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ARCHIVE JANUARY 7, 2001 TO JANUARY 11, 2001

Page Contents:

CLICK. FBI'S LOCKERBIE FILES ON LINE NOW!  THE DEFENSE WILL NOT PRESENT EVIDENCE.

Click. US Continues USS Cole Cover Up. Finger Points to U.S. Central Command by Thomas C. Mountain

Click. HOOVER INSTITUTION WANTS COVERT OPERATIONS, NOW MORE THAN EVER!

Click. TRIUMPH OF THE WILL by Thomas Keske.

Click. Saddam's son goes public against father's government.

CLICK. LOCKERBIE WHISTLEBLOWER LESTER COLEMAN FILES 100 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT. 

Click. DELAWARE CORPORATIONS ARE THE BIGGEST MONEY LAUNDROMATS IN THE USA. (WHO NEEDS NAURU OR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS?)

Click. FORMATION AGENTS, e.g. ATTORNEYS AND ACCOUNTANTS, WORKING  AS MONEY LAUNDERERS! 

Click. Lawrence Livermore Lab team presents new dark-matter findings - "MACHOS".

Pan Am 103-whistleblower Lester Coleman files 100 million dollar lawsuit.

10/01/2001 AOUDE MEDIA © 2000.  The Lexington-Fayette County Government Division of Police and a Detective have been named as defendants in a $100 million civil rights suit filed in Washington, DC. Lester K. Coleman, a former U.S. Intelligence agent and Lexington radio talk-show host, filed the action, charging Lexington Police and Detective Christopher White with conspiring with federal agents to violate his right to self expression.

The suit charges that Coleman was illegally imprisoned after undertaking an investigation of misconduct inside the Lexington Police Department. Coleman also claims federal agents instigated the plot to stop him from appearing at the Pam Am 103 bombing trial in Zeist, Holland. On December 7 Coleman was unexpectedly released from federal custody after a federal informant testifying at the Pan Am trial was discredited. Shockingly, evidence unveiled showed the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI knew their star witness was a fraud, but covered-up the hoax for almost ten years. The evidence proved Coleman and others who questioned the American official version of the bombing had told the truth. Coleman was charged in Lexington with possession of forged instruments over checks deposited in his own account, drawn on foreign banks. The civil rights suit claims Lexington Police conspired with named federal agents, and went as far as to create evidence used against Coleman at trial.

Other defendants named in the suit are:

FBI Special Agents, David Edward-Mellville Long Island, NY; Christopher Murrary --Washington, DC; Oliver "Buck" Revell, Plano, Texas; Former DEA Special Agent, Micheal T. Hurley, Puyalap, Washington; Former CIA officer, Vincent Cannistraro.

The suit claims the defendants conspired to silence Coleman after he gave an affidavit in the Pam Am 103 case, and then attempted to appear at the criminal trial in Zeist, Holland. Coleman's claims, after 10 years, have been vindicated.

Background info:
Click to read all about Lester Coleman and PA 103

FORMATION AGENTS, e.g. ATTORNEYS AND ACCOUNTANTS, WORKING  AS MONEY LAUNDERERS!
From the January 2001 issue of Money Laundering Alert  © 2000
 

U.S. ignored warnings on company formation agents The U.S. government agencies
that participate in the anti-money laundering battle should not be surprised by the findings of the U.S. General Accounting Office that company formation agents are a significant money laundering threat. 

The formation agents, who operate in virtually every country and often are lawyers, accountants and notaries, form corporations for their clients for a fee. Often they serve as officers and registered agents of the companies they form. In 1998, a group of money laundering experts, including U.S. representatives, at a London regional meeting of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, explored the latest money laundering trends. 

The resulting April 1999 FATF Report on Money Laundering Typologies warned of
the increased money laundering involvement of "gatekeepers," who include lawyers, accountants and company formation agents. The report said formation agents are a significant problem not only in offshore financial centers, where their clients hide behind secrecy laws, but also in several FATF member countries (MLA, Apr. 1999). The U.S. is a founding member. Despite the FATF's warning about a subject that did not need an international body to provide education, the U.S. has proposed no legislative or regulatory measures that would achieve money laundering control transparency in the work of company formation agents on its soil. 

The first two "national strategies," for 1999 and 2000, that the U.S. issued under a 1998 law that requires them are silent on the subject except for vague references to the need to examine the role of lawyers and accountants. There are no U.S. controls that would require companies like Euro-American Corporate Services, which the GAO says formed some 2,000 Delaware corporations whose U.S. bank accounts moved $1.4 billion, to disclose any information relevant to money laundering indicators. The
United Kingdom, which has been a leader in expanding laundering controls beyond the traditional banking sector, warned of the threat posed by company formation agents two years before the FATF typologies report. The Money Laundering Guidance Notes for the Financial Sector, released by the UK's Joint Money Laundering Steering Group in June 1997, lists company formation agents among the "unwitting accomplices" whose products and services are used by launderers. 

A recent report by the international firm, KPMG, reveals that the Steering Group's guidance has influenced controls imposed on company formation agents in several UK "overseas territories" that have a reputation for harboring the type of corporations that the GAO report highlights. As part of its "name and shame" campaign, the U.S. has
harshly criticized some of the "overseas territories" for their "serious deficiencies" in money laundering controls. The KPMG report says the British Virgin Islands' Association of Registered Agents has a voluntary Code of Conduct that includes Know Your Customer requirements and other measures designed to deter the use of the BVI for money laundering and other crimes. The Company Managers' Association of the Cayman Islands, which is one of 15 jurisdictions recently "named and shamed" by the U.S. and the FATF, has produced a Code of Conduct on Money Laundering for its
members. No such initiative has ever been proposed by the U.S. government.

An October 1999 meeting of G-8 Justice and Interior Ministers, in which the U.S. Justice Department participated, produced a communiqué that called for anti- laundering measures for "gatekeepers," including formation agents. The AO says the lack of money laundering control measures applicable to company formation agents in the U.S. makes it "relatively easy for foreign individuals or entities to hide their identities while forming shell corporations that can be used for the purpose of laundering money."  

DELAWARE CORPORATIONS ARE THE BIGGEST MONEY LAUNDROMATS IN THE USA. (WHO NEEDS NAURU OR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS?)
From the January 2001 issue of Money Laundering Alert  © 2000

GAO exposes Delaware corporations as new laundering beachhead Delaware law
brings secrecy of offshore corporations to U.S. soil Money launderers in the United States who travel to do business in one of the 15 jurisdictions the U.S. recently excoriated through "advisories" for alleged "serious deficiencies" in money laundering controls are wasting money on airfare. They can stay home, ask a domestic or foreign corporate formation agent to form a company in the U.S. state of Delaware, open a U.S. bank account in the company's name, and move their money with few questions asked.

Who needs Nauru or the Cayman Islands?

An eight-month investigation by the Office of Special Investigations of the U.S. General Accounting Office, which was commissioned by Senator Carl Levin (D. Mi.), has identified a previously undetected beachhead in the money laundering battlefield: shell corporations formed in Delaware. Through them - and corporation in other U.S. states - may have flowed billions of dollars of questionable origin in recent years right under the nose of Uncle Sam. This may have been occurring at a time when international money laundering control bodies, particularly the Financial Action Task Force in Paris, were warning the world about the dangers that corporate formation agents pose in the money laundering arena.

The GAO report on its findings, Suspicious Banking Activities: Possible Money Laundering by U.S. Corporations Formed for Russian Entities (GAO-01-120), says about 2,000 corporations formed in Delaware, with "very limited information" about their Russian owners, may have been used to launder more than $1.4 billion in the last nine years. The report says Citibank and Commercial Bank of San Francisco, two banks that handled a total of 236 of those corporate accounts, violated the "voluntary know your customer policies" prescribed by U.S. regulators and "facilitated" the round-trip transfer of $1 billion from Eastern Europe through U.S. banks and back to their origin.

The GAO says the transfers "raise concerns that the U.S. banking system may have been used to launder money." Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, requested the probe after identifying Delaware
corporations that "engaged in suspicious banking activity indicating possible money laundering." In releasing the GAO report on November 29, Levin criticized Citibank and Commercial Bank for accepting the corporations as customers without knowing "who they are, what they do, where they operate or who owns them." He said: "This is a very serious failing by these two banks and a violation of their responsibility under the law." Levin also criticized the U.S. government for condemning foreign nations while tolerating the same activity on U.S. soil. "We routinely and legitimately criticize foreign countries that allow the creation of corporations with secret ownership. Yet, in states in our own country, we are basically doing the same thing," he said.

IBC/Euro-American

The GAO found that two related companies, International Business Creations and
Euro-American Corporate Services, formed three of the Delaware corporations that Levin identified as being involved in suspicious banking activity and about 2,000 others for Russian brokers. IBC, which was formed by Irakly Kaveladze in 1991 soon after he emigrated to the U.S. from Russia, opened bank accounts in the U.S. for corporations formed in Delaware at the request of Russian brokers. In 1996, Kaveladze launched Euro-American to form Delaware corporations for Russian intermediaries, serve as the registered agent for those corporations, and open U.S. bank accounts for the corporations.

Delaware corporations

The General Corporation Law of Delaware (Del. Code Ann. Title 8, Secs. 101-398) permits "any person, partnership, association or corporation" to form a corporation "without regard to such person's or entity's residence, domicile or state of incorporation." The law requires only that the corporation maintain in Delaware "a registered office which may, but need not be, the same as its place of business" and appoint a registered agent to "accept service of process and otherwise perform the functions of a registered agent." The registered agent may be the corporation, a natural person who resides in Delaware, another domestic corporation or business entity, or a foreign corporation or business entity that is authorized to do business in the state.

Two registered agents told the GAO they often form Delaware corporations "in blocks of 10 to 20 at a time to accommodate single requests from foreign brokers." Another agent revealed that the corporations are sometimes sold to the brokers who then sell them to others, who may sell them again. The GAO said Euro-American's clients
consisted entirely of brokers in Moscow. It says Euro-American "prepared, signed, and filed a certificate of incorporation containing very limited information" and served as the registered agent and the incorporator for all corporations it formed. A Euro-American employee told the GAO that the company would "make up" names for the corporations if the brokers did not supply them. The employee said Euro-American did not conduct due diligence inquires on any of the companies it formed "because state law does not require it."

Corporation accounts

According to the GAO, between 1991 and January 2000 Euro-American opened 236 U.S. bank accounts for corporations it formed. Kaveladze told the GAO the accounts were used to "move money out of Russia." The 136 accounts at Citibank received more than $800 million in wire transfers from outside the U.S. The GAO says 70% of those funds later were transferred out of the U.S. The remaining 100 accounts, which received more than $600 million in wire transfers, were held at Commercial Bank of
San Francisco. The GAO says more than half of the transfers came from overseas and that "most" of the funds later were transferred out of the U.S. Know Your Customer The GAO says Citibank opened the Euro-American accounts based on Kaveladze's representations and "did not conduct due diligence regarding IBC/Euro-American- referred customers."

Citibank account officer told the GAO that Kaveladze "vouched for the newly formed
companies and said that he knew the officers of the companies personally, by reputation, or as a result of conducting his own investigation." Although Citibank said it closed some of the accounts after the accountholders failed to appear with proper identification within 30 days, its records show that none of the accounts was closed within four months of being opened. Citibank says it no longer opens accounts for clients of IBC or Euro-American because of its concerns about suspicious activity.

Citigroup General Counsel Michael Ross responded to the GAO's findings in a
November 28 letter to Robert Hast, Managing Director of the GAO's Office of Special Investigations. Ross said that the number of accounts opened by Euro-American and the volume and type of activity in them "were not adequately understood" by Citibank "at the time." He said Citibank's internal review of the accounts, which it launched after learning of them from the GAO, detected "no illegal activity." Commercial Bank In 1996, Euro-American signed an agreement by which East Industrial Financial Society would direct its customers to open accounts at the private banking department at Commercial Bank in San Francisco. East Industrial, whose president served as Commercial Bank's director of private banking, had been hired by Commercial as a consultant to "obtain new business from Russian depositors." The GAO does not name the director, but says it obtained information indicating he had "a close relationship" with firms associated with the KGB, the former Soviet Union's shadowy intelligence agency.

In less than four years before January 2000, 40% of Commercial Bank's total deposits came from customers referred by Euro-American. The bank's officials told the GAO that they conducted no due diligence inquiry about these customers, but had relied on representations by Kaveladze that he knew the clients he introduced. The bank said it filed Suspicious Activity Reports on activity in the Euro-American accounts and that it stopped opening accounts from that source in 1999 because of "numerous instances of suspicious transactions.." Suspicious activity The GAO report provides a rare look at the information contained in an SAR. An unnamed U.S. bank reported a Euro-American transaction saying: "Corporation A initiated a series of wire transfers of money on its behalf through Absolute Bank in Moscow, Russia, to the Bank of New York in the United States, which had a correspondent banking relationship with Absolute Bank.

The Bank of New York then transferred the funds to Republic National Bank of New York, which had a correspondent banking relationship with Trust Commercial Bank in Latvia. Republic National Bank, in turn, sent the funds by wire to Trust Commercial
Bank in Latvia where they were deposited into Corporation B's account. Approximately $6.8 million was moved in this fashion from Corporation A to Corporation B during a 2-month period. Using wire transfers, money was moved in large dollar amounts into and out of accounts on the same day or within 1 or 2 days." The GAO says it has no information on the origin of the funds transferred by the corporations and that Euro- American could not provide information about their owners or principals. Referral to Justice Department Levin said he is referring the GAO finding to the Justice
Department for possible criminal investigation and to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and FDIC for supervisory issues. The GAO also said it has referred the information to enforcement and regulatory agencies, a step that is not usual in its probes.  

FBI'S LOCKERBIE FILES ON LINE NOW!  THE DEFENSE WILL NOT PRESENT EVIDENCE.

Why won't the Lockerbie defendants present evidence in their own defense?  Click.

FBI files regarding LOCKERBIE are ready for viewing NOW.
© 2001 AOUDE MEDIA
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5260/latest.html

"08/01/2001 AOUDE MEDIA Happy to say all the 435 pages of US Defense Intelligence Agency files related to the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 have been released and are visible ONLINE on these pages. The files contain 11 MB of former secret and confidential but now released documents covering the criminal investigation into the crash of Pan Am 103 from 1988 to 1993. Many parts of the documents are blacked out due to US governmental censorship.

NB ! All 435 files are in Acrobat Reader (pdf) format. You need to have a small program installed on your PC, in order to read/view all files. You may already have such a program installed. If not, you can download it from here: www.adobe.com/acrobat

I suggest you DOWNLOAD the FBI-files first, and THEN open them up on your computer. All 435 pages amount to about 11 MB data, so any direct viewing of the files (online) may take quite a while. Once downloaded to your computer, the files are apt to open in a few seconds time. Direct viewing may take several minutes, depending on your PC-system. Click. Enough talking, show me the files !"



US CONTINUES USS COLE COVER UP. FINGER POINTS TO U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND.
by Thomas C. Mountain © 2001

The Naval brass overseeing the investigation of the USS Cole bombing in Yemen last year overruled the findings of his lower ranking investigators and cleared all the U.S. Naval personnel of any fault.

In a manner similar to the investigation of the shooting down of the Iranian civilian airliner in 1988 by the US Navy, no one is going to be blamed, not seriously at least.

This points the finger at the US Central Command, who oversees operations in West Asia (middle east). To put it simply, someone high up knew and didn't say anything and now it is cover your ass time for the military brass.

In spite of "anonymous sources" continuing to feed the press stories of a Bin Laden link to the USS Cole bombing, this continuing cover up does nothing to dispel the idea that Israel was behind the action, something the President of Yemen was quoted as saying was as likely as involvement by Bin Laden.

The mysterious C-4 explosive and its paper trail from US military custody to being used to kill US Navy sailors  also remains a mystery.

The present situation information wise leaves us with two options, one the brass in incompetent or two, the brass knew and were told to keep a lid on things.

If Israel was involved, high ranking officials would know it wouldn't be a wise career move to rock the boat by blowing the whistle. The same thing happened in 1967 when Israel rocketed, bombed, napalmed and strafed the survivors of the USS Liberty, killing dozens and wounding scores of US Navy sailors and it continues to be hushed up.

The USS Cole  bombing remains a turning point away from disaster for Israel in US public opinion, diverting mounting disgust with Israelis killing Palestinian children live on CNN to anger at the Arab/Islamic "terrorists" on the part of the American public. What with the judge in the trial of the alleged perpetrators of the bombings of the US Embassy¹s in Africa holding the trials in secret, there is major attempt to limit public knowledge of what is really going on in West Asia (middle east). Suspect the worst.


TRIUMPH OF THE WILL.
by Tom Keske © 1/7/01

Do you live in a country where the President's Men would ever dream of killing people by the thousands?   In time of war, would our country be the kind of country that would plan to put innocent people in concentration camps?   Could it ever happen that men
with literal Nazis sympathy could ever wind up inside the White House, resurrecting phases straight out of the Third Reich? Would the President's Men ever be openly unsympathetic to the thought of gay men being tormented or brutalized?

Our country is largely conditioned to imagine that such notions would be merely the over-dramatized products of anti-government, conspiracy theorist paranoia.    Our culture has made phrases like "conspiracy theorist" into dirty words.  Then again, our
culture sometimes makes phrases like "diversity" and "tolerance" into dirty words, too.    Sometimes, the manufacturing of a dirty word is simply a way of masking the deeper reality of dirty deeds and dirty deals.

Some liberal, gay friends of mine laughed when I told them that I was reading "WILL", the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy.   Why was I doing that?   Didn't I realize what a
ridiculous, right-wing nut he was?

Of course I realized it- that was in fact the reason for my reading it.   I knew that it would be a creepy experience, like handling a snake, but we must not be squeamish if we want to get closer to the truth.

The mistake that my friends made was in thinking that they already knew everything that they needed to know about George Gordon Battle Liddy.   They imagined that the rest would be merely extraneous details.

Why read about Gordon Liddy, in his own words? He was not exactly a major figure in the Nixon White House, or in the grand scheme of things.

He was a former FBI agent who became attached to  the White House for special duties, and was Counsel in CREEP, the Committee to Re-elect the President.  After Watergate, he was tried for various offenses and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
More recently, he has had significant success as one  of America's most popular right-wing, radio talk-show hosts.

He was significant enough as a Watergate figure, but there is a better reason for reading what he says.   He is a man so far gone, that he will say nearly anything.   He has not the gift of discretion.

As a loose cannon with a loose tongue, he is apt to reveal something of the true character of the Nixon White House.

It is also important to appreciate that Nixon is not merely a relic of bygone days.   The public has scant appreciation how extensively intertwined are GOP figures on the scene today, to Nixon and his legacy.  For example, there was little national attention when Charles Colson, another far-right, Nixon-era figure, was granted clemency by
Jeb Bush last year, and had his right to vote restored.

Pat Buchanan, another far-right figure, got his start under Nixon.  Trent Lott was staunch Nixon defender. George Bush, senior, was a close associate of Nixon.

Reagan/Bush were heirs of the Nixon administration and its ideological twins.  It is entirely possible that the voting "irregularities" in Florida, during the tainted
2000 election, are reflecting back to mindset of CREEP, and Nixon's dirty election politics.

Another reason to read about Liddy is the likelihood that the worst of Nixon's legacy is yet to be revealed.  Might it really be true that under Nixon, secret interest in biological
warfare continued full-steam, and culminated in an assault against gay men, using contaminated vaccines?

My gay friends made the mistaken of assuming that anything truly important would have been called to their attention by someone else- the newspapers, the radio, the gay press.   That is one of biggest mistakes of all.   Too often, the major revelations of political reality are sitting right there, for the taking,  in books on shelves, rarely opened, seldom commented upon.  One of the best ways of perpetuating a lie is simply to fail to advertise the truth on any significant scale.    The truth is a background noise, collecting dust in the corner.

In a sense, it seems almost redundant to read Liddy's book.  One look at Liddy's photograph tells you most everything that you need to know.   One gaze into his
face tells you that you are looking at the face of a rock-hard, cold-blooded, violent psychopath.

The picture of the face, however, is worth merely 1000 words.  The book contains some 12,000 words. In is in the devil of the details of those 12,000 words
that the most revealing picture lies.

BIOWAR?

Could there have been any secret interest in biological warfare?   Liddy will sometimes tell you quite bluntly about secret things that he was not supposed to mention:

   "When I had trained in chemical, bacteriological, and radiological
    warfare, I was issued a certificate of complete, but not for
    *this* course.  And I would not be surprised to learn that there
    was no record of my attendance.  Indeed, we were told not to
     mention the class to anyone.   In later years, that training came
    in very handy."  [1]

DREAMS OF KILLING?

Liddy describes his sweet dreams [2] :

For years, I had one dream over and over.  I was in Ireland  fighting as a revolutionary.  I also managed to escape before death and led the others, always including a tall, beautiful Celtic girl, in battle.  We slaughtered thousands with automatic weapons."

KILLING MORE THAN JUST A DREAM?

It is only a dream.  Or is it?  Does the dream reveal something about the real personality? 

Liddy says that he trained himself for years to be a "warrior" [3].   As he puts it, "I had spent years getting ready to fight and now I was looking for one." [4]

Liddy acknowledges, "My temper is a grave threat to me." "For years I'd known that I had a violent temper." [2]

He describes how he once let loose a volley of gunshot in all directions, while hunting, because he heard another gun firing.  Liddy acknowledges that this was probably just
another hunter, and that he could have shot innocent people in this way.

He describes his attempts to "control" his violent temper.  Unfortunately, he doesn't do a good job of that, either.   Throughout the book, the theme of threats to kill, with full deliberation, keep resurfacing.

Liddy was involved in extensive and specific planning for an aborted intention to assassinate the columnist, Jack Anderson.

Liddy talks casually about the possibility of killing others in Nixon's own administration.  While in jail, he said, "Should I be ordered to kill Hunt, he would be served a special meal, indeed.  It would contain a lethal poison." [5]

In prison, Liddy describes an incident where a black homosexual was being assaulted and robbed, while everyone, including Liddy and the guards, looked on and did nothing.   Liddy was offered his "share" of the stolen money, and it was taken as a sign of weakness when he declined to accept it.  A black prisoner stole Liddy's glasses, over which Liddy said,

"Despite the presence of guards as witnesses,  I'd have had to kill the man had he not returned the glasses."

"I'm sorry, I said, I won't be a minute.  I'm going to kick that gentleman right under his ear.  It'll make a noise when his spine cracks.  If you listen, you'll be able to hear it"

"Fatty's eyes rolled.  "Why you wanna do that, man?

"To kill him, of course."

"Here, man, can't you take a joke?"

References to the imminent "need" to kill are sprinkled throughout the book, be it a politician, a confrontation with a black soldier, a newspaper columnist, a prison inmate, or various other scenarios.

HATRED OF GAYS?

Would such a personality be indifferent to the thought of brutality aimed as a standard practice against an entire class of people?

Liddy describes an incident, while he was in the FBI, where he was mistaken for a homosexual by some local men in bar, and was threatened with gang-rape [6]:

"Christ! I thought, the dumb bastards have taken me for a homo and it's torment-a- faggot time in Shelbyville.  I was furious, not because I was particularly sensitive to the plight of a homosexual in that situation, but because I was embarrassed to be taken for one."

COLD-BLOODED KILLING MACHINE?

Liddy describes his practice as a boy for perfecting his warrior skills, by killing chickens.  The first ones were spurting blood all over, but with time, Liddy describes his improvement [7]:

"I got better at it, and over a period of time, I killed and killed and killed, getting less and less bloody, swifter and swifter, surer with my ax stroke until, finally, I could kill efficiently and without emotion or thought.  I was satisfied. when it came my turn to go to war, I would be ready.  I could kill as I could run- like a machine."

Young Liddy once proved his "courage" by eating a dead rat that his cat had left on the kitchen steps [8].

"For the next hour, I roasted the dead rat.  Then I removed the burned carcass with a stick and let it cool.  With a scout knife, I skinned, then cut off  and ate the roasted haunches of the rat.  I smiled as the thought occurred to me: from now on rats would fear me as they feared cats; after all, I ate them, too."

In another incident, he describes how the young Liddy once climbed a tree in a heavy storm, to prove his courage by defying the lightning, laughing hysterically as he did so.

CONCENTRATION CAMPS?

Sometimes, interesting revelations come as little more than an easily overlooked line, buried and nearly invisible in a volume of text, like a proverbial needle in a haystack.
 
Yet, it answers a profound question, full of import barely realized by its own author.

To answer one of the questions that introduced this essay:

"This was a list of those individuals whom the FBI believed dangerous to have at large in the  event of a war or major confrontation with the Soviet Union.  There was also a file card bearing the person's name, home address, work  address, and occupation... When the Bureau gave the signal, FBI agents nationwide would fan out all over the United States to arrest the persons listed. They would then be sent to concentration camps." [9].

One thing that Liddy *doesn't* say, but which might be reasonably inferred- who, exactly, might some of these people be?   Considering the near-obsession that J. Edgar Hoover had with Martin Luther King, and how convinced Hoover was that King was a communist agent, we probably would have been looking at the prospect
of Martin Luther King in a concentration camp, had there merely been heightened tensions with the Soviet Union.

NAZIS SYMPATHY?

One of the motivations in reading Liddy's autobiography was to answer the question- is it really fair to invoke the word "Nazis" in reference to the American right-wing, or is
this unwarranted hyperbole?

Sometimes, people imagine that they are not the same old Nazis, simply because they hate a new and different set of Jews.

Did Gordon Liddy literally sympathize with Hitler? He could at least pretend not to do so- he claims to repudiate anti-Semitism, and that he was eager to fight against Germany.  On the other hand, he was eager to fight against nearly anyone, and was dissatisfied when left without anyone to fight.

Even a Gordon Liddy has a vague inkling what are the acceptable bounds of publicly stated belief in America, and will make practical compromise for the sake of political viability.

Liddy speaks of his reaction to Hitler, when listening on the radio, as a child:

"Here was the very antithesis of fear-animal confidence and power of will.   He sent an electric current through my body and, as the massive audience thundered its absolute support and determination, the hair on the back of my neck rose and I realized that I had stopped breathing." [11]

If there is anything that characterizes Liddy, it is his constant, lifelong, sick obsession with proving his fearlessness, his toughness, his WILL (that is the reason for the title of the book, after all).  And that is what Hitler most meant to him- the Power of Will.

He speaks of his great love for Teresa, his nanny, who was a German national and an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler.   Teresa taught young Liddy how Hitler had "raised her country from the dead, make it the strongest nation in the world and delivered it from fear."

When Teresa was replaced by a Jewish maid, Sophie, Liddy hated her and refused even to eat from a spoon that she had touched. [12]

As a young boy, Liddy said that Teresa did not teach him to hate Jews.   He merely believed that Jews "worshiped God incorrectly" and "couldn't go to Heaven", but that he "didn't get excited about it."

Liddy says of himself as a boy,

"I knew what I had to do, and I dreaded it.  I had to change myself from a puny, fearful boy to a strong, fearless man... I knew that it would take willpower.  Even Hitler agreed.  He and his people would triumph through the power their superior will."

When he hears the national anthem, he describes a habit so deeply ingrained that he must "suppress the urge to snap out my right arm".

In later life, Liddy would show the Nazis propaganda epic, "Triumph of the Will" to his own children, and to 15 people in the White House, by his own admission [13]

THE MASTER RACE?


Liddy also seems to adopt a belief in genetic purity.  He did not understand how his family's "extraordinary gene pool" had produced such a sickly little boy as himself. [14].

As he puts it, "It was no good wishing I had more German genes and fewer Italian genes;  I knew perfectly well that with a powerful enough will I could be as eiskalt as any Teuton." [15]

When his sister married, Liddy approved:

"... an ambitious naval officer and himself a lawyer, would contribute to the family gene pool not only his intelligence but a fair, six-feet, one-inch, 200-pound Celtic physique." [16]

He picks his own wife as if from a shopping catalog:

"I wanted more mathematical ability in the gene pool from which my children would spring. I also wanted size- height and heavy bone structure."

"Somewhere, I felt sure, I would find the woman I wanted to bear my children: a highly intelligent tall, fair, powerfully built Teuton, whose mind worked like the latest scientific wonder, the electronic computer.  I had worked long, hard, pain-filled years to transform myself; to make a reality of my genetic potential.  Now I believed that I had earned the right to seek my mate from among the finest genetic material available." [17]

After he found the perfect master race material, he began to be displeased, like Henry VIII, however:

"In March of 1960, our second daughter , Grace, was born;  we where happy that Grace was a healthy child, but I began to be concerned that I did not yet have a son." [18]

What exactly does it mean to say "Nazis'?

Mostly, it means the capacity to be excited and thrilled by violence.  It means the equation of violence with strength and masculinity.  It means the desire to dominate and achieve one's ends by force and by daring will, if necessary.  It means the lack of empathy for "inferior" groups.  It means the firm conviction in one's own superiority.

UBER ALLES?

Liddy's writing is peppered throughout with German phrases from the Third Reich.  At the FBI, he speaks of the spirit of "uber alles" [19].  Of Hoover, he says,

"As Adolph Hitler was referred to throughout the Third Reich as simply der Furher, so J. Edgar Hoover was referred to throughout the FBI as 'The Director'".

"I was truly convinced we were an elite corps, America's protective echelon, its Shutzstaffel."

In the Nixon White House, Liddy formed a group called ODESSA, named after Organisation Der Emerlingen  Schutz Staffel Angehorigen",  a German veterans organization in which Liddy had acquaintances. This was an organization that smuggled Nazis out of Germany, after the war.[21]

One of the most chilling lines in "Cabaret" is the final scene, where a Nazis youth sings,
"Tomorrow belongs to me."   That is also the very line that Liddy picks to close his book referring to his children:  "Tomorrow belongs to them." [22]

CONCLUSION

Nixon's psychotherapist died last week, being more than 100 years.   He said that Nixon was not really a psychopath, as John F. Kennedy once said of him, but that Nixon had many neurotic symptoms.

That is probably not an adequate characterization. There is a reason why Richard M. Nixon surrounded himself with men like Gordon Liddy and Charles Colson.  There is nothing subtle about Gordon Liddy. It is quite apparent what the man is all about.

There is also a reason why Nixon surrounded himself with men like George Bush, senior.

Liddy's current politics are clear enough.  On his web sites, he rails against the "nitwittery" of "political correctness"  He admits to using a rife target with an image of President Clinton as the bulls-eye.  Liddy is an enthusiastic supporter of George W Bush, on his web site.  There is a reason for that, also.

There is a reason why you might see a photo of Liddy standing next to Nancy Reagan.  There is a reason why you see Ollie North, who was like a son to Reagan, also being photographed with Liddy, supporting Liddy's son, Tommy, in his bid for a  Congressional seat.  Liddy's son has political views- can you believe it- that are conservative and dismissive of the rights of gays.

In American politics, we sometimes make the naive mistake of praising men like Liddy
and Buchanan for their "candor", assuming that their loose-cannon views are at least a
sign that they are honest and holding nothing back.

That is not reality.  The real truth of human character and human deeds is almost
invariably worse that what is admitted publicly.    How much lower can we sink,
from the near-open Nazis sympathy and violent tendencies?

Even the Third Reich kept secrets.  No matter how obvious was their dislike of Jews, the Holocaust was kept from public sight.  Had Germany won that war, we would not know or admit, to this day, that Jews had really been murdered on a massive scale.

There would have been Jews who died of "disease" or "malnutrition" in the camps, by supposed happenstance, not by deliberation.   Reports of abuses would have been ignored, unpublicized, dismissed as myth, excused as unauthorized excesses of individuals, like the Mai Lai massacre.

No one would care as much about the Jews, because the propaganda machines would have made them disrespectable, like atheists,  communists, or homosexuals.   We would have less conscience about it than the U.S. has for historical genocide of American Indians.

When I wrote a statistical analysis trying to show that the U.S. government engaged in covert murder of gay men using contaminated hepatitis vaccines [23], I tried to devote a couple pages to "character evidence" and "historical context."

A couple pages, with only a couple lines devoted to Gordon Liddy, was obviously not adequate.   That couple lines was all that could be managed, without it becoming
too much of a distraction from the main theme of statistical analysis.

What a helpless frustration it was, to so limit the discussion. That context is key to understanding the picture.

When you see the full picture in rich detail, a wave of nausea will wrack your being.   It is not only believable that we could have covert murder on such a scale.  It is perfectly consistent and predictable that we would.

The great awakening as to how bad things really are, and what kind of battle it will take to end the nightmare, is still waiting to creep into the public consciousness.

We must chip away at it slowly and persistently, much like trying to whittle down a mountain by erosion. 

by Tom Keske,  Boston, Mass.

Quotes from "WILL", The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy, St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.  10010

The last reference is a web site concerning one of the worse scandals in American history or human history, still waiting to be acknowledged.

[1] pg 56
[2] pg 33-34
[3] pg 53
[4] pg 57
[5] pg309
[6] pg 71
[7] pg 26
[8] pg 24
[9] pg 78
[10] pg 11
[12] pg 22
[13] pg 156
[14] pg 9
[15] pg 34
[16] pg  54
[17] pg 38
[18] pg 82
[19] pg 59
[20] pg 4
[21] pg 148
[22] pg 363
[23] See: http://www.bhc.edu/eastcampus/leeb/aids/aidtesk.htm


HOOVER INSTITUTION WANTS COVER OPERATIONS, NOW MORE THAN EVER!

Covert Operations, Now More Than Ever
Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, 5:22 p.m.  http://www.worldtribune.com/tout-6.html
HOOVER INSTITUTION,  HOOVER DIGEST, 2000 No. 2  Thomas H. Henriksen © 2000

With its increased reliance on high-tech "smart" bombs, Washington seems to have forgotten a much less costly, more humane, and often more effective form of warfare—the covert operation.

Lord Acton's famous maxim about the corruptive influence of power is just as true with regard to "absolute" military force as it is with regard to power in the domestic political realm. He might even have added that command of un-matched technological prowess can blind policymakers to lower-profile, lower-cost ways to achieve their nation's goals. Some security problems can be solved with a sledgehammer or only with a sledgehammer. But far more common are those foreign policy challenges that can be solved—or prevented altogether—by measures short of violent conflict, even where routine diplomatic instruments prove ineffective.

As the reigning superpower, the United States must not eschew forceful diplomacy or violence in extremis when its strategic interests are at stake. But Washington's current over reliance on aerial bombardment as the weapon of second (if not first) resort diminishes America's prestige, sullies its espousal of a liberal-democratic new world order, and endangers its strategic relations with other major powers.

Less-confrontational options can achieve U.S. goals without the harmful side effects that include a strained Western alliance and strained relations with China and Russia, not to mention civilian deaths and material destruction. That less-confrontational option is covert or indirect action abroad, and it offers today, no less than during the Cold War, an effective alternative to the unacceptable risks and costs of military operations.
The Yugoslavian bombing campaign and the long series of air strikes against Iraq raise afresh the issue of how and why America should pursue its foreign policy agenda. Kosovo made clear, to some observers at least, that the United States should not wade into middle-sized conflicts in places with unpronounceable names and little strategic value, no matter what the extent of human suffering. Americans cannot, after all, make the lions lie down with the lambs, everywhere and for all time. Other critics concluded that Washington should have done more sooner in Kosovo, deploying ground troops and risking casualties in order to win a battle for international moral
conduct. 

But the first opinion gives short shrift to the consequences that an unchecked slaughter in Europe could hold for that continent, whereas the second appears impractical because the stakes—even in President Clinton's view—were not worth the political problems that could result from the shedding of American blood in a distant country for obscure goals. The ambiguous rationale for involvement resulted in an air campaign and not a war, a characterization that the Clinton administration scrupulously avoided.
But as it turned out, the relentless air strikes, often against civilian targets, sapped the moral high ground that Clinton coveted. They failed to halt Belgrade's atrocities in Kosovo, damaged relations with China and Russia over a nonstrategic issue, risked NATO's unity, and left Slobodan Milosevic in power. One is left to wonder whether the necessity of "doing something" to address a genuine humanitarian and political crisis could have inspired an earlier, more effective, and less violent response lying between the extremes of disengagement and war.

To be sure, a reliance on air power reflects our technologically oriented civilization. High-altitude bombing promises to override historical complexities. But it ignores the fact that intractable ethnic and political conflicts are often resistant to technological quick fixes. It is not enough just to make low-tech regimes in places like Serbia and Iraq "hunker down"; it means ridding them of their predatory leaders. And that requires a dramatic paradigm shift back to covert action as the policy option of choice. Such operations have often leveraged the preponderance of U.S. power to secure outcomes favorable to American aims, and their effectiveness stemmed in part from the perception in a target country that the United States had thrown its weight behind one side in a crisis. Direct military intervention proved unnecessary. Indeed, one might even conclude that direct military intervention, far from being the way to ensure policy success, is a proof of policy failure.

Indirect methods rely less on cutting-edge technologies and employment of force and more on American operatives' mastering local politics, understanding different cultures, and learning foreign languages. Above all, they call for political judgment and continuous, anticipatory attention to the world beyond American shores. Briefly, they seek to strengthen local opposition forces against an adversarial regime so as to bring about positive changes in governments.

Despite NATO's ever-intensified bombings of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic not only pursued his ethnic-cleansing policies during the bombardment but also clung to power after signing the Balkan military agreement. Other dictators such as Libya's Muammar Qaddafi and Iraq's Saddam Hussein have also endured American barrages without capitulating to American demands. Perhaps it is time to look to other means to deal with "rogues" and criminals who build weapons of mass destruction or destabilize their neighborhoods. 

Measures Short of War

Needless to say, the U.S. government should always take the conventional diplomatic steps available in order to advance American interests and promote regional peace and the cause of democracy and human rights when they seem challenged. But traditional instruments of statecraft—sanctions, presidential appeals or threats, and American largesse (read bribes)—will not influence iron-fisted adversaries. The really tough nuts, such as Iraq, Iran, North  Korea, Serbia, and Cuba, will not be cracked by sanctions or modify their policies because a miffed U.S. State Department has withdrawn its embassy staff. Economic embargoes are even more problematic since they hurt innocent victims in the sanctioned states. Even the resort to international tribunals to try wrongdoers for murderous acts, for instance in Rwanda or the former
Yugoslavia, does not suffice to forestall determined criminals.

That is why the United States since World War II has relied on two indirect and nonmilitary remedies to undo actual or potential adversaries: robust public support for reformers in target countries and muscular covert operations. Aboveboard approaches have entailed financial and technical assistance to bolster independent media, grassroots political movements, radio broadcasts beamed into a target country, and exchange programs for students, academics, journalists, and other professionals. The rationale was to pry open closed societies such as those of the Soviet bloc. 

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. overt assistance was instrumental in turning out
former communist leaders through elections in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia. Although these measures are not viewed as covert operations, they constituted a form of intervention in another state's affairs, at least from the perspective of the electoral losers. As such, they blur the line between subversive and reformist ventures. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), established in 1983, has promoted democracy in scores of countries and fills overtly some of the same functions that the Central Intelligence Agency undertook covertly in earlier decades. But the NED's reformist strategies will simply invite the early death of democratic elements in a North Korea, Libya, Iraq, or Syria. 

When it becomes necessary to oust a ruthless regime, it means moving along the operational spectrum from overt to covert methods. Obviously, not all detestable regimes warrant subversion, and not all the likely alternative rulers are a clear improvement. President Eisenhower, an enthusiastic employer of secret interventions, backed away from coup plans against Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser when he realized that the political conditions in that country differed greatly from those in Iran, where the CIA had helped remove Mohammad Mossadegh from power. When President Bush, to take another example, realized that no attractive prospects existed to stage a coup against Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, he opted for a military invasion. But when a viable alternative to an odious regime does exist, then
covert action combined with good political judgment and professional execution can yield magnificent results. They are also far cheaper in blood, treasure, and political capital.

During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services conducted numerous operations against the Axis, from counterintelligence activity to airdrops of weapons and explosives for guerrilla bands operating behind enemy lines. Of course, war gives a wide latitude to covert actions against a belligerent state, but is a given action less moral when its purpose is to prevent a war rather than to win one? The question answered itself during the four decades of the Cold War.

The post-world war era ushered in a unique ideological, military, and diplomatic rivalry between the two surviving global powers. Except for the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, much of the struggle between Moscow and Washington was conducted beneath the threshold of open combat lest they provoke a nuclear showdown. Covert "black" operations, then and now, are much less confrontational than direct military interventions, so the United States embarked on operations—in places as varied as Iran, the Philippines, and Chile—to support friends and overthrow leaders that appeared to further Soviet designs.

None of these American-aided ousters escaped criticism here or abroad as illustrations of American "imperialism"—but no one can deny their effectiveness and efficiency. Under the shah, Iran modernized and moved into the ranks of major players in Middle East politics, while Chile after Allende gradually became Latin America's beacon of economic growth, political stability, and (eventually) democratization. Neither Iran nor Chile is cause for U.S. embarrassment. Indeed, both did much better than a precoup prognosis would have predicted from their histories.

The Bay of Pigs fiasco began a twenty-year-long reaction against covert operations. Reagan's successful support of the Afghan mujahideen reignited the debate. Critics argue that U.S. support of those rebels ultimately enabled the Muslim fundamentalist Taliban to occupy much of Afghanistan and play host to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi businessman turned terrorist. But such a monocausal explanation distorts history to serve political motives. For centuries, Afghanistan has been a badly fragmented country. The Soviets relied on local puppets to maintain control in a classic divide-and-rule scheme, which deepened societal divisions. Reagan's intervention did not cause the cleavages among Afghanistan's mountainous tribes. It helped them to
unite temporarily against the Soviet occupation, just as they had resisted British penetration in the previous century. 

It is not enough simply to make low-tech regimes in places like Serbia and
Iraq "hunker down." We need to rid them of their predatory leaders.

Still, the blow-back phenomenon is cited as evidence against covert enterprises: that is, to manipulate foreign countries is to invite retribution down the road. Perhaps that is so—no one can read the future-but no covert action could possibly compare with such direct actions as emergency airlifts to Israel, the Persian Gulf War, and the ongoing U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia and the gulf when it comes to provoking anti-American  sentiments in the Middle East. And when compared with the results of Soviet interventions or Marxist-inspired movements in such places as Afghanistan,
Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Peru, and Vietnam, the aftereffects
of American covert enterprises look much more praiseworthy. Today, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, for example, have more promising prospects for progress than ex-Soviet proxies such as North Korea, Vietnam, Yemen, Somalia, and Cuba.

Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. administrations have relied on conventional projection of power, sometimes in anemic fashion, sometimes in heavy-handed fashion, as if aircraft carriers, ground forces, and bomber squadrons were omnicompetent and irresistible. Never, in peacetime, has the United States been so bellicose. Meanwhile, the covert option has lain nearly dormant, and what post-Cold War record it has is mixed, thanks again to poor judgment and poor execution.

Covert Operations: A Realistic Alternative

Admittedly, the record of achievement of indirect measures is not perfect. But then, clear-cut U.S. military victories since the Second World War have been much more scarce. Even the apparent victory in the Persian Gulf is marred by the enduring presence of Saddam Hussein. Korea, Iraq, Bosnia, and  Kosovo were limited conflicts with limited results, and the war in Vietnam was an outright American defeat. A number of covert actions, on the other hand, have had decisive and favorable results and certainly worked far better than the bombing of Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic or the cruise missile launches against Sudan or Afghanistan. Covert actions can succeed in cases where direct intervention might exact great costs in American lives, funds, and damaged international relations; they can also promote democratic
ideals and economic development without putting American force and prestige
on the line. Critics retort that the record of covert operations has included bloody tactics, right-wing death squads, and human rights violations. But their opponents were equally ruthless. It is just that we have romanticized any revolutionary guerrilla with a gun and a redistributive doctrine. All war is hell. But is subversive warfare worse than the collateral damage done to hospitals, schools, and houses by aerial bombardments? America's newfound reliance on the "immaculate coercion" of dropping bombs from jets flying three miles over Iraq or Yugoslavia to attain our policy objectives has led us not only to eschew the deployment of land forces but also to
downplay indirect antiregime ventures. 

In the case of Iraq, the Clinton team initially dismissed every anti-Saddam group as ineffective or antagonistic, rather than working to coordinate their movements. Likewise, when consideration of assistance to the Kosovo Liberation Army was publicly aired, opponents called attention to the divisions within the KLA and contended that helping it would set a precedent for other ethnic groups bent on separation. But just as the Allies in World War II dropped weapons, radios, and other
supplies to Tito's communist partisans, NATO could not pick and choose what partisans existed on the ground. In fact, a lengthy Western tutelage of the KLA or guerrilla groups elsewhere holds out the prospect of professionalizing a movement, purging it of corrupt fighters, and influencing it along democratic lines. This has happened to the bulk of Latin American trainees, whom the United States instructed at length in democratic civil-military relations. Revolutionaries hunger for the legitimacy provided by a major patron. It is far easier to affect a nationalist movement while it is in the malleable stage than once it comes to power. In the final analysis, politics always makes for strange.

Saddam's son goes public against father's government

Special to World Tribune.com
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE ©
Sunday, January 7, 2001

NICOSIA — The son of President Saddam Hussein has charged his father's government with buying commodities from Israel. The public challenge to the regime and Saddam's failure to appear at at a ceremony marking Iraq's Army Day have kept alive uncertainty about Saddam's health.

Uday Hussein, the eldest son of the president, submitted a memorandum to the Iraqi National Council stating that Israeli and Jewish-owned companies in the West are using Russian firms as fronts to sell Iraq a range of goods under the United Nations oil-for-food program. They were said to include food, soaps and beauty products.

Uday blamed the Iraqi Trade Ministry for allowing the import of Israeli goods. The memorandum was published in Uday's Babel daily.

"Is this a correct policy?" Uday asked in the memorandum.

Saddam was absent when the entire Iraqi leadership gathered on Saturday to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Baghdad to mark Iraq's Army Day. Instead, Saddam appeared later on television and recalled the Iran-Iraq war and the Gulf war.

"We are celebrating and honoring the army of the glorious and the Immortal Mother of All Battles," Saddam said, referring to the two wars.

Western monitors said Saddam's televised appearance seemed recorded and did not refer to recent events in his country.

Iraqi opposition sources assert that Saddam collapsed at a Dec. 31 military parade and has been hospitalized. Since then, Saddam has been shown three times on television.

In London, the Sunday Times reported that Saddam has established a new command headquarters for a military force to fight Israel. The newspaper said the Hammurabi tank division of the elite Republican Guard has been moved to a new headquarters west of Baghdad.

Saddam's son, who is regarded by critics as being mentally unbalanced, said the government has taken measures to tighten procedures and demand proof of the origin of supplies that enter Iraq. But he said the measures taken so far have been insufficient.

The memorandum was published on Thursday amid reports that Saddam was ill. The regime in Baghdad has dismissed these reports and has televised a meeting between Saddam and visiting Egyptian entertainers. The footage shows a healthy-looking Iraqi president chatting and smoking a cigar.

In the appearance, Saddam again threatened war against Israel. "The Iraqi people are dying to fight," he said. "And it's not just Saddam Hussein but seven million Iraqis who have volunteered, who want to liberate Palestine. The Iraqi people are ready to fight the Americans and those who fight alongside the Americans. They in Israel are unable to resist the Arabs."

But Iraqi opposition sources in Damascus insisted that Saddam remains in a Baghdad hospital. The sources said Saddam's authority has already been assumed by Uday and his younger brother, Kusay.

Sunday, January 7, 2001 http://www.worldtribune.com/tout-6.html



Lawrence Livermore Lab team presents dark-matter findings - MACHOS.
By Glenn Roberts Jr. Staff writer, Oakland Tribune 10/10/00

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory researchers may have found more evidence for dark matter, a theorized mix of planets, old and burned-out stars, and weak black holes that might lurk at the edges of galaxies.

Though these so-called Massive Compact Halo Objects, or MACHOs, may emit some light, they are too dim to be seen using modern astronomical tools.

Some researchers believe our Milky Way galaxy might be surrounded by a sphere of dark matter that could extend as much as 10 times farther than the visible edge of the galaxy.

Dark matter is one possible answer to the question of missing mass in the galaxy. The gravitational pull of the Milky Way seems to indicate a larger mass than is apparent from all of the visible galaxy, leading some astronomers to believe there is an unseen mass.

Using images collected from the Hubble Space Telescope, a team led by Livermore Lab researchers studied gravitational optical illusions in surveys of stars in the nearest galaxy outside the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Team members concluded that some of these distortions in light from distant stars appear to be caused by unseen objects in the outskirts of the Milky Way.

In a 1990s survey of the night sky southern hemisphere, lab researchers observed several of these microlensing effects, which are thought to be gravitational distortions caused by a space object passing in front of stars.

The object in the foreground acts as a lens, distorting the light from the background star, which appears to shine more brightly.

"The most likely explanation remains that microlensing events are caused by dark matter MACHOs in the halo of the Milky Way," said Cailin A. Nelson, a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, who works at Livermore Lab's Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

The team's work will be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in San Diego. According to a preliminary analysis of their research, about 40 percent of the observed lensing effects may have been caused by dark matter in our own galaxy.

Not all researchers agree with the findings.

Another research team has concluded, in a study that will be presented at the same conference, that the lensing effects are caused by stars within the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy that are distorting the light from more distant stars, "rather than by MACHOs in the galactic halo."