Thursday, December 28, 2006

TBR News December 27, 2006

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., December 26, 2006: “When George Tenet, the DCI, “retired,” he ordered that certain very important CIA files be destroyed completely, both by shredding and burning. After doing his President’s bidding, George got the Medal of Freedom and a Pass-Free card. However, unfortunately for this happy scenario, some files were not destroyed. One of these, now making the rounds inside the Beltway, is a real shocker. I will capsulate it for you. Also, Brian Harring has taken excerpts from this and acquired far more information and his detailed study follows this.

It has long been known in intelligence and higher-level political (Republican) circles in Washington, that Israel was fully responsible for training the operators and supplying inside information to the Arabs who blew up the WTC, the Pentagon, and intended to blow up the White House.The leadership believed, correctly as it turned out, that such a violent terrorist outrage would so energize the American public that they would rush to support George Bush’s plan for a permanent U.S. military base in the Middle East, destroy Israel’s most dangerous enemy, Saddam Hussein, and gain for both nations, free and unfettered access to the huge Iraqi oil reserves.

The Israeli excuse when their participation in this was uncovered? Why, they fully informed American intelligence of what was happening at every step! This is an example where the excuse was worse than the crime, for if Mossad and the Israeli Embassy had, indeed, kept the American leadership courant with the plot, why didn’t American authorities interdict and stop it? They knew where and when the aircraft were to be hijacked yet did absolutely nothing and no protective steps were even instituted and no heightened alerts were ever issued.

Having said that as background, let us consider the deadly Bali bombing on October 12, 2002. The blast was centered in a nightclub area known to be heavily frequented by Australians. The damage was tremendous with at least 400 being killed.

This was stated in the media, from official announcements, to be a terrorist attack by an Indonesian group with links to Al Queada but this, according to the file, is not correct, although a number of locals were promptly arrested, tried and convicted for this. (Convictions were eventually overturned by the Indonesian high court)

In fact, this atrocity has strong parallels with the 9/11 attacks according to the contents of the CIA files. It seems that President Bush requested the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to “volunteer” Australian troops for his forthcoming attack on Iraq, five months in the future. Howard responded that while he was willing, support for the U.S. attack was badly lacking among the Australians and he anticipated problems with his government in such a project.

Bush does not like to be crossed and when the Prime Minister said that public support of the U.S. position was weak, he said that …”maybe your people should realize that terrorism knows no borders and I would hope that these crazies don’t attack you.” Howard replied, according to the transcripts of the conversation, that in the case of a perceived Muslim attack on Australians, he would certainly have the full support of his Australians. What happened next is thoroughly documented. Bush spoke with Tenet who was fully aware of the background of the 9/11 attacks. The CIA and the Mossad have very good and very close relations and the CIA was fully aware of the penetration of the Atta group in Hollywood, Florida and the preparations for the attacks. A discussion was held in Langley between Tenet and a top Mossad official (name withheld at this time) and assurances were given that “something certainly can be done to help out here.”

The resulting attack was the second one planned. The first consisted of placing a special explosive device (see the Harring account) in an Australian public building. Fortunately for the population of Sydney, it failed to go off and is still in place. Perhaps Sydney opera lovers should make sure their insurance policies are up to date.

The second one went off in October in an area where many Australians were known to visit and the results are well known.

Australia did, indeed, join the Coalition, but now the pupulation strongly regretting it and suspicious of foul play are beginning to surface. The Romans had a saying, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”

To quote from an official memo, George W. Bush referred to the reluctant Aussies as “a bunch of ex-con kangaroo humpers.”

Having read over a draft, Mr. Harring’s article, complete with pictures, documents and plans, is well worth the read. And be sure to remember the Ambassador’s tapes! Where are they now that we need them?”

Death in Bali

by Brian Harring

I am going to introduce this incredible story by publishing an on-the-spot accounting by Robert Finnegan, an editor of the Jakarta Post. Finnegan, and a team of investigators went to Bali just after the blast and he covered it in depth, took many photographs and samples and conducted a number of interviews with locals and enforcement agents. The results of his efforts is that he was summoned to the American Embassy in Jakarta and personally interviewed by Ambassador Ralph Boyce.

Finnegan was read the riot act by the Ambassador and told that he was “rocking the boat” and ordered to cease and desist his investigative activities at once. When Finnegan refused, the outraged Ambassador told him he would have him ejected from Indonesia within 24 hours. He was ordered to surrender his notes to Embassy personnel, films were confiscated as was a sampling of earth taken from the blast site (Finnegan had two such samples and only one was found)

American authorities also subsequently believed that “an unidentified individual” was believed to be in possession of a tape recording of certain statements made by the Ambassador that might be considered by many to fully support the thrust of Finnegan’s investigations.

Here is Finnegan’s original article:

Bali bombing: An investigator's analysis

January 3, 2003
by Robert S. Finnegan,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

Investigators and forensics experts from both national and international teams that had quickly been assembled flocked to the crime scene, ostensibly to begin what should have been a long, drawn out exercise in forensics and investigative sleuthing to identify and capture the foot soldiers, coordinators and masterminds behind the attack that has left over 190 known dead, scores missing without a trace and hundreds more wounded.

It has turned out to be anything but that.

The Indonesian government immediately vowed to unite in the hunt for the bombers.

The U.S. government along with the international community seized the opportunity to point the finger at the shadowy al-Qaeda group along with Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir as the culprits.

In hindsight, it would appear that perhaps these individuals, given their apparent intimate knowledge of the perpetrators immediately following the bombing should have been included on the investigating team. Perhaps if they had we would know more than we do today, which is very little despite the volume of information (or disinformation) being vomited out by the spokesmen for the investigative teams on a daily basis.

A creeping sense of foreboding began soon after the forensics people and other investigators (inclusive of Insp. Gen. I Made Pastika and his army of hundreds of supposedly top-notch investigators with virtually unlimited resources at their disposal) announced after only a week and a half that they were wrapping up their on-site work and retreating to the labs to analyze their findings. Astounding work, as it must have set a world record for crime scene forensic analysis.

Given the scope of the bombing and the sheer size of the primary and secondary blast areas - where trace from a plethora of different explosive compounds were swabbed from - this was a feat that escaped even the vaunted investigators working the World Trade Center crime scene in New York, who spent nearly a year literally sifting by hand for evidence at the site. It would appear that the teams on Bali possessed far superior skills and techniques ... or was there something else responsible for their haste in wrapping up so quickly and then sending the rest of the evidence as quickly as possible to the bottom of the ocean off Bali?

At this point in their investigation National Police Chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar states for the record that "traces of a chemical powder used in the bomb" were found in the van allegedly used to transport the large device. What powder? Even a cursory examination of the crater and primary site immediately following the bombings would make this statement laughable were it not for the circumstances.

If indeed the Mitsubishi L300 van was used in the large blast, the five-foot deep by twenty-foot wide crater indicates that it would have been completely vaporized, including the engine block which they apparently found intact - along with the victims who instantly vanished. Indeed, this begs the question: Where did the investigators obtain this evidence in relation to the crater?

Is it possible that if the van survived the large blast it was because it was parked at the edge of the primary blast zone, packed with small amounts of all the explosives - whose traces were found at the sites - in order to throw off independent investigators?

In addition, there is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), allegedly signed jointly by the National Police and the international investigation team, specifically restricting the scope of the "investigation links" and prohibiting international inquiries. Could this at least partially explain why Pastika has continually stonewalled, intimidated and generally obstructed independent investigators during the course of their work?

During the first weeks of the investigation, notables such as State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Chief Hendropriyono, Susilo Yudhoyono, Assembly Speaker Amien Rais and Pastika focused or pretended to focus on foreigners - without specifying "which" foreigners - who they said were behind the attack. Somehow this twisting, turning trail dried up and disappeared into thin air without explanation, along with the former retired Air Force Officer who allegedly confessed to police his involvement in the bombing and was then released. To this day his whereabouts remain unknown and police investigators either cannot or will not release any information on this man, an officer who was allegedly trained in America in explosives and is an incredible lead that should have been followed-up on aggressively and thoroughly. Why was it not?

Are these the statements and actions of professional investigators - or the actions of individuals engaged in a cover-up?

Let's look at the myriad of explosive traces found at the site and subsequently cited individually off and on by investigators and police as "the explosive" used in the bombings.

First it was C-4, then RDX. These two are actually the same, the difference being nine percent mallable plastic used in C-4. So, which is more powerful? RDX - nine percent more powerful than C-4.

Day after day, investigators trotted out a different explosive and combinations of explosives purportedly responsible for the blasts. In addition to C-4 and RDX there was now TNT, Ammonium Nitrate, HMX, Semtex, PETN, Chlorate and napalm. Everything but the kitchen sink. Was this gross ineptitude? Or another ploy to throw independent investigators off the trail?

For example, had the originators of the napalm theory studied up on the material before opening their mouths they would have known that napalm leaves a sticky, smelly residue on everything, including victims. This was not in evidence at the blast site or at the Sanglah burn ward and morgue, where the burn victims were taken. Therefore, in the absence of any physical evidence, napalm must be excluded and the originators of this farce be awarded a grade of "F" in "explosives analysis." In other words, if you are going to lie, be professional about it at least know what you are lying about and have the mental capacity to remember what you said when you said it. This single evidentiary template could easily be applied and extended to the entire "official investigation" of the Bali bombings where deceit, obstruction and obfuscation are and have been the name of the game.

To put this in perspective, let us look at three of the explosives claimed by official investigators to have been used in the bombings, starting with the compound that has the lowest velocity of detonation in feet per second (FPS) which is Potassium Chlorate at 3,500 FPS; compared to 12,000 FPS for Ammonium Nitrate and diesel and finally 27,800 FPS for RDX. In simple terms, at any given distance from ground zero these different explosive compounds will exert pressure in pounds per square inch. Damage to people and structures are a result of this pressure in varying degrees depending on the velocity of detonation. Even if RDX were used, the amount needed to cause the level of destruction in evidence at the crime scene should have been in excess of anything available through even the military, who denied possession of the explosive. There is also the delivery of the device to be taken into account.

Each of the explosives cited by investigators (with the exception of napalm) have unique and individual characteristics that vary for usage, stability and explosive yeild. They require specific detonators for each in order to obtain maximum effect.

Also now at the bottom of the ocean off Bali is the reinforcing bar (rebar) located more than fifty feet from ground zero that had been completely stripped of concrete as a result of the blast. Documented military estimates of the force required to accomplish this is roughly 1 million to 1.5 million pounds per square inch.

What kind of weapon or device could accomplish this? And for that matter leave a crater of that size? Why was it filled in? This arguably could have been one of the most important pieces of evidence available to investigators not only for the trace explosive in evidence, but from which also could have been determined (roughly) the size and composition of the device.

With the police claiming (off and on) that Amrozi, Mukhlas and Samudra (who allegedly at one point denied involvement in the Bali bombings) were the perpetrators of the blasts, then why do the official investigators not know EXACTLY the type of device used in the main bombing and its precise composition? To put it quite simply, how can we have a bomber or bombers in the absence of a bomb?

Why were Amrozi and Samudra so quick to confess and finger their "accomplices"? Were these the actions of dedicated, radical, Islamic fundamentalists? "Professionals"? Did they expect to further their cause by eviscerating their own organization? Does it make sense that they were willing to kill and maim hundreds of innocents - including many fellow Indonesians - and yet implicate their comrades to save their own skins?

Given this dismal investigative performance, exactly what role did the international investigating team play in this debacle?

If indeed there is one thing that has been glaringly apparent throughout this investigation, it is that perhaps nothing close to the truth has been told as of today. It is also apparent that something is very, very wrong not only with the procedural aspects of this case, but also with the suppression and outright destruction of evidence. The international investigators bear a heavy responsibility for this, and should be held accountable.

Jakarta Post Editor Robert S. Finnegan is an internationally published investigative reporter with over two decades investigative experience. He currently holds an Alaska (U.S.) Private Investigator license.

Terrible Destruction in Bali Blast

by Richard Galpin
BBC correspondent in Kuta, Bali
Sunday, 13 October, 2002

“….. As we drove along the small street leading to the Sari nightclub, more and more of the shops had lost their windows, blown out by the force of the blast. Shattered glass was strewn across the road. Finally a road block, and angry men telling us we couldn't take the car any further. We had no choice now but to start walking

A large crowd of Balinese people were pressed up against a police cordon. We were let through and expected immediately to be at the location of the explosion.

But it was still a good half kilometre away. This had clearly been a massive bomb. Through another police cordon and a crowd of onlookers including a group of tourists and we were finally there. The scale of the destruction was hard to take in. ……”

Whenever a great tragedy occurs, a crop of rumors always sprouts in the fertile ground of incomplete knowledge and public concern. So it was with the Bali bombing.

The truth finally did begin to emerge but in bits and pieces. Finally a trove of papers from the CIA that were slated for destruction, fully supported the expelled and outraged American journalist and in recent interviews, Finnegan disgorged a flood of photographs, documents and investigative material which fully supported the secret papers.

It appears at this point that the origins of the Bali bombings appear to be centered around conversations held between Australian Prime Minister John Howard and American President Bush concerning the Prime Minister’s views that the bulk of the Australian population would not favor participation by members of their armed forces in an American punitive military action in the Middle East.

According to American documents, this matter was referred to the DCI and from there, to the Israeli Mossad whose role in support of the 9/11 aerial attacks was well-known in official Washington circles.

There have been growing rumors that a “ex-Soviet 152mm atomic artillery shell” was the Israeli weapon of choice but this not only is in error but deliberate disinformation designed to deflect attention to the actual manufacturer of the weapon and also to attempt to make the current Russian government a scapegoat by reference and innuendo.

It is true that the Soviets had shells for their 152mm artillery that had tactical atomic warheads. There were not many of these and they were under strict control at all times. This does not mean that such potential terrorist weapons could not be obtained from crooked Russians. They could, and were, obtained by a top CIA official, James Critchfield, and sold to radical Muslims but with the full knowledge that such weapons were totally ineffective.

These miniature atomic weapons had to be carefully maintained on a six month basis and fifteen years after their manufacture, would be utterly useless as a weapon, having lost their ability to produce any kind of an atomic reaction.

From Finnegan’s extensive and very professional investigations, there is no reasonable doubt that the immense destruction, cratering of the ground and terrible burns on survivors, that far more than commercial explosives contained in a small backpack or a vehicle were responsible for the deaths and damages.

The epicenter of the blasts were in a densely packed area and a very low yield atomic weapon would have been the obvious weapon of choice to inflict maximum personnel damage.

The weapon that produced the terrible carnage was not an ex-Soviet artillery shell but a modern weapon constructed in Israel as part of their defense/offensive arsenal. Many Israeli scientists, working in the atomic program, were trained in Soviet Russia before immigrating to Israel and the present Russian intelligence services have a number of agents planted in Israel. That country has produced atomic mines, intended to destroy port facilities, naval bases, vital canals like the Suez and Panama Canals and the vital Straits of Malacca. A small weapon that could wreak so much havoc would not prove difficult to construct or use. A converted artillery shell needed activating devices attached to it but a weapon ,specially built, that could fit into a backpack or the trunk of any commercial vwehicle, contained its own activating system.

Another coup for Finnegan was the discovery that a private aircraft, later discovered to have belonged to an Israeli registered company, took off, without clearance, from the local airport, bound for Singapore. Witnesses said that “at least six men” got onto the plane with a good deal of luggage and boxes.” Finnegan’s team of investigators managed to obtain two flight logs which are reproduced here along with a report by one of his staff.

Finnegan also photographed a number of known CIA agents in civilian clothes, as well as a man that was later identified as the Mossad team leader. His real name is not known but while in Jakarta, he used the name ‘Henri Salado.” Here is Mr. Finnegan’s clandestine picture of him. It was taken through a chain link fence in the vicinity of the blast area and when the subject saw he was being photographed, he became “extremely upset” and attempted to get at the photographer. He was unsuccessful.

Top Mossad operative

Timeline: The Bali bombing, a comprehensive overview

National News - January 03, 2003

The following timeline is excerpted from reports published in The Jakarta Post unless otherwise attributed.

Tuesday Oct. 15:

Police say C-4 was explosive material used to make bomb.

U.S. says al-Qaeda and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir responsible for bombing.

Hamzah Haz says Muslims not responsible and bombing was "engineered".

Wednesday Oct. 16

Hendropriyono says both technology and skills of bombers indicate they are from abroad and must have carried out surveillance before the attack.

Bali Police Chief Brig. Gen. Budi Setyawan said there is no indication of al-Qaeda involvement so far.

The Washington Post reports Indonesian police arrest former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who allegedly confessed to building bomb that killed over 180 people and expressed regret for huge loss of life.

Air First Marshall says suspect released and this proves no Air Force Involvement.

Thursday Oct. 17

Susilo Yudhoyono admits possible involvement of foreigners in bombing.

Authorities focusing on seven "foreigners" suspected to have masterminded and carried out the bombings, a terrorist cell said to have been led by a Yemeni national, his Malaysian deputy and a European with links to Philippine bombings.

Police Chief Brig. Gen. Budi confirms bomb made of RDX.

Indonesian Army Brig. Gen. Ratyono denies Army supplied C-4 to terrorists. Denies Army possesses C-4 "bombs".

Friday Oct. 18

Hendropriono says technology and skills employed by attackers indicate they are from abroad.

Sunday Oct. 20

Pastika says investigation team focusing on four persons, including a security guard and a retired Air Force officer.

Monday Oct. 21

Police receive order to release former Air Force Officer Dedi Masrukhin although suspicions of his link to Bali blasts remain strong.

Forensics experts admit some victims could have been completely consumed by blast.

Tuesday Oct. 22

Omar al-Faraq allegedly tells CIA bin Laden transferred US $133,440 to JI for purchase of three tons of explosives from Indonesian military sources.

AFP agent Brett Swan says because of scale of explosion "highly organized perpetrators" carried it out.

U.S. declares "technology transfer review" between U.S. and RI as high-tech U.S. items may be found at bomb site.

Wednesday Oct. 23

Aritonang says investigators have determined specifications of bombs but not how they were deployed, large bomb made of RDX with a "derivative" of Ammonium Nitrate.

Friday Oct. 25

Aritonang says bomb was RDX and Ammonium Nitrate.

Saturday Oct. 26

Maj. Gen. Muhdi Purwopranjono (Kopassus) claims to have identified bombers.

Joint investigating team says it's still in dark.

Aritonang says bombings were carefully and professionally planned and executed.

Sunday Oct. 27

Pastika says bombs made by Indonesians who "could not have done it without help from foreign bomb experts. We believe that the explosives were brought in from outside Bali" and "The technology using mobile phones as a remote control is new for Indonesia and something that requires guidance from foreign experts."

Monday Oct. 28

Two Generals, one police, one army named as possible suspects in bombing and subsequently file suit against Washington Post for libel.

Tuesday Oct. 29

Susilo Yudhoyono denies Army, Police Generals involved in bombing.

Wednesday Oct. 30

Pastika says "main player" identified who is also bomb maker.

Thursday Oct. 31

Police release three sketches of bomb suspects. Muchyar Yara says that the three were part of a list of 10 names submitted to police.

Friday Nov. 1

Da'I Bachtiar says they have identified East Javanese man but have not found him yet, along with driver of the van. Bachtiar says they used TNT, RDX, HDX and Ammonium Nitrate.

U.S. ambassador Ralph Boyce says media accusations of U.S. involvement in bombing "inaccurate and unhelpful."

Defense Minister Matori Djalil links bombing to JI and al-Qaeda.

ASIO director Dennis Richardson does the same.

Saturday Nov. 2

International investigation team finishes forensics after less than three weeks on site, concluding that bomb was TNT, RDX and other "materials" including chloride. AFP forensic team member says "we have all we need to nail these bad guys down,"

BIN says bombings involved "skilled foreign experts".

Muchyar Yara says "We are sure that foreign experts along with Indonesian experts or perpetrators were involved."

National Police said bombs were constructed of TNT, RDX and HMX.

AFP officer Graham Ashton say that the degree of coordination and vehicle placement reflected a high degree of planning and expertise.

BIN issues a report saying bombs were made of Semtex.

Sunday Nov. 3

Police release on Nov. 2 man arrested in Ngada regency. Brig.Gen Aritonang says it's the wrong guy.

Police raid house on Java and find photo matching suspect in composite sketch release earlier in week.

120 Australian police and intelligence officers working in Bali in addition to international investigators.

Minister of Defense Matori Jalil accuses al-Qaeda of bombings.

Australia accuses JI of bombing.

Monday Nov. 4

International team says bombers are professionals.

Intelligence sources say foreign perpetrators would hide for 6 months before trying to get out of the country.

Thursday Nov. 07

Mitsubishi van owner arrested in East Java on Nov. 5.

Gen. Heru Susanto identifies owner of van as Amz, 30, arrested in Paciran village in Lamongan. Amz says he bought van from man identified as Her from Tuban.

Joint inquiry team issues statement that a white Mitsubishi L300 van loaded with explosives stopped minutes before the blast in front of Sari club in drop off area not normally used for parking.

Aritonang says police have not named any suspects in relation to the bombing. Are focusing investigation on ten persons.

Friday Nov. 8

Da'I Bachtiar says Amrozi admitted using van for bombing and renting motorcycles and other car for bombing. Admits Amrozi does not match sketches.

Panorama in Italy reports Italian national bar owner "Sartoni" in Bali arrested in connection with bombing.

Asian Wall Street journal reports Hambali as planning bombing during meetings in south Thailand.

Saturday Nov. 9

Pastika says Amrozi admits to helping build main bomb, admits to being field coordinator for bombing.

Sunday Nov. 10

Police claim Amrozi bought sulfur, ammonium, fluorine and chlorate from Tidar Kimina chemical store in Surabaya.

Monday Nov. 11

Police claim to have produced an initial reconstruction of planning and execution of bombing, also that Amrozi purchased over one ton of chemicals to produce bombs from Silvester Tendean.

Former Bakin official AC Manullang expresses doubts about Amrozi's part in pro team responsible for bombing.

Aritonang says Amrozi prime suspect in bombing.

Tuesday Nov. 12

Pastika says 10 Indonesians suspected of bombing.

Amrozi states he wanted to kill Americans in bombing. Bachtiar says Amrozi held four meetings in Surakarta to plan bombings.

Anti-terrorism officer and chemical expert express doubt over police claims they have identified bombers.

Kopassus NCO says bombing would take a year of practice to execute. Chemical expert rules out conventional explosives, say they are incapable of causing level of destruction at Kuta.

Wednesday Nov. 13

Amrozi says he did not assemble bomb. Pastika says bomb consisted of 100 kilos TNT, PETN detonator and RDX "booster".

Thursday Nov. 14

Amrozi fingers Samudra as one of the masterminds of the bombing, says he drove van to Bali but denies assembling bomb.

Saturday Nov. 16

JL named as prime suspect in blast.

Monday Nov. 18

Joint investigation team identifies 6 more suspects: Patek, Samdura, Imron, Wayan, Dulmatin, Idris with Samdura, Dulmatin and Idris as bomb assemblers. Samdura leader of group, Idris second in command,

Dulmatin as detonator with his cell phone, electronics expert.

Amrozi refuses to identify driver of van.

Tuesday Nov. 19

Pastika says investigators have not yet focused on source of explosives, too early to move on that and only arrest of perpetrators would lead them to device.

Police say they found RDX and TNT trace at blast site. TNI denies ever storing RDX or C-4. PT Dahana confirms importing RDX for limited parties and military.

Wednesday Nov. 20

Da'I Bachtiar says there are other "materials" Amrozi did not procure in Surabaya and "has no capacity to make bombs".

AFP says they have not found RDX residue at site, only Chlorate and TNT.

Pastika will not confirm or deny foreign involvement.

Thursday Nov. 21

Hermawan Sulistyo says amount of explosives required do not match van story.

Police confirm chemicals purchased by Amrozi were not main bomb materials.

Pastika says main bomb materials TNT and RDX.

Friday Nov. 22

Three "mystery" men appear in Amrozi interrogation transcript, Amrozi appears to be in dark about Sari and Paddy club bombings until he sees it on TV.

Pastika claims he has not read interrogation report, now claims that only seven suspects have been identified.

Saturday Nov. 23

Bachtiar says that Amrozi himself provided the vehicle and materials for the bombs.

Sunday Nov. 24

Bachtiar says bombings carried out by three groups under leadership of Hambali.

Monday Nov. 25

Police claim that the device used at Paddy's was detonated 118 centimeters above the ground.

Time Magazine claims Yemeni terrorist mastermind of Bali Bombing.

Tuesday Nov. 26

Police detain "accomplices" in bombing.

Police reveal Samudra was in process of getting fake passport to travel to Malaysia.

Wednesday Nov. 27

Legal experts say Amrozi and Samudra confessions inadmissible under KUHP.

Thursday Nov. 28

Bali bombing victims call for death of perpetrators.

Friday Nov. 29

Aritonang says Samudra interrogation transcripts on Bali bombing not included in his case file because a lawyer did not accompany suspect.

Saturday Nov. 30

Police now say JI "operating in Indonesia".

Samudra claims he masterminded Batam bombings.

Sunday Dec. 1

Lawyers for Samudra say he is not linked to Ba'asyir or Mukhlas.

Monday Dec. 2

Political analyst Hermawan Sulistyo hints that media reports, including those from Time, which relied on "intelligence sources", may be false.

Tuesday Dec. 3

Police release names of 163 Bali bombing victims.

Wednesday Dec. 4

Bali investigating team "not sure" when investigation into the approximately 200 missing in the bombings will begin.

Thursday Dec. 5

Police say they have captured alleged JI operations chief Mukhlas.

Bomb blasts rock McDonald's and car dealership in Sulawesi, killing three.

Monday Dec. 9

Pastika says at least "90 percent" of the Bali bombing plot had been uncovered.

Tuesday Dec. 10

Pastika says dossiers on Bali bombing suspects had to be "perfect", but has yet to assign responsibility for the three blasts to suspects or determine explosives used.

Sulawesi Police Chief Gen. Firman Gani says they have linked Sulawesi bombers with Bali bombings.

Wednesday Dec. 11

Samudra lawyer expresses doubt on client's ability to assemble explosives, alleges that Samudra and other suspects had been manipulated by a "third party" to discredit Islam in Indonesia, suggests two devices were used in bombings: one conventional and one "high tech device of great power". Lawyer also says eyewitness saw something fall from sky before explosion.

Thursday Dec. 12

Joint investigative team says Makassar, Bali bombings closely linked.

Friday Dec. 13

Aritonang says he has strong case in Bali bombings. Says he does not have specialized knowledge to discuss explosives used in detail.

Saturday Dec. 14

Samudra denies knowing Mukhlas, Gufron, denies receiving funds from them. Wanted to kill Israeli spies, Americans. Says he did not assemble bombs or know where they were assembled.

Bachtiar questions whether Amrozi and Samudra acted alone in all bombings

The Australian Card

While Australian Prime Minister Howard should certainly have been aware that the bombings in Bali had some connections with his putative American allies, to date no proof has emerged directly connecting the increasingly unpopular PM with the outrage. His part was not unlike Henry II’s comments to his knights, with reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘Will no one rid me of this cursed priest?”

The Finnegan investigations led to personal threats against his person, his being fired and his subsequent ejection from Indonesia. His reports reflect the immediate discoveries he made but the subsequently uncovered official U.S. documentation clearly shows the origins of this tragedy as well as the obvious dementia of George W. Bush and the part played by PM Howard.

Editor’s note: Mr. Harring has a great deal of reference material on this shocking subject and is planning on publishing all of it in a subsequent book.

War Critics See New Resistance by Bush

December 26, 2006
by Jim Rutenberg
New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — Immediately after the beating his party took in November, President Bush indicated that he had received the message that voters wanted change, and that he would serve some up fast. He ousted his defense secretary, announced a full-scale review of his war plan and contritely agreed with critics that progress in Iraq was not happening “well enough, fast enough.”

But in the last two weeks, the critics and even some allies say, they have seen a reversal. Mr. Bush has shrugged off suggestions by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that he enlist the help of Iran and Syria in the effort to stabilize Iraq. Countering suggestions that he begin thinking of bringing troops home, he has engaged in deliberations over whether to send more. And he has adjusted the voters’ message away from Iraq, saying on Wednesday, “I thought the election said they want to see more bipartisan cooperation.”

In a way, this is the president being the president he always has been –while he still can.

With Congress out of session, Mr. Bush has sought to reassert his relevance and show yet again that he can chart his own course against all prevailing winds, whether they be unfavorable election returns, a record-low standing in the polls or the public prescriptions of Washington wise men.

He has at least for now put the Iraq war debate on terms with which he is said to be more comfortable, if only because they are not the terms imposed on him by Democrats and the study group.

That stance could be short-lived.

Democrats warn-, and some Republicans privately they fear—that Mr. Bush is in for a

dousing of cold water when he returns from his ranch in Crawford, Tex., in the new year to face a new, Democratic-controlled Congress ready to try out its muscle. His recent moves have already caused a fair degree of crankiness among his newly empowered governing partners.

“I’ve seen very few tea leaves in the mix that would give you any sense of hope or confidence that he is getting it so far,” sand Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who supports the study group’s advice that the administration seek help from Iran and Syria in Iraq. “The bottom line is this president can’t afford not to change course. The time is up.”

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army ranger who is a member of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I don’t think he’s given up the sort of sloganizing and the simplistic view of what’s happening there.”

“I think the American people’s message was deep concern about Iraq, deep skepticism about his policies, and what they want is a resolution of Iraq,” Mr. Reed, who supports a steady withdrawal that is fundamentally at odds with any idea of an increase in troops there.

If the president does call for such an increase, he will have a potentially powerful Republican ally in Senator John McCain of Arizona, a leading contender for the 2008 presidential nomination. But other Republicans have warned that they cannot support that step now that several military commanders have expressed reservations about placing more American troops between warring factions in Baghdad. That Mr. Bush would even consider a military plan at variance with the wishes of some of his commanders has added to an increasing sense of his isolation from his own party.

“I’m growing more disturbed every night by how isolated George W. Bush has become,” the former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough said on his MSNBC program last week. “Shouldn’t more Americans be disturbed at this unprecedented example of a White House that’s in – and you can only call it this—a bunker mentality?” The screen below him read, “Bush Determined or Delusional?”

White House officials, who note that Mr. Scarborough has been finding fault with the president for months, say critics are getting ahead of themselves, given that Mr. Bush has not yet said what his next move in Iraq will be.

“This is all background noise for the American people right now,” as senior administration official said. “Most people are going to wait and see exactly what the president’s going to say.”

This official, who insisted on anonymity as a condition of discussing internal White House thinking, said the administration calculated some of that “background noise” into the mix when it decided to postpone any announcement on Iraq until the new year.

“We know we’re just in this period of pugatory where there are things surfacing and being debated,” he said.

One member of the study group, Leon E. Panetta, who was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton when the Republicans took control of Congress in the 1994 elections, said the White House seemed to be in a period of postelection mourning in which it had not yet fully comprehended a new reality.

“What always happens with an election in which you lose badly or your party loses badly is that you spend a little time in shock,” Mr. Panetta said. “And then you reach out with the words of cooperation, and then you go into a period when you start to basically spin things in a way that says, ‘Whatever happened is not really our fault.’ And you use that to rationalize that what you’re doing is right.”

But, he said, “at some point you move into a different phras: the harsh realities come home.”

One Republican close to the White House said that moment was fast approaching.

“Jan. 4 is a new day,” this Republican said of the official shift of power in Congress, “and they still think they can control the calendar and the timing. But that is no longer at their discretion.”

In an interview last week, Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who will become chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he was planning three hearings on Iraq in January. Speaking of the president, Mr. Levin said, “He’s got to now come to Congress with a policy he’s got to adopt, and it’s controlled by people who are pressing for a change in Iraq.”

Probes of Bush Policies in Works: Mass. lawmakers to launch hearings

December 23, 2006
by Rick Klein
The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers are set to launch a blizzard of investigations in the new Congress, probing issues such as wartime contracting, post-Katrina housing assistance, and the Bush administration's relationship with Cuba and other countries in Latin America.

In what could be closely watched proceedings, two members of the Massachusetts delegation -- representatives William D. Delahunt of Quincy and Martin T. Meehan of Lowell -- are planning joint committee hearings to examine the administration's Iraq war policies, particularly the reasons for the military's lagging efforts to train Iraqi troops. Delahunt is in line to become chairman of the House International Relations Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and Meehan will take over the same subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee.

Armed with the power to force sworn testimony for the first time after 12 years in the minority in Congress, members of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation are positioned to play major roles in investigating policies and actions that cut across the federal government and the business community.

"We could be the Bush administration's worst nightmare come to pass, in terms of the questions we'll be able to ask from positions of power," said Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden, the dean of the Massachusetts delegation. "There are a lot of secrets that have been hidden from the American people in terms of the way business has been done for the past six years."

Democrats in general say that when they become the majority party in Congress, they intend to shine a spotlight on administration policies and management, where the Republican power structure has done little to check the authority of the president. With the GOP powerless to stop them, Democrats say, they hope their oversight will protect taxpayer dollars and shape the political agenda going into the 2008 presidential election.

The hearings and investigations planned by Massachusetts' members of Congress will complement and, in some cases, compete with a dizzying array of other investigations Democrats are expected to launch early next year, and Senate committees are expected to be just as active as those in the House.

In addition to Delahunt and Meehan, Massachusetts will have House members in high-ranking posts on several major investigatory committees.

Representative Barney Frank of Newton will become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which has sweeping authority over the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commissions, and the nation's housing policies. Frank has outlined an agenda that includes a year long examination on the issue of wage inequality in the United States.

He is also planning hearings in late January or early February on consumer protections in federal banking laws, as well as the federal government's efforts to rebuild housing destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.

"A lot of low-income housing was destroyed, and they've done virtually nothing to replace it," Frank said. "The federal government's role in this has been a disaster."

Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston serves on the Government Reform Committee, which will look at the role that industry groups played in shaping the closed-door energy task force convened by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001. Representative Richard E. Neal of Springfield, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, wants hearings on the impact of President Bush's tax cuts on the federal budget deficit, given the administration's promise that the tax cuts wouldn't throw the budget out of balance.

The cumulative effect of the ramped-up congressional scrutiny will probably lead Republicans to accuse Democrats of political payback after six years of one-party rule in Washington, said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University. But after years in which the Bush administration has faced virtually no scrutiny from a Republican-controlled Congress, troves of embarrassing revelations about Republicans during their six years in power seem destined to pour from a Democratic House and Senate, he said.

"The Republicans will claim that the Democrats are obsessed with publicity-oriented witch hunts, but the Republicans are more vulnerable than the Democrats," Berry said. "A lot of these hearings are going to be compelling, and are going to produce storylines that readers and viewers are going to be very interested in."

The Iraq war is likely to be a particularly popular subject of inquiry, with a range of committees set to examine pre war intelligence, troop readiness, and the administration's plans moving forward. Democratic House members say they expect House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi's office to help streamline the various investigations and set a manageable timeline for higher-profile inquiries when the next legislative session begins next month.

In the meantime, Meehan has outlined a full agenda for his Armed Services subcommittee on oversight, which Republicans disbanded in 1995 but which Democrats will reconstitute next year. He is hiring five investigators -- including specialists in weapons systems and Pentagon budgeting -- and promises to look into equipment shortages among soldiers in Iraq, military recruiting and retention, and corruption allegations involving Defense contractors operating in Iraq.

"For the past six years, Congress has rolled over and played dead while the president has done anything he wanted to, particularly in the war in Iraq," Meehan said.

After Republicans made it primarily a mechanism to criticize the United Nations, Delahunt said, he plans to broaden his International Relations subcommittee on oversight. He wants to examine government-funded broadcasts that reach Cuba; the international component of the president's grant programs for faith-based health organizations; and the impact in Latin America of the administration's push to sign "bilateral immunity agreements" to shield US citizens from being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

"Does this work to our benefit? We're losing influence in Latin America," Delahunt said.


Post a Comment

<< Home