The Conspiracy Pages

Caught In The Net

June 9
The Price Of Pork: Despite GOP Congress, pork-barrel spending continues apace - By R. Morris Barrett
One might wonder if Republicans still support it: two years after the GOP takeover of Congress, pork-barrel spending shows no signs of abating. Researchers at the budget watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), using their own criteria for pork, found about $14.5 billion in pork spending for the second session of the104th Congress, a 16-percent increase over the first session and the highest level of pork spending identified since 1990, the first year the watchdog group began scouring Congress' 13 annual appropriations bills...
Power and fear may have been guiding Gingrich who, nervous that his party could lose the majority in the 1996 elections, sent a memo to Republican appropriations committee chairmen last year urging them to fund multi-million dollar spending projects in the districts of embattled Republicans.
from CNN

June 7, 1997
CIA Role in Guatemala Told in Files of Times Publisher - By TIM WEINER
WASHINGTON -- In June 1954, the publisher of The New York Times privately agreed with the director of Central Intelligence to keep a Times foreign correspondent out of Guatemala, according to the publisher's personal files, just as the CIA was secretly mounting a coup there...
Dulles, the director, had suggested that the correspondent, Sydney Gruson, was politically suspect and should be kept out of Guatemala. Unknown to the publisher, the CIA had elaborate plans to overthrow a freely elected leftist president, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, and replace him with a hand-picked right-wing military officer, Col. Carlos Castillo Armas...
Contacts of this sort between the CIA and the American news media -- as well as far deeper relationships -- were common in the 1950s and 1960s, and were thoroughly reported 20 years ago. Today the agency has forsworn the use of American journalists as spies or agents, except in some unforeseeable emergency where lives are at stake, according to John M. Deutch, the former director of Central Intelligence.
from The New York Times

Friday, June 6, 1997; 5:16 p.m. EDT
Pulitzer Prize Winner Lukas Dies - By Larry McShane
NEW YORK (AP) -- J. Anthony Lukas, a newspaper reporter and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes for writing about social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s, committed suicide shortly after completing his latest book. He was 64.
Lukas was found dead Thursday in his apartment. He had strangled himself, the medical examiner's office said.
Lukas, whose 1985 book "Common Ground" won the Pulitzer for its look at the furor that erupted over court-ordered school busing in Boston during the 1970s, had recently completed a book about a turn-of-the-century murder trial in the West, said his agent, Amanda Urban.
from The Washington Post

June 4, 1997
C.I.A. Traitor Severely Hurt U.S. Security, Judge Told - By TIM WEINER
WASHINGTON -- Harold Nicholson, the former CIA station chief who turned traitor in 1994, did incalculable damage to the agency's secret operations, the acting director of Central Intelligence told the federal judge who will sentence Nicholson on Thursday...
At those meetings, Tenet's letter said, Nicholson sold the Russians "the names and positions of a large number" of CIA officers.
from The New York Times

June 02, 1997
Thousands of Mink Turned Loose
MOUNT ANGEL, Ore. (AP) -- Thousands of mink died in what one fur industry official called the largest act of "eco-terrorism" ever against the fur trade -- the release of10,000 mink from their cages...
Kelly said he suspected animal rights groups were responsible for the "eco-terrorism" that caused at least several hundred thousand dollars in damage...
The most costly attack on the industry was a March pipe bomb attack on the Utah Fur Breeders Agricultural Cooperative in Sandy, Utah, which produces feed for mink raised in Utah and southern Idaho. Kelly said damage was estimated at $1 million.
from The Las Vegas Sun

Sunday June 1 6:48 AM EDT
Author Denies His Novel Inspired Okla. Attack
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The author of a right-wing novel that prosecutors have alleged was a virtual blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing said he did not believe his book had influenced accused bomber Timothy McVeigh.
In an interview to be aired on CNN's "IMPACT" newsmagazine Sunday night, William Pierce was asked if his novel "The Turner Diaries" could have inspired the April 19, 1995 on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, which killed 168 people.
"I don't believe so. I think it's a mistake to say that people hate the government or that people bomb government buildings because of a politically incorrect novel I wrote 22 years ago," Pierce said.
from YAHOO News Headlines

31 May 1997 18:45:04 GMT
On Friday, May 30, at approximately 9pm, a hard drive failed in the MD RAID array of our user file-server. We spent the night trying to fix the array and save the user files, but we were unsuccessful.
We are currently reinstalling the last complete backup of the user file-server.
from onenet.announce

CIA checking file destruction; says policy was discontinued
WASHINGTON - After revealing that records of a 1953 CIA-backed coup in Iran were destroyed a decade later, the agency said yesterday that it was trying to find out what other records may have been destroyed in the 1960s...
Whatever the reason, the destruction of the records on Iran could not have freed up much shelf space. Mansfield described the volume of records destroyed as ``minuscule'' compared with the mass of material relating to long-running clandestine operations in Guatemala. Last week, the CIA declassified and released 1,400 of 120,000 pages of Guatemala records from agency activities in the early 1950s.
from The Boston Globe Online

May 29, 1997
Putting Out the Fire When It's Not There - By FRANK BRUNI
W OODY CREEK, Colo. -- The front gate to Hunter S. Thompson's log-cabin-style ranch is flanked by two hunks of metal folded like origami into shapes resembling vultures. These twin sentries convey both a promise and a threat: you are entering the realm of the seriously weird, and you may not get out alive.
Inside, Thompson is doing his bit to live up to that billing. There is a tumbler of Scotch on a kitchen counter in front of him, plus a shot of tequila, not to mention a tall glass of some chartreuse-colored concoction called Toni's Kick-a-boo Joy Juice, in addition to a pipe with a bowl shaped like a human skull. Its contents smell suspiciously unlike tobacco.
Next month, just in time for his 60th birthday, the cameras are scheduled to start rolling on the movie version of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," his 1971 account of a drug-addled odyssey through America's capital of kitsch, which was hailed by its many admirers as a nonpareil meditation on a nation's troubled soul. The talent involved in this project is A-list: Terry Gilliam directs, and Johnny Depp plays Thompson.
from The New York Times

May 28, 1997 1:19 p.m. EDT (1719 GMT)
Swiss reportedly sold arms to Nazis in WWII
GENEVA (Reuter) -- Neutral Switzerland, accused of hoarding the wealth of Jews murdered by Hitler, sold arms worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Nazi Germany, according to Swiss wartime diplomatic archives released on Wednesday.
Swiss historian Mauro Cerutti, one of the researchers who worked on the project, said Nazi Germany's share in Swiss arms and war material exports from 1940 to 1944 was nearly two-thirds of the total and worth 600 million Swiss francs then. This is the first time the figure uncovered in Swiss diplomatic archives was made public, he told reporters.
from CNN

Tuesday May 27 5:55 PM EDT
Court: Clinton Must Face Sex Harassment Suit
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - A unanimous Supreme Court handed President Clinton a stinging defeat Tuesday, ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against him can proceed immediately rather than wait until he leaves office...
In a landmark ruling, all nine justices held for the first time that a lawsuit against a sitting president for conduct unrelated to official duties may proceed to trial. The ruling involved only when the case goes forward, not the merits of Jones' allegations that Clinton made unwanted sexual advances in 1991 in a Little Rock hotel room when he was governor of Arkansas and she was a state employee.
from YAHOO Top Stories

12:25 a.m. PDT Saturday, May 24, 1997
CIA drew Guatemala assassination list - BY LAURA MYERS
WASHINGTON -- The CIA developed but never carried out plans to assassinate communist leaders in Guatemala in the 1950s in a successful plot to overthrow the government, newly declassified documents reveal.
The plans, including ``hit lists'' and training of Central American assassins, were part of a covert operation launched in 1952 by CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, although political murder was never formally approved by top officials in the State Department, the CIA or the White House...
In 1953, the CIA included plans for ``K'' groups, or assassin teams, to work with sabotage groups, and rebels began training assassins. CIA headquarters in Washington sent 20 silencers for .22-caliber rifles to the rebel killers training in Honduras, said a Jan. 11, 1954, cable.
In the spring of 1954, CIA officers made official requests to the State Department to implement assassinations. No cabled replies were found.
from The San Jose Mercury News

4:32pm EDT May 23, 1997
CIA Discloses Secret Assassination Plots
WASHINGTON - Senior CIA officials mulled plots to assassinate scores of Guatemalan leaders as part of a 1954 coup against the elected government in the Central American country but no killings were ever approved or carried out, the spy agency disclosed Friday...
In releasing a first batch of records on the coup Friday, the CIA began making good on a 5-year-old promise to take the wraps off some of its most historically significan Cold War covert actions in the name of greater agency "openness."
A total of about 1,400 pages of operational files were made public at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, along with 324 audio tapes of clandestine Spanish-language radio broadcasts of anti-Arbenz propaganda...Woolsey, building on a promise by his predecessor Robert Gates, vowed to lift the veil on a total of 11 "significant" covert actions, including the botched 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the 1953 coup that installed the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in Iran.
The panel found that U.S. officials had ordered the assassination of two foreign leaders, Cuba's Fidel Castro and the Congo's Patrice Lumumba, and had been involved in assassination plots against the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo, Chile's Gen. Rene Schneider and South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem. Though four of the five were assassinated, none died as a direct result of plots initiated by U.S. officials, the 1975 report concluded.
from Excite News Channel

May 23, 1997
Journal: Violence Marks Unresolved Tensions in Chiapas - By JULIA PRESTON
The rebels have lost nearly all their political momentum. As the peace talks faltered over deep differences between President Ernesto Zedillo and Zapatista leaders, the guerrillas' international limelight faded while the army reinforced its control across the state, setting up garrisons in the most remote corners...
At least 20 people have been killed this year in other violence in Indian communities outside the Zapatista-controlled zone, and thousands of peasants were displaced from their homes. There are signs that both pro- and anti-Zapatista civilian groups are arming themselves with guns.
from The New York Times

Thursday, May 22 1997
NRC to Ignore EPA Urging on Radiation Levels
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow radiation levels at the sites of dismantled nuclear power plants to be higher than the level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The NRC, in announcing its rule yesterday, also did not set radiation levels in ground water, which the EPA had urged the agency to do.
from The Washington Post

May 22, 1997
Burmese Crack Down as U.S. Investment Ban Goes Into Effect - By SETH MYDANS
BANGKOK, Thailand -- As a U.S. ban on new investments in Burma took effect, the Burmese military government was reported Wednesday to have carried out a new wave of arrests of members of the pro-democracy movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi...
The arrests this week appeared to be an attempt to block a congress of the National League for Democracy planned for next week to mark the seventh anniversary of parliamentary elections in which the party won more than 80 percent of the seats. The military government refused to honor the results and continued to hold power.
from The New York Times

May 20, 1997
Group Sues CIA to Disclose Budget - By TIM WEINER
WASHINGTON -- The Federation of American Scientists sued the Central Intelligence Agency Monday to force it to reveal one of Washington's worst-kept secrets: the size of the budget for American espionage.
The amount, or "black budget," is hidden inside false accounts and classified compartments within the Pentagon's budget, and has been reported to be about $29 billion a year, give or take a billion. The CIA spends about $3 billion a year; its director and the secretary of defense allocate most of the rest to military intelligence services like the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic eavesdropping, and the National Reconnaissance Office, which builds spy satellites.
Although the Constitution says that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time," intelligence spending is officially a state secret, and it has been since the CIA was created 50 years ago.
from The New York Times

Sunday May 18 7:02 AM EDT
First Lady May Face Whitewater Indictment-ABC
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton could face indictment in the Whitewater land deal, ABC News reported Saturday, quoting an audiotape of testimony by a deputy to independent counsel Kenneth Starr...
The appeals court ordered the White House to turn over notes on conversations between Mrs. Clinton and White House lawyers, but the White House on Monday told the Supreme Court that it should not be forced to turn over the notes.
A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the ABC report. President Clinton did not acknowledge a question about the report shouted to him as he entered the annual White House Press Photographers dinner.
from YAHOO News

AP-NY-05-17-97 0721EDT
Paper: CIA Desk Officer Was 'Mega'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Israel's ambassador in Washington urged his government to take harsh action against the United States for tapping its phones after Israel identified an American official code-named "Mega," who the FBI is investigating as a possible spy, as a CIA desk officer...
In the conversation, the Israeli intelligence officer in Washington is quoted as telling his superior in Tel Aviv that Israel's ambassador to the United States had asked him "to go to Mega to get a copy" of a confidential side letter to Arafat from then Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
"This is not something that we use Mega for," the Tel Aviv official was quoted as replying in the conversation, which was intercepted by the U.S. National Security Agency.
from Newsday AP Updates

Thursday, May 15, 1997
At long last, U.S. honors the Hmong - By Marc Kaufman
Under a warm blue sky near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Hmong from around the United States gathered to hear American officials -- including the former CIA station chiefs they once worked for -- honor their central role during the secret war in the mountains of Laos from 1961 to 1975...
With the United States and its Southeast Asian allies defeated by communist forces, the long-secret Hmong-American stronghold at Long Chien, Laos, fell on May 14, 1975. As much as half of the Hmong population in Laos fled across the Mekong River to safety in Thailand and resettlement in other parts of the world. More than 30,000 Hmong still live in Thailand as refugees -- some in camps, but most precariously in illegal settlements. In the audience yesterday were hundreds of Hmong veterans who narrowly escaped repatriation to Laos from their Thai refugee camps last year. The United Nations, their local governments, and the U.S State Department all wanted them to go back, but pressure from Hmong Americans and their allies in the United States changed the policy and the Hmong were allowed to join their compatriots in the United States.
from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Wednesday, May 14, 1997
U.S. probe of CIA-contra drug link to go on - By Thomas Farragher
WASHINGTON -- A federal investigator said he would continue to examine whether a California drug ring sold cocaine to aid a CIA-run guerrilla army, even though the San Jose Mercury News has backed away from some aspects of the stories that sparked the inquiry...
The author of the Dark Alliance series, Gary Webb, said in a telephone interview: ``The entire series is 100 percent accurate, and if they would print the rest of the stories, the public will see that as well.''
from The Philadelphia Inquirer

May 12, 1997 5:03 p.m. EDT
NATO commander concerned Russian nuclear missiles accidently switched to 'combat mode'
WASHINGTON -- The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Europe said Monday he is checking a report that recent malfunctions have switched Russian nuclear missiles to "combat mode" on several occasions...
The four-star general was queried about a Washington Times report that quoted a classified CIA study that said "command and control equipment often malfunctions and on more than one occasion has switched spontaneously to combat mode."
from The Nando Times

AP-NY-05-10-97 1112EDT
Watergate Echoes in Whitewater - By WALTER R. MEARS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Whitewater isn't Watergate. But there's an echo of that scandal as President Clinton seeks to keep notes of his wife's conferences with White House and personal lawyers out of the hands of prosecutors...
Starr originally subpoenaed nine sets of documents, and the White House initially withheld them on grounds of executive privilege and attorney-client privilege. The latter, narrower protection is at issue now.
from Newsday AP Updates

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