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ISSUE: #. 61. Nov. 26, 2002









By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom, Special Correspondent

1. Grim Toll in Jerusalem and West Bank
2. Civilians Under Fire in Gaza Strip
3. IDF Kills UNRWA Official, Delays Ambulance
4. Anti-Arab Violence in Jerusalem
5. Israeli Border Cops Beat Palestinian Journalist
6. Israeli Soldiers Assault Ambulance Driver, Nurse
7. Israeli Prison Guards Beat US Clergyman
8. IDF Operating in Iraq?
9. US to Grant $14 Billion in Aid to Israel
10. Your Donation to the IDF is Tax-Deductible
11. Weaponry Returned to IDF in Amnesty
12. Israel Distributes Rifles to Green Line Towns
13. Belgian Court Will Not Prosecute Sharon for War Crimes
14. Beilin: Palestinians to Give up Right of Return
15. Tell Your Congressman: No to Transfer!!
16. Jordan Blocks Deportation of Palestinians
17. Jordan Blocks Palestinians' Pilgrimage to Mecca
18. Settlers Using Pesticides on Palestinian Olive Groves?
19. Settlers Arrested For Olive Tree Theft
20. Palestinian-American Student Frisked for Wearing Flag

1. US Missionary Shot Dead in Sidon
2. Islamic Gastro-Resistance Deals Mickey-D's Harsh Hand
3. Anti-Syrian Protests Grow
4. Newspaper Editor: Hezbollah Beat Me
5. Lebanese Mercs Find New Jobs at IDF Checkpoints

1. Homeland Security Act Passes
2. Homeland Security and "Total Information Awareness"
3. Appeals Court Overturns Limits on FISA Surveillance
4. Post-Terror Insurance Liability Limit Passes
5. FBI Issues "Spectacular" Terror Alert
6. Pakistani Executed In CIA Killings
7. CIA: He's Alive!

1. Municipal Revolt Against War Moves, Police State


Another suicide bombing, aggression by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian resistance left several dead in Jerusalem and the West Bank this week--including at least six children. Palestinian homes were also destroyed and ransacked.

An Israeli woman was seriously wounded when Palestinians opened fire on her car at the Rimonim junction east of Ramallah on Nov.18. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Israel, Nov. 18) Al-Aksa claimed responsibility. Tareq Mohammed Zaghal, 25, a militant of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was assassinated by Israeli soldiers dressed as Palestinians in Tul Karm on Nov. 19. (AFP, Nov. 19) Five Palestinians were killed and eleven injured by Israeli special forces units in eastern Tul Karm Nov. 19. A mysterious explosion killed Hazim Abd-al-Latif, 33, and wounded his 60-year old uncle, Rafiq al-Rumi in the Allar district of Tul Karm governate on Nov. 20. Also that day, a 13-year-old boy, Umar Sulayman al-Qudsi was killed when Israeli troops occupying Tul Karm opened fire on a group of boys on their way to school. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Nov. 20) A Palestinian was shot in the face in Nablus the same day. The town of Tammun was also raided. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine Radio Nov. 19)

A suicide bombing on a bus in Jerusalem Nov. 21 killed 11, including four schoolchildren. Some 50 were wounded. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the blast. The bomber, Na'el Abu Hilayel, came from Bethlehem. (Ha'aretz, Nov. 22) The parents of Na'el Abu Hilayel were proud of their son. His mother said: "It's all because of the crimes committed by the occupation. That's why my son, may God be satisfied with him, carried out the operation. Of course I'm proud of him and all the martyrs." (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21)

The Israeli army entered Bethlehem Nov. 22 hours after the suicide attack. The attacker's house was destroyed, and Israeli troops occupied 25 homes in the village of Al-Khader by the southern entrance to the city. The residents were ordered out of their homes at gunpoint. (AFP, Nov. 21) Israeli troops kept Bethlehem residents away from Sunday services at the Church of the Nativity. (AP, Nov. 24) Israeli troops pulled back from the center of Bethlehem on Nov. 25. (AP, Nov. 25)

Eight Palestinians youths were wounded, one critically, in Nablus Nov. 21. They were reportedly throwing stones at the IDF, which then opened fire on the youths. (AFP, Nov. 21) In Tubas, under stringent curfew for three days, Khayri Abu-Biasharah, was shot in the abdomen when Israeli troops occupying the town fired indiscriminately at local citizens. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Nov. 24)

Israeli troops surrounded and searched four mosques in Tubas, a village near Nablus Nov. 24. They were looking for Muezzin Mohammed Alkilani, suspected in attacks on Israelis. At one mosques, they called over the building's loudspeakers, demanding his to surrender, but failed to find him. (AP, Nov. 24)

Voice of Israel reported Nov. 25 that an 11-year-old boy was killed by IDF fire in downtown Nablus. Palestinian sources told the station that children had thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails at troops. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Israel, Nov. 25)

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Nov. 25 that Israeli troops "stormed Qalqilyah today and raided the Awqaf building in the center of the city after blowing up its gates." Local citizens reported Israeli troops entering houses and ransacking them. (BBC Monitoring: Palestinian news agency Wafa web site) A missile from an Israeli helicopter killed two senior Hamas and Fatah leaders in the Jenin refugee camp Nov. 26, according to witnesses. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 27)

The week's violence took a grim toll on children and the elderly. Misleh Bialiol, 11, died of a gunshot to the head in the Jenin refugee camp Nov. 22. Six other children from the camp were wounded the same day. Eight-year-old Jihad al-Faqeh was shot and killed by Israeli forces while on his way home from school in Nablus. Al-Faqeh was reportedly among a group of kids throwing stones at the IDF, who responded with lethal fire. A 70-year old man also died that day while on the way to visit his daughter in Tel, a village near Nablus. He fell hard while trying to escape Israeli gunfire sprayed at Palestinians standing at a roadblock . (Palestine Chronicle, Nov. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

Residential areas on the Gaza Strip came under heavy fire in several incidents this week. Four Palestinians were wounded during an Israeli operation in Gaza City Nov. 18. Israeli troops backed by 30 tanks, helicopter gunships and bulldozers clashed with armed Palestinians. The IDF surrounded a Palestinian security complex and partially destroyed it along with six neighboring buildings. Explosives laid by Palestinian militants damaged some armored vehicles. (AFP, Nov. 18) Later that evening, three Palestinians were wounded when Israeli tanks fired shells in the eastern part of Gaza City. (AFP, Nov. 19)

On Nov. 19 Israeli troops killed two Palestinian militants in a gunbattle near the Kfar Darom settlement in the Gaza Strip. (AFP, Nov. 21)

Dozens of Israeli tanks entered three villages in the southern Gaza Strip early on Nov. 20. The villages are known to be strongholds of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). A house belonging to a DFLP activist was destroyed. Residents said tanks fired in all directions. A firefight between local militants and the IDF erupted. A bomb exploded next to an Israeli tank, and an Israeli military ambulance was seen racing to the scene. (AP, Nov. 20)

Two Palestinian children playing soccer were seriously wounded Nov. 21 by shrapnel from an Israeli tank in the Bureij refugee camp south of Gaza City. The IDF said the troops "opened fire on suspects in a forbidden zone" after dark. (AFP, Nov. 21)

Sahni Abu Hussein, 26, a Palestinian policeman, was killed Nov. 22 by Israeli tank fire near the Netzarim settlement. An IDF spokesman said Abu Hussein was about to attack Netzarim when he was gunned down--a version contested by Palestinian sources. (AFP, Nov. 22) Dozens of Israeli tanks and armored vehicles entered al-Qarada near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli troops blew up the homes of two Hamas militants. (AFP, Nov. 22) IDF tracker Sgt.-Maj. Shigdaf (Shai) Garmay, 30, of Lod was killed by Hamas gunfire on Nov. 22 near the Gush Katif settlement bloc. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24)

On Nov. 23, two Palestinians on a boat filled with explosives blew themselves up when intercepted by an Israeli navy patrol boat off the northern Gaza coast. Four sailors were wounded in the attack. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz ordered a total naval blockade of the Gaza coast. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24)

Voice of Palestine radio reported Nov. 24 that two Palestinians were wounded by indiscriminate Israeli gunfire in Rafah. Dozens of IDF tanks conducted an incursion in to the city of Dayr al-Balah, with residential neighborhoods hit by shell fire. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Nov. 24)

The IDF raided Deir Al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip Nov. 26. One Palestinian was killed, and four were wounded in exchanges of gunfire. The army destroyed the home of a local militant it said was responsible for mortar attacks on Jewish settlements in the strip. Several dozen tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters were involved. (Ha'aretz, Nov. 26) [top]

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) official Iain Hook, 50, a British citizen, was killed with a gunshot to the back in Jenin refugee camp Nov. 22. After initial denials, the IDF admitted responsibility, saying a soldier had mistaken his cell phone for a gun. The UN contradicted the IDF's assertion that an ambulance to evacuate Hook had been quickly called in, claiming IDF soldiers deliberately held the ambulance up. "It is not known at this time whether the delay resulted in the death," the UN's statement said. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 22) Irish Activist Caiome Butterly, who was herself shot in the foot in the Jenin refugee camp the same morning as Hook, said hook was not dead yet when she saw him arrive at the emergency room. (Electronic Intifada, Nov. 22)

Paul McCann, a UN spokesman, disputed the IDF assertion it was responding to firing from the compound. "Our preliminary inquiry does not agree with the statement that firing could have come from the UNRWA compound," he said. "In fact, it is quite clear from our inquiry so far that this report of firing from the compound is totally incredible." He said that "the compound is very small and at no stage did we lose control of it. There were no Palestinian militants in the compound." He said he was "sad and angry that we lost a person in a well-marked UNRWA area." (Ha'aretz, Nov.26)

Butterly supported McCann's statement. "Having been present in the Camp all morning, I can testify that any Palestinian fighters had stopped shooting a good two hours before either of us was wounded. When I passed the UN compound in the morning, it was surrounded by Israeli Army snipers and soldiers who were shooting erratically into the Camp. Two people were killed and six wounded. All but one were shot by tank fire outside what the Army deemed a closed military zone. I was not caught up in any kind of crossfire as the Israeli Occupation Forces are falsely stating, and I don't believe that Iain was either." Butterly said that when Hook emerged from the compound waving a blue UN flag, an Israel soldier shouted, "We don't care if you are the United Nations or who you are. Fuck off and go home!" (Electronic Intifada, Nov. 22)

Hook made a phone call to IDF liaison officer Capt. Peter Lerner that morning, which AP reported: "Hi Peter, it's Iain here. I'm just making a progress report, really. We're pinned down in the compound. The shabab [youth gang] have knocked a hole in the wall, which I'm not happy about at all. I'm trying to keep them out, and I will just keep my people pinned down in the corner until I hear from you. OK? Over." Lerner said "This does not prove that we are innocent," but suggested it supported the IDF claim that Palestinian gunmen had entered the compound. (AP, Nov. 26) Butterly's version differs: "Some worried parents had begun to knock a hole in the wall at the back of the compound to evacuate children who were there for a vaccination program. We accompanied some of the children home." (EI, Nov. 22) (David Bloom) [top]

Two Jewish youths tried to stab three female Arab Israeli students in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood on Nov. 21. A male student who was with them intervened, and was slightly wounded. The women were unharmed. The youths fled the scene. Earlier that evening, dozens of people gathered at the site of that morning's bus bombing, some of them chanting "death to the Arabs!" (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21) Fifteen cars belonging to Palestinian Jerusalem residents had their tires punctured. Jewish youths pelted several Arab vehicles with stones Nov. 22. On Nov. 23, several dozen Jewish youths overturned chairs and broke windows of an Arab-owned bakery in the Kiryat HaYovel area of Jerusalem. An Arab teen was stabbed in the buttocks in the same neighborhood. Two young Jewish men were arrested the same evening on suspicion of assault of two Arab workers at the Malha Mall in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24) (David Bloom)

See also: "Arab students live in danger, trapped between terrorists and racists" [top]

Israeli border police kicked and beat a Reuters cameraman in Hebron on Nov. 20. Mamoun Wazwaz, 27, and 13 other Palestinian journalists were leaving a colleague's home after dinner when three border police set upon them in a parking lot. They knocked Wazwaz to the ground, and one of the police bashed him in the leg with an M-16 assault rifle. The journalists said the attack was unprovoked. "Suddenly we heard shouting and they were beating Mamoud," Reuters cameraman Nael Shyoukhi said. "We told them we were journalists and not to deal with us like criminals." Before they left, the police told Wazwaz he was wanted for questioning by Israeli security forces, ordering him to report to them later this month. His colleagues rushed him to a hospital, where an x-ray revealed he had no broken bones. Reuters filed a protest with the Israeli army and demanded an explanation. The IDF had no immediate comment. (New Zealand Herald, Nov. 20) (David Bloom) [top]

On Nov. 19, Israeli soldiers beat a Palestinian ambulance driver and a nurse at a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Hebron. The soldiers smashed the vehicle's windows and damaged its medical equipment. A patient inside was unhurt, and the ambulance went back the way it came. (AFP, Nov. 20) The same day, a Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) ambulance was stopped at the Walaje check-point on its way from Bethlehem to Hebron, and its driver was beaten. UPMRC reports in the five days prior to Nov. 19, ten kidney dialysis patients from Yatta were prevented from receiving treatment in Hebron. They are in "highly critical" condition. (UPMRC, Nov. 19) (David Bloom)

Send protests about the obstruction of UPMRC services to: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HaKirya Romena, Jerusalem 91950 E-Mail:, > Tel: 0972-25303531/3631/530, Fax: 0972-25303506, or the Ministry of Interior, 29 Salah al-Din Str, Jerusalem 91010, Israel. Fax: 097226294750/ Tel: 097226294701 [top]

On Nov. 15, Rev. Gordon Hutchins, an US pastor serving the United Methodist Church in Washington State, was arrested with eight other internationals protesting the building of Israel's security fence in Jayyous, West Bank. The internationals were staging a sit-in with 200 Palestinians. An olive grove was slated to be destroyed that day to make way for the fence. At 12:30 PM, Israeli troops began shooting live ammunition into the crowd, and threw tear gas canisters. Many of the Palestinians and internationals were beaten, requiring medical treatment. The internationals, including Hutchins, were then arrested. Hutchins and the others were taken to a military base, then interrogated in an Israeli settlement. Following interrogation, they were thrown in Massyahu prison, in Ramle in the West Bank. Hutchins is suffering food and sleep deprivation, and no one from the US embassy has visited him.

Jayyous, a town of 3,000, sits on 3,250 acres. 150 acres are to be confiscated for the security wall; 2,250 acres will fall on the other side of the wall, into the hands of the Israelis. This land also includes seven wells and over 200 greenhouses. (Palestine Chronicle, Nov. 25) (David Bloom) [top]

Time Magazine reported Nov. 25 that members of Unit 5101, or Shaldag, have been operating in western Iraq in recent weeks, looking for Scud missile bunkers. The magazine says Shaldag has been surveying an area of desert 15 times the size of Israel. The area was used as a launch pad for Scud during the Gulf War. "You sniff around in the western desert and try to get an idea about those hardened concrete bunkers that Saddam [Hussein] has created to put his Scuds in," said a US official describing the force's work. Israel has requested its soldiers be allowed to continue their reconnaissance in Iraq should war break out, in small groups of three. Prof. Amatzia Baram believes leaks of Israeli involvement in Iraq are meant to prevent war. "This is a sort of psychological warfare against the war. If Israel is involved in operations, then opposition to American efforts will increase. Somebody is leaking information, correct or not, in order to make it more difficult to go to war." He added, "I am not so sure the US needs Israel's help." (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26)

The respected British defense analyst Jane's Information Group reported Sept. 26 that Israeli Sayeret Matkal commandos were operating in western Iraq, hunting for Scuds. (Jane's Foreign Report, Sept. 26) (See WW3 REPORT #59)

Jane's also reported Feb. 24, 1998, that Israeli special forces units were operating alongside US and British forces deep inside Iraq, looking for Scuds, performing reconnaissance on Iraqi troop movements, and other tasks. Israeli units arrived by helicopter from Turkey with permission from Turkish generals. Jane's says the Israelis also undertook reconnaissance helicopter missions near the Iranian border at the time. (Jane's Foreign Report, Feb. 22, 1998) (David Bloom) [top]

The US has approved $2.16 billion in military aid to Israel for 2004. (Reuters, Nov. 21) It is likely to approve a total of four billion in defense aid, and ten billion in the form of loan guarantees within 3-6 months. The money is intended to help stabilize Israel's economy and pull out of recession. ( Ha'aretz, Nov. 26) Jane's Foreign Report says Bush will approve the loan guarantees quickly to influence Israel's upcoming Likud primary: "Bush junior will release the $10bn with the intention of helping Sharon because the administration does not want to have an uncomfortable repeat experience of dealing with Netanyahu. Sharon will go for a landslide victory in January. After the end of the conflict against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Bush junior will want to calm the opponents of his action in the Muslim and Arab world. There is one very simple and straightforward way of doing this. It is for the US to put pressure on Israel to withdraw its troops from the West Bank and Gaza." (Jane's Foreign Report, Nov. 14) (David Bloom) [top]

US taxpayers can donate money tax-free to the IDF. LIBI, the Fund for the Strengthening of Israel's Defense, describes its mission as "offering education assistance to less privileged soldiers." The text on LIBI's website reads:

"When you 'enlist' with LIBI, you're not only making up for what the defense budget can't cover. You are also contributing to the ensurance of Israel's continuity as well as to the prosperity of Israel's society and culture. By offering education assistance to less privilaged soldiers, we are making Israel's greatest asset available to all members of Israeli society, thereby furthering the IDF's main purpose: the strengthening of Israel's defense."

Donations to LIBI are tax-deductible through the PEF-Israel endowment fund. PEF's website says the fund, started in part by Justice Louis Brandeis, has among its missions, "promoting greater tolerance and understanding between religious and secular communities and between Arabs and Jews." Yet one of the Israeli organizations PEF serves as a funding conduit for is GAMLA, a right-wing ex-officer's association. One article on GAMLA's website is "The Logistics of Transfer," which is a nuts-and-bolts schematic for the expulsion of the remaining Palestinian Arab population from Palestine.

The online donation link on LIBI's website leads to the following message: "Enclosed is my contribution of ......... US Dollars with a recommendation to your Trustees that it be used by the Central Charitable Fund for the 'LIBI' Fund in Israel." (David Bloom)

See also WW3 REPORT #49 [top]

A six-week campaign to get Israeli citizens to return missing IDF equipment ended Nov. 14, netting $990,000 worth of stuff. Included in the list of returned items were two Katyusha rocket launchers, a variety of rifles, machine guns, pistols, a LAW anti-tank missile, tens of thousands of bullets, explosives, grenades and fuses, as well as boots, helmets and flak jackets. Those who returned equipment received amnesty from prosecution. (Ha'aretz, Nov. 15) (David Bloom) [top]

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued an order directly following the Oct. 28 attack on Kibbutz Metzer to transfer 1,600 M16 rifles to towns along the Green Line, the pre-1967 border with the Palestinians. Sharon asked the army to expedite the transfer of weapons from the IDF's emergency warehouses to the towns. (Xinhua, Nov. 12) (David Bloom) [top]

The Belgium Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Palestinians to charge Prime Minister Sharon with war crimes. The court launched legal action in June 2001 against Sharon for his responsibility in the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. A lawyer for the Palestinians said the court informed him the case had been put off indefinitely. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

Labor dove Yossi Beilin, who has been drawing up an unofficial peace agreement with Palestinian Minister of Information Yasser Abed Rabbo, says the Palestinians are willing to moderate their stance on the right of return. In exchange for Israel's acceptance of its responsibility for the refugee problem, and taking in a token amount of refugees, the Palestinians will forgo a full implementation of the right to return. The rest of the refugees would be allowed to settle in one of five European countries, the Jerusalem Post says. "These are numbers that will have no impact on the demographic balance, especially because any accord based on the Clinton plan will mean that more than 200,000 Palestinians now living in East Jerusalem will no longer be living in areas under our control, so from the standpoint of the demographic balance, there will be fewer Palestinians under our control," Beilin added. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

Last summer, "transfer" evangelist MK Benny Elon came to lobby US government leaders to support the "voluntary" expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank:

"Armed with a glossy, eight-page peace initiative, Moledet leader Benny Elon is meeting with Jewish organizations, Senators, and Congressmen this week, seeking support for the voluntary transfer of Palestinians to the East bank of the Jordan River... Elon said he has received quiet support from several US legislators, though he declined to name them. 'I can say one thing: Dick Armey is not alone,' said Elon, referring to the House Majority leader whose public support for transfer during an interview on MSNBC caused a furor...." (Jerusalem Post, June 27. (see WW3 REPORT# 40)

The US campaign to End the Israeli Occupation recommends :"If you are a constituent of a member of Congress who met with Elon, call your Rep's office to ask what concerns they raised regarding Elon's support for 'transfer.'"

Members of Congress who have met with Elon:

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
2329 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6506
Fax: (202) 225-0546

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives
2217 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-3531

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
329 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2815
Fax: (202) 225-0011

Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY)
2303 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2464

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4451
General Fax: (202) 228-02
NYC: Phone: (212) 688-6262
Fax: (212) 688-7444

*Clinton was Elon's guest when she visited Israel in February 2002 (Forward, March 1)

Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ)
339 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone -- (202) 225-4765
FAX -- (202) 225-0778

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
711 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-4254
Fax: 202-228-1229

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
United States Capitol Office
2243 Rayburn House Office Building
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2601
Fax: (202) 225-1589

(David Bloom)[top]

Jordan will not allow Israel to deport between 15 and 35 Palestinian activists. Israel wants to deport them to Jordan, but Amman says they only hold temporary Jordanian passports. Amman will not allow Israel to deport Jordan Palestinians without permanent Jordanian passports and identity numbers . (DPA, Nov. 23) (David Bloom) [top]

About 3,000 Palestinian pilgrims have been in limbo for ten days now, congregating daily at the Allenby Bridge on the Jordan River--prevented by Jordanian authorities from entering Jordan on their way to travel to Mecca. The West Bank and Jerusalem residents were intending to go to Mecca to perform the umra (minor pilgrimage). On Nov. 24, the pilgrims did a sit-down strike to protest Jordan's ban. "The Jordanians are treating us as if we are enemies," said pilgrim Abu Nimer. "The Israeli authorities informed us that as far as they are concerned we can leave the country immediately, but the problem is with Jordan, which doesn't want to see Palestinians. We have no plans to stay in Jordan. All we want is to travel via Jordan to Mecca." The pilgrims have paid a lot of money in hotel accommodations in Saudi Arabia, registration fees ($700), and transportation fees. They are paying for accommodation in Jericho hotels and traveling to the bridge every day, hoping to be allowed through. Those with little money spend their nights sleeping outside. "It's outrageous that an Arab country is throwing hundreds of people into the open air while Israel is stepping up its military campaign against the Palestinian people," one Palestinian official said. "Where is all the talk about Arab solidarity and support for the Palestinians?" Jordan says its restrictions on the entry of Palestinians is to limit Palestinian emigration from the West Bank. Jordan fears mass emigration as a result of the deteriorating economic and security situation in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25) (David Bloom) [top]

Kate, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) assisting in the olive harvest at Yasuf, West Bank, reported a possible use of pesticides on Palestinian olive groves: "The first trees we picked were huge, the hugest I've seen yet, and the olives were also plump and beautifully purple. As we got closer to the fence, we started to notice that the trees were not as healthy, the leaves were grayish instead of green; they didn't have very many olives and many of them were shriveled. They told us that planes had been spraying the trees, they thought with DDT. However, later, when we asked their son, Sayed, about it, he said that they have not used planes, and no one has seen anything, and but they thought the settlers had sprayed something on the trees, because the trees have been getting sick since they put up the fence. Claire's husband, who's a winemaker, says it can't be DDT, because that's banned worldwide, but could be something like Roundup. I took some of the leaves and Claire is going to try to take them to a lab in Jerusalem Sunday. Kathy and I both noticed that we were having various allergic reactions in their fields that we have not had before, although some others have had mysterious rashes." (ISM, Oct. 26) Kate says the villagers are intending to have the leaves tested.

In Aqraba, Palestinian olive farmer Abdelmajid Odah reported that settlers cut down 300 of his olive trees. The ones they didn't not cut down, he said, the settlers ruined with chemicals that made his elderly father sick. (AP, Oct. 22)(David Bloom) [top]

Three Jewish settlers were arrested by Israeli police near the Elkana settlement, six miles from Qalqilya, after 15 fully-grown olive trees were found in their truck Nov. 25. "They claimed the trees were taken with permission from a Palestinian but they seemed to be having some trouble coming up with the name of the Palestinian," a police spokesman said. Even when fully grown, olive trees can be uprooted and replanted and still produce fruit. (AFP, Nov. 25) [top]

Sixteen-year-old Palestinian-American Yusra Awawdeh, a student at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, was frisked by a security guard at the school Nov. 19 because she wore a "Free Palestine" T-shirt and a Palestinian flag pin to class. A female school safety officer patted her down and made her remove her shoes and socks, in the presence of a female dean. Awawdeh had to empty her pockets, and her abdomen was inspected for explosives. "I was really embarrassed," said Yusra, an 11th-grader at the Bensonhurst school. "They made me feel like I was a terrorist with weapons." Board of Education regulations allow the school to conduct searches only "if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a student has violated...the law or school rules and regulations." The teen also wore a Keffiyeh, a traditional Palestinian head scarf. After the search, Awawdeh was told by the dean she could no longer wear the flag pin, or the keffiyeh, and had to remove Palestinian stickers from her notebook. "She said the only flag I can represent at the school is the American flag," said Yusra, who was born and raised in Sunset Park. "I am American but I also want to represent my heritage. I felt like they were trying to take something away from me. They never said I broke any rules." (NY Daily News, Nov. 21)

On CNN, Awawdeh had the following exchange with anchorwoman Paula Zahn:

YUSRA AWAWDEH: They told me that there's this sticker going around in school saying "Long live the intifada," "Zionism equal racism." And I so-called had a sticker like it. But on the bottom, it said "Arab Women Association." And the sticker going around on the bottom says "Arab Women Association. " So, after that, she was like, "Do you know who's doing it?"

I was like, "No, I do not know."

ZAHN: So you deny having put up any of those stickers around the school.

YUSRA AWAWDEH: Yes. I would not.

ZAHN: Do you deny that you've done any kind of vandalism around the school?

YUSRA AWAWDEH: No, I never did it.

ZAHN: And do you think that is what the school is going to come back and say? Because that's what we were being told, that you're being accused of some kind of vandalism around the school and that's why they did this to you.

YUSRA AWAWDEH: That's why they searched me. They were looking for stickers. But the way they were searching me, they looked like they weren't looking for stickers.

ZAHN: They were looking for what?

YUSRA AWAWDEH: I felt like they were looking for weapons or bombs or something on me.

ZAHN: Do you understand, though, the heightened concern just about everybody has post-September 11? Do you understand why someone might overreact and maybe think that? Or do you think that's just totally inexcusable?

YUSRA AWAWDEH: It's inexcusable. It's a school. Why would I walk in school like that, you know? I was born here. I'm American.

ZAHN: Do you think that maybe they thought you were trying to provoke other students in some way?

YUSRA AWAWDEH: No. I've been representing Palestine in that school for three years. Nobody ever told me anything. Nobody told me to put away my stickers. Nobody told me to put this, my scarf, away. Nobody told me I can't put a button on my jacket. (CNN, Nov. 23) (David Bloom) [top]


An American Evangelical missionary, Bonnie Witherall, was shot dead in the port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Nov. 21. Witherall, a nurse who had worked for eight years in Lebanon, was killed by an unidentified gunman, who fled. A local police source blamed anti-US sentiment. "This was apparently an act committed by a person filled with anti-American feelings in the generally hostile climate toward the US, which people here reproach for its desire to carry out a war against Iraq and for supporting Israel," said the official. It marked the first killing of a US citizen in Lebanon in ten years. (BBC, Nov. 21) Witherall was killed near the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, the largest in Lebanon and known haven for Islamic militants. The LA Times asserted Sept. 15 that the Lebanese government has allowed "dozens" of al-Qaeda operatives to seek refuge in the camp. The camp has been the scene of sporadic violence; on Nov. 22 a bomb ripped through a coffee shop in the camp, and on Nov. 25, a grenade exploded in the home of a local Fatah official. Islamic militants who triggered a gunbattle with Fatah that left three dead in August still have not been apprehended. (Reuters, Nov. 22, 25) (David Bloom) [top]

Lebanese security officials believe a group of five Palestinian militants is responsible for a recent string of attacks on US-linked fast food outlets in that country. Two Pizza Huts and a KFC outlet were the latest targets. Anti-US sentiment has been on the rise in Lebanon over the course of the two-year old Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. Lebanese students and activists have organized boycotts of goods and businesses associated the United States. This anger has only intensified with the US threat of war against Iraq. The attacks shed light on McDonald's recent decision to withdraw from the Middle East because of falling profits. Boycott organizers say they do not approve of the attacks. Advertising campaigns aimed at convincing the Lebanese public that the franchise are Lebanese-owned seemed to have little effect. (Reuters, Nov. 18; Middle East and North Africa Today, Nov. 13)

See also WW3 REPORT #58

Recent attack on Western targets in the Middle East include:

Nov. 21, Sidon, Lebanon: American nurse, Bonnie Witheral, shot dead at a Christian mission. Nov. 21, Kuwait: Two US soldiers shot and seriously wounded by Kuwaiti policeman. Nov. 20, Saudi Arabia: An armed Saudi man burnt down a McDonalds restaurant close to a US airbase. Oct. 28, Amman, Jordan: Senior US diplomat Larry Foley assassinated outside his home. Oct. 8, Failaka Island, Kuwait: US Marine shot dead after two Kuwaitis opened fire on a military exercise. Both suspects were killed when Marines returned fire. Oct. 6, Ash Shihr, Yemen: A French tanker, The Limberg, attacked using a small explosives-filled boat. April 5, Manama, Bahrain: Firebombs thrown at the US Embassy during protests in which 100 people were injured. March 15, Sanaa, Yemen: Two grenades tossed at the US Embassy. (London Times, Nov. 22) (David Bloom) [top]

Lebanese security forces clashed with hundreds of Christian students from St. Joseph's University in Beirut Nov. 21. The students are protesting the continuing Syrian military presence in Lebanon. Witnesses say police beat protesters who tried to push their way onto the streets, injuring four. "We took to the streets to say that there is a Syrian occupation of Lebanon and we want our independence," one protester said. Similar protests took place at other campuses in the Christian part of Beirut. (Reuters, Nov. 21)(see WW3 REPORT #58) (David Bloom) [top]

Abbas Saleh, an editor at Lebanon's An-Nahar newspaper for the last four years, says he was kidnapped and beaten by Hezbollah militants following an argument with a party member. Saleh was trying to park his car near the BHV department store in Beirut, when a person approached him and told him to "'go park somewhere else.'" "After a while the conversation turned into a quarrel and the man made a phone call asking someone to send him 10 armed men and told me to 'wait and see what will happen to you.'" Saleh called a friend who was an Internal Security Forces (ISF) officer, and asked for help. Before the ISF could arrive, two vans and a Range Rover arrived, and "about 10 armed men came out of the vehicles and started beating me in public in front of a lot of people who were shouting... They later put me in one of the vans, asked me ironically if I 'wanted to wait for the ISF so they could take them with me,' and drove me to a place near the Ghobeiri public park." Upon arrival, Saleh figured out who he was dealing with. "I knew they were Hezbollah members when they took me to a room and I recognized Ahmad Mshik, who was a member of Hezbollah's security committee, sitting on the only chair in the room." Saleh tried to reach an understanding with Mshik, who is alleged to have responded: "You insulted us and now you should pay a high price." Saleh was then subjected to three hours of physical abuse from Hezbollah. When Mshik decided to let him go, Saleh said he intended to sue for assault. "Mshik mocked me and said: 'Do you really think you can sue Hezbollah?'" A state physician's report proves he was beaten. Saleh does not expect much from the investigation: "ISF officials are doing their best but told me not to expect a lot out of this case because some people cannot be touched."

When contacted by the Daily Star, Hezbollah press officer Sheikh Haidar Diqmaq did not deny that the incident took place, but said that Saleh was "exaggerating his version of the story." Saleh, for his part, says he has related only "the smallest part" of what happened to him, and that "it was dangerous to go public with the whole truth." (Daily Star, Nov. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

Bethlehem resident Sam Bahour was quite surprised when a year ago he started encountering soldiers of the South Lebanese Army (SLA) dressed in IDF uniforms, manning checkpoints in the West Bank. The SLA was a Christian Lebanese proxy army created by Israel in southern Lebanon. Many of the SLA fled to Israel after the Israeli pullout from that country in 2000. The Jerusalem Post reported on March 3 2001 that a European diplomat told Lebanon's Daily Star, "There are at least two checkpoints manned by former SLA men," one in Jericho and one in Gaza. Bahour told WW3 REPORT the SLA "were visible daily from February to April...not so much now, but I would not doubt if they are still there."

Bahour's workplace manager first encountered SLA soldiers at the Sudra checkpoint near Ramallah. "With about two hundred people stopped while on their way to work in Ramallah and in perfect Lebanese-accent Arabic, the solider ordered the Palestinians to make four rows as follows; pretty women, ugly women, men over 40 years old, and men under 40 years old," Bahour reports. "Out of necessity to make it to Ramallah and earn a living, three lines were formed, all females, men over 40 and men under 40. This bastard Israeli solider then proceeded to walk past the female line separating them into his taste of pretty and ugly...."

Bahour also said a soldier ordered his manager to say the word "tomato," which the Lebanese pronounce differently. When he said it both the Lebanese and Palestinian way, asking "which one he wanted to hear," the soldier grabbed him and a physical clash nearly ensued before a higher-ranked solider intervened.

Many European countries have refused to accept SLA militiamen out of the concern some of them may have been involved in human rights abuses in Lebanon. (Jerusalem Post, March 3, 2001)

Ha'artz's Gideon Levy noted with some disdain the outpouring of sympathy for the SLA mercenaries and their families who fled the wrath of the Hezbollah. "Suddenly, Israelis are shocked to witness the plight of Arabs who were expelled from their homes and left helpless. They are filled with pity as they see families which have been ripped apart. Is it really necessary to remind this contrite public that these aren't the only indigent Arab refugees in the region, and that they aren't the first refugees for whose dire circumstances Israel is to blame?"

Levy notes the SLA men "couldn't have reasonably expected that Israel would remain in Lebanon forever; nor could they have expected that the Lebanese would forgive them for their betrayal. In the end, collaborators always have to pay for their deeds--and the most that the SLA men can hope for now is that Israel will provide them sanctuary during their moment of woe.

Levy also writes that among the SLA refugees are those responsible for "horrifying torture, arbitrary expulsion, prolonged detention without trial, stringent limitations curbing freedom of movement, and more." The UK Independent, Levy says, saw the aftermath of the SLA departure from al-Khaim prison in southern Lebanon: "Electric wires used to torture inmates during interrogation, a whipping-post, boards on which prisoners were tied-down, letters which were never distributed, and a crutch used by a prisoner crippled by torture. The acts of abomination at al-Khiam took place under Israel's supervision and with its encouragement; but they were carried out by SLA men. Some of them are now dwelling at hotels in Israel's North, and Israel guarantees them a future in this country. They don't deserve it." (Ha'aretz, May 28, 2000) (David Bloom) [top]


In the biggest overhaul of the federal bureaucracy since the Defense Department and CIA were created in the aftermath of World War II, on Nov. 19 the Senate voted to approve legislation creating the Homeland Security Department. "This is a day for the history books," said Tom Ridge, current White House homeland security advisor and the man expected to lead the new department. Agencies to be consolidated under the Homeland Security Department include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, currently an independent agency), the Secret Service and Customs Service (currently under the Treasury Department), the Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration (currently under the Transportation Department), the National Domestic Preparedness Office and National Infrastructure Protection Center (currently under the FBI), the enforcement functions (e.g. Border Patrol) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, currently under the Justice Department), the Office of Domestic Preparedness (currently under the Justice Department), parts of California's Livermore National Laboratories and elite nuclear incident response teams (currently under the Energy Department), New York's Plum Island Animal Disease Center (currently under the Agriculture Department) and biological incident response teams (currently under the Health and Human Services Department), as well as a slew of lesser-known agencies, such as the Defense Department's National Communications System, the Commerce Department's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, and the General Services Administration's Federal Computer Incident Response Center. (NYT, Nov. 20)

Commentators were quick to point out that the federal reshuffling could aggravate inter-agency rivalry. Wrote the New York Times Nov. 20: "Administration officials acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security could eventually emerge as a rival to the FBI as a domestic intelligence-gathering agency... 'I think there are some nervous folks over at the bureau,' a senior law enforcement official said today."

However, few commentators in the US noted the likely central role of FEMA in the new department--or the agency's Reagan-era contingency plan to oversee a declaration of martial law in the event of national emergency. Under the plan, drawn up with then-National Security Council agent Lt. Col. Oliver North, FEMA would seize control of the entire federal bureaucracy and declare sweeping powers to suspend constitutional rights and round up anti-war protesters and Central American refugees on military bases in the event of a US invasion of Nicaragua. In 1984, FEMA carried out a series of "readiness exercises" (dubbed REX 84 ALPHA) in preparation for the mass detainments. The secret plans were revealed in the 1987 Congressional hearings on the "Contragate" scandal. On July 27, with the Homeland Security bill pending, Ritt Goldstein of Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, one of the few commentators to recall this history, wrote: "Foundations are in place for martial law in the US."

The Homelands Security Act was signed into law by President Bush on Nov. 25. (NYT, Nov. 26) [top]

The usually arch-conservative but civil libertarian New York Times columnist William Safire warned Nov. 14: "If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before passage, here is what will happen to you: Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade your receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend - all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as 'a virtual, centralized grand database.' To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you--passport application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the FBI, your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance - and you have the supersnoop's dream: a 'Total Information Awareness' about every US citizen."

Safire's fears are real, but he is confused on one point: the Homeland Security Act does not establish the sinister Total Information Awareness (TIA) program--which is a project of the Information Awareness Office (IAO), part of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Wrote Reuters Nov. 16: "Contrary to some published reports, the bill contains no authorization for a comprehensive data-mining effort proposed by the Pentagon that would break down long-established barriers against domestic surveillance. But the proposed agency would combine several surveillance efforts under one roof, from airline-passenger screening programs to immigration databases and criminal financial investigations." Reuters reports that privacy advocates are also concerned by a measure "that would boost penalties for cyber-crimes and make it easier for Internet providers to report suspicious activity on their networks. Hackers could face life in prison if their activities were found to put human lives at risk, while Internet providers could hand over logs of customer activity without fear of lawsuits."

House Majority Leader Dick Armey argued that the Homeland Security Act actually protects privacy: "This bill does not in any way authorize the Department of Defense program known as 'Total Information Awareness.' It does not authorize, fund or move into the Department anything like it. In fact, this bill provides unique statutory protections that will ensure the Department of Homeland Security could never undertake such a program. Section 892 of our bill prohibits the sharing of any information that would undermine the statutory and constitutional protections of our citizens. We also create a privacy officer, the first ever established by statute, whose sole mission will be to ensure that programs like TIA never get off the ground in this Department." (Freedom House, Nov. 22)

Safire does remind readers that the IAO is headed by Admiral John Poindexter, a mastermind of the secret arms-for-hostage deal with Iran and kickback of the profits to the right-wing contra guerillas in Nicaragua--a major scandal of the Reagan era. In 1990, Poindexter was convicted on five felony counts of lying to Congress and shredding documents, but an appeals court overturned the verdict citing the immunity he had been granted for his Congressional testimony.

See also WW3 REPORT #59

Privacy groups remain concerned that the Homeland Security Department--which is to include a "research" division--could centralize the new surveillance powers allowed by last year's PATRIOT Act, which weakened the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and several other privacy laws. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 31, 2001)

The Homeland Security Act also includes:

* Limits on government information citizens can request under the Freedom of Information Act

* Criminal penalties for government employees who leak information.

* More latitude for "national-security related" executive branch task forces and advisory committees to meet in secret.

* Limits on liability for those who manufacture 'antiterrorism technologies,' including vaccines, gas masks, and baggage screening equipment.

* New powers to declare national health emergencies, including quarantines and forced vaccination.

( Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 21)

Provisions included at the insistence of Rep. Armey (R-TX) include a rejection of a national identification card, a ban on the proposed citizen informant network known as the Terrorist Information Prevention System (TIPS), and creation of a privacy officer for the department to assure compliance with the 1974 Privacy Act. (American Library Association, Nov. 20) [top]

In a ruling that Attorney General John Ashcroft said "revolutionizes our ability to investigate terrorists," the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a May opinion by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that sought to limit the Justice Department's newly expanded eavesdropping powers. The secret court, created by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), grants wiretap warrants even when there is no evidence of criminal activity if FBI agents can demonstrate that "the purpose" of the surveillance is to protect national security. Under last year's USA PATRIOT Act, protecting national security need only be "a significant purpose" of the warrant. The FISA court's May ruling that Ashcroft's interpretation of the expanded powers was unacceptably broad was the first unclassified decision in the court's 24-year history. Following the overturning of the FISA court's ruling, Ashcroft announced a new computer system that will allow agents to draft FISA warrant applications and send them to FBI headquarters "in real time." Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the Appeals Court ruling "dramatically expands the risk that law-abiding American citizens and permanent residents could be subjected to highly intrusive...surveillance." (USA Today, Nov. 19;, Nov. 18)

See also WW3 REPORT #51 [top]

On Nov. 19 the Senate also approved legislation--already passed by the House--limiting insurance company liability in the event of a terrorist attack, and providing for the federal government to pay up to $100 billion annually for three years to cover potential terrorist losses. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill called the bill "perhaps the single most important thing we can do to boost job creation in the short run, as well as minimize negative economic consequences of possible future attacks." (NYT, Nov. 20)

The bill augments a policy already in place where the nuclear industry is concerned since 1957 under the Price-Anderson Act, which limits utility and insurer liability to $200 million per reactor in the event of nuclear disaster. Price-Anderson, whose implications are all the more grave in light of the new terrorist threat, was renewed by Congress this year. (Village Voice, Jan. 8) [top]

The FBI's warning last week of a "spectacular" terrorist attack invoked a threat to targets of "high symbolic value, mass casualties, severe damage to the US economy and maximum psychological trauma." It specifically mentioned possible attacks on nuclear, aviation or petroleum sector targets. But former President Jimmy Carter warned on CNN's Larry King Live Nov. 14 that repeated terror alerts could result in a "cry wolf" feeling. (AP, Nov. 16)

Meanwhile, the official Homeland Security Color Advisory Code remained on an uninspiring yellow (for "elevated" threat level), which has been the status quo throughout the year except for a brief escalation to orange (for "high") around the 9-11 anniversary. [top]

Thousands gathered in Quetta, Pakistan, for the funeral of Mir Aimal Kasi [sometimes rendered "Kansi"], a Pakistani immigrant who was executed in Virginia Nov. 14 for killing two CIA employees with an AK-47 rifle, fired into their cars outside the agency's Langley, VA, complex in 1993. (NYT, Nov. 20) Kasi, who had allegedly fled to Afghanistan, reportedly confessed to the killings while being flown back to the US following his arrest in Pakistan. (AP, Nov. 15)

While the anti-US protests that followed the execution in Pakistan made headlines, few media commentators recalled that Kasi was an employee of a courier service owned by the son of Victor Marchetti, a former CIA agent who wrote the 1974 blockbuster "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence." The junior Marchetti had CIA clearance to make deliveries at Langley--as did Kansi. (See

The senior Marchetti currently publishes a newsletter called Zionist Watch, which has been criticized for anti-semitic conspiracy theories that the US government is secretly controlled by Israel. (See "Right Woos Left", The Public Eye, Political Research Associates) [top]

CIA and National Security Agency analysts have concluded that an audiotape of Osama bin Laden broadcast last week on Qatar's al-Jazeera satellite TV is authentic. "Intelligence experts do believe that the tape is genuine," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "It is clear that the tape was made in the last several weeks." On the tape, bin Laden threatens more attacks against the US and its allies if the US attacks Iraq. (USA Today, Nov. 19) [top]


The Washington DC city council has passed a resolution opposing military action against Iraq without proof of an "imminent threat" to US national security. Takoma Park, MD, Berkeley, CA, and Santa Fe, NM, have passed similar resolutions, with more pending in Baltimore, MD, and Madison, WI. (Washington Post, Nov. 8)

Santa Fe has also passed a resolution barring city law enforcement from violating residents' constitutional rights even if requested to do so by federal authorities under the PATRIOT Act or other federal anti-terrorist legislation. ( Democracy.issue) [top]


EXIT POLL Discuss irony of the so-called "Patriot" and "Homeland Security" acts in the context of the following quotations:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."--Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"--Patrick Henry

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."--Benjamin Franklin

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."--Thomas Jefferson

"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too forget it."--James Madison

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