Saturday, June 30, 2007

The CIA's Bloody Jewels and a NY Times Reporter's "Courtship" of Watergate Jackal E. Howard Hunt

Note to John Crewsden: A Zen tautology? - " ... Nobody knows for certain what the Watergate burglars' real motive was, only that they toppled a presidency. ... " The motive WAS to bring down Nixon, John, but in a controlled manner, without exposing the assassinations. - Helpful AC

E. Howard Hunt

Our man finds his name in CIA's 'family jewels'
Chicago Tribune
by John Crewdson

Imagine my surprise. There, in the middle of the CIA's "Family Jewels" was my own name: "Thuermer reported on a call from Mr. Crewdson of the New York Times who said he was 'formally requesting' a photograph of Howard Hunt.

"The DDP observed that we are under no obligation to provide a photograph and Thuermer said he had declined." The date was Aug. 22, 1972--still very early days for Watergate. There had been reports that a man named E. Howard Hunt Jr. was somehow involved in the spreading scandal.

Hunt hadn't been arrested at the Watergate break-in. But one of the five burglars carried an address book with his name and the notation "W. House."

Rumor had it that Hunt was a former CIA man, an ex-station chief in Montevideo, who had worn the white "ice cream" suits favored by Graham Greene characters and wrote bad spy novels in his spare time. As a young reporter for the Times, I was pounding the Washington sidewalks trying to get a handle on the man.

Had the household staff spotted him at the Watergate Hotel, or the Howard Johnson's across the street, on the night of the break-in? The problem was, there were no photographs of Hunt to show to maids and room-service waiters, and Angus Thuermer, the CIA's sardonic spokesman, obviously wasn't going to help us obtain one.

When Hunt was summoned to appear before the federal grand jury investigating the Watergate case, a golden opportunity presented itself. I brought my camera to the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Washington, thinking I would snap his picture as he emerged from the grand jury's chamber.

There were several reporters staking out the grand jury that morning, including Lesley Stahl, a recent addition to the CBS News Washington Bureau. Bright young reporter that she was, Lesley wasn't about to let anything slip past her. Who was the young man standing in the hallway with a camera in his hand? An FBI agent, perhaps, trying to photograph the assembled press for some nefarious purpose? Stahl confronted me, hands on hips, demanding to know who I was and what I was doing with a camera.

Once I explained she relaxed, and as the Watergate story continued to produce stake-outs we became friends. I never did get a picture of Howard Hunt that morning. Ever the professional spy, he had arranged with the U.S. Marshals to slip out the back door.

I eventually got to know Hunt quite well--better than I wanted to--visiting him in prison in Florida several times, and, once he was out, taking him to dinner at a Red Lobster in Miami where he ordered "the biggest lobster in the house."

My extended courtship was in hopes that Hunt would tell me the one thing that hadn't yet been established: why had he and G. Gordon Liddy conspired to break into the Democratic National Headquarters? He never did. Several explanations have been put forth, and some of them persist to this day. Nobody knows for certain what the Watergate burglars' real motive was, only that they toppled a presidency.

British firms May be sued for slave trade

The Observer
Nick Mathiason, business correspondent
July 1, 2007

New efforts are being made to expose British companies that profited from the African slave trade in a bid to claim reparations.

The Global Afrikan Congress, representing people of African descent, has started detailed investigations in the Caribbean to establish which firms were active there and what became of them.

British banking, insurance and shipping companies may face legal battles as campaigners take encouragement from a decision made in the US courts last December, when a senior judge gave leave to Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a descendant of slaves in the States and a legal expert, to sue some of the biggest names on Wall Street.

Farmer-Paellmann is suing JP Morgan Chase, AIG and other US giants under consumer fraud law. The action centres on the idea that black people bought policies and took out accounts from companies that knowingly hid their involvement in the slave trade.

Farmer-Paellman is now helping the Global Afrikan Congress. Any reparations will be paid into a trust to fund education, health and housing programmes for black people worldwide.

It was Farmer-Paellman's campaign that resulted in a new US law that requires businesses applying for government work to detail their involvement in the slave trade.

This law prompted JP Morgan Chase to confess that it owned thousands of slaves and loaned substantial sums to slave traders. JP Morgan Chase subsequently paid $5m into an education charity. Earlier this year Barclays Bank conceded that companies it bought over the years may have been involved in the slave trade.

'The slavery system was one of the most abominable crimes in history,' stated Anthony Gifford, who practices as a barrister in England and as an attorney in Jamaica specialising in human rights. 'No amends have ever been made. ... A movement has begun for reparations to be paid to Africans for the crime.'

JP Morgan admitted that two 'predecessor' banks 'accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took possession of approximately 1,250 enslaved individuals'. JP Morgan Chase went on to apologise for its role in the slave trade.

Previous attempts to win slavery reparations were made against the United States itself and foundered on sovereign immunity grounds. Farmer-Paellmann's breakthrough was focusing on the businesses that profited directly from the trade. Many of these firms are still in existence, having been bought by household names.

The poisonous legacy of 9/11

White House Doctored 9/11 Air-Quality Reports - Headline from The Tennessean, Friday, August 22, 2003 ...
Editorial: The poisonous legacy of 9/11
By Andrew Stephen
New Statesman

NEW YORK — ... Two fascinating facts emerged during my visit. The first was that the insurance companies have settled the last of the claims arising from the 11 September 2001 New York atrocities, clearing the way for thousands of workers to swarm into the 16-acre pit left by the World Trade Center to begin a $9bn rebuilding project.

The second could ultimately make the $4.55bn paid out by the likes of Swiss Re, Allianz Global Risks and Zurich American seem paltry. With a stroke of his pen, New York's chief medical examiner, Dr Charles Hirsch, certified that the death from sarcoidosis (a relatively rare lung condition) of 42-year-old Felicia Dunn-Jones in 2002 was "with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt" connected with dust she had breathed in as she ran from her office a block away from the twin towers on 11 September. Before my visit to New York, the death toll from the twin towers attacks stood at 2,749; when I left, it was 2,750, with the death of Dunn-Jones officially labelled a "homicide".

This was the first such formal classification of what the Bush administration might call "collateral damage" from the 11 September attacks. A New Jersey pathologist ruled that the death last year from pulmonary fibrosis of 34-year-old James Zadroga, a New York City police detective who had spent hundreds of hours combing through the carnage was, "with a reasonable degree of medical certainty . . . directly related to the 9/11 incident", but this finding has not been accepted by the city authorities.

So are we witnessing the first confirmed details emerging of the most serious of all of the 9/11 cover-ups by the Bush administration, which will make the 2,973 overall deaths seem a vast underestimate? Witnesses to 9/11 (who include my friend Conor O'Clery, the legendary Irish foreign correspondent now retired from the Irish Times, who tells me that he breathed in noxious substances for months afterwards) say that a Chernobyl-type cloud of dust and debris blew and settled not just over Manhattan, but as far afield as Brooklyn and even New Jersey, too.

Indeed, 700,000 people have added their names to a registry of those who believe they were exposed to toxic substances; the actual figure could be smaller, or it could run into millions - 10,000 of them so far have filed court claims. A Brooklyn study released last month found that cases of asthma there alone had increased 2.4 times since 11 September 2001. In the year following the attacks, firefighters developed sarcoidosis at five times the rate they had done so before; 26 firefighters who were working at Ground Zero within 72 hours of the attack sub sequently developed the disease, according to the findings of a study published last month in the medical journal Chest Physician.

The American College of Preventive Medicine, meanwhile, has expressed fears that deadly, malignant mesothelioma could develop in those exposed. Scores of rescue workers - 40 per cent of whom have no medical insurance - have already developed rare blood-cell cancers and thousands of firefighters have been treated for serious respiratory problems.

"The 9/11 health crisis is an emergency on a national scale, and it requires a federal response," says Carolyn Maloney, Democratic congresswoman from New York, who adds that citizens from all 50 states in the Union as well as foreigners are affected.

The scandal is that the Bush administration knew almost immediately of the dangers of the toxic New York air, but lied. The public could breathe free, secure in the knowledge that "it is not being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances", according to Christine Todd Whitman, the former New Jersey governor appointed by Bush to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2001. Speaking seven days after the attacks, she said: "I am glad to reassure the people of New York . . . that their air is safe to breathe." The then mayor, Rudy Giuliani, chimed in to say that air quality was "safe and acceptable". Both Whitman and Giuliani, subsequent investigations suggest, were under pressure from the White House to provide these reassurances in order to keep Wall Street operating.

In the words of O'Clery, "we were systematically misled". ...


Deutsche Bank and the Enron Scandal

" ... Deutsche Bank is accused of helping Enron set up an off-the-balance sheet partnership with a company called LJM, which was run by Enron executives. LJM was used to buy up Enron stock and assets in order to inflate earnings and prevent stock prices from dropping. ... "

Deutsche Bank Fraud

Deutsche Bank is Germany’s largest bank and one of the leading financial service providers in Europe. Deutsche Bank serves clients in seventy-five countries worldwide, including the United States. Services include traditional banking, securities, asset management, payment processing, and IPO support.

Why is Deutsche Bank accused of fraud?

Deutsche Bank has been named in several securities fraud cases, the most high profile of which is the Enron scandal. Deutsche Bank is accused of helping Enron set up an off-the-balance sheet partnership with a company called LJM, which was run by Enron executives. LJM was used to buy up Enron stock and assets in order to inflate earnings and prevent stock prices from dropping. Deutsche Bank is one of several banks accused of giving large amounts of money to prop up LJM and of giving investors unsound advice about the value of Enron’s stock. In addition, Deutsche Bank’s U.S. subsidiary, Bankers Trust Corp., has been accused of setting up several illegal transactions in order to manipulate the tax code in Enron’s favor. Enron allegedly went four years without paying taxes, in part because of Bankers Trust’s actions.

Bankers Trust Corp. has been a source of controversy for Deutsche Bank before. The German bank acquired Bankers Trust in 1999, but in the course of the buyout then-Deutsch Bank Chairman Rolf-Ernst Breuer was accused of intentionally misleading investors. Breuer allegedly told an interviewer that no merger was planned between Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust even though he was engaged in talks about just such a takeover at that time. This announcement caused Bankers Trust stock prices to drop. But when the merger was finally made public, stock prices jumped. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who lost money during the time period between Breuer’s allegedly deceptive statement and that time at which the merger was officially made public.

Deutsche Bank has been implicated in another securities fraud case more recently. In late 2001, a fraudulent stock loan put Stockwalk Group, Inc., a brokerage firm in the Twin Cities area, in deep debt and led it to eventually file for bankruptcy. Deutsche Bank has been accused of being involved in the fraud, which involved a California telemarketing company. It denies the allegation.

What is the current status of these cases?

Deutsche Bank was the only financial institution whose motion to be dismissed from the Enron shareholders case was successful. One law firm was also dismissed. Deutsche Bank’s Enron woes are not over, however. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asked to look into the actions of Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary, Bankers Trust. The latter has been accused of supporting illegal Enron transactions in order to help the energy giant cheat on taxes.

A lawsuit has recently been filed by an attorney for the Securities Investor Protection Corp. that accuses Deutsche Bank of fraud in the Stockwalk Group scandal. Deutsche Bank is one of a number of defendants in the case. The lawsuit brings into play the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act—a law typically used to prosecute members of organized crime. Beyond the $250 million lost by investors, the lawsuit is seeking $500 million in punitive damages.

Deutsche Bank Loan to IG Farben Financed Auschwitz Rubber Plant

Deutsche Bank denies hiding Nazi deals

In this story: Loans went to Auschwitz rubber plant

February 6, 1999

FRANKFURT, Germany (CNN) -- A Deutsche Bank official on Saturday dismissed allegations that the bank was hiding evidence of financial dealings with the Nazis.

Responding to the accusations by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, spokesman Walter Schumacher said the bank is actively making public what it knows about its history during the Nazi era. "We will also quickly make public the results of research that become known to us," he said.

Holocaust researcher Rabbi Marvin Heir on Friday cited a 1946 U.S. military report that says Germany's largest commercial bank had contributed thousands to projects of Adolf Hitler and Gestapo director Heinrich Himmler.

He also said the bank had loaned $250 million to a firm it knew was building a slave labor rubber plant inside the Auschwitz concentration camp. Hier said Deutsche Bank knew far more than it was making public. ...

The bank is also planning to acquire U.S.-based Bankers Trust Corp. in the spring. Schumacher said it was not known whether the case of payments to Holocaust victims might delay the planned acquisition.

New York City comptroller Alan Hevesi has pressed regulators to block the acquisition until Deutsche Bank compensates Holocaust victims.

On Thursday, Deutsche Bank officials said they were "extremely shocked" by the finding of loan documents that revealed a branch in Nazi-occupied Poland had helped to finance construction of Auschwitz and other Nazi projects.

Loans went to Auschwitz rubber plant

In a Saturday interview with Saarland state radio, Ignatz Bubis, chairman of Germany's Central Council of Jews, said he did not believe the reports about Deutsche Bank would improve Nazi victims' chances for compensation.

The reports simply show "that more or less most (German) companies had connections with the Nazis," at the time, Bubis said.

Manfred Pohl, director of the bank's historical institute, said other newly discovered documents included loans to I.G. Farben, which built a rubber plant at Auschwitz, and account records for the Gestapo.

Pohl said it was the first time Deutsche Bank had been directly linked to financing of companies involved with Auschwitz.

But Heir said much of the information was known soon after World War II. A November 1946 report detailing an Allied investigation of the Deutsche Bank recommended it be liquidated and its leaders indicted and tried as war criminals, Heir said.

"The U.S. government certainly has this report," Heir said. "All the Allies certainly have this report. The bank knew about it."

Heir claims the Deutsche Bank report and its indictment recommendations were "deep-sixed" because of Cold War expediency.

The Allies needed the financial acumen of Deutsche Bank's top officials to help rebuild West Germany and to keep it from Communist-controlled East Germany, Heir said.

The Wiesenthal Center obtained the report in 1983, using it to protest the Vatican's hiring of Hermann Abs, the chairman of Deutsche Bank during and after the war. Abs was briefly interned after the war, but later played key roles in implementing the Marshall Plan and reconstructing West Germany's economy. He died in 1994 at age 92.

The Chemical Industry's PR Whores at the AMERICAN COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND HEALTH

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, ACSH bills itself as:

"... a consumer education organization concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health."


"Who eats my bread dances to my tune." - Old German Proverb

ACSH is heavily financed by corporations with specific and direct interest in ACSH's chosen battles. Since it was created in 1978, it has come to the enthusiastic defense of virtually every chemical or additive backed by a major corporate interest. In many of these cases, investigative journalists already have exposed direct connections between ACSH and its funders. But in almost every instance, it takes little effort to discover which funder in the list below has a vested interest in supporting ACSH's message.

Everything Bad is Good Again

Endocrine Disruptors: In 1999 ACSH Scientists found no convincing evidence that certain synthetic chemicals in the environment endanger human health by disrupting the human endocrine system.

rBST (rBGH) Milk: In 1998 ACSH called an attack on milk from rBST-treated cows an unwarranted distortion of science. The report stated that milk from such cows will lead to elevated levels of a hormone called IGF-1 which in turn will cause increased risk of prostate cancer.

Food Irradiation: In the article "Irradiation best way to end E. coli threat," by Scripps Howard News Service in September 1997, Elizabeth Whelan is quoted as saying "the unpopularity of irradiation to date in the United States is not based in science, but is due to anti-technology advocates who circulate unfounded claims that it poses a health hazard." She makes no mention of the fact that scientists have come out against irradiation, but have been silenced by the popular media. Several of the ACSH funders would benefit if irradiation of food were a practice accepted by consumers. The way industry and the FDA have managed to sidestep the issue is to declare it safe, make the labeling of it obscure, and keep public awareness of it negligible.

Cholesterol: ACSH issued a report in 1991 stating that there is no proven link between heart disease and a diet high in fat and cholesterol.

Saccharin: According to a 1985 article in the Washington Post by Howard Kurtz, ACSH received funding from Coca-Cola, Pepsi, NutraSweet and the National Soft Drink Association, and attacked reports that saccharin is carcinogenic.

Formaldehyde: The same article noted that ACSH filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 1982 in a lawsuit brought by the Formaldehyde Institute. The suit successfully overturned a federal ban on insulation made with formaldehyde. Georgia-Pacific Co., a leading producer of the chemical and member of the Formaldehyde Institute, paid its Washington, DC, law firm to write the brief ACSH submitted the brief under its own name.

Global Warming: In its position paper on global warming, ACSH states that implementation of fossil-fuel restrictions could "weaken the global economic system, [and] increase the incidence of poverty-related illness worldwide..." This is a case of selective reasoning-choosing the facts that fit and discarding the rest. Mainstream scientists recognize that a primary effect of global warming would be an increase in poverty-related illnesses such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever -- diseases dependent upon warm, wet climates.

Love Canal: Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan says, "Was there ever any real health problem at Love Canal? Yes, there was, in the sense that there was an enormous amount of media-induced stress placed on residents who were terrified that they and their children would become ill."

Alar: In many ways, ACSH's work on the Alar issue is exemplary of the way the group works. Chemical makers-with the assistance of industry front groups like ACSH-found a gold mine in keeping the decade-old Alar controversy alive. Although the chemical was banned by the government in 1991 and the EPA named it a possible human carcinogen, saying that "long-term exposure to Alar poses unacceptable risks to the public health," the American public generally recalls the issue as a case in which environmentalists were wrong. They are incorrect.

In a 1973 study, Alar, a chemical used to lengthen the amount of time that apples could be left to ripen on the tree, was found to break down into a product called UMDH that is 1,000 times more carcinogenic than Alar itself. UMDH is formed when apples are cooked to make applesauce or apple juice.

When environmental groups claimed that Alar was a danger, ACSH attacked the groups, maintaining the chemical was safe and the target of a media scare. Not surprisingly, ACSH receives funding from Uniroyal, the company that made Alar.

Over the last decade, ACSH has made the Alar controversy a prominent part of its hallmark "Facts Versus Fears" report. A review of more than 25 "unfounded health scares," including dangers associated with saccharin, hormones in beef and DDT, the report is a who's who of products manufactured by ACSH's funders.

ACSH's disinformation campaign on Alar has been alive almost since the controversy began; dozens of articles in papers from around the country have published articles on the so-called "health scare." Though one of ACSH's main points about the incident was that it had a devastating effect on the apple industry, even the Washington Apple Commission noted that only two to three percent of consumers still were concerned about the chemical just a year after the story broke.

Less than a year ago, ACSH and "Facts Versus Fears" even made it into the pages of the New York Times - twice. The first piece was summary of the report's highlights. The second was an official correction in which the Times named Uniroyal as an ACSH funder, and clarified that the Alar was pulled from the market by the company before an EPA ban could take effect.


Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's association with ACSH and Elizabeth Whelan is longstanding. In 1992, the pair joined forces in the same way they would years later in their partnership on the "blue-ribbon panel" on phthalates.

ACSH sponsored a Washington, DC, press conference on the third anniversary of the Alar controversy. Koop headed a panel of "experts" that claimed Alar never posed a health risk. According to an article in PR Watch, the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm persuaded Koop to write a statement that apples were safe.

Whelan and Koop teamed up again to denounce Diet for a Poisoned Planet, a book that warned against the use of pesticides and chemical residues in foods. That campaign was organized by Ketchum Public Relations before the release of the book. Lorraine Thelian, the director of the Washington office of Ketchum, sits on the ACSH Board of Directors. Thelian is an expert on "environmental PR work," and her office represents a number of ACSH funders. Koop issued a statement calling the book "trash."

On May 25 of this year, ACSH announced that it had joined forces with Koop's new Internet healthcare site, From the release:

"The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a non-profit, consumer-advocacy organization is creating an exclusive health wire service for consumers. Guided by ACSH experts and written by experienced wire service journalists, the daily ACSH newswire will help people better understand the health stories they see on the news by adding the often-missing scientific perspective. This partnership with gives consumers, who are constantly bombarded with conflicting and often alarming health news, an unbiased, scientific analysis of the latest trends in health and medicine, as well as clarifications of health misinformation found in the mainstream press."

Before consumers or reporters rely on ACSH for an "unbiased" analysis, they should review the record on the real sources of funding and points of view.

A final word on the relationship between ACSH and its funders...

A 1992 memo from Whelan, referenced in a Consumer Reports expose, bemoans the loss of funding from Shell in a particularly revealing way:

"When one of the largest international petrochemical companies will not support ACSH, the great defender of petrochemical companies, one wonders who will."

ACSH receives 76 percent of its funding from corporations and corporate funders, and 17 percent of its funding from private foundations, according to Congressional Quarterly's Public Interest Profiles.

Some current and past ACSH corporate and foundation funders:

ALCOA Foundation

Allied Signals Foundation

American Cyanamid

American Meat Institute



Archer Daniels Midland

Ashland Oil Foundation

Boise Cascade Corp

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Burger King

Carnation Co




Consolidated Edison

Cooper Industries Foundation


Coors Foundation

Dow Chemical

Dow Chemical Canada


Ethyl Corp


Ford Motor Co.


G. D. Searle Charitable Trust

General Electric

General Mills

General Motors

Gerber Products

Hershey Foods Corp Fund

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson's Wax Fund

John M. Olin Foundation

Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons

Kraft Foundation

Kraft General Foods

Merck Co Foundation

Merck Pharmaceuticals

Mobil Foundation


Monsanto Fund


National Agricultural Chemicals Association

National Dairy Council

National Soft Drink Association

National Starch and Chemical Foundation

Northwood Institute


NutraSweet Co. (owned by Monsanto)

Oscar Mayer Foods




PPG Industries

Procter & Gamble

Rohm & Haas

Salt Institute

Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation

Sarah Scaife Foundation


The Schultz Foundation

Shell Oil

Starr Foundation

Sterling Drug

Stouffer Corp

Stroh Brewery Co

Sugar Association

Sun Company, Inc

Syntex Corp

Union Carbide Corp.

Uniroyal Chemical Co.

USX Corp.

Warner-Lambert Foundation

Wine Growers of California

list source: National Environmental Trust
Subject: FW: Usana's extrordinary views on Apartame (From Mark Gold)

From: Mark Gold
To: Alex Constantine
Subject: Re: Fwd: Usana's extrordinary views on Apartame
(2001 e-mail)

The article that was sent out by was apparently written by David Klurfeld, a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science & Health (ACSH) for his Nutrition News Focus newsletter. As you know, ACSH is an food and chemical industry created and funded public relations group ... with an official-sounding name. Mr. Klurfeld my be well meaning, but it is painfully obvious that he had never actually read the scientific literature related to aspartame before he wrote that article in January, 1999. For example:

"HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: All the published studies on the adverse effects of Aspartame indicate that, at worst, some people might experience headaches from it but controlled studies have not verified this."

Even the most basic search of the scientific literature related to aspartame would turn up two controlled, double-blind studies showing aspartame causing headaches (including migraines) and a number of other controlled studies showing aspartame causing other (including more severe) health problems. I list most of those controlled studies published before Mr. Klurfeld's article in the "Aspartame Texting on Humans" FAQ listed at:

Of course, that doesn't even consider the recent research linking aspartame use to memory loss, fibromyalgia, and brain cancer.

Here is another statement that appears to come indirectly from Monsanto's public relations mill:

"One of the claims in the Internet letter is that Aspartame generates methanol (wood alcohol). This is true, but the amount of methanol in a can of diet soda is considerably less than in a glass of orange or tomato juice and MUCH less than in a shot of liquor or a glass of wine. Small amounts of methanol are completely harmless -- the danger is from consuming lots of the stuff the way some alcoholics have done, leading to blindness and death."

It has been shown in several ways and many times that traditionally-eaten food substances such as fruit juice and wine has protective factors that prevent small amounts of methanol from causing chronic poisoning. For example, wine has large amounts of ethanol which prevents the conversion to formaldehyde to any significant extent. When Mr. Klurfeld wrote his article, he should have been well aware that animal research in Europe had shown that ingesting aspartame in relatively small amounts led to the acumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, liver, and other organs and tissues -- well, he would have been aware of this had he read the research before publishing his article. Some of these issues have been
discussed at:

It just goes to show that one is much more likely to repeat corporate public relations if one doesn't get their scientific information directly or indirectly from someone who is a) completely corporate independent, and 2) has read the scientific literature on aspartame and related issues. Statements such as this article sent from Usana which have no accuracy and typical Monsanto public relations-like statements are likely to upset many customers or soon-to-be-former customers. If they want to rely on experts, there are many statements from experts linked to at the bottom of a summary I wrote at:

Best Wishes,
- Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tech Serv US"
RE: The dangers of ASPARTAME ~ further info
The data on aspartame has been extensively reviewed by the FDA and has been found to be safe for use as a food additive. After more than three decades ....
American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)

Hiding a Lobby Behind a Name: Why Not Truth in Labeling For Interest Groups?

HOWARD KURTZ / Washington Post

THE PRESS RELEASES arrive in the mail nearly every day. The Committee for National Security. The Committee for an Effective Congress. The American Council on Science and Health. The Committee for Energy Awareness. The U.S.A. Foundation.

The names are patriotic-sounding, forward-looking, uplifting. And they all have something in common: They don't tell you a heck of a lot about what the group stands for.

I may be a bit cynical, but it seems to me that we are entering an era of obfuscation - that the real powers in our society now prefer to stay in the background while these surrogate groups toil on their behalf. It gives their efforts a kind of objective sheen that pronouncements by chemical companies or drug manufacturers could never achieve. After all, who can quarrel with folks who call themselves the U.S.A. Foundation?

In the old days, things were simpler. The Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO had their political action committees, the Democrats and Republicans their campaign arms, and it was clear who was fighting for what. But that was before all these committees, commissions, councils, societies, associations, foundations, federations and plain old lobbies multiplied like so many bunnies and burrowed into their downtown office cubicles.

These days, it seems that half the people in Washington no longer work for a living, but spend their time representing those who do. And even an avid fan can't tell the players without a scorecard.

Take the Committee for Energy Awareness, which launched a $30- million advertising and lobbying campaign in 1983 to promote the safety of nuclear power. What its slick, low-key television ads failed to mention is that the group gets more than half its funding from 50 utilities, some of which have billed their unsuspecting customers for the media blitz.

These ads just wouldn't have the same reassuring tone if the tag line had been: "Brought to you by America's nuclear utilities, makers of Three Mile Island. Energy for a Brighter Tomorrow."

According to internal committee documents, the publicity drive was to include "training and placement of independent energy experts on local radio and television talk shows in priority regions ... letters to the editor by energy experts ... (and) op-ed columns and other bylined articles by nuclear supporters outside the industry." All of this was designed to "establish the credibility of CEA as more than a propaganda organization."

Now it's not exactly impossible for an enterprising reporter to find out who runs these nonprofit groups, which must meet at least some disclosure requirements. Some will even furnish a list of their contributors, although others are more secretive about their finances.

But these inquiries often are like peeling the layers of an onion. A group's funding may come from other, equally obscure foundations. And the average viewer watching a commercial at home is hardly likely to investigate the sponsor's financial ties.

Conservatives hardly have a monopoly on the committee industry; there is no shortage of liberal groups with long mailing lists and left-wing agendas. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, for example, puts out reports that are highly critical of President Reagan's policies, and its useful to know that it's run by a former Carter administration official. The Center for Science in the Public Interest spends much of its time attacking drug companies because they are the leading villains in its world.

But while these self-styled consumer groups may represent their own concept of the public interest - one perhaps shared by many unions and Democrats - they don't appear to be fronting for specific financial interests like some of their counterparts on the right. And, at least in my experience, they tend to be more candid about their funding sources and political outlook.

Recently there has been a new public service ad that begins, "Stay tuned for a medical bulletin on Reye's Syndrome." The announcer assures us there's no proof that any drug causes this potentially fatal disease in children. The sponsor is the Committee on the Care of Children.

Of course, the ad doesn't say that health officials have been warning for two years that giving aspirin to certain sick children increases their chances of contracting Reye's Syndrome. Nor does it mention that the Committee on the Care of Children was organized with aspirin-industry funding that was channeled through another group, the International Science Exchange. Federal officials recently called the ad "seriously misleading."

This sort of subterfuge has spread to the realm of politics, where Voters for Joe Doa has been replaced by such fund-raising groups as Citizens for the Republic (Ronald Reagan's PAC) and Committee for the Future of America (Walter Mondale's). This was underscored during last October's first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Grenada, when nationwide ceremonies and campus rallies were sponsored by the U.S.A. Foundation.

A few phone calls revealed that U.S.A. Foundation chairman Jack Abramoff also happens to head the College Republican National Committee, and that other College Republicans were helping to stage the Grenada extravaganza. They insisted it was not designed to aid President Reagan's reelection. This is not surprising, since the U.S.A. Foundation is what's known in IRS jargon as a "501/C3" organization, meaning that its tax-exempt status can be yanked if it engages in partisan politics.

A spokesman for Abramoff explained the arrangement: "When he has his College Republican hat on, he's partisan. When he has his U.S.A. hat on, he's nonpartisan."

No such identity crisis afflicts the American Council on Science and Health ( ACSH ), which bills itself as a conservative public-interest group. It issues a steady stream of reports contending that saccharin does not cause cancer, that the pesticide EDB is safe, that there is no proven link between heart disease and a diet high in fat and cholesterol.

At least a third of the group's funding comes from food, chemical and petroleum companies - from Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical to Eli Lilly and Shell Oil - that have an interest in the products that ACSH keeps defending. But its director, Elizabeth M. Whelan, challenges the notion that her group is beholden to its financial backers.

"The perception among our enemies is that we're speaking for industry," Whelan said. "But we call it as we see it. The funding has nothing to do with it."

This rationale seemed to evaporate, however, when the ACSH filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a 1982 lawsuit brought by the Formaldehyde Institute. The suit succeeded in overturning a federal ban on insulation made with formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen.

It turns out that the ACSH 's legal brief was paid for by Georgia-Pacific Co., a leading manufacturer of formaldehyde and a member of the Formaldehyde Institute. Georgia- Pacific paid its Washington law firm $40,000 to write the 45-page brief, which ACSH then submitted under its name to a federal appeals court.

Maybe it's not realistic to expect all these groups to be up front about what they really stand for. We shouldn't have to spend half our time figuring out who's fronting for whom. But I sure am tired of hearing the latest sugar-coated message from the Motherhood and Apple Pie Institute.

Political, Media & Right-Wing Christian Connections to the HEAVEN'S GATE CULT

By Alex Constantine

... The suicides were more than just UFO cultists. They were also computer entrepreneurs. They ran Higher Source, a Web-design firm in Rancho Santa Fe. They designed Christian sites (Keep the Faith sells Christian music) ...

Donald Ronald Sams, Founder of KEEP THE FAITH and & TVFirst:

David Ronald "Uncle" Sams Candidate for Recall of Gray Davis; State of California

* Party: Republican

* Occupation: Businessman/Producer/Writer

* Nine-time Emmy Award Winning television producer, writer, director

* Launched OPRAH WINFREY Show nationally while at King World Productions, Inc.

* Produced various news magazines on TV; produced various public affairs programs that address vital issues facing the nation.

* Produced special investigative undercover report on teens getting into R-rated movies. White House used Sams' report to get photo ids into theaters.

* Chairman of Sams Industries,,, 100% Productions, Inc.; President of Christian Network Holdings (CNI Holdings) Corporation

* Raised millions of dollars for charity

Top Priorities if Elected

* Protect and defend the rights of small business owners in California

* Stop Illegal immigrants from causing ECONOMIC TERRORISM against California's tax-paying citizens

* Generate new revenue without raising taxes (see plan at

Position Papers

Illegal Workers Are Creating "Economic Terrorism" Against Every Taxpayer in California

Just Say "NO" To Illegal Aliens at the DMV!!

69: David Ronald Sams (R), businessman/producer/writer, Agoura Hills

As a TV producer David Sams has won nine Emmys. He accuses illegal immigrants of causing "ECONOMIC TERRORISM" in California and promises to make prayer "the centerpiece of his daily schedule."

This year California's UC and CSU campuses will begin turning away thousands of students due to no money for enrollment growth. How will you as governor continue to support funding for K-12 while at the same time maintaining the possibility of the same kind of access to four-year higher education? (submitted by Rick Anderson, president of the CUSD Board of Trustees) Education must come first, at the expense of all other programs -period.

We must plant the seeds of knowledge in the minds of our children in order to protect California's leadership in high-tech, bio-tech and aero-tech. Everyone benefits from more education. Those who receive a good education are simply more useful, more self-reliant citizens.

Sams Says: "They'll Be NO Gravy Train On My Watch!"

"... Sams is considered a visionary and one of the world's greatest marketers. He has appeared on 60 MINUTES, NBC'S TODAY SHOW, DATELINE NBC, and WORLD NEWS TONIGHT. He has been featured in dozens of magazines and newspaper articles, including USA TODAY and TV GUIDE. ... "

Sams launched the OPRAH WINFREY show into national syndication in 1986 while head of marketing and creative affairs for KingWorld (photo). As a marketing archetect, he turned WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY! into household names.

Since 1987, he has owned and operated his own businesses, generated over $100,000,000 in sales via TV and the Internet. He has consulted many companies from CBS to Motown. As a TV Producer/Director/Writer, Sams has won 9 Emmys and many advertising awards. He has also helped to raise millions of dollars for charity. His Internet companies, including have been incredibly successful. ...

"I'm sick and tired of Governor Davis and his gang of spend-a-holics. All they want to do is spend, spend, spend and tax, tax, tax. Who died and made Grayout Davis king?

"Grayout is the worst CEO in our state's history. He simply does not know the meaning of balancing a checkbook--other than his own! Of course, it's easy to balance your checkbook when millions of dollars pour in from special interest groups!

"I've built my business from the ground up since 1987--generating over $100,000,000 in sales - balancing the checkbook and putting a lot of good folks to work along the way...

"I vow to REDUCE WORKERS' COMPENSATION BENEFITS for state workers (just how many times do you really need to go to the chiropractor?)....

"I vow to STUDY INCOME TAX ALTERNATIVES, including a FLAT TAX that is fair to all citizens--regardless of income level (It's incredible that our government taxes hard-working successful people higher than those who sit on the couch eating donuts and watching the Jerry Springer Show).


Charity Summary - Christian Benevolent Association of Greater Cincinnati

Donald Sams
Chief Executive Officer


DAN BURTON, Republican, of Indianapolis, IN; born in Indianapolis, June 21, 1938; graduated, Shortridge High School, 1956; Indiana University, 1956-57, Cincinnati Bible Seminary, 1958-60; served in the U.S. Army, 1957-58; U.S. Army Reserves, 1958-64; businessman, insurance and real estate firm owner since 1968; served, Indiana House of Representatives,
1967- 68 and 1977-80; Indiana State Senate, 1969-70 and 1981-82; president: Volunteers of America, Indiana CHRISTIAN BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, Committee for Constitutional Government, and Family Support Center; member, Jaycees; 33rd Degree Mason, Scottish rite division; married the former Barbara Jean Logan, 1959; three children: Kelly, Danielle Lee, and Danny Lee II; elected on November 2, 1982, to the 98th Congress; reelected to each succeeding Congress.


Honorable Dan Burton- CNP 1988, 1996, 1998; member US House of Representatives (Indiana-6th); vice chairman, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa.

"...In the late 1980s and early 1990s [Dan] Burton and Republican Senator Jesse Helms worked with the International Freedom Foundation, a Washington-based organisation in part clandestinely funded by the South African military to prop up overseas support for apartheid. The goal of the anti-communist group was to gather intelligence on, and discredit, the then-banned African National Congress. Burton and Hatch voted against key 1986 legislation banning trade and investment with South Africa, even when most of their party moved across the floor to support it...

It is the height of hypocrisy that Orrin Hatch or Dan Burton would be opposed to anyone breaking sanctions against South Africa," said Salih Booker, who was the Democratic professional staff member of the House foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa in the mid-1980s. He is now executive director of the Africa Policy Information Centre, a non-profit advocacy organisation in Washington. Dan Burton called the freedom movement of the ANC a 'terrorist' organisation and spent most of the time attacking their leadership, notably Nelson Mandela," Booker said, noting that Burton was the ranking Republican on the Africa subcommittee at the time. "He never had a word against the white supremacists who ruled; he never met with those fighting for freedom, unlike others on the committee, Republicans and Democrats alike ... after many of his Republican peers decided to support US trade and investment sanctions against South Africa, Burton remained a stalwart against the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. So did Hatch. That Bill " which became law by garnering a two-thirds majority to override president Ronald Reagan's veto " outlawed petroleum product exports and imports of South African coal, uranium, iron, steel, textiles, sugar and other agricultural products, and prohibited new investment in South Africa."

"The role of apartheid military intelligence in the International Freedom Foundation surfaced in 1995 when former South African spy Craig Williamson revealed that the former Pretoria regime spent up to $1,5-million a year until 1992 to underwrite "Operation Babushka", as the foundation was known."

"A member of the foundation's international board of directors disclosed that at least half of the foundation's money came from projects undertaken on behalf of South Africa's military intelligence, New York's Newsday reported in 1995 after a three-month investigation. And Colonel John Rolt, a South African army representative, confirmed that "the International Freedom Foundation was a former South African Defence Force project".

"Burton, Helms and other foundation participants, such as former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes, denied knowledge of the South African funding link. But Burton was an active participant.

"In 1987, for example, when Senator Edward Kennedy chaired a study of children in apartheid prisons, the foundation retaliated by sponsoring an investigation into the ANC's treatment of children, The Observer of London reported..."

Bicycling Dope and the MAFIA

Official: Doping in Mafia's hands
(Originally posted March 17, 2000)

PARIS (AP) -- One of Italy's most senior anti-doping officials believes that organized crime controls much of the supply of banned drugs in cycling, French sports daily L'Equipe reported Thursday.

Sandro Donati, head of research at the Italian National Olympic Committee and head of the committee's anti-doping program, accused the sport of inadequate drugs testing and a failure to punish cyclists who have been caught taking banned drugs.

"Cycling has been taken into the hands of organized gangs," Donati told L'Equipe. "In some cases, organized crime and the mafia is in control, which means that the system is working for its own account, independent of the sport.

"Gangs that trade in doping are the same as those that trade in narcotics," he added. "There is no longer a big difference between the two groups. When customs officers arrest them, they find them carrying both anabolic steroids and cocaine."

Donati, who is also a senior adviser to the Italian government on anti-doping issues, said that cycling is not doing enough to control the use of banned substances among riders.

"I ask myself if the cycling world, which hates those who fight against doping, loves its riders or if it is are only preoccupied with fortunes and what brings in the money."

Donati said he believes that cycling will only survive by appointing independent bodies to carry out doping tests.

He said the current system of testing lacks credibility because cyclists are allowed to take banned substances as long as they remain within the level of tolerance.

"I see it as a sport without hope, immersed in its own mentality," Donati said.

Bomb-Planting MI5 Provocateurs and the Quest for Truth over 1974 Dublin Massacre

"Forgotten" victims of 1974 blasts fight on for justice amid claims of British involvement

David Pallister
Monday February 26, 2001
The Guardian

While dramatic stories of an army lethally out of control tumble out of the public inquiry into Bloody Sunday in Derry, a parallel investigation into a potentially more controversial event is being conducted in Dublin behind closed doors.
The four car bombs which exploded in Dublin and Monaghan in May 1974, taking the lives of 33 people and wounding more than 200, constituted the worst single massacre of the entire Irish Troubles. Because of its long obscurity in the British and Irish public consciousness, the families of the victims and wounded called themselves the Justice for the Forgotten campaign.

It is alleged that the principal perpetrators, members of the Ulster Volunteer Force from Portadown, were aided and abetted by members of the British security services and that the Garda's initially promising investigation - it had the names of 20 suspects within weeks - was frustrated by the RUC.

At least three of the bombing team, all now dead, have been identified as paid informers.

After years of obfuscation and resistance, the Irish government finally gave in to pressure from the families and a commission of inquiry was set up in January last year under the retiring chief justice Liam Hamilton.


His work was expected to take nine months but last October he became ill and he died a month later. The inquiry is now being quietly conducted by the retired supreme court judge Henry Barron. Three weeks ago he slipped over to Southend-on-Sea, in Essex, to interview a former military intelligence officer who has evidence of British collusion with the loyalist paramilitaries involved.

Another former intelligence officer he has contacted told the Guardian: "He has a healthy streak of independence and he seems pretty convinced that the bombers were assisted from the outside."

The Northern Ireland Office and Adam Ingram, the security minister, have promised to cooperate "as positively as possible".

But it remains to be seen whether the British army, the RUC and, crucially, MI5 are prepared to open their files from what was one of the murkiest periods of the conflict. The Forgotten campaigners are acutely aware that British ministers, despite personal representations from the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, may invoke the Official Secrets Act and issue public interest immunity certificates to conceal the evidence.

Judge Barron's fact-finding report, however, will eventually see the light of day. In a compromise made possible by the Irish constitution, it will be delivered to the Irish parliament's joint committee on justice, equality and women's rights. The committee then plans to hold public, televised hearings to decide whether to recommend a full public inquiry.

"You have always got to be a bit cynical because it's been going on for years," says Margaret Urwin, the campaign's secretary. "We have to put our faith in Judge Barron."

On the morning of May 17 1974, two cars were hijacked in loyalist areas of Belfast and a third was stolen. A fourth was taken from a car park in Portadown. In the late afternoon, during Dublin's Friday rush-hour, the three from Belfast exploded without warning in the city centre within 90 seconds of each other. The Monaghan bomb went off 1 hours later. No one claimed responsibility. There have been no prosecutions.

Harrowing accounts of the carnage have been brought together in a book by the human rights activist and writer Don Mullan, whose previous work on Bloody Sunday influenced the British government's decision to set up the Saville inquiry.

Derek Byrne, 14, was working as a petrol pump attendant in Parnell Street, Dublin, when the first bomb went off. He appeared so badly injured that he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. "It was a very scary thing to wake up in the morgue," he recalls.

"I was just lying on the table. It was full of bodies. I just let out a scream. The mortuary attendant then let out a scream." He spent the next 19 hours in the operating theatre.

"I could never understand why no one was held responsible for the terrible atrocity," said Bernie O'Hanlon, then a 16-year-old shop assistant whose badly scarred right eye finally had to be removed three years ago. "The Irish government should leave no stone unturned until it finds the truth and justice we deserve. Then and only then can we heal."

The explosions happened at a time of intense political crisis. Two days earlier the Ulster Workers Council strike against the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement had begun to paralyse Northern Ireland and the new Labour government of Harold Wilson.

Among hardline unionists, with support from elements in the army and MI5, it was feared that the Wilson administration was about to go soft on the republic. There was also a fierce turf war in the intelligence community between MI5, which was determined to prosecute the war against the IRA, and the secret intelligence service, MI6, which realised that only a political solution could end the violence.

Suspicions of British collusion were immediately raised because of the technical precision needed for the attacks, and it is now accepted that covert army units ran loyalist assassins in the north. But it took nearly 20 years before some light was shed on the bombings.

In 1993, after a 2-year investigation, Yorkshire TV's First Tuesday broadcast Hidden Hand: the Forgotten Massacre. Given unprecedented access to Garda files and personnel, the programme made the following assertions:

• Witnesses were able to identify eight suspects, including two of the drivers.

• Within weeks both the Garda and the RUC had a list of 20 suspects, all from the UVF.

• The Garda was not allowed to interview suspects in Northern Ireland and its investigation was wound down after three months. The Irish government remained indifferent.

• British military intelligence, which had infiltrated the UVF in Portadown, was willing to allow the outlawed organisation to carry out terrorist acts.


Nearly two years later the Irish department of justice said the Garda had no new evidence that would enable anyone to be charged. Since then there have been further allegations about the botched Garda forensic investigation and links between senior Gardai and British intelligence officers. A former sergeant in the RUC, John Weir, convicted of a loyalist murder in 1980, has claimed that the explosives were provided by an Ulster Defence Regiment captain and assembled on the Amagh farm of an RUC officer. The first breakthrough for the families came with the Good Friday agreement and the establishment of a victims commissioner in 1998. Commissioner John Wilson caused an uproar when he recommended in August 1999 that an inquiry into the bombings be held entirely in private.

"We were thrown into a quandary," a senior Dublin official told the Guardian. "Because the matter involved two jurisdictions we were afraid that we would not have full control over a public inquiry." But at the suggestion of the Irish Labour party, the compromise of a judicial fact-finding report followed by public hearings before the joint committee was agreed.

Judge Barron is navigating turbulent and murky waters but the families of the dead remain determined to get at the truth. Martha O'Neill, who lost her husband, Edward, says: "I want to see justice before I die. I really, really do."

The Dublin & Monaghan Bombings. Don Mullan, Wolfhound Press, Dublin.,3604,442912,00.html

$32.7 Billion Nuclear Weapons Bill Quietly Advances in the Senate

Los Alamos Monitor -

Los Alamos

An appropriation bill that includes funding for Los Alamos National Laboratory sailed out of committee Thursday with a unanimous 28-0 endorsement. The Senate Appropriation Committee approved a $32.7 billion bill containing funds for the Department of Energy and its nuclear weapons activities under the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), as well as the Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers.

If passed by the Senate after the holiday recess, the measure would contrast with a bill now waiting for approval in the House on funding for nuclear projects at LANL.

The House bill contains no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead project, for example, while the Senate bill reduced the president's request by $22.7 to $66 million for a feasibility study on a proposed new generation of nuclear warheads.

Neither the House nor the Senate versions support NNSA's Complex 2030, a long-range plan to consolidate and reduce the size of the nuclear complex.

The House called for the Energy Secretary to consult with the Pentagon and Intelligence community to develop a comprehensive nuclear security plan, before funding Complex 2030.
Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ranking member on the energy subcommittee, emphasized the bipartisan support demonstrated for the bill in the committees.

"We are presenting the Senate a package that takes a balanced and serious look at making changes to our nuclear stockpile and nonproliferation missions," he said in an announcement after the vote. "We have put greater focus on science and experimental activities within the NNSA, including high performance computing."

In a separate announcement, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D.NM., emphasized LANL security upgrades included in the Senate bill. These include $49.6 million for upgrades at the Plutonium Facility; $45 million to support consolidation of a set of new classified vaults, and an additional $12 million to complete cyber-security upgrades.

"This bill is a very good starting point," Bingaman said. "It does a good job funding the most important work performed by our two outstanding national laboratories."

Under the Senate bill, NNSA would receive $9.56 billion. Weapons activities would go up for next year by $231 million. Non-proliferation work would see a $200 million increase.

For DOE, the Senate bill provides $25.8 billion ($1.13 billion more than the administration requested: $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers (+$577 million), $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation (+$142 million), and $300 million for independent agencies (+$48 million).

British MI5 Had Hand In Previous Car Bombings

Also see: "Flaming SUV rams Glasgow Airport" -
Security services played role in similar previous attacks
June 29, 2007
By Paul Joseph Watson

" ... The witness said the car was being driven 'erratically' before the minor crash. The driver was not stopped ... Every major IRA bombing in England and Northern Ireland has had the fingerprints of the British government and the FRU all over it. ... "

Intelligence sources are refusing to rule out an Irish connection to a massive car bomb that was discovered in the heart of London this morning. Though at this early stage the facts are sketchy, any link to the IRA or its offshoots would re-open a can of worms concerning the MI5's role in past terror attacks, and specifically car bombings, over the last few decades in Britain and Northern Ireland.

The timing of the attempted attack coincides with new Prime Minister Gordon Brown taking over from Tony Blair just yesterday.

"The threat of terror returned to London today after a large car bomb was found in the heart of the capital," reports the Daily Mail.

"Bomb squad officers defused the 'massive' device after police investigated reports of a suspicious vehicle in the early hours."

"According to an eyewitness the door staff at the nightclub Tiger, Tiger alerted police after the car, believed to be a silver Mercedes, was driven into bins last night and the driver ran off."

"The witness said the car was being driven 'erratically' before the minor crash. The driver was not stopped."

In any criminal investigation and in particular terrorism inquiry, it is paramount to look at who has the motive and history to carry out such an attack.

It is important to stress that not every terror attack is necessarily part of some elaborate scheme or conspiracy - indeed it is usually small scale incidents such as this that are the work of lone extremists or Islamic fundamentalists who hate the west, of which Britain is inundated with.

But as the facts emerge we would be foolish to overlook the fact that the British security services were intimately involved in numerous terror attacks in Britain over the past few decades, namely car bombings, that were blamed on the IRA or its offshoots. This is particularly relevant considering that officials have refused to rule out an Irish connection in this case.

The sliver car was left outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub on Haymarket. A gas canister can be seen in the bottom left-hand corner of this picture.
Every major IRA bombing in England and Northern Ireland has had the fingerprints of the British government and the FRU all over it.

Starting from at least the 1980's, SAS and British military intelligence agents were routinely ordered to embed themselves within violent branches of the IRA and aid terrorists in carrying out attacks. How do we know this happened? Because one of the individuals who was ordered to do so, Kevin Fulton, blew the whistle on the fact that he was told he had the Prime Minister's blessing to aid terrorists in bomb making and political assassinations.

In addition, mirroring the backdrop of the infiltration of the alleged liquid bomb plot , the August 15th 1998 Omagh bombing was allowed to proceed despite the fact that MI5 had fully infiltrated the Real IRA terror cell, knew the date of the bombing, and had tracked the terrorists' vehicle as it was driven to the bomb site. Again, in this case MI5 had one of their own agents within the bomb squad itself . In this instance, the car bombing went forward and 29 people, including two babies and nine children, were ripped apart as they shopped in a quiet market street.

Documents , lodged as part of a court action being taken against the British government by a disgruntled military intelligence agent, also revealed that an FRU (Force Research Unit) major was the officer who was the handler of the British army's most infamous agent inside the IRA -- a man code named Stakeknife.

Stakeknife is one of Belfast's leading Provisionals. His military handlers allowed him to carry out large numbers of terrorist murders in order to protect his cover within the IRA.

The London Observer further revealed some of the methods employed by the FRU in Northern Ireland, including the “human bomb” technique, which involved “forcing civilians to drive vehicles laden with explosives into army checkpoints”.

Former MI5 counter-terrorism officer David Shayler also saw documents indicating that the Israeli's bombed their own embassy in London in 1994 after a car bomb exploded outside the building in Kensington.

He also presented evidence that MI5 had foreknowledge of the 1993 Bishopsgate car bombing that was blamed on the IRA, and could have apprehended the bomb squad but let the attack go ahead.

To forget the proven history of the security service's involvement in car bombings and other terror attacks in Britain and Northern Ireland in light of this latest incident would be very naive, and as more information about the culprits behind this morning's attempted attack is released, that history is likely to become more prescient.

Behind the BAE Bribery Investigation - Robert Fisk: 'Abu Henry' and the mysterious silence

I was tempted to tag this "Humor" ... but it's too painful ... - AC

30 June 2007

"Abu Henry" says we may have to remain in Afghanistan for decades to protect Afghans from the Taliban. Our ambassador in Kabul - Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, KCMG, LVO, to be precise - apparently sees no contradiction in this extraordinary prediction.

The Taliban are themselves mostly Afghans, and the idea that the British Army is in Afghanistan to protect the locals from each other is a truly colonial proposition. It's what we said about the Northern Irish in 1969. Anyway, I thought we destroyed the Taliban in 2001. Wasn't that the idea at the time? Isn't that what Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara, our new man in the Middle East - who will grace us with his first visit next month - said back then?

Abu Henry - and I am indebted to one of the Saudi government's house magazines for telling me that this is how he "is affectionately called by his Saudi friends" - left Riyadh in some haste, a "surprise" as he put it, since he expected to spend another year there. And presumably, he has not been able to take the Cowper-Coles family's pet falcons - Nour and Alwaleed - with him to Kabul. But before he left, Abu Henry had some warm praise for the notoriously third-rate intelligence services in the kingdom. "I've been hugely impressed by the way in which the Saudi Arabian authorities have tackled and contained what was (sic) a serious terrorist threat," he announced. "They've shrunk the pool of support for terrorism..."

No word, of course, of the Saudis' habit of chopping off the heads of "criminals" after grotesquely unfair trials. In an unprecedented year for executions, the kingdom's swordsmen - the job is sometimes passed on father to son as was once the case in Britain - managed to hack off 100 heads by the middle of this month. But then again, you'd have to avoid any such references when British investment in Saudi Arabia is worth at least £6b. That, no doubt, is one reason why Abu Henry boasted to his Saudi friends - according to the same government magazine - that in Riyadh "we've been proud of our visa policy, where 95 per cent of Saudis applying for a visa before 9am on a workday obtain their visas by 2pm the same working day". Phew. Now that is something. The Saudis, you may remember, provided 14 of the 19 killers of 11 September, 2001; quite a record for a little kingdom, and one which in other circumstances - had the murderers been from Chad, say, or Mali - would not have been rewarded with quite so generous a visa policy.

And no word from Abu Henry, of course, about that other little matter of the alleged bribery of Saudi officials by the British BAE Systems arms group. Here, however, there is much more to say - courtesy, I admit at once, of a delightfully written article by Michael Peel in the Financial Times last February. In the paper, Peel describes how Robert Wardle, director of the Serious Fraud Office, had "much to ponder" after three London meetings with Cowper-Coles, "Britain's urbane ambassador to Saudi Arabia". Mr Wardle, it seems, was "coming around to the view" that he might have to scrap his enquiry since it could damage "national security". Wardle told Peel that "the matter was difficult and really I found it very helpful to have, as it were, the ambassador flesh out the position. It helped my understanding of the risks and very much helped me to make my decision to discontinue the investigation".

Abu Henry, it seems, "told how the probe might cause Riyadh to cancel security and intelligence co-operation, potentially depriving London of access to vital surveillance of terror suspects during the haj pilgrimage to Mecca... The ambassador had even suggested (that) persisting with the SFO probe could endanger lives in Britain". According to a person "closely involved in the events", wrote Peel - and I suspect the "person" was probably Wardle - Cowper-Coles "didn't overelaborate, but he spelt out in very clear terms, in specifics, what he believed the consequences would be ... including that people could die". Two days later, the bribery investigation was scrapped.

So no wonder the Saudis affectionately called him "Abu Henry".

Given some of his remarks during a recent visit to Oxford, however, Abu Henry must himself have been surprised that he could persuade Lord Blair of the wisdom of dumping that all-important bribery investigation. Among academics, he did not hide his cynicism of our former prime minister, complaining that despite exhaustive Foreign Office briefing notes and proposed speeches, Blair scarcely seemed to read them and sometimes used only a single line from their contents.

But then again, I guess that's what diplomacy is all about, persuading here, pleading there, trying to get what you want by a few off-the-record comments to officials of the Serious Fraud Office, even to journalists I have no doubt.

Indeed, I remember way back in the late 1970s - when I was Middle East correspondent for The Times - how a British diplomat in Cairo tried to persuade me to fire my local "stringer", an Egyptian Coptic woman who also worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press and who provided a competent coverage of the country when I was in Beirut. "She isn't much good," he said, and suggested I hire a young Englishwoman whom he knew and who - so I later heard - had close contacts in the Foreign Office.

I refused this spooky proposal. Indeed, I told The Times that I thought it was outrageous that a British diplomat should have tried to engineer the sacking of our part-timer in Cairo. The Times's foreign editor agreed.

But it just shows what diplomats can get up to.

And the name of that young British diplomat in Cairo back in the late 1970s? Why, Sherard Cowper-Coles, of course.

Highest-Ranking GOP State Senator in Connecticut Steps Down Amid Accusations of Mafia Ties

WTNH Television

DeLuca steps down as Senate Republican leader

Posted June 13, 2007

(Hartford-photo take in January)_ State Senator Louis C. DeLuca announced today that he has resigned his position as Senate Minority Leader.

"After careful consideration, and out of respect for this institution and for my caucus, I have decided to step down from my leadership position," said DeLuca, (R) Woodbury.

Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) will assume leadership responsibilities until the Senate Republican Caucus meets to elect a new leader.

DeLuca said that by stepping down today he is making sure that his "personal issue does not overshadow all of the good work we've done and will do as a caucus."

DeLuca, a 9-term lawmaker and the highest ranking GOP member, was arrested on a conspiracy to threaten charge. He was accused of arranging a threat for a man he believed was abusing his granddaughter.

The arrest started with an investigation into racketeering activities and mob ties in the trash-hauling industry. A wire tap revealed that DeLuca had met with a convicted felon with known Mafia ties to intervene in his granddaughter's situation.

DeLuca said he approached the man after Waterbury Police Chief Neil O'Leary said he could do nothing about the alleged domestic abuse without a formal complaint by DeLuca's granddaughter.

O'Leary said that DeLuca never mentioned the abuse.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Wrestling Babylon: The Benoit Murders, the Strange Death of Sherri Martel Days Before, the "Prince of Darkness" & the Ring of Death

Chris Benoit

Ring Of Death

Book Review
Michael Maiello

Last weekend, police found the bodies of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy and son Daniel in Benoit's suburban Atlanta home. The details that have emerged are grisly and strange. ... Last year, performer Eddie Guerrero died of a sudden heart attack that many believe was brought on by years of steroid abuse. Other performers have recently died young, including Curt Hennig, who wrestled under the name "Mr. Perfect."

Though it's tempting to dismiss the Benoit murder-suicide as one deranged act that shouldn't tar an entire industry, it's very difficult to do so in light of journalist Irvin Muchnick's recent book, Wrestling Babylon ($18, ECW Press, 2007).

Muchnick has covered wrestling for various publications for decades, and this book collects his articles about some of wrestling's most sordid moments. Though WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has successfully sold his scripted sport as mainstream entertainment, wrestling seems mired in its carnival roots. Performers are overworked and need painkillers to deal with their frequent injuries. They're expected to have godlike bodies while traveling 200 days a year, and so they turn to steroids. Failed marriages are normal, and high jinks on the road sometimes get out of hand.

Writing about the Von Erich family, who were heroes in Texas wrestling during the 1980s, Muchnick reveals how the family patriarch, Fritz von Erich, basically sacrificed his entire family to his World Class Championship Wrestling promotion. He promoted his sons as clean-cut All-American heroes. Son David died of a likely drug overdose while wrestling in Japan. Son Mike killed himself after he couldn't cut it as a wrestler. Son Kerry shot himself. This is just a partial death list.

Muchnick also exposes a little-known story about wrestler Jimmy Snuka, who in 1983 took up with a 23-year-old groupie; she wound up dead at an Allentown, Pa., hospital from "undetermined craniocerebral injuries." Snuka was never charged with a crime, but Muchnick makes a compelling case that the popular wrestler, known as "Superfly," had battered his girlfriend.

According to Muchnick, in a discussion with an attorney who had considered representing the girl's family in a wrongful-death suit, McMahon said, "Look, I'm in the garbage business. If you think I'm going to be hurt by the revelation that one of my wrestlers is really a violent individual, you're mistaken."

Muchnick ends his book with an appendix detailing which wrestlers have died and from what causes, since 1985. It's 11 pages long, and "natural causes" are rare. There have been murder victims, suicides, drug overdoses and untimely organ failures.

There's something dark about a business that should be full of light. After all, when it works, wrestlers make kids believe that grown men can fly. Muchnick captures some of that sentiment as well. But he also reveals a lot of tragedy that's gone unnoticed in the marginalized but big-money world of professional wrestling.,2933,286774,00.html

FOX Facts: Famous Wrestling Deaths
June 26, 2007

Chris Benoit was found dead in his Georgia home Sunday with his wife and daughter. Here are some other notable professional wrestling deaths:

The Von Erich Family: At one time, the Von Erichs were the biggest stars in wrestling, but things went bad for the family rather quickly. Of the five brothers that wrestled, only one lived to reach the age of 35. David died in 1984 due to an intestinal problem. Mike, Kerry and Chris all committed suicide.

Bruiser Brody: In 1988, Bruiser Brody (Frank Goodish) was stabbed to death in a Puerto Rico locker room after getting into an argument with fellow grappler and local booking agent Jose Huertas Gonzalez, who was later charged with murder. Gonzalez was acquitted in 1989 on grounds of self-defense.

Andre the Giant: Andre The Giant (Andre Rousimoff) died Jan. 27, 1993, of a heart attack at 46. At 7 feet tall and more than 500 pounds, Andre was one of the biggest and most popular wrestlers in the business for nearly 20 years. The man who wore a size 26 EEEE shoe died just 12 days after he buried his father.

Dino Bravo: Bravo (Adolpho Bresciano) was shot and killed near his home in Canada on March 11, 1993, at the age of 44. Bravo was believed to have upset members of an organized crime group in Canada for his involvement with cigarette smuggling. The murder was never solved.

Eddie Graham: Graham (Eddie Gossett) committed suicide on Jan. 21, 1985, at the age of 55. The former wrestler and promoter was despondent after falling victim to a con man's scam involving a dirt-hauling business venture.

"Gorgeous" Gino Hernandez: Hernandez (Charles Wolfe) died of a cocaine overdose on Jan. 30, 1986, at the age of 29. Hernandez was at the peak of his wrestling career when he became a drug abuser.

"Adorable" Adrian Adonis: Adonis (Keith Franke) died in an auto accident on July 4, 1988, at the age of 34 while traveling to a wrestling show in Lewisporte Newfoundland, Canada.

"Flyin' " Brian Pillman: Pillman, 35, was found in a Minnesota hotel room in October 1997 with empty vials of painkillers near his body. His widow, Melanie King, said an autopsy found that Pillman died from undiagnosed heart disease, although she also claimed his heavy use of prescription drugs may have played a role by enabling him to exceed normal physical limits.

Louie "Spicolli" Mucciolo: Mucciolo, 27, died from coronary disease in his San Pedro, Calif., home in 1998, according to his autopsy. Investigators found an empty vial of the male hormone testosterone, pain pills and an anxiety-reducing drug on the scene and the Los Angeles County coroner's office determined the drugs might have contributed to his heart condition.

Richard "Ravishing Rick Rude" Rood: Rood, 40, died from an overdose of "mixed medications" in Alpharetta, Ga., in 1999, his autopsy shows. In 1994 he testified that he had used anabolic steroids to build muscle mass and relieve joint pain.

Owen Hart: At the Over the Edge '99 PPV event, Owen Hart, dressed as the Blue Blazer, was set to descend from the ceiling of the arena to the ring. However, Hart plummeted from the rafters chest-first onto a turnbuckle. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The event went on -- fans in attendance did not find out what happened to Hart while the audience at home was told. Fans in attendance and at home did not witness the fall, as an interview was being shown at the time of the accident.

"The British Bulldog": "The British Bulldog" (Davey Boy Smith), 39, died in 2002 in Canada of an enlarged heart with evidence of microscopic scar tissue, possibly from steroid abuse, a coroner said.

Miss Elizabeth: In 2003, wrestling beauty Elizabeth Anne Houlette passed away from an overdose of a combination of pain pills and alcohol..

Curt Hennig: Hennig, 44, died of acute cocaine intoxication in February 2003, medical records show. But his family has said that years of steroids and painkillers use contributed to his death.

Eddie Guerrero: Although Guerrero was primed to overcome his personal battle with drug and substance abuse, he was found dead from heart failure November 13, 2005, the morning he was scheduled to wrestle for the World Championship.

Ed "The Bull" Gantner: Ed "The Bull" Gantner committed suicide on Dec. 31, 1990, at 31. Gantner, who played football at Edgewater High School and the University of Central Florida before becoming a professional wrestler, was in failing health due to steroid abuse.

... Then there is Vince McMahon, emperor of WWE, who has long held that he and, by extension, his audience want to see in-ring performers with bodies that would shame Masters Of The Universe action figures. Of course, Vince also has a thing for his boys being the size of Watusi warriors, but regardless of whether you’re a seven-footer or a shade over 5’2”, it’s a sculpted physique that really gets the big man’s engine running.

The McMahon clan’s body fascism has come at quite a cost. During the early Nineties, Vince was caught up in a steroid scandal that nearly cost him his company and his freedom. Then there have been the deaths, the injuries generated by excess drug use and the smell of impropriety that has long denied McMahon the mainstream acceptance he craves. And now, with a host of fresh performers fighting accusations of steroid misuse, the bad times are back. Of course, they could have gone away forever if only WWE could accept that mortal men aren’t meant to look like Greek gods. Then again, if you can’t convince Vinnie Mac that rape and necrophilia aren’t suitable subjects for family entertainment, you’ve little to no hope of curing him of his core belief – that big muscly men equal bumper box office.

If McMahon’s flesh fetish is rather laughable, it does at least have a solid basis in fact. For when WWE first began to make it big, it was on the back of a man with 24-inch Pythons and a ripped bodybuilder’s torso. No, Terry Gene Bollea didn’t look like an everyday guy but he had a pretty regular name – so Vince re-christened him Hulk Hogan and both the industry in general and the look of its performers were changed forever. ...

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) is a publicly traded, privately controlled integrated media (focusing in television, Internet, and live events), and sports entertainment company dealing primarily in the professional wrestling industry, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales. Vince McMahon is the majority owner and Chairman of the company and his wife Linda McMahon holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Together with their children, Executive Vice President of Global Media Shane McMahon and Executive Vice President of Talent and Creative Writing Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, the McMahons hold approximately 70% of WWE's economic interest and 96% of all voting power in the company.

The company's global headquarters are located at 1241 East Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut, with international offices in Los Angeles, New York City, London, and Toronto. The company was previously known as Titan Sports, Inc. before changing to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., and most recently becoming World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Death of Sherri Martel

Pro wrestler Russell dies at age 49
Staff report
June 16, 2007

Sherri Russell, better known to a generation of pro wrestling fans as "Sensational Sherri" Martel, died Friday at the age of 49. She passed away at her mother's home in Birmingham, Ala.

No other details were available at press time.

Russell, who was regarded as one of the greatest female heel managers in the business, was the only woman ever to win the Manager of the Year award.

Russell competed in most of the major wrestling organizations during her career and was enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

On June 15, 2007, announced that "Sensational" Sherri Martel had died that morning at her mother's residence in Birmingham, Alabama.[8]She was 49 years old. Dave Meltzer stated on his Wrestling Observer Live radio show that Martel's passing was not a result of natural causes, and that the case is still under investigation by law enforcement. On June 19, 2007, police confirmed that Martel did not die of natural causes, but no foul play is suspected. A cause of death for Martel will not be determined until her autopsy and toxicology reports have been completed. Based on what is known, Martel had gone to bed at her mother's home (where she was living recently) because she wasn't feeling well. Her husband found her unresponsive later that afternoon.

Sherri was buried on June 28, 2007.

Another Pro Wrestler Found Dead Days Before Benoit Murder-Suicide,2933,287182,00.html
June 28, 2007

A week to the day before pro wrestling wife Nancy Benoit was found murdered in her suburban Atlanta home, the body of former pro wrestler and manager Sherri Martel was discovered in her World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) is a publicly traded, privately controlled integrated media (focusing in television, Internet, and live events), and sports entertainment company dealing primarily in the professional wrestling industry, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales. Vince McMahon is the majority owner and Chairman of the company and his wife Linda McMahon holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). ...
... Martel, a pro wrestler in the WWE Hall of Fame who went by the ring name "Sensational Sherri," and who later managed the likes of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair and "Macho Man" Randy Savage, was found dead by her husband Robert Schrull at her mother's home in McCalla, Ala., on June 15, according to the Tuscaloosa News newspaper.

Linking Martel to the deaths of Nancy and husband Chris Benoit and their son Daniel is former pro wrestler Kevin Sullivan, a man once married to Nancy Benoit and who also was Martel's friend and booker.

Following World Wrestling Entertainment's announcement of Martel's death, wrestling Web sites quickly began speculating about case.

Dave Metzler of Wrestling Observer Live told his audience that she did not die of natural causes, saying "this was not a typical wrestler's death," according to reports. But Capt. Loyd Baker of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit told the Tuscaloosa News that foul play was not suspected in her death.

"The cause of death is pending her autopsy and toxicology report," he said June 19. An officer in the homicide unit told that those results could take months to be finished.

Martel began her career in the early 1980s and later went on to manage more than 15 wrestlers including Ric Flair and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

“Everyone respected her," said Bruce Mitchell, a columnist for the Pro Wrestling Torch newsletter and Web site, told the Tuscaloosa News. "She was an attractive lady, but she wasn’t just eye-candy.

"She was really a pioneer and a trailblazer."

One popular wrestling site,, reports that Kevin Sullivan, then married to Nancy, tried to pair Martel with wrestler Ric Flair as part of a scripted Nicole Brown/O.J. Simpson ring drama, but that "work" was abandoned. writes that in early 1996, Martel became involved in a strange "work" — or scripted — feud between Sullivan and wrestler Brian Pillman.

The match reportedly got out of hand, and spilled into a backstage confrontation involving Martel and the then-Nancy Sullivan. Reports of the incident say that the argument escalated with Martel spitting on Nancy Sullivan.

Martel reportedly was later fired.

Several wrestling blogs reported that Martel had a drug problem and had entered a 21-day rehab program, but investigating police would not comment. quoted her in 2005 saying, "I slip back every now and again, but I am trying my best."

Kevin Sullivan, Lord of the Underworld

Kevin Sullivan, meanwhile, spoke earlier this week, and expressed shock and sadness over the death of his former wife in her suburban Atlanta home.

Sullivan married the former Nancy Daus in 1985. The couple was still married in the 1990s when a scripted rivalry between Benoit and Sullivan in the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) resulted in Benoit as the victor on the mat. However, a real romance blossomed between Benoit and Nancy, who eventually split with Sullivan and married Benoit in 2000.

From his home in Tavernier, Fla., in the Florida Keys, where he owns and runs a gym called Froggy’s Fitness with his wife, Linda, Sullivan said he had not spoken to his ex-wife since their split. He told he learned of the grisly crime, which reportedly took place over several days, from television news on Monday evening.

“It’s surreal,” said Sullivan, who did not have children with Nancy Benoit. “She was a nice person. We just went our separate ways. She was nice and very loving and I’m sure she was a good mother.”

Sullivan said he did not know Benoit well outside the ring. “I never associated with him, so I really don’t know his personality,” he said. … “[But] I’m sad for all three, especially the child.”
Foul Play Not Suspected In The Death Of Sherri Martel

Jun 19

Captain Loyd Bakers of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit told The Tuscaloosa News that Sherri Martel did not die of natural causes, but foul play was not suspect ...

... Graham’s next major foray into Florida came in 1984, as a part of the faction led by “Prince of Darkness” Kevin Sullivan.

“All the devil stuff, it was very unique,” he said, laughing. “Kevin made me laugh a lot, and he was crazy, but he performed that bit to a "T." Kevin was funny guy, a great guy. He was someone I had known for long time, and he was very funny. But he was able to really convince the people. They had that fear, that he was legit.”
FOX Covering Sherri's Death, Benoit/Wikipedia Update
Story posted by Ryan Clark on June 28, 2007

The Fox News Channel is now reporting on the death of former WWE manager Sherri Martel. It's currently a front page headline on their website, with a big graphic posted as well. Furthermore, they just mentioned the story on Studio B With Shepard Smith. There doesn't appear to be any new details regarding her death, although they are mentioning that there was a backstage incident involving Martel and the then-Nancy Sullivan in early 1996. Reports of the incident say that an argument between the two escalated with Martel spitting on Nancy Sullivan. Martel reportedly was later fired. Fox News is getting all this information from the Pro Wrestling Torch, which is what they were reporting at the time. While that incident may have happened, in actuality, according to Dave Meltzer is she was let go by WCW in early 1996 because she "showed up in condition to work" at a TV taping. That also explains why her feud with Madusa, who crashed Sherri's "wedding" with Col. Robert Parker, was suddenly cut off. In July 1996, Sherri was brought back to manage Harlem Heat again, but she was let go again a year later for reasons undisclosed. Fox News is also saying that Kevin Sullivan, then married to Nancy, tried to pair Martel up with Ric Flair as a play on the Nicole Brown/O.J. Simpson story at the time. That seems to be incorrect as Sherri herself said during her WWE Hall of Fame induction last year that she was going to be paired up with Ron Simmons. She said the storyline was nixed by the people at Turner because it would have been too controversial.

Fox News is reporting that an anonymous user out of Stamford, CT edited Chris Benoit's entry on Wikipedia to feature the comments, "However, Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy." The comments led to Wikipedia volunteers contacting Fayetteville, Georgia authorities.

However, the I.P. address in question also made a series of other edits to different entries, including former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler, WWE star Chavo Guerrero, NBA player Ron Artest and the HBO series The Sopranos. Many of the edits were misspelled or explicit in nature, leading one to believe that the postings were made by a hoaxer. You can read this person's past edits here.

Even though the IP address is being traced back to Stamford, CT, it's also entirely conceivable that the user was concealing his true IP address. One person who knows a lot about internet technology said, "They have software out there that you install on your computer that will change your IP address and location or origin that people will see on the Internet. IP spoofing is a little more technical so with this user, based on the grammar, looks to be someone young using a software program of that nature."

More than likely, this person made a wild guess regarding the Benoit situation at the time, and this person turned out to be right.
Web Time Stamps Indicate Nancy Benoit's Death Reported on Web at Least 13 Hours Before Police Found Bodies in Her Home

Last Edited: Thursday, 28 Jun 2007, 7:13 PM CDT

By Blane Bachelor

June 26, 2007

Slain wife of wrestler a former DeLand High School student
Staff and Wire Report

The slain wife of professional wrestler Chris Benoit was a student at DeLand High School who entered the high-voltage world of pro wrestling while still answering phones for a local insurance agency.

In articles published more than 20 years ago, Nancy Benoit, better known by her in-ring names Woman and Fallen Angel, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal she entered the sport when she and her then-husband Jim Daus became friends with several wrestlers competing in Orlando.

Modeling jobs for wrestling magazines followed, until she teamed up with The Prince of Darkness, locally-based wrestler Kevin Sullivan, as his "valet" sidekick known as The Fallen Angel.

Nancy Benoit, 43, worked both sides of the rope in her career as a manager, valet and wrestler who endured her share of body slams and atomic knee drops.

Benoit met his wife in the 1990s when she was married to rival wrestler Kevin Sullivan. As part of the scripted rivalry, Benoit and Nancy Sullivan were supposed to act as if they were having an affair. A real romance blossomed, and she left Sullivan for Benoit.

Her ring life became real life when she married Benoit in 2000. In 2003, she filed for divorce from Benoit, alleging "cruel treatment," according to wrestling Web sites, but later dropped the suit.

In a News-Journal article published Feb. 10, 1986, Nancy Benoit contemplated her future in wrestling: "I don't know what's going to happen. You never know what to expect."

Jim Daus, Nancy Benoit's first husband and also a DeLand High School graduate, spoke in an interview Tuesday night by phone.

"I've had no contact with Nancy in about 6 1/2 years, and that was by e-mail about her (then-newborn) son Daniel," Daus said. "We've been divorced about 20 years."

Jim Daus said he grew up with Nancy Benoit, whose maiden name was Toffoloni -- having graduated in 1980 from DeLand High School.

WWE News

Benoit Story: Fox TV implies a connection between Sherri, Sullivan, Nancy, and Chris

By Wade Keller
Torch editor
Jun 28, 2007, 16:03

Fox News on TV has reported that Sherri Martel was friends with Nancy Benoit, and that Sherri was friends with Kevin Sullivan, Nancy's ex-wife. Anchor Shepard Smith said that Sherri's death was from unnatural causes, but authorities had ruled out foul play. There was a loose implication in the tone and presentation that there may have been a connection between the four and perhaps the deaths of Sherri and Nancy.

WK Analysis As far as Sherri's involvement goes, there is zero evidence or even rumors within the industry - and there's no shortage of those, by the way - that Sherri's death and Nancy's death are related. The only connection could be that the death of Sherri shook up Nancy and the death of Benoit's good friend from the Calgary Stampede Wrestling days, Biff Wellington, had made each emotionally more fragile headed into the weekend. The Fox News presentation definitely came across as premature and sensationalistic. It's clear cable news loves this story right now and are looking for any new angle to take to keep it going. The fact that TV news has websites associated with them, and websites track specific interest in news stories, and the fact that the Benoit story has driven major website hit counts, is now leading to the story remaining in the news. It also helps with the DEA is seizing the Benoits' doctor's computers and files.

Nancy Benoit Remembered
By Ex-Husband Kevin Sullivan
By Gia Cortina
Jun 27, 2007

Former professional wrestler Kevin Sullivan was shocked and sad when he heard about the death of his ex-wife Nancy Benoit. Nancy was discovered dead in her home Monday along with her 7-year-old son Daniel and husband, WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, in an apparent murder-suicide.

Sullivan married for the former Nancy Daus in 1985. The couple were still married in the 1990s when a scripted rivalry between Benoit and Sullivan in the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) resulted in Beniot as the victor on the mat, reports Fox News.

Besides his mat victory that night, Benoit also was victorious with Nancy, as a real-life romance began in 1997.

Ultimately, Nancy divorced Sullivan and married Benoit in 2000. The couple did not have any children.

Sullivan resides in Tavernier, Florida, within the Florida Keys, where he and his now wife Linda own and run a gym called 'Froggy's Fitness'.

Sullivan told Fox News that he had not spoken to his ex-wife since their split...and that he learned of the grisly crime, which reportedly took place over several days, from television news on Monday evening.

"It's surreal," said Sullivan. "She was a nice person. We just went our separate ways. She was nice and very loving and I'm sure she was a good mother."

Sullivan also said that he did not know Benoit well outside the ring. "I never associated with him, so I really don't know his personality," he said. "(But) I'm sad for all three, especially the child."

Nancy had her big break in professional wrestling as a valet and manager 26 years ago.

Kevin Sullivan -- who Otten referred to as "a genius" of a booker -- had been feuding with Haynes at this time, and came to Otten excitedly, with the idea of using the same girls in a photo shoot with him. Playing his occult persona to perfection, Sullivan wanted to give the impression that he had brainwashed Haynes' lady-friends, and brought them into his realm.

But only Nancy showed up that day. It was to be the beginning of new things for her, both professionally and personally.

Nancy was dubbed "The Fallen Angel," and became Sullivan's valet. Her beauty brought out an extra dimension in Sullivan's gimmick, playing him to the crowd as the master of manipulators, with a mental control over those who followed him. In reality, the two had fallen in love, and after her divorce from Jim Daus, they married in 1985. But Otten believes that Nancy's decisions may have been as much about succeeding professionally as anything else.

Kevin and Nancy moved to Atlanta and World Championship Wrestling in 1989, and it was a further six years before Otten would cross their paths again. This time, it was in ECW, when Nancy was managing The Sandman. Fortuitously meeting on an aeroplane on their way to Philadelphia, she explained that her role was to light cigarettes and open beer cans for her charge. Initially perplexed, Otten soon came to understand, and appreciate, what that was all about.

After her ECW stint had come to an end, Nancy returned to WCW, and in the storyline, was stolen again, this time leaving Sullivan to manage Chris Benoit. Bizarrely, Sullivan, who was booking the storylines at the time, suggested that Chris and Nancy share hotel rooms, and portray their alliance as a shoot. In 1997, Otten spotted Nancy with Chris in San Francisco, prior to a WCW pay-per-view. She insisted that she was merely showing him around the city, but they "seemed pretty friendly," in Otten's own words.

It would later be joked in wrestling locker rooms that Sullivan "had booked his own divorce," and Otten noted that he believed that both Chris and Nancy wanted to start a family, which likely led to their decision to get engaged, just months after Otten spotted them together. Most likely, the idea would be that Chris would continue to wrestle and provide for the family, while she stayed at home.

Otten ended the interview by noting how nice Chris Benoit had always been to him, pondering on how he would always shake his hand, and chat a little about Nancy. He had spoken to Chris only two weeks ago, with no hint of any distress on Benoit's part. The tragedy, he said, was like a real-life horror film.
Cops say wrestler killed family, self

Anabolic steroids found in the house
June 27, 2007

ATLANTA -- Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife, suffocated his 7-year-old son and placed a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself by the pulley of a weightlifting machine, authorities said Tuesday.

Investigators found anabolic steroids in the house and want to know whether Benoit was unhinged by the bodybuilding drugs, which can cause paranoia, depression and explosive outbursts known as roid rage.

Autopsies showed all three died of asphyxiation, he said.
Nancy Benoit was killed Friday in an upstairs family room; her feet and wrists were bound and there was blood under her head, indicating a possible struggle, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said.

The son, Daniel, likely was killed late Saturday or early Sunday, said Ballard, who added that Daniel's body was found in his bed.

Benoit apparently killed himself several hours or as much as a day later, Ballard said. His body was found in a downstairs weight room.

The prosecutor said he found it "bizarre" that the World Wrestling Entertainment star spread out the killings and appeared to remain in the house for up to a day with the bodies.

"I'm baffled about why anybody would kill a 7-year-old," Ballard said.
Nancy Benoit filed for divorce in May 2003, saying their three-year union was irrevocably broken and alleging cruel treatment. But she dropped the complaint, as well as a request for a restraining order.

The WWE said on its Web site that it asked authorities to check on Benoit and his family after being alerted by friends who received "curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday."

Nancy Benoit managed several wrestlers and went by the stage name Woman. The couple met when her then-husband drew up a script that had them in a relationship on World Championship Wrestling, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Just past midnight on Monday morning, a Wikipedia post on Chris Benoit's bio page said that he missed Sunday's PPV because of the death of his wife, Nancy. Authorities didn't find the bodies of the Benoit family until over 14 hours later.

WK Analysis: PWTorch has received numerous emails about this over the past few days as it has become an Internet conspiracy theory launching point - and rightfully so. But because Wikipedia can be easily updated and changed by anyone, and since a prankster could have posted speculation at that time, it wasn't considered highly newsworthy. However, Fox News has now reported that the post originated from Stamford, Conn. That is just enough to make this a serious reason to wonder who knew what and when.

UPDATED: The post has now apparently been traced to someone who has made previous prank posts, and who also may have been able to falsely make it appear as if Stamford was the originating IP location even if it wasn't.

No matter whether it was a lucky guess from a random prankster or a sign that someone knew more long ahead of authorities, that detail is scintillating enough in the cable news world to give this story several more days, if not weeks, of legs to remain on the radar of hourly or daily updates.

The appearances wrestlers are making are becoming difficult to keep up with and report on in time, especially with all of the phone calls I'm making, but Debra - Steve Austin's former wife (and Mongo McMichael's former wife) - will be on Hannity and Colmes tonight on Fox Sports

Chris Benoit killing reported first on Wikipedia
By Mark Schliebs
June 29, 2007 11:55am
Article from:

• Murder of wrestler's wife reported before body found
• Wikipedia removed entry, alerted authorities
THE death of wrestler Chris Benoit’s wife was revealed on a Wikipedia article 14 hours before police discovered the bodies of the family.

The Wikipedia entry on the WWE wrestler was updated at 4am local time from a computer apparently in Connecticut. The user said Benoit had missed a fight due to his wife’s death.

But the investigating officer, Fayette County Sheriff deputy Lieutenant Tommy Pope, said that police found the family at 6.30pm local time.

“Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy,” the entry said.

Wikipedia said it was not known if police were investigating the entry.

“Wikinews has learned through an investigation that anonymous edits on the Wikipedia article Chris Benoit were added about the death of his wife Nancy Benoit 14 hours before police entered the Benoit home to find the former professional World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Canadian wrestler and his family dead,” Wikiepedia said in a statement.

Volunteer coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation Cary Bass said it was thought that the edit was “unreliable” at the time, but it wasn’t until police found the bodies that it was discovered that the information was true.

"It didn't become apparent until someone put the pieces together and realized that the comment was made by someone who apparently knew about the murders," Bass said.

Benoit, 40, strangled his wife, smothered his seven-year-old son and then hanged himself from his gym equipment, police have said. Their bodies were found inside their mansion in Fayetteville, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.