the papers and data acquired by the research fellows onto a specifically designated web page instantly accessible to all citizens and interested organizations.

Research and Education Programs

1. Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship Program
The Department of Energy is currently funding the nuclear weapons labs - Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Los Alamos - to design, produce and test new nuclear weapons, despite the fact that the Cold War is over. This project, dubbed "Manhattan II", will cost American taxpayers $4.5 billion per year for the next 15 years -- involving more money than was spent annually on nuclear weapons design and testing at the height of the Reagan years. This project will inevitably lead to horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons.

ICSNA fellows will be assigned to write op-ed pieces and research papers and to appear on radio and TV talk shows to inform the general public about this extraordinary project that is being conducted out of sight of public scrutiny.

2. National Missile Defense and "Star Wars"
President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld are engaged in a massive push for a four-layered National Missile Defense (NMD) system, which is destined not to work for many reasons, one of which was illustrated by the recent terrorist attack in New York and Washington. NMD will violate all past international nuclear arms control agreements and will initiate a massive new nuclear arms race among nations of the world.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and TRW are the prime contractors for NMD and are expecting to make massive profits at every phase of the development and deployment of missile defense.

Even more alarming, the U.S. Air Force and NASA have combined to form a new entity called The U.S. Space Command. For some years NASA has been mapping the planets, the asteroids and the moon for rare minerals. In the near future they plan to place nuclear reactors on these celestial bodies as power sources in order to mine the rare minerals and bring them back to earth. As a consequence of its massive investment in this enterprise, the U.S. says that it must "dominate" space to have access to these extraterrestrial riches.

To this end, the U.S. Space Command's intent is to practice vigorous anti-satellite warfare and antimissile warfare. The Command also plans to fight nuclear war in space and from space down to earth. To quote General Joseph Ashy, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Space Command, "It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen…absolutely we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space."

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and TRW are already designing the necessary equipment for these "space war" projects.

ICSNA fellows will be assigned to translate the incredibly dangerous, global-life-threatening complexities of these systems and plans into language that is easily accessible through the media to the general public.

3. Kosovo and the Gulf War
The wars in the Gulf and Kosovo were, in fact, nuclear wars fought with weapons composed of uranium 238, a carcinogenic metal that is pyrophoric - i.e., it burns on impact producing tiny aerosolized particles of respirable size.

The Pentagon has been extremely resistant to releasing information about this dangerous operation, although its own internal documents reveal the Pentagon's true concern. In fact, research shows that many Gulf War veterans are to this day excreting uranium in their urine, but as the latent period of carcinogenesis is 10 to 50 years it will take decades for the medical implications of this war to surface.

Three to four hundred tons of this radioactive material contaminate the desert floor in Kuwait and Iraq. Uranium 238 has a life of 4.5 billion years so the contamination is permanent. A high incidence of malignancy (six times normal) has been reported among Iraqi children who inhale the dust and play with the empty uranium shells. The latent period for carcinogenesis for children is shorter than that for adults meaning that their cancers manifest themselves sooner than adults.

Pediatricians in Iraq are also reporting a doubling of congenital malformations in babies born since the Gulf War.

ICSNA fellows will be assigned to educate the American public through the media about this tragic state of affairs.

4. Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer To Global Warming
The nuclear power industry is presently launching a major propaganda campaign to convince the power brokers of the world that nuclear power is the answer to global warming - this in the face of the fact that the nuclear power industry is burdened by thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste and has nowhere to store it for the necessary half a million years. Clusters of cancers are already arising around the old reactors in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. That the nuclear industry is proposing to build, with the support of Vice President Cheney, more nuclear power plants, which would in turn produce even more waste is, in a word, chilling.

General Electric, Bechtel, and other major nuclear power corporations are also touting new nuclear reactor designs in many countries around the world. This campaign is going forward, despite the fact that 1354 children near Chernobyl have had their thyroid glands removed because of thyroid cancer - a situation previously unheard of in the medical literature. More are developing leukemia. Many of these children have already died and many more will. There are indications that up to a half million individuals may in time develop cancers from Chernobyl radiation exposure. Despite these facts the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), claims that only 32 people died as the result of Chernobyl.

These major threats to public health and survival are just some of the issues needing national exposure and debate, a debate The Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age will vigorously initiate and lead.

ICSNA will be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a president, an executive director, up to ten research fellows, three media experts, two public relations officers, a legal counsel, an Internet/ cyberspace expert, and an office manager. Dr. Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), is the President. The names of the members of its board of directors and advisory board are noted earlier in this proposal. Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles is the interim fiscal sponsor of ICSNA.

ICSNA will be headquartered in California, in proximity to some of the nation's leading universities and thus a talent pool of considerable depth.

Action Plan / Timetable
Once funding is forthcoming, the Institute for Common Sense in the Nuclear Age will be activated and become operational almost immediately. A year will be required to recruit and hire the necessary staff as listed in this proposal.

A detailed action plan for ICSNA and its campaigns will be developed when sufficient funds have been raised to become operational, defined as the ability to hire an executive director, office manager, at least three Fellows, the speaker organizer and one of the media consultants, and to lease the office space for one year and pay for one year's operating costs, including telephone service. ICSNA will continue to fundraise until its full first-year operating budget, and ultimately its five-year budget, is raised.

Even before the full one-year budget is available and all Fellows are hired, ICSNA will appoint people to write opinion pieces, speak at press conferences and appear on television and on the radio when possible. ICSNA will endeavor to develop a media presence and educate the public even before all spokespeople are on board.

The Fellows will be placed -- much as the Heritage Foundation does with its spokespersons -- on national talk shows, on current affairs programs, and in the printed media as opinion page commentators. Their credibility will be such that the media will be obliged to call upon the Institute for commentary on all aspects of Bush's nuclear and military policies.

Dr Caldicott, who has an international reputation of thirty years standing as a public speaker and educator in this area, will maintain a visible presence at the Institute and will also undertake to represent its policies within the US media.

Board of Directors
Dr Helen Caldicott
Dr Richard Saxon
Pauline Saxon
Nina Mercon

Board of Advisors
Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll
Betty Dooley
Professor Richard Falk
Dr John Gofman
Dr Donald Louria
Nancy Rogers
Andrew Stone
Dr George Woodwell

Anyone who is interested in helping to institute and fund this Institute please contact Dr. Caldicott by email for further details. -->


original posting: 7 Feb. 2002



As planets go Saturn is one that doesn't get too many wraps. It frequently brings the more testing moments to our lives and asks us to dig a little bit deeper into that well of self-sufficiency. In the long term Saturn can be quite helpful in the manner of a stern and disciplinary father, but in the short term it is usually the vaccination shot that we would rather avoid. Where Saturn falls in our birth horoscope is usually where we feel fearful and indecisive. Yet it is through attacking this apprehension that we develop our strengths - strengths that never leave us. Overcoming fear is understanding Saturn.

On April 21 2001 Saturn moved into a new sign of Gemini and changed its filter of statement. Saturn is always the planet of stark realities and limitations and Gemini represents communications, commuting and conveyance of information. Saturn motivates by blockages and restrictions - it is the internal and external critic. By addressing initial difficulties in these Gemini areas long term improvements may result.

The recent crisis in America and the world has brought into our awareness a realisation of hard, cold reality and is presenting some tough times for all of us. We have all become aware of the threat of global conflict and financial instability, and in our own lives, our own personal reality structures are being tested to the limit.

Saturn in Gemini and Pluto in Sagittarius have been playing their part in this global and personal drama, and this influence will be intensifying until it reaches a peak in the first day or two of November. This means that these planets will be making an exact opposition (180 degrees) angle to each other in the zodiac and in astrological understanding, the energies of Saturn (structure, limits, boundaries, rules, law and order) will be opposing the energies of Pluto (pressure, intensity, one-sided fanaticism, death, transformation, re-birth). Saturn and Pluto combined brings discipline into our lives, intensifies our focus, compels us to be serious, and in extreme situations can lead to martyrdom and violence.

Saturn has been in retrograde motion since September/October and will remain so until it goes direct in February next year. This means we will all have to go over old ground again and need to learn or re-learn from our past mistakes and experiences. By this time, most people should be aware of certain issues that must be attended to. This may include letting go of certain things and making sacrifices where necessary. Personal and global issues not addressed between now and February 2002, will be dealt with in one form or another. It is essential, therefore, for everybody to take control and personal responsibility now, by streamlining your lives and letting go of unnecessary clutter that is impeding your progress.

Saturn and Pluto's influence brings hard work and demands that we focus, learn and pay attention. This is a time for knuckling down and focusing upon our true potentials, and letting go of negative feelings of fear, loss or resentment. If this is done, the transition will be smoother and the rewards for perseverance, patience and hard work will be greater.

Once Saturn and Pluto join again in the last week of May 2002, all issues of separation and letting go of the old structures should be at conclusion. Many sacrifices will be necessary under this configuration and if done so, record achievements of the highest calibre can be achieved along with heightened spiritual and mental growth.


Keeping in mind that Saturn will motivate by being the internal and external critic here are some of the possibilities and probabilities. Communication companies may feel the restrictions of government legislation. Initial transport problems, delays and/or strikes are on the cards, though regulatory bodies will ensure an overall correction to the industry. Newspapers, reporters and broadcasters will be more accountable for their words. Conferences may encounter protester resistance; international dialogue will be of an increasingly serious nature or hindered by dogmatic attitudes. There may be a slowdown in the computer industry and more control exercised over the Internet. In short all of those area of life of a Gemini description will undergo a reconstruction of sorts.

In an individual's horoscope Saturn in Gemini also brings ideas and concepts to a structured form. Orson Welles who wrote, produced, directed and starred in the critical expose of a media mogul - Citizen Kane, had this placement. Welles was also responsible for scaring the hell out of Americans with his realistic radio drama 'War of the Worlds' which led to changes in the broadcasting act. Producer George Lucas pioneered both the 'Star Wars' and 'Raider's Of The Lost Ark' series. A Gemini Saturn is mental discipline exemplified in world chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer who won his first title at fourteen. However the earthier side of Saturn in Gemini can be seen in the sleazy publications of Larry Flynt or writings of Madame Xaviera Hollander.


Saturn is the planet that says "no" but means "yes." The no comes from Saturn showing us what isn't working, sometimes in the form of frustrating blockages or delays. But these help us see where we need to put in effort to make concrete changes. Saturn says "yes" as the planet of crystallization that brings energy into matter.

Saturn's presence in a sign of the zodiac shows us where we are likely to meet limits and how to construct something useful. Gemini is primarily about communication, so problems in this area are more likely now, both on personal and collective levels. This suggests that we each may be challenged to examine how we gather and transmit information, and to question the very ways in which we think. Public issues associated with speech, the Internet and other media should grow in importance during this period.

Ideally, Saturn in Gemini may solidify new forms of communication like the Internet, as well as new bodies of information. Perhaps we'll all be speaking the language of DNA by the year 2003.

Saturn in dualistic Gemini can engender duplicity on one hand and support flexibility and choice on the other. The basic lesson of any Gemini cycle is to remember that perceptions change, that truth depends on where one stands and that there is more than one right answer for most questions.

Since Saturn stays in a sign for more than two years, it does not reveal personal patterns with the same detail as the faster moving planets. However, it does describe tasks and limitations for wider groups of people.


Saturn Enters Gemini! No, you’re not seeing double. Yes, this column recently discussed the energies of Jupiter moving into Gemini. Seeing double can sometimes be what you deal with when working with Gemini’s energies. Just as Taurus spent time earlier this year experiencing the dual presence of Saturn and Jupiter, now it is Gemini’s turn. Saturn moves much slowly than Jupiter, on average it spends 2.5 years in a sign, and it will take two years and 10 months to move through Gemini, departing in June of 2003. It is entering Gemini on 9 August, at 4:25PM HST.

So what does this added planetary influence in Gemini bring? Especially since it is rather opposite in its energetic focus from Jupiter. Where Jupiter is expansive, Saturn constricts. Where Jupiter has humor, Saturn can be pessimistic. For the next year, these two disparate energies are going to kick Geminis right in their most challenging points -- integration of their different sides, holding a focus, and being clearer with expressing themselves in verbal and written communication.

Saturn really works well in the earth signs. Saturn loves to be in solid ground, which is Taurus’ territory. It makes wonderful plans and patterns, builds foundations so that the structures, patterns, and designs may be built upon them. Other areas of Saturn’s forte are: stability, caution, defensive, experience, moderation, discipline. Builder of crystalline forms and the destroyer of outdated ones. Some of the negative traits are: fear, suppression, miserly, revengeful, bitter, rigid, limited, selfish, narrow-minded. The fear aspect of Saturn is what most people must deal with on a regular basis.

Also, it is one of the gateways to determining past life data in the chart. It is especially easy to delineate that other life information if there is a conjunction with another planet, or other strong and narrow orbed aspect.

Now it is entering an air sign, and it is going to bring its ‘solidity’ to an element that cannot be seen. We can feel air as the wind blows it by. We can remove air and make a vacuum. How do you "pin a cloud down" as the nuns sang in "Sound of Music" is part of the question of this transit.

Gemini’s Basic Qualities

As I mentioned above, Gemini is an Air sign and the quality is mutable, which means changeable. A perfect match -- as air is always changing, moving, flowing. Blowing tree leaves, grains heads bobbing, tossing that tumbleweed across the street as you drive down, and throwing the spindrift back up into the wave. All of these are just some of the ways we see the variable quality of air. Its keywords are "I think" and this energy is here to communicate in all forms. Singing, writing, speaking, and so on.

Creativity is at the forefront of positive Gemini energies. Versatile, open-minded, active, mediator, sensitive, alert, restless, responsive, good with their fingers are other traits that are possessed by the first air sign. Worrisome is at the top of the list for the troubles of Gemini. Indecisive, superficial, nervous, impatient, talkative (with very little content), into the thick of thin things are some of the other words to describe how Gemini energies can manifest.

Looking back to the prior two transits of Saturn in Gemini, we find it was last present from June 1971 to August 1973, and prior to that was May of 1942 to June of 1944. Cultural history reminds us that the early ‘70’s saw a continuing of student unrest on college campuses in the USA -- protests and ‘sit-ins’, with communications (magazines and radio) becoming more ‘liberated’ in design and content. The prior cycle was during the early years of W.W.II where communications became quite critical -- "loose lips sink ships", coding and decoding messages for the war effort. Where there was necessary restraint in the 40’s, the opposite was true in the 70’s. These are the two faces of the duality of Gemini. Here we are in the beginning of the new decade, century, and millennia with a new cycle beginning. How shall we balance these messages this time around?

Debatable Areas

Are we going to be able as a people to hold a new pattern of communications? There seems to be quite a thrust with many who are no longer willing to hold their tongue and be the doormats they have been in prior times. The first blurbs coming out are not particularly pretty or pleasant, yet these people are expressing their truth. Saturn is asking to re-pattern the mode of communications by being creative and releasing those old forms. A new form of ‘perfection’.

Also, there is an overwhelming amount of ‘information’ available now via this Internet. Will there be another way of working with all this knowledge? A new application of it? A new way of filing it all? Perhaps so... and we will see this created here on this amazing electronic ‘net’ that links the world instantaneously.

Perhaps there will be a new thrust for Esperanto, the language created from several other languages, as a "universal" communications tool?

Ponder these concepts for yourself. What do you think may happen during the next three years in the world of communications -- personally, inter-family, community, country, and world? Just for grins, jot a few Saturn in Gemini style ideas down and see how close you are three years from now.

Basic Cycle

Saturn’s transits create patterns over its 28 to 30 year progress around the signs. Every time it conjuncts with one of your planets, it begins a cycle that will bring regular challenges at the squares (at seven and 21 years), and either rewards for your focus and work, or more confrontations at the oppositions (14 years from the conjunction). A commitment to a job, project, or a marriage sets up a "Saturn Cycle" -- and this is where the ‘seven year itch’ phrases comes from.

Saturn’s shift into Air, the element of the mind, will bring up some mental fears for all of us. If you are familiar with my writings, you know that I urge you to face your fears and, if it is necessary, to have help doing so. We are swiftly moving ahead from old ways of thinking, communicating, and sharing thoughts. This transit will show us how and where, on a very personal level, we each need to let go of these old ways. During this passage, I’ll be addressing Saturn’s impacts to each sign in the horoscope column that appears here at InnerSelf.

May we all walk in beauty.


Maybe the most significant cycle of this weekend, was Saturn moving into Gemini. A new 2 1/2 yr cycle beginning, and taking us into a whole new perspective and awareness. Saturn in Gemini will influence our writing and communication. But most importantly, we are given the chance to "change our mind." Is Gemini energy fickle ? Saturn surely isn't. So it must be the awareness that we can change our whole world simply by changing our mind.

DesCartes said,"I think, therefore I am." We can take that to heart and adjust our awareness to understand. This is the beauty of Saturn in Gemini. Adding lightheartedness to Saturn, and adding structure to Gemini. The importance of our words will become more than apparent on many levels. We are responsible(Saturn) for what we think, believe, say, write, learn, and teach (Gemini).

Our awareness and learning was opened with Jupiter's 1 year cycle through Gemini (which will end in July). Now Saturn follows through, builds on, and structures what has been opened. The idea(Gemini) that we have a choice in our world is EMPOWERMENT.

Many think of Saturn as restrictions, however, when we make the choice, it is freedom. Our world is colored by how we perceive it. If we perceive negativity, it is all around us. If we perceive beauty, it is all around us. When we simply make the choice, to perceive joy and love, our world is painted in colors of awakening. This is the message of Saturn in Gemini, and on the heel of a Venus retrograde, our self analysis and evaluation of love is significant.

Do we perceive love, filtered through fear and insecurity ? Or do we feel love from within ? Love is all around us, its a matter of our PERCEPTION whether we feel it or not.

When we feel others don't show us enough love, is it that we are not feeling enough love inside? Ever wonder why some days things upset you more than others? Maybe, just maybe, we need an internal love boost.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Greetings and welcome! It's been a long time coming...and here it is: synth-blog! I am trying this as experiment in sharing my e-group "synthaissance cryobenthics" with more people, as well as a way to provide access to the archive of previous postings. I will now post all synthaissance messages to this blog, as well as to the e-group; as I learn what I am doing with this and have time to do so, I will gradually post the entire synthaissance archive, from Feb. 2002, into the archives on this blog site. Feedback and posting materials welcome...the more the merrier!