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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

No End In Sight: U.S. Leaders' Broken Promises On Afghanistan

President Trump ignores history, at the cost of yet more U.S. military lives  

RT
08/22/2017

With President Donald Trump’s new strategy, America’s longest-ever war promises to stretch on indefinitely, despite pledges by previous administrations and by Trump himself to withdraw from Afghanistan. 


Endless deployments shred the military
“Conditions on the ground – not arbitrary timetables – will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out,” Trump said Monday, as he announced his administration’s strategy on Afghanistan.

This was a far cry from Trump’s own words in the past, where as a candidate and as a private citizen he called on US leaders to “get out” of Afghanistan. “Decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Trump said Monday, acknowledging a change of mind. 


From now on, the president said, he will not “talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities” so as to keep the enemies guessing.

Following Trump's announcement, however, US Defense Secretary James Mattis released a statement saying he “will be in consultation with the Secretary General of NATO and our allies – several of which have also committed to increasing their troop numbers. Together, we will assist the Afghan Security forces to destroy the terrorist hub.”

Around 9,000 American troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan on a mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. US military leaders have suggested adding at least 4,000 more.




“That’s not going to make much difference compared to the much larger number of troops we had there years ago, which did not obviously solve the problem and find some way to get us out of there,”former US diplomat Jim Jatras said, speaking to RT.

Bush’s War 

The war in Afghanistan began as a response to the country’s harboring of Al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Within a month, the US military bombed the terrorist group’s hubs and training camps in Afghanistan and its members went on the run.

By the end of 2001, the Taliban was overthrown and an interim government was created.

The war then morphed into a fight against the local Taliban to prevent them from regaining power. The US increased troop levels by the thousands each year, reaching 30,000 in 2006.




Despite George W. Bush’s initial promises of a quick win in Afghanistan, his Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen conceded in 2008, “I’m not sure we’re winning.”

Obama’s War

When President Obama took office in 2009, he promptly escalated the war in Afghanistan by ordering 21,000 more American soldiers into the country. By 2010, he brought the number of US troops there up to 100,000, while saying that the US would begin pulling out forces in 2011.

In May 2011, a small US special operations team killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to sign a security agreement with the US that would grant American forces legal immunity in the country, and president Obama pledged to withdraw the troops completely by end of 2016.




In 2014, the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, signed a security agreement allowing American troops to stay. President Obama later backtracked on his promise to withdraw all troops from the country, leaving behind nearly 9,000 soldiers at the end of his presidency.

A US drone strike in May 2016 killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was driving in a taxi in Pakistan. While Washington hailed the killing of Mansour, who was said to be hampering the peace process, Pakistan condemned the “illegal” strike, saying that it derailed the peace talks for good.

Trump’s War

When Trump took office, the Taliban controlled more territory than they did at any time since 2001 and Islamic State terrorist group (formerly known as ISIL/ISIS) already had a foothold in eastern Afghanistan.

While his administration was coming up with a strategy of its own, US Defense Secretary James Mattis admitted in June, “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now.”




Trump was reported to have echoed this conclusion at a July meeting with US military leaders. 
By the beginning of August, the US-backed government in Kabul controlled about 60 percent of the country – down from 65 percent the same time last year, according to the US military headquarters in Kabul. Trump called it a mess.

Meanwhile, the Taliban was gaining ground. The militants seized control of a key area in Afghanistan’s northern Sari Pul province.

Earlier this summer, they raided and seized the district of Jani Khel in Paktia province, south of Kabul. The fall of Jani Khel marked their third victory in just four days.

The $8.5 billion the US spent on counter-narcotics efforts “failed to prevent Afghan opium production from setting new records,” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).


The Afghans - Taliban or not - have never lost a war

The Taliban receive 60 percent of their funding from the opium trade, according to US forces commander General John Nicholson.

stimated opium production in Afghanistan has increased nearly 25 times since 2001, reaching 4,800 tons last year, according to the UN.

"Jihad Will Go On"

“As long as there is even one American soldier in our country,” the Islamist insurgents would“continue jihad,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said hours after Trump’s speech on Monday, according to Reuters.

“Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to Afghanistan will not result in anything other than further destruction of [America’s] military and economic might,” the Taliban said earlier in August.

Nearly 2,400 US soldiers have died in the war. Afghan civilians have been hit the hardest – some 1,662 were killed in the first half of 2017 alone, according to a mid-year report by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).




Deaths of Afghan security forces in the early months of 2017 were “shockingly high,” SIGAR reported in April, saying 807 were killed.

The US is estimated to have spent over $700 billion on military assistance, reconstruction and economic aid to Afghanistan in the past 17 years.

It is by far the longest war the US has been involved in.



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction Of The Real Drug And Warlords

CIA mass-murdering scum need to be completely exposed for drug-running going back to the Vietnam War, disbanded, prosecuted individually and collectively starting with Brennan and the CNN fake news accomplices that covered up the Afghan drug pipeline from the very beginning   

GLOBAL RESEARCH
By Sibel Edmonds
08/21/2017

Are you aware of the heroin epidemic that has been on fire all across America- since 2001? Thanks to the government-corporate media outlets you probably are not.


Between 2002 and 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths in the US quadrupled, with more than 10,000 people dying of heroin overdoses in America in 2014 alone. Afghanistan has been the number one source globally of both opium and heroin.

Heroin from Afghanistan has killed more people than the 55,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War. An American now gets killed every 32 minutes by Afghan heroin. 


With US heroin deaths tripling every four years, an American will get killed by heroin every 16 minutes by 2020.

There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users). Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the US-NATO War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares in 2016. (One hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres). Ironically, the so-called US eradication operation in Afghanistan has cost an estimated $8.5 billion in American taxpayer funds since the US-NATO-Afghan war started in October 2001.


CIA map tracing opium traffic from Afghanistan

Interestingly, while the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media outlets keep playing up drugs from Mexico, we hardly hear a peep on the massive amount of Afghan-sourced heroin. To put it in perspective: In 2014, according to the DEA drug threat assessment, Mexico produced an estimated 42 metric tons of heroin. Afghanistan produced 6,400 metric tons of opium that same year. The largest share of US heroin is Afghanistan-sourced. It is coming from US-occupied Afghanistan. There is no other mathematical possibility:

Mexico with 10,500 hectares of opium could not possibly supply even 1/20th of the heroin demand in the US. What has the DEA been doing about the vast majority of heroin which is coming in from Afghanistan?

Looking at facts and figures regarding the heroin epidemic, it becomes obvious that the DEA has been a colossal failure and they refuse to answer most questions asked of them. Perhaps, the DEA would answer questions (or plead the 5th) at Congressional Hearings.

First, ‘the Mexicans did it” which is to say that the 173 tons of raw opium from Latin America (from 10,500 hectares in Mexico and 1,500 hectares in Colombia) were converted into 17.3 tons of heroin and all 17.3 tons were imported into the US, where it would not supply even 5% of the US heroin demand.




If all countries on Earth growing opium, except Afghanistan, were to convert their opium to heroin and send it to the US, it wouldn’t be enough for even half of the current US heroin demand.

With the obvious parallels and undeniable correlations, any critical mind would begin spewing the following questions: How did Afghan opium spread from 7,600 hectares prior to the US-NATO invasion to 224,000 hectares since the invasion? What is the correlation between US heroin deaths rising from 1,779 in 2000-pre Afghan invasion, to more than 10,000 in 2014 alone?




Parallels & Flashbacks

Forty years ago the United States was hit by another major heroin epidemic. During the 1970’s, during the Vietnam War, heroin making its way to the United States from the Golden Triangle became an epidemic. It was estimated that more than 200,000 people in New York City alone were using heroin. At one point in time, you were able to find used syringes on public playgrounds. As in the case of Afghanistan, the CIA-Pentagon WarLords-DrugLords were at the top of the chain.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the CIA recruited the Laotian Hmong tribe to fight communist forces in the region. The CIA encouraged the Hmong to grow opium instead of rice to make them dependent on CIA air drops of food. The agency could then force their compliance by threatening to withdraw the food aid. To make the deal even sweeter, they even located a heroin refinery at CIA headquarters in northern Loas and used Air America, a passenger and cargo airline that was covertly owned and operated by the CIA, to export the Laotian opium and heroin. Much of it ended up in Vietnam, causing an epidemic of heroin addiction in US soldiers.


Air America C-123 on ramp at Long Tieng, 1970

CIA ties to international drug trafficking goes back to the Korean War.

In 1949, two of Chiang Kai-shek’s defeated generals, Li Wen Huan and Tuan Shi Wen, marched their Third and Fifth Route armies, with families and livestock, across the mountains to northern Burma. Once installed, the peasant soldiers began cultivating the crop they knew best, the opium poppy.

When China entered the Korean War, the CIA had a desperate need for intelligence on that nation. The agency turned to the warlord generals, who agreed to slip some soldiers back into China. In return, the agency offered arms. Officially, the arms were intended to equip the warlords for a return to China. In fact, the Chinese wanted them to repel any attack by the Burmese.

Soon intelligence began to flow to Washington from the area, which became known as the Golden Triangle. So, too, did heroin, en route to Southeast Asia and often to the United States.




The CIA did, however, lobby the Eisenhower administration to prevent the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the DEA’s predecessor, from establishing monitoring posts in the area to study the traffic.

Let’s take a few documented facts from records and reports submitted to the US Congress in 1999 by FAS.

1960s: In support of the US war in Vietnam, the CIA renewed old and cultivated new relations with Laotian, Burmese and Thai drug merchants, as well as corrupt military and political leaders in Southeast Asia. Despite the dramatic rise of heroin production, the agency’s relations with these figures attracted little attention until the early 1970s.

MAY 1970: A Christian Science Monitor correspondent reported that the CIA `is cognizant of, if not party to, the extensive movement of opium out of Laos,’ quoting one charter pilot who claimed that `opium shipments get special CIA clearance and monitoring on their flights southward out of the country.’ At the time, some 30,000 US service men in Vietnam were addicted to heroin.

1972-The full story of how Cold War politics and US covert operations fueled a heroin boom in the Golden Triangle broke when Yale University doctoral student Alfred McCoy published his ground-breaking study, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. The CIA attempted to quash the book.

1973: Thai national Puttapron Khramkhruan was arrested in connection with the seizure of 59 pounds of opium in Chicago. A CIA informant on narcotics trafficking in northern Thailand, he claimed that the agency had full knowledge of his actions. According to the US Justice Department, the CIA quashed the case because it might `prove embarrassing because of Mr. Khramkhruans’s involvement with CIA activities in Thailand, Burma, and elsewhere.’

During the Vietnam War, operations in Laos were largely a CIA responsibility. The agency’s surrogate there was a Laotian general, Vang Pao, who commanded Military Region 2 in northern Laos. He enlisted 30,000 Hmong tribesmen in the service of the CIA.




These tribesmen continued to grow, as they had for generations, the opium poppy. Before long, someone – there were unproven allegations that it was a Mafia family from Florida – had established a heroin refining lab in Region Two. The lab’s production was soon being ferried out on the planes of the CIA’s front airline, Air America. A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America.

A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America DC-3 loaded with heroin packed into boxes of Tide soap powder. At the CIA’s behest, they were ordered to release the plane and drop the inquiry.

Author and activist William Blum noted in his book Rogue State:

“The CIA flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia, to sites where the opium was processed into heroin, and to trans-shipment points on the route to Western customers.”

Do you remember the Iran Contra scandal and the days when Crack Cocaine was the major drug that destroyed communities and lives across the United States in the early 1980’s? Another fact obscured by the mainstream media, so that many still have either not heard about it or consider it another conspiracy story.

The United States supported the Contras in their fight against the Sandanista government in Nicaragua. Officially barred from arming and funding the Contras by Congress, the CIA came up with a scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the funds to illegally arm and supply the Contras. CIA-protected drug smugglers flew down to Nicaragua loaded with arms to supply the Contras and flew back loaded with Columbian cocaine. A decade later, investigative reporter Gary Webb used official government documents to prove that the CIA had sheltered these drug smuggling operatives and followed the trail of this cheap Columbian cocaine to the beginning of the crack epidemic in South-Central LA. Ironically, again, during this same period American Taxpayers were funding DEA operations that were supposedly countering crack-cocaine suppliers and operations. Read more.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Blackwater Founder Seeks Privatisation Of Afghan War

Better the mercenary scum die than U.S. military personnel  

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION
By Ulson Gunnar
08/22/2017

Recent murmurs across the US media have indicated increased interest in “outsourcing” the war in Afghanistan to private military contractors. National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Erik Prince, founder of controversial military contracting firm, Blackwater, who appears to be leading lobbying efforts toward this end.


In an interview titled, “Blackwater Founder Backs Outsourcing Afghan War-Fighting to Contractors,” Prince would defend his proposal for the creation of an “American viceroy” in Afghanistan, consolidating and overseeing all US operations in the country.

He would also suggest replacing US troops with private mercenaries who he claimed would operate inside Afghan units, noting that some 25,000 contractors are already present in Afghanistan. 



When asked if his current private military contracting company, Frontier Service Group (FSG), would be interested in bidding on contracts that might materialize out of his proposal, he responded by saying, “absolutely.”

Steve Inskeep, who conducted the interview, noted that Prince’s proposal for an “American viceroy” overseeing what is essentially a private army inside of Afghanistan resembled very closely Imperial Britain’s colonial administration of India, an administration that carved out personal fiefdoms for influential British businessmen and lords, and emptied out India’s wealth into British coffers.

Inskeep also noted that such a proposal, even before being implemented, most likely would create further resentment among Afghans.




Prince, for his part, attempted to defend the proposal, claiming that current efforts in Afghanistan have cost American taxpayers several trillions and the cost would only continue to rise. He noted that such efforts have resulted in little progress. The “progress” Prince was referring to was defeating “terrorism” and preventing the country from becoming a safe haven for organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Prince would claim:

"There’s really three ways we can go in Afghanistan. We can pull out completely, in which case, the Afghan government would likely collapse in a matter of weeks and the terrorists would run the country. And for as hard as, you know, we may be pushing in Iraq or Syria and elsewhere to destroy the Islamic State, this would give them a victory."




Back In Reality

Unfortunately for Prince and others attempting to propose the privatization of the Afghan war, Afghanistan already is a safe haven for terrorists. Al Qaeda had only a nascent presence there before the US invasion in 2001. The Islamic State, in its current form, did not even exist.

Both organizations flourish not because of a lack of US troops in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq, but precisely because US foreign policy has turned its attention toward each nation and has intentionally used both terrorist organizations as proxies.

In Afghanistan, while Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are used as a pretext for both the continued presence of US troops there and now the proposed deployment of a private army headed by an “American viceroy,” the real battle has always been against the Taliban and in favor of an obedient client state headquartered in Kabul.




In pursuit of defeating the Taliban and the creation of a sustainable client state, the extensive use of private contractors in Afghanistan has not been part of any sort of coherent solution. Instead, private contractors are one of the most central reasons attempts at rebuilding Afghanistan have failed.

Private contractors seek to maximize profits and return home, and ultimately do not care what happens in Afghanistan. In many ways, shoddy work and continued chaos ensures continued contracts and immense profits. The estimated 2.4 trillion dollars spent on Afghanistan so far have not simply “disappeared.” This immense amount of wealth has been transferred from US taxpayers to, in part, private contractors and the defense industry.

The notion of creating an “American viceroy” leading a private army in Afghanistan would give people like Erik Prince and other ambitious heads of contracting firms an entire nation to preside over and a government-subsidized budget to do it with. 




With the nation’s immense narcotics industry and that industry’s apparent ability to export worldwide under the nose of the US military with impunity, contractors notorious for systemic impropriety would have additional sources of revenue to tap and develop.

Toward Narco-Terror Fiefdoms 

Rather than stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan, contractors would ensure its perpetual slide into darkness. Instead of dealing with the Taliban, Afghans would face foreign contractors competing to carve out their own personal narco-terrorist fiefdoms. The US client regime in Kabul would have even less control over its military, with entire Afghan battalions dependent not on Kabul for support and leadership, but private contractors.

Prince and Blackwater have become synonymous with murder and mayhem for money and present yet another case study as to why dependence on mercenaries is always a dangerous liability. His proposal offers neither the American nor the Afghan people any benefits and is entertained only for the benefits it potentially offers military contractors and the immense armament industry that would provide them a steady stream of weaponry.


The real narco-terrorists

A look at the Late Roman Empire, and the manner in which mercenaries transformed into independent entities of their own, complete with their own territory and armies that answered only to themselves, serves as a cautionary reminder as to where Prince’s proposal ultimately leads. What this latest debate illustrates is the evolution of modern organized crime, a culmination of blood, money, guns and turf on a global scale, carried out not by states, but by corporations and private armies.

But if one is to dismiss Prince’s criminal conspiracy and take his proposal at face value, it should be remembered that if the US military with 2.4 trillion dollars and 16 years could not transform Afghanistan into an obedient client state, mercenaries certainly can’t and won’t.


Time to hold the originators responsible for Afghan debacle

Fighting Terror Starts in Ankara, Riyadh and Doha, Not Afghan Mountains 

Prince’s claims that contractors, or even the US military itself have any role to play in combating “terrorism” by remaining in Afghanistan deserves further scrutiny.

Terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State depend heavily on state sponsorship, particularly from nations like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In turn, each of these regimes depends heavily on US support to remain in power and to exercise that power beyond their respective borders.

The United States itself, ironically, played a central role in Afghanistan, creating, honing and expanding Al Qaeda’s fighting capacity there, before it spread worldwide.




Defeating organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State must then, by necessity, revolve around exposing and dismantling centers of power in nations like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar who are sponsoring both organizations as well as exposing and dismantling interests in the US propping up each of these sponsors in turn.

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State’s presence in Afghanistan is a symptom of this global web of terror sponsorship, not its source. The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for what seems an eternity, because attempting to defeat a problem by fighting its symptoms can only take an eternity.

For Prince, the US media who entertained him and the US government who will attempt to facilitate his and the defense industry’s ambitions, were they interested in truly combating terrorism, they would be raising armies outside of Riyadh, Ankara, Doha and perhaps even DC. That they seek to raise them in Afghanistan indicates that they seek not to fight terror, but to perpetually profit from it.



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

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

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