Prominent Americans Ask Military To Refuse To Attack Iran

By Webster Tarpley

Supporters of the August 26 Kennebunkport Warning welcome the statement issued by David Swanson entitled ” Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran,” (_ http://www.dontattackiran.org_ (http://www.dontattackiran.org/) ) and signed by a group of well-known personalities. The massive evidence of this danger which existed at the end of August has become still more massive over the past five weeks, and we are glad that these signers have seen their way clear to launch an initiative on this critical front.

Just a few days after the Kennebunkport Warning (http://actindependent.org/) ) was issued, on August 30, a rogue B-52 flew across the United States carrying six nuclear armed cruise missiles from Minot, North Dakota to Barksdale, Louisiana. According to many analysts, these weapons were destined to be used in a nuclear sneak attack on Iran, which may have been planned for September 6, the day that Israel launched its own aerial sneak attack into Syria and perhaps also Iran . (Even more heinous uses of these cruise missiles here inside the United States can also not be excluded, given the insistence of the Cheney Doctrine on a terrorist act in the US to be blamed on Iran as the immediate pretext for the Iran war as Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate Foreign relations Committee on Feb. 1, 2007.) Many sources (see Wayne Madsen Report, September 24) agree that the transfer of these nuclear weapons to Iran was blocked by US Air Force personnel, backed up by anti-Cheney factions in the intelligence community, who refused to obey an illegal order, just as the Kennebunkport Warning had urged on August 26. It is also important to note that some half dozen personnel linked to the Minot and Barksdale air bases have died under mysterious circumstances since July, raising the sorts of questions that make a large-scale Congressional investigation of this entire incident absolutely imperative. It is odd that the new statement, while urging the military to disobey illegal orders, offers no support or recognition to those courageous persons who appear to have already done just that; it is more than odd that this incident, which was extensively reported in a cover-up published on the front page of the Washington Post of Sunday, September 23, is not mentioned at all in the new statement.

Unfortunately, the “Leading Americans” document comes too late to influence the B-52 incident itself. We would urge the “Leading Americans” signers to take note of the fact that the loyal USAF personnel who stopped the rogue B-52 from being used for high treason, and to demand that an investigation be started.

We would also urge the signers to add the decisive question of the false flag event, be it a new 9/11 and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin provocation, to their statement. This is the heart of the Kennbunkport Warning, but is not mentioned in the new statement. As Steve Clemons recently wrote in _salon.com_ (http://salon.com/) , it is unlikely that a sneak attack on Iran could get through the normal channels of the US national security interagency process. The realization of Cheney’s war plan depends upon an outside manufactured event, along the lines of 9/11, which could be used to engineer the typical neocon end run around the standard operating procedures and launch the wider war. As Clemons wrote:

We should also worry about the kind of scenario David Wurmser floated, meaning an engineered provocation. An “accidental war” would escalate quickly and “end run,” as Wurmser put it, the president’s diplomatic, intelligence and military decision-making apparatus. [] That kind of war is much more probable and very much worth worrying about.

The failure to identify this critical feature of the false flag, even in the wake of the rogue B-52 incident and Israeli attack on Syria, is a key difference between the new statement and the Kennebunkport Warning.

The new statement constantly narrows its subject matter to “any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran ,” which seems to suggest that there might be some other kind of attack on Iran that would be more acceptable, and to which this statement might not apply. Bush (in his “nuclear holocaust” speech of August 28), Cheney, Petraeus, Odierno, Mrs. Clinton, and all the usual suspects are already busy arguing that the looming US attack on Iran will not be preventive, but a retaliation against alleged Iranian arms shipments into Iraq, training of Iraqi resistance fighters, etc. According to Congressman Kucinich, the top leadership of the Democratic Party has already given its approval for an attack of this type. In opposition to this prevarication, it is important to stress that ANY AND ALL ATTACKS on Iran are not only unjustified, but would also represent national suicide for the United States and a slide into a third world war in which the US would be not just the aggressor, but also the sure loser. There must in short be no US attack on Iran , Syria , Pakistan , Lebanon , Sudan , or any other country under any pretext whatsoever.

Finally, the Kennebunkport Warning called for the immediate impeachment of Cheney as an urgent measure of war avoidance to keep Cheney’s finger away from the nuclear button, just as Secretary of Defense James Rodney Schlesinger did in regard to Nixon during the final weeks of Watergate in 1974. This is something that everyone can and should work for. At the _actindependent.org_ (http://actindependent.org/) website, where the Kennebunkport Warning is posted, dedicated activists who really want to stop World War III are urged to declare their candidacies for the US House and Senate immediately, as the only means of getting the attention of the two corrupt and bankrupt political parties, thus contributing to a people’s candidates’ movement that will eventually be able to go beyond appeals to incumbents to contest the issue of political power in this country.

We agree with the new statement’s stress on the idea that illegal orders must be countermanded. But we would also submit that loyal military personnel who take such actions deserve the full support of a growing political movement which aims at impeaching and removing the current regime from office, and bringing them to justice for their crimes, including war crimes and the misprision of treason around 9/11. The Kennebunkport Warning puts the burden of impeachment on the Congress, where it belongs. Military people who refuse to act as pawns of the Cheney are pledged the support of a civilian political movement. The new statement appears to let the Congress and the two corrupt political parties off the hook, while shifting the entire burden of resistance to individual military people. The military do have a special role in this, but is the civilian political movement of candidates which has to give them cover, and not the other way around.

We urge the sponsors of the new statement to increase the effectiveness of their intervention by including these points in their text, to which they are offered in the spirit of friendly amendments.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: David Swanson <_ david@davidswanson.org_ (mailto:david@davidswanson.org) Date: Oct 2, 2007 11:15 AM Subject: [Activists] Prominent Americans Ask Military to Refuse to Attack Iran To: _activists@lists.mayfirst.org _ (mailto:activists@lists.mayfirst.org) Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran Country music legend Willie Nelson, literary icon Gore Vidal, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author and radio host Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, and dozens of other prominent Americans have signed a letter asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel to refuse orders to launch an aggressive war on Iran. The letter has been posted as a petition for others to sign at _http://www.dontattackiran.org_ (http://www.dontattackiran.org/) The text of the letter follows: ATTENTION: Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel: Do not attack Iran. Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal. Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be criminal. We, the citizens of the United States, respectfully urge you, courageous men and women of our military, to refuse any order to preemptively attack Iran, a nation that represents no serious or immediate threat to the United States. To attack Iran, a sovereign nation of 70-million people, would be a crime of the highest magnitude. Legal basis for our Request - Do not attack Iran: The Nuremberg Principles, which are part of US law, provide that all military personnel have the obligation not to obey illegal orders. The Army Field Manual 27-10, sec. 609 and UCMJ, art. 92, incorporate this principle. Article 92 says: "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States ..." Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..." As Iran has not attacked the United States, and as the U.S. is a party and signatory to the Charter, any attack on Iran by the U.S. would be illegal under not only international law but under the U.S. Constitution which recognizes our treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. When you joined the military, you took an oath to defend our Constitution. Following the orders of your government or superior does not relieve you from responsibility under international law. Under the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, complicity in the commission of war crime is a crime under international law. Background: The Bush Administration's charges against Iran have not been proven. Neither the development of nuclear weapons, nor providing assistance to Iraq would, if proven, constitute justification for an illegal war. An attack on Iran might prompt the formidable Iranian military to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Thousands of our soldiers might be killed or captured as prisoners of war. A U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could also mean the deaths, from radiation poisoning, of tens of thousands of innocent Iranian civilians. The people of Iran have little control over their government, yet would suffer tremendously should the U.S. attack. Bombing raids would amount to collective punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention, and would surely sow the seeds of hatred for generations to come. Children make up a quarter of Iran's population. Above all, we ask you to look at the record of our actions in Iraq, which U.S. intelligence admits is "a cause celebre for jihadists" - a situation that did not exist before we attacked. We must face the fact that our rash use of military solutions has created more enemies, and made American families less safe. Diplomacy, not war, is the answer. Know the Risks Involved in Refusing an Illegal Order or Signing This Statement: We knowingly and willingly make this plea, aware of the risk that, in violation of our First Amendment rights, we could be charged under remaining sections of the unconstitutional Espionage Act or other unconstitutional statute, and that we could be fined, imprisoned, or barred from government employment. We make this plea, also aware that you have no easy options. If you obey an illegal order to participate in an aggressive attack on Iran, you could potentially be charged with war crimes. If you heed our call and disobey an illegal order you could be falsely charged with crimes including treason. You could be falsely court martialed. You could be imprisoned. (To talk to a lawyer or to learn more about possible consequences, contact _The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors_ (http://www.girights.org/) , _Courage to Resist_ (http://www.couragetoresist.org/) , _Center on Conscience and War _ (http://www.centeronconscience.org/) , _Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild_ (mailto:mlhiken@mltf.info) 415-566-3732, or the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.) ** Final request: Our leaders often say that military force should be a last resort. We beg you to make that policy a reality, and refuse illegal orders to attack Iran. We promise to support you for protecting the American public and innocent civilians abroad. Our future, the future of our children and their children, rests in your hands. You know the horrors of war. You can stop the next one. Sincerely, Daniel Ellsberg, Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Cynthia McKinney, Willie Nelson, Cindy Sheehan, Norman Solomon, Elizabeth de la Vega, Gore Vidal, Ann Wright, James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator, (D) South Dakota Stacy Bannerman, Author, "When the War Came Home", Military Families Speak Out Charter Board member John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney and author of "Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush." Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves, Nov. 1981-Feb. 2004 Blase Bonpane, Ph.d, Director OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS David Clennon, Actor/activist Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers." David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate Jeff Cohen, author/media critic Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. George W. Bush Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace Anne Feeney, activist/folksinger or Local 1000, AFM Mike Ferner, Navy corpsman; Secretary, Veterans for Peace Bob Fertik, President _Democrats.com_ (http://democrats.com/) Laura Flanders, Radio Host on Air America Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space Lila Garrett, KPFK Host of "Connect the Dots" Liberty Godshall, writer, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council Hon. Jackie Goldberg, California Assembly Member (AD 45), retired. Kevin Alexander Gray, writer, and organizer with the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project Representative Betty Hall, Hillsborough District 5, New Hampshire General Court David L. Harris, MD Tom Hayden Thom Hartmann, author and Air America radio host Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u., Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace Jenny Heinz , member of CodePink, member of Granny Peace Brigade Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Los Angeles Michael Jay, Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles Charles Jenks, co-founder and editor of _traprockpeace.org_ (http://traprockpeace.org/) Justice Through Music Antonia Juhasz, author, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time Jerry Kass, playwright and professor at Columbia University Dr, Nazir Khaja ,Chairman, Islamic Information Service, Los Angeles, CA. Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives Summer Lipford, Gold Star Mother,NC 28677 David Lindorff, Author, The Case for Impeachment Alice Lynn, Delegate, California Democratic Party (41st AD) Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree Ray McGovern, Army infantry/intelligence officer, 1962-64; CIA analyst 1964-90. Cynthia Mckinney, former Congresswoman Barbara Mills-Bria, Be The Change-USA Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign Willie Nelson, Entertainer, Peace Activist Annie Nelson, Sustainable Biodiesel/Peace Activist Honorable Eric Oemig - Washington State Senator Geov Parrish, Executive Director Peace Action of Washington Jacob Park, Founder, A28. Brad Parker, Officer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party Bill Perry, Director, Delaware Valley Veterans For America Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian Marcus Raskin, member of National Security Council Staff under President Kennedy Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Chief Division Counsel of Minneapolis Division of the FBI Bill Scheurer, Editor, PeaceMajority Report Randi Scheurer, IL-Dist. 8, Congressional Candidate Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace Alice Slater, Abolition 2000 New York Norman Solomon, Author and syndicated columnist David Swanson, _Afterdowningstreet.org_ (http://afterdowningstreet.org/) John Stauber, Co-author, "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq" Jonathan Tasini, PDA NY Ethel Tobach, Ph. D., member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility Tina Richards CEO Grassroots Americaredith, Gold Star Mother, Proud Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04 Gore Vidal, Author Marcy Winograd, President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war. Kevin Zeese on behalf of Voters for Peace and Democracy Rising Velvet Revolution ** These resources are publicly available, and our offering them does not indicate that these organizations support this petition.

Mirror mirror in the sky, save us from asteroids flashing by

FIONA MACLEOD(fmacleod@scotsman.com)

A NETWORK of mirrors harnessing the destructive power of the sun might save the world from disaster, space experts believe.

If an asteroid should be discovered on a catastrophic collision course with our planet, researchers at Glasgow University say mirrors are the best way to save us from annihilation.

Up to 5,000 could be used to focus sunlight on to the asteroid, melting the rock and altering its orbital path away from the Earth.

The doomsday scheme was devised after a team at the university compared nine methods of deflecting near-Earth objects – asteroids and comets. The results were unveiled at the Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire as part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1, which marked the start of the space age.

The research team compared the mirror technique with eight others, including different types of nuclear explosion and fixing a propulsion system to the asteroid.

The nuclear options and the mirrors would be more effective than the others, but scientists fear the risk of flying debris from a nuclear blast.

The orbiting mirrors would be used to focus sunlight on an area of the asteroid between 0.5 and 1.5 metres wide, heating the rock to around 2,100C – hot enough to melt the surface of the asteroid and create a thrust which would nudge it off course.

The team found that the orbit of an asteroid measuring 150 metres across could be sufficiently modified by a network of 100 mirrors in a few days. For an asteroid the size of the one believed to have wiped out Earth’s dinosaurs, a 5,000-strong fleet of spacecraft would need to focus a beam of sunlight on the surface for three or more years.

Dr Massimiliano Vasile, who led the project, said the research was not science fiction but facing up to science fact. He said: “Asteroid impacts are a real threat. The Tunguska explosion in 1908 devastated an area bigger than Greater London. With only ten spacecraft flying in formation, each with a 20 metre mirror, we could deflect a similar-size asteroid into a safe orbit in about six months.

“This technology is genuinely feasible and, unlike methods where an explosion or impacter is used to divert the asteroid, there is no further risk from fragments. We have estimated, for a ten-satellite formation, a launch mass for each individual spacecraft of around 500kg.

“This is a smaller and lighter satellite constellation than, say, the Galileo positioning system, so is well within our launch capabilities.”

Pieces of rock and ice enter our atmosphere every day, but most are so small that they go largely unnoticed.

Scientists have calculated that every 26-30 million years, a 10km-sized asteroid (the size of the one believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs) strikes the Earth.

Race against time to save the globe

ALTERNATIVE methods of saving the world from an asteroid were examined but rejected.

€ Different types of nuclear explosion were considered but the fragmentation of the resulting debris made this too aggressive a method, not to mention the dangers associated with nuclear power.

€ Another option was to fix an electric propulsion system to the asteroid, but this would take too much time to complete before the asteroid impacted with the earth.

€ A mass-driver system where material is excavated and catapulted away from the asteroid, would also take too much time.

€ A kinetic impactor which would knock the asteroid out of its orbit, was thought to require the launch of too big a space craft as was the option of using a large craft’s own gravitational pull to drag the asteroid away from the earth.

The study investigated in each case the mass of spacecraft needed, the warning time required, the orbital deflection achieved and the current readiness of technology. Simulations were run with six different sized asteroids.

I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer

Ed Pilkington in New York – The Guardian

· Scientist has made synthetic chromosome
· Breakthrough could combat global warming

Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.

The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming.

Mr Venter told the Guardian he thought this landmark would be “a very important philosophical step in the history of our species. We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before”.

The Guardian can reveal that a team of 20 top scientists assembled by Mr Venter, led by the Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, has already constructed a synthetic chromosome, a feat of virtuoso bio-engineering never previously achieved. Using lab-made chemicals, they have painstakingly stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code.

The DNA sequence is based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium which the team pared down to the bare essentials needed to support life, removing a fifth of its genetic make-up. The wholly synthetically reconstructed chromosome, which the team have christened Mycoplasma laboratorium, has been watermarked with inks for easy recognition.

It is then transplanted into a living bacterial cell and in the final stage of the process it is expected to take control of the cell and in effect become a new life form. The team of scientists has already successfully transplanted the genome of one type of bacterium into the cell of another, effectively changing the cell’s species. Mr Venter said he was “100% confident” the same technique would work for the artificially created chromosome.

The new life form will depend for its ability to replicate itself and metabolise on the molecular machinery of the cell into which it has been injected, and in that sense it will not be a wholly synthetic life form. However, its DNA will be artificial, and it is the DNA that controls the cell and is credited with being the building block of life.

Mr Venter said he had carried out an ethical review before completing the experiment. “We feel that this is good science,” he said. He has further heightened the controversy surrounding his potential breakthrough by applying for a patent for the synthetic bacterium.

Pat Mooney, director of a Canadian bioethics organisation, ETC group, said the move was an enormous challenge to society to debate the risks involved. “Governments, and society in general, is way behind the ball. This is a wake-up call – what does it mean to create new life forms in a test-tube?”

He said Mr Venter was creating a “chassis on which you could build almost anything. It could be a contribution to humanity such as new drugs or a huge threat to humanity such as bio-weapons”.

Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. Bacteria could be created, he speculates, that could help mop up excessive carbon dioxide, thus contributing to the solution to global warming, or produce fuels such as butane or propane made entirely from sugar.

“We are not afraid to take on things that are important just because they stimulate thinking,” he said. “We are dealing in big ideas. We are trying to create a new value system for life. When dealing at this scale, you can’t expect everybody to be happy.”