The Berg Fraud and Other Deceptions
May 17, 2004
Berg Tape Analysis
Eric A. SmithEric A. Smith of Tokyo has compiled a useful list of some of the results of analysis of the Berg tape and listed some reference links. See below:
Terrorist mastermind Zarqawi has announced his name but hidden his face. The CIA has said it is indeed Zarqawi, but he appears to be reading his own speech from a paper.
The person holding the knife -- allegedly Zarqawi -- has a Black hood at the video's beginning, but there is an edit (the camera time signatures change) and the knifeholder is then wearing a WHITE hood (and no bulletproof vest).
You'll also find the following oddities in the video, which was heavily edited, presumably in a lab or on a PC:
WM-----|-----Video Clock-----|-----Screen Shot
0:00 ---|--- nothing ---|-------Arabic letters
0:05 ---|--- 13:26:24 ---|--- Nick Berg speaking
0:09 ---|---- 2:18:33 ---|--- Nick Berg sitting
0:20 ---|---- 2:40:33 ---|--- Speech in Arabic
4:36 ---|---- 2:44:56 ---|--- Speaker pushes Berg over
4:38 ---|--- 13:45:48 ---|--- Decapitation begins
4:43 ---|--- 13:45:52 ---|--- Picture lost
4:44 ---|--- 13:45:59 ---|--- Picture returns, decapitation continues
So, if we are to assume the timestamps of the two (?) cameras are accurate, this means Berg was beheaded at 13:47:49 (1:47) but at 2:44, nearly an hour later, he is sitting with his head intact.
Zarqawi has also been reported to have an artificial leg; this is definitely not apparent in the video. Nor is his Jordanian accent, according to experts. Also note the gold ring on the "sinister" (toilet-using) hand -- a definite no-no for muslims.
Then there's US consulate Beth A. Payne's e-mails to Berg's family saying their son was in "US military custody" for 13 days:
April 1, 1:26 a.m. (To Michael Berg, Berg's father)
I have confirmed that your son, Nick, is being detained by the U.S. military in Mosul. He is safe. He was picked up approximately one week ago. We will try to obtain additional information regarding his detention and a contact person you can communicate with directly.
April 1, 5:23 a.m. (To Suzanne Berg, Berg's mother)
I have been able to confirm that your son is being detained by the U.S. military. I am attempting to identify a person with the U.S. military or FBI here in Iraq who you can contact directly with your questions.
And, according to CNN, Berg himself had contacted a friend -- Chilean reporter Hugo Infante -- saying he was in US custody:
The US Administration denies this, saying he was in Mosul Iraqi police custody, BUT "...police chief Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair al-Barhawi in Mosul insisted his department had never arrested Berg and said he had no knowledge of the case. ''The Iraqi police never arrested the slain American,'' al-Barhawi told reporters. ''Take it from me ... that such reports are baseless.'' http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20040513-1057-iraq-berg.html
And of course there are the American orange prisoner jumpsuit and white plastic chair and yellow walls which appear in the video -- exactly as they do at Abu Ghraib, the now-notorious site of the American torture of Iraqi POWs: http://marc.perkel.com/images/berg-chair.jpg
Next, the hosting website was reported to be in Malaysia, but was discovered to actually located in London:
Says Jackblood.com, which ran a trace:
"...www.al-asnar.net and www.al-asnar.biz have apparently been disabled by 'authorities.' ...the publishers for these sites are located in London, England and Nurnberg, Denmark.
"The addresses began to disappear from the internet listings as we reported this development on The Power Hour Radio Show. Apparently, "Big Brother"; had been listening to the show and didn't like the news at all. The location of the publishers for al-ansar.net appears to be at an Arab Press Building, which appears to be shared by different Arab news publications. The name of the organization is the Arab Press House. Thebuilding is apparently the headquarters for news magazines such as, AlJamilla, Sayidaty, and Al Majallah among others.
The London address is the following:
Arab Press House
Abdel Rahman al-Rashed
184 High Holborn, WCIV78P, London
tel. 020 78318181
The other address is located in Nurnberg, Denmark. It apparently belongs to a man named Omar AbuOmar. His email address is:firstname.lastname@example.org .
The complete mailing address is the following:
New Dream St. 33
Nurnberg, Denmark, 42114
...these same websites (www.al-asnar.net and www.al-asnar.biz) were the ones that posted the latest Bin Laden audio recording, weeks ago. Despite knowing the website addresses, and potentially the addresses of their respective publishers, the CIA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security did not make any apparent efforts to monitor the websites for uploaded files or internet traffic. Therefore, no arrests were made."
Next, the AK-47 carried by one of the men is a "Gilal" -- an Israeli weapon that improves on the AK- 47. Feyadeen and other insurgents almost universally use AK-47s. The man in the left of the video is standing in the American military stance known as "parade rest", and several of the apparent terrorists are wearing white tennis shoes ad bulletproof vests.
At frame 13:46:27, there is an edit and a person with a white ear and a green cap is seen entering from the right. Then the video is re-edited.
Matt Drudge reports that "The statement in the video was signed off with Zarqawi's name and dated 11 May" , but Berg's body was reported found on May 10th -- the day before the video was apparently made!
Pay attention. This one is definitely a setup.
More details here:
See more on the Berg fraud below, and other newsclips of the week. For a good summary of questions and theories, see "Who Killed Nick Berg?" in Sydney Morning Herald
May 17, 2004
According to a Newsweek poll, Bush’s approval ratings have dropped to 42 percent. Fifty-seven percent say they disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. And 62 percent say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, a number that has been steadily increasing since April, 2003, when it was 41 percent. In matchups with Kerry, Bush holds his own, but that fits with the familiar dynamics of races at this stage of the game when attention is on the incumbent and whether or not he is viable. Only after the general population begins to believe that the incumbent is not viable, do voters begin to consider whether the challenger is a worthy alternative. At the moment, Kerry is fighting like Muhammad Ali against George Foreman, the rope-a-dope, a defensive battle, letting George wear destroy himself and waiting for his opportunity to move in and finish him off. MSNBC A very weird scene with a Tim Russert interview of Colin Powell by Tim Russert, with a Powell aide pulling the camera away when Russert asked Powell about his false statements to the U.N. in his attempt to drum up support for the Iraq war. See Buzzflash.com, News 2 150,000 Israelis demonstrate for pullout from Gaza. Sun Times.
May 18, 2004As June approaches, the truth is busting out all over. It is a display of how the raw energy of massive majorities cannot be entirely suppressed. It can be held down, held back, but only for so long before it breaks through. People from all over are uniting to throw off the regime, including the military personnel who aided and abetted Michael Moore in the shooting of his film expose of the Bush administration's atrocities. Too many people have been wronged and are no longer willing to take it lying down.
You can't stop us on the road to freedom
You can't keep us Cause our eyes can see -- Van Morrison
"Atrocities in Iraq: 'I killed innocent people for our government'" The Sacramento Bee reports " For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a hard-core, some say gung-ho, Marine. For three years he trained fellow Marines in one of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life - Marine boot camp. The Iraq war changed Massey. The brutality, the sheer carnage of the U.S. invasion, touched his conscience and transformed him forever." The Q&A with Massey is one of the gripping pieces of reporting that has appeared about the invasion of Iraq. See Newsweek's "The Roots of Torture", which says "The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war." MSNBC Mainstream popular journalism like Newsweek has now become conspiracy theory. Why? Because conspiracies are really happening. These recycled Nixon-Ford-Reagan-Bush alumni have gotten away with so much now that the atrocities have grown to increasingly outrageous proportions. How did that happen? Whenever anyone reported anything that sounded like "conspiracy theory", he was shouted down and ridiculed by the establishment media, whose conventional minds find such shocking behavior absolutely unspeakable, unimaginable. Hence, the thugs could get away with anything. And did. And here we are. But now there is a broad-based awakening taking place. Even the most somnalescent knee jerkers are opening their eyes -- in horror. Defections mount. The Senate Armed forces committee, led by a Republican, has no plans to stop its investigation of the torture. ""The Republican strategists would love for this story to die, but no one knows how to kill it," University of Wisconsin political scientist Donald F. Kettl said. "They know they can't take a dump-it-and-run approach, and they know they can't keep it bottled up. It's an impossible dilemma." LA Times. The Side His Bread is Buttered On -- Ashcroft's attack on Greepeace in defense of the illegal logging of Amazon forests. LA Times. Bizarre. Moore ignites audiences at Cannes Globe & Mail According to the International Herald Tribune, Moore said: "When you see the movie you will see things you have never seen before. You will learn things you have never known before. Half the movie is about Iraq. We were able to get film crews embedded with American troops without them knowing that it was Michael Moore. They are totally f---ed. The film is only partly to do with the bin Ladens and Bush. I was able to send three different freelance film crews to Iraq. Soldiers had written to me to express their disillusionment with the war. It's a case of our own troops not being in support of their commander-in-chief," Moore said on Saturday. Moore said his movie "faces exile" Sydney Morning Herald Washington Post The first decision is Bush. USA Today Rumsfeld under pressure The Nation Implausible Denial The Nation Rumsfeld approved the program that led to abuse. "The operation, which encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation to obtain intelligence, was known to President George Bush and fewer than 200 operatives. It was approved by the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, according to the report. The programme was governed by the rules: 'Grab who you must. Do what you want,' a former intelligence officer told the magazine." The Guardian The Nazi Hydra in America. Spiritone.com
May 19, 2004The Berg Fraud Analyzed -- At Liberty Forum you will find a great deal of detailed analysis of the Nick Berg beheading video. Of course you may not want to spend a lot of time analyzing this hideous thing, or even think about it, and that's a sane, legitimate approach to the situation. But if you protect your innocence, just be careful not to adopt conclusions pre-packaged and handed to you. The burden of proof should be upon establishing that the video has any validity as evidence, which of course it doesn't. Therefore, no conclusions at all can be drawn from it. It is a creation, and it was created for a purpose.
Various analysts have established clearly that the video is riddled with cuts, based on reading of the video time signatures of the various segments. And they are segments. It is not a matter of someone turning on a video and letting it run while a guy introduces himself and then someone cuts his head off, with no struggling and no arterial bleeding. It's a videomontage.
So we are in one of those situations where we know what something is not, but we don't know what it is. What it is not is what it is purported to be, a straightforward message from they mythical Al Qaeda. It is a message, but it is up to us to interpret the evidence for ourselves.
Rest assured that the full story on the tape will never be fully clear. People will be studying it and debating until this civilization is in ruins. Since its use as a war propaganda tool may lead to more people being killed, it is worthwhile to try to understand what it really means.
Actually its overarching message doesn't seem to be a big mystery. It is not a subtle gesture, no matter who produced the video. One could say it is an attempt for Al Qaeda to "test our will", as George Bush is saying. But given all the glaring evidence of the fraudulence of the claims of its origin, it appears to be a message created to justify the war, to stir up hatred and fear to fuel the war effort. Who made the video can only be guessed, but the possibilities are not endless. Those who would have the wherewithal to pull this off are few. And those who might benefit from stirring up hatred and war are also a finite group.
So don't look into this, if you don't want, but don't start from the conclusion that this tape is authentic when you have been given no evidence that it is. I always get the sense when the media so blatantly leave out the most obvious basic questions about the authenticity of an alleged piece of "evidence" like this, that they are training us not to ask questions, not even the most fundamental, common-sense questions. That are deliberately discouraging critical thinking. I think that is what outrages me the most about it. It's a silent directive to accept what you are given without question, even when there are blatant contradictions in the story you are being told.
So dismiss all the talk about what that video really is, if you wish. Dismiss it entirely as a piece of evidence because nothing much can be drawn from it. But don't accept the manufactured interpretations that begin with the conclusion that the official explanations of this hideous video are legitimate.
Who is Emily Miller? She is the Powell aid who yanked the camera away from him on Meet the Press when Tim Russert asked Powell about those false statements he made to the UN about weapons of mass destruction. Now we are hearing that she may have been put in place by Bush/Cheney to keep Powell in line. She was allegedly a former press aide to Tom DeLay, and involved in the mob scene created to intimidate Florida election workers during the Bush coup of 2000. nytimes.com foia.state.gov ariannaonline.com Torturers Make Bad Soldiers -- According to UPI, "Even worse for Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-conservative true believers who have run the Pentagon for the past 31˛2 years, three major institutions in the Washington power structure have decided that after almost a full presidential term of being treated with contempt and abuse by them, it's payback time. Those three institutions are: The United States Army, the Central Intelligence Agency and the old, relatively moderate but highly experienced Republican leadership in the United States Senate. Abuse and even torture of prisoners happens in almost every war on every side. But well-run professional armies, and the U.S. Army has always been one, take great pains to guard against it and limit it as much as possible. Even in cases where torture excesses are regarded as essential to extract tactical information and save lives, commanders in most modern armies have taken care to limit such "dirty work" to very small units, usually from special forces, and to keep it as secret as possible. For senior Army professionals know that allowing patterns of abuse and torture to metastasize in any army is annihilating to its morale and tactical effectiveness. Torturers usually make lousy combat soldiers, which is why combat soldiers in every major army hold them in contempt." Moore cheered at Cannes. By infiltrating the "embedded journalism" system, Moore got some real footage of how bad Americans treated innocent Iraqis. IOL. co.za The Wastrel Son, by Paul Krugman, New York Times: "He was a stock character in 19th-century fiction: the wastrel son who runs up gambling debts in the belief that his wealthy family, concerned for its prestige, will have no choice but to pay off his creditors. In the novels such characters always come to a bad end. Either they bring ruin to their families, or they eventually find themselves disowned. eorge Bush reminds me of those characters — and not just because of his early career, in which friends of the family repeatedly bailed out his failing business ventures. Now that he sits in the White House, he's still counting on other people to settle his debts — not to protect the reputation of his family, but to protect the reputation of the country... So how will it all end? The cries of 'stay the course' are getting fainter, while the calls for a quick exit are growing. In other words, it seems increasingly likely that the nation will end up disowning Mr. Bush and his debts." Powell admitted deception on WMDs The Nation
May 20, 2004
Evidence of Abuses of Iraqi Civilians Mounts -- Denver Post Abuse Extended to Reuters and NBC Staff -- "U.S. forces beat three Iraqis working for Reuters and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation during their detention last January in a military camp near Falluja, the three said on Tuesday." Reuters List of Coalition Casualties Modesto Bee Quagmire -- "I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure. We are looking into the abyss," General Joseph Hoar, a former commander in chief of US central command, told the Senate foreign relations committee. The Guardian White House Counsel Warned of War Crimes -- Newsweek "Should cowboy Bush ride into the sunset?" USA Today
May 21, 2004
911 Could Have Been Prevented -- 911citizenswatch.org "The pictures show the ultimate abuse ... two American soldiers laughing as they make fun of a dead Iraqi detainee in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. They show just how accurate a third soldier was when he called the prison a 'horror movie' at his court martial in Baghdad yesterday." The Star, ABC Poll: Nine out of 10 Iraqis see US as Occupiers, not liberators. The poll was conducted before photos showing abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops were made public. ABC "Don’t Bring Slavery Back to America" Anthony Gregory on the draft. LewRockwell.com Illegally Funded Propaganda -- "U.S. Senate and House Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to require the Bush administration to repay the estimated $43,000 cost of "video news releases" that the General Accounting Office says violated a federal law against the use of government funds for "publicity or propaganda." But Administration officials insist that there was nothing inappropriate about the videos and they intend to take no action in light of the finding." Reuters
May 22, 2004
Happy Friday NightDo I feel happy because it's Friday night, or is there a whiff of hope that the Bush administration may be in its last days? The disaster in Iraq is unspeakable. The state of the U.S. economy and morale is catastrophic. But the possibility that it may have become so disastrous that it will finally bring down the barbarous Bushes gives the whole macabre scene an ounce of redemption.
The news is now the darkest black humor ever heard, and still there is no end in sight, not a minutely visible prospect that anything but blind luck will make the situation one bit better. The Bush maniacs have put many forces in motion that they can no longer control and we are the victims of a vacuum of leadership. Leadership? George Bush? Sorry. No compatibility there.
Now that there is a glimpse of hope that the deadly Bush machine will be brought to a halt, one can get an occasional peek at the tremendous possibilities of the age we are living in, with stunning advances in nearly all fields. The possibilities are tremendous, but the U.S., and by extension the world, is in the grip of a primitive vision of human existence. It's the world in the grip of troglodytes, who are stupid, but vicious and voraciously greedy.
New photos. Pentagon spokesman "not immediately available for comment..." The Bush administration IS the Iraq invasion. That is its raison d'etre. It has nothing else going for it. Bush's entire self-image is based on his being a "war president." As the war goes, so goes the Bush administration. And it is going very badly. Bush campaign needs more than a pep talk. Boston Herald Republicans in Wonderland -- Re: Bush's Capitol Hill Pep Rally: "'What stood out to me is his total resolve and the momentum he feels that we need to keep up,' said Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, a member of the Republican leadership, after the session with the president. 'He was very upbeat and positive about the direction we're going and asked us to keep the faith and keep the pressure on and keep ahead on the right track,' she added. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, her counterpart across the Rotunda, had a similar view. 'We saw the determination and spirit of a great leader,'he said." New York Times Fire the War Pimps: Ted Rall says it. Let's get rid of the jerks in the media who were complicit with the crimes of the Bush administration by helping the Bushistas to maintain their cover.
WORLD WAR THREE WEEKEND
May 23, 2004
Historians Don't Dig George -- History News Network The Star on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911. "A scorching indictment of the current U.S. administration's military engagement in Iraq that colours the entire enterprise as being rooted in the Bush family's business relations with Saudi oil money and members of Osama Bin Laden's family - and featuring some harrowing footage shot by freelance camera crews of prisoner abuse, bombed Iraqi civilians and dead-of-night military raids on Iraqi homes - Fahrenheit 9/11 is a considerably more sober, impassioned and focused film than Bowling For Columbine." The Guardian: "Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was a barnstorming anti-war/anti-Bush polemic tossed like an incendiary device into the crowded Cannes festival ... Moore also has queasy new war zone footage of US soldiers humiliating their prisoners while others snap away with their digital cameras ... this was an exhilarating and even refreshing film, especially coming at a time when political commentators on either side of the Atlantic - progressives and ex-progressives alike - are apparently too worldly and sophisticated to be angry about the war." The Guardian Iraq governing council member condemns raid on Chalabi's home. Reuters Conservatives Recoil -- National Review ridicules and criticizes the Chalabi raid and the transparent attempt of the U.S. to pretend they had nothing to do with it. It was just the Iraqi authorities (who were appointed by the U.S. and serve at the pleasure of the U.S. and have no authority outside of the U.S.) who did it w/ no complicity by the U.S. The National Review The New York Times on the raid of Chalabi. Another story with no heroes. Robert Novak gives vivid evidence of how Bush is alienating his conservative base. TownHall.com
May 24, 2004
Impeach the S.O.B.-- Damn the Republicans, full speed ahead! says Daniel Patrick Welch. "It's time to stop beating around this Bush and start beating up on him -— but good. There is no set of humanitarian or democratic principles by which this administration would not have been removed in any sane society. The last election was questionable at best, and his reckless, dangerous and criminal actions in the ensuing years have shown the whole world he is unfit to govern." Online Journal Moore Wins Top Prize at Cannes, Issues Pretzel Warning for Bush -- After winning the top prize from an international jury at the Cannes Film Festival for Fahrenheit 911, Michael Moore said he hoped Bush wasn't eating a pretzel when he heard the news. Reuters Hapless Bush in Bike Crackup -- Bush allegedly fell off his bike, suffering cuts, scratches and abrasions. The Guardian "The Adventures of Bush, the Crackpot" by Carlos Fuentes in Le Monde. "An unjust and unnecessary war has lead to a long and costly post-war: close to 800 Americans dead in battle; 4,000-11,000 Iraqi civilians killed, a monstrous regimen of humiliation and torture practiced by United States' citizens in the prisons that were once Saddam Hussein's deadly jails. I shall evoke Kurtz words in Conrad's Heart of Darkness: 'The horror...the horror.'... The greatest paradox of all is that the North American victory has found expression in a weakening of the United States both inside and outside Iraq. Its most solid alliances have been cracked, its policy has been rejected by a great majority of the world and it will have to pay an enormous economic bill for the adventures of George W. Bush, the Crackpot." Truthout Growing Evidence of Rape of Iraqi Civilian Women by U.S. Soldiers -- The Guardian John Kaminski: "For me, this recent paralysis really began with the Abu Ghraib prison revelations. Attaching that poor Iraqi man to electrical wires. That's a photograph that ranks with Jack Ruby plugging Lee Harvey Oswald, with the Challenger explosion, with that little naked Vietnamese girl running screaming from napalm in the ranks of the most famous pictures in American history. Any American that doesn't feel an overwhelming sense of shame is a complete sociopath. Unfortunately, it would seem that a majority of the American populace -— as well as virtually all its leaders -— are exactly that: mealy-mouthed chickenshit perverted immoral sadistic sociopaths. And many of them carry holy books and insist these atrocities are justified." Online Journal Mass Delusion -- Regarding the horrific and baffling events of 9/11, the more you know, the more you know you don't know what happened that day. Food for thought at thewebfairy.com Perfect Storm -- "The Bush juggernaut looks like the Keystone Cops. What's going on would be pure farce, except it's tragedy because so many people are dying. Missiles slam into what Iraqis said was a wedding ceremony, leaving women and children among the dead. Israel is going crazy in the Gaza Strip, bulldozing Palestinian homes and shooting into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. At home, gas prices are rising to an all-time high and in Canton, Ohio, a steel plant that Bush touted as a model last year announced it was closing, costing another 1,300 jobs in a state that has already lost 170,000 in the manufacturing sector. Surveying the wreckage, an aide to a prominent Senate Republican termed it a 'perfect storm of bad events.'" Newsweek Corporate political censorship runs wild -- "It appears that the Corporate Media giants have decided to cripple the efforts of the most effective critics of Bush Republicanism going into the 2004 presidential elections. This started becoming apparent when MoveOn.org was stopped from running relatively mild ads during the Super Bowl criticizing the Bush administration for creating a huge national debt problem for our children to solve in the future. This was done by Viacom while the Bush Republicans did not face similar restrictions. The Bush Republicans have no problem running their highly negative ads." Online Journal Tom Hayden: When Bonesmen Fight -- "Though both the Cowboy and the Brahmin may be quarreling members of the same old club, their differences are existential for the rest of us. Ralph Nader doesn't see this. Instead, he argues that the two parties are a duopoly within the same plutocracy. Maybe Nader is nursing resentment over not being tapped himself, but his is a dangerous blindness. The differences between Bush and Kerry over Supreme Court appointments, religious fundamentalism, civil rights, the environment, John Ashcroft and the future of Iraq are fundamental, dividing the two parties at the constituency level. Bush genuflects to the Christian Right while Kerry sings Kumbaya. The Bush people are scary and destabilizing, which is why the CIA types seem to prefer Kerry (covertly, of course). For the record, this November I am voting with the CIA. They represent the lesser evil in the choices before us. But like Ralph Nader, I want democracy to mean more than a choice between two candidates chosen by dueling Bonesmen and their major donors." Alternet What is up with the Berg murder? The many discrepancies raise the need for a real investigation, not a secret government one. Online Journal Smoking Gun in Berg Murder? Marc Perkel, "the most dangerous mind on the Internet," reports that a "smoking gun" may have emerged in the Berg killing. "There has been a semi-secret government initiative to add digital signatures to various digital consumer products. Photocopiers and digital cameras store an encrypted signature to identify the unit that made the video. This digital signature is totally unique to each device and is more unique than a fingerprint. Today new pictures were released of prison torture at Abu Ghraib prison. But not just still pictures. Today video was released showing prisoners being tortured by Americans. Apparently Kodak film experts at Kodak Park in Rochester New York have compared the digital watermarks of the turture video and the beheading video and have determined that one of the cameras used in the Nick Berg beheading is THE SAME CAMERA that took the prison torture video. If this turns out to be true then there is NO DOUBT that Berg was killed by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison." This is one fine mess for the Neocons. marc.perkel.com A.N.S.W.E.R. plans demonstration in Washington June 5. Enron Knowingly Bilked California -- The LA Times reports that "Enron Corp. employees spoke of 'stealing' up to $2 million a day from California during the 2000-01 energy crisis and suggested that their market-gaming ploys would be presented to top management, possibly including Jeffrey K. Skilling and Kenneth L. Lay, according to documents released Monday. The evidence of apparent scheming - in one recorded conversation, traders brag about taking money from 'Grandma Millie' in California - is in a filing by a utility in Snohomish County, Wash. The municipal power unit north of Seattle wants refunds for alleged overcharges made by Enron during the electricity market meltdown. The utility obtained transcripts of routinely recorded trader discussions from the Justice Department, which seized them in its Enron investigation." Who Gave the Bin Ladens the Green Light to Leave the U.S. After 9/11? Alexander Bolton of The Hill reports: "The Bush administration has refused to answer repeated requests from the Sept. 11 commission about who authorized flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden's family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of 2001 ... Democrats suspect President Bush, who met privately with the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, on the morning of Sept. 13, 2001, may have personally authorized the controversial flights, several of which took place when all other U.S. commercial air travel had been halted ... If Bush or members of his inner circle are shown to have approved the flight of the prominent Saudi Arabian citizens, it could be damaging to Bush, who has staked his re-election campaign in large measure to his carefully built image as the steady leader of the war against terrorism."