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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (5-31-06)
In a meeting with reporters at a news conference here, the four officials confirmed that it was their organization, Library Connection Inc., of Windsor, that was the target of the order, which was issued under expanded government powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act. The order's existence came to light last year in court documents.
But the officials said they are still prohibited from talking about when they received the order, known formally as a national-security letter, as well as about who hand-delivered it and what the government was looking for. Unlike standard search warrants, national-security letters are issued without a judge's approval and bar the recipients from discussing the letters' contents with anyone except their lawyers.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (5-26-06)
Members of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, which refers to itself as Natfhe: the University and College Lecturers' Union, will be asked "to consider their own responsibility for ensuring equity and nondiscrimination in contacts with Israeli educational institutions or individuals, and to consider the appropriateness of a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves" from certain policies of the Israeli government. The motion refers to "continuing Israeli apartheid policies" such as "construction of the exclusion wall and discriminatory educational practices."
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (5-29-06)
Archaeologists at the Sitka National Historical Park recently unearthed musket shot and cannonballs in this quiet glade where they believe a clan of Tlingit Indians, called the Kiks. Dadi, built a wooden palisade fort and held off Russian attackers for six days in October 1804 until their ammunition was spent.
On the sixth night, the story goes, the Russians on the gunboat Neva heard a mournful ceremonial song rising from the fort. By morning, some 800 women, children, elders and warriors were gone, bound for the far side of their island home and to an island beyond.
The strategic retreat from the land they had held for generations marked the end of open Tlingit resistance to the Russians and ushered in what history books describe as the Russian America period in Alaska.
SOURCE: AP (5-30-06)
Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca told The Associated Press he was informed by Bloomfield Township police that the search was ending without any remains found at the Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford Township.
SOURCE: AP (5-29-05)
President Nixon's envoy told Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, "If we can live with a communist government in China, we ought to be able to accept it in Indochina."
Kissinger's remarks surfaced in a collection of papers from his years of diplomacy released by George Washington University's National Security Archive. The collection was gathered from documents available at the government's National Archives and obtained through the research group's declassification requests. advertisement
Name of source: Thanh Nien News
SOURCE: Thanh Nien News (5-27-06)
The citadel was discovered early in 2003 during excavations to rebuild the Ba Dinh Hall Complex, the seat of Vietnam’s legislature.
After conducting a thorough archeological search of the site, researchers discovered layers of structures built on top of each other and millions of artifacts dating back to the 7th century that detailed long-lost history of the ancient capital.
The citadel was inaugurated as a museum for the public in October 2003.
Name of source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
SOURCE: Richmond Times-Dispatch (5-28-06)
Thousands came to the Old Town Waterfront to kick off the Jamestown 2007 commemoration with music, exhibits and tours of a reproduction of one of the three ships that made the voyage leading to North America's first permanent English settlement.
Jamestown 2007 Inc. and the city of Alexandria held a Landing Party Festival to mark the beginning of the Godspeed's East Coast tour and the start of the 18-month commemoration.
The organization bills the slate of events as "America's 400th Anniversary," with the centerpiece being the May 11-13, 2007, celebration in Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (5-30-06)
The astonishing fact about this discovery is that it dates back to at least 300 years before the traditional date of the founding of Rome, 753 BC.
It has long been known that Bronze Age people were living on the site where the ancient Romans founded their city.
But few traces of their society have ever been brought to light.
SOURCE: BBC (5-31-06)
One of the last survivors, 109-year-old Henry Allingham, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was at the exhibition's launch.
Some 8,648 British and German sailors lost their lives in one day's fighting on 31 May into 1 June 1916.
SOURCE: BBC (5-30-06)
The charter imposed on King John on 15 June 1215 by rebel barons limited the power of the monarch and gave ordinary people rights under common law.
Its anniversary was picked by 27% of the 5,002 people polled by BBC History magazine, with VE Day, 8 May, taking 21%, and D-Day, 6 June, attracting 14%.
SOURCE: BBC (5-29-06)
The wreck, lying in Pevensey Bay, off the East Sussex coast, is believed to be that of the 70-gun Resolution.
The ship, now designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, could provide an insight into the maritime and military history of the period.
SOURCE: BBC (5-22-06)
You couldn't get much less of a romantic setting for an historic monument. It's in a kerbside cage, stuck on the wall of a sports shop in Cannon Street due for demolition.
But this is the neglected setting of the London Stone - an ancient and mysterious object mentioned by Shakespeare, William Blake and Dickens, which has been seen as one of the capital's greatest relics since at least the Middle Ages and probably much earlier.
Name of source: The Independent
SOURCE: The Independent (5-31-06)
"He was a good husband, a good son, and a good friend and I wanted to show him that way," said the lyricist, Dojpalem Ganzorig. "Not as a tyrant or someone with a bad character which is how some people see him."
Non-Mongolian historians beg to differ' they say Genghis and his Mongol hordes murdered about 40 million people as they created an empire from Asia to eastern Europe, raping and pillaging as they went.
But in Mongolia, locals revere the warlord as their most famous son, and the rock opera, called Chinghis Khan, (as he is known in Mongolia) has opened in Ulan Bator, the country's capital, to rave reviews.
It is the latest manifestation of a growing personality cult around the man who united warring tribes more than 700 years ago to forge one of the most effective armies in the world. "During Communism it was prohibited to talk about Chinghis Khan," Ganzorig said recently. "But he was in everyone's heart, everyone wanted to know him, be proud of him, and sing songs about him. Now after the democratic revolution we can do that." Communism, which discouraged talk of Genghis Khan for fear of stoking nationalism, collapsed in 1990, and Mongolians have moved to reclaim ownership of Genghis ever since The rock opera is being staged now to coincide with the 800th anniversary of Mongolia's creation, which Genghis brought about.
The production is loosely based on The Secret History of the Mongols - an account of Genghis's life allegedly written by his generals. It features 40 dancers, 60 singers, a rock group, a 50-piece orchestra, and mixes traditional Mongolian throat singing and folk music with electric guitars.
Mongolia is a relatively poor country and Ulan Bator is not Broadway nor the West End so the budget is modest, just $60,000 (pounds 32,000). Genghis has already been used to sell vodka, chocolate, and hotel rooms but the rock opera's composer, Taraa, insists the use of his life story is not a marketing ploy. "We are very proud of our heritage. We need an intellectual product with a Khan label."
Name of source: ABC
SOURCE: ABC (5-31-06)
The oversized orb is just one highlight of the more than 8,000 artifacts in the German Historical Museum's new permanent display on the country's 2,000-year history, which seeks to help Germans rediscover their identity.
With World War II and the Nazi genocide still in living memory, many Germans have shunned the study of their own past. Museum director Hans Ottomeyer hopes the exhibit can contribute to changing that.
"It is a history that has been shaped by dramatic wars and long periods of peace," Ottomeyer said. "We attempt to show what strategies are used to generate hate, to vilify others, and start wars. On the other hand we show how reasonable policies form the basis for prosperity and times of peace."
Though the 12 years the Nazis were in power makes up one of the largest sections of the exhibit, Ottomeyer said the museum also wanted to make sure to put the era in perspective to show "that there is also another history than the one which found its terrible fulfillment in the 20th century."
The more than 80,000-square-foot exhibition, being officially opened Friday by Chancellor Angela Merkel at the museum on the Unter den Linden boulevard, spans long corridors posted with "milestone" markers in English and German that tell the story of each era. Visitors more interested in a certain period can head off the main path for side exhibits at every stop.
The journey starts in A.D. 9, when Germanic tribes ambushed and destroyed three Roman legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The defeat ended Roman plans to extend their power beyond the Rhine River.
Alongside bones from the battlefield is the eerie iron mask from a Roman's helmet dug up at the site in northwestern Germany.
Name of source: The Times (London)
SOURCE: The Times (London) (5-31-06)
Now, leading Jewish activists are calling for the bronze statues to be draped in canvas, or removed entirely, to shield fans from what they regard as Nazi propaganda.
Lea Rosh, who led the campaign to build a Holocaust memorial in the city centre, has made the "coverup" her new cause. "At the very least, the figures of Arno Breker should be hidden from view, and an explanation given on the plinth," Ms. Rosh said yesterday.
Mr. Breker, who died in 1991, was one of Europe's top sculptors even before the Nazis came to power, and his powerful figures caught the attention of Hitler. His sculptures were supposed to adorn the new Berlin that Hitler and Albert Speer, his chief architect, were planning to build after the war.
For the Olympic Stadium, constructed for the Games of 1936, Mr. Breker sculpted The Female Victor and The Decathlete.
Ms. Rosch wants both to be covered, as well as colossal statues of discus throwers and relay runners by Karl Albiker, The Resting Athlete, by Georg Kolbe, and many others scattered around the complex.
"Breker was a top Nazi," Ms. Rosch said. "It's unacceptable that the statues are still on public view."
Ralph Giordano, a leading German- Jewish novelist, is lobbying for the statues -- some bronze, some stone -- to be pulverised or melted down. "The figures are ugly and deceitful," he said.
"I demand that these statues be taken out of the stadium, quickly dismantled and scrapped."
German historians are skeptical that removing the statues would serve any political purpose, and argue that it would actually distort German history.
"Much of 20th-century art is bound up with dictatorship," Christoph Stolzl, a historian, said. "We should put up plaques explaining the statues. The connection between the celebration of the body and racism is complicated."
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (5-31-06)
The letter was dated the day of the U.S. Army's mass killing of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri during the 1950-53 Korean War. It is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all U.S. forces in Korea, and the first evidence that the policy was known to upper ranks of the U.S. government.
The letter, declassified in 1982, is discussed in a new book by American historian Sahr Conway-Lanz, who discovered the document at the U.S. National Archives, where the Associated Press also obtained a copy.
A Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy, said the South Korean government has asked Washington about the existence of the letter from Ambassador John J. Muccio to Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
"We're doing various checks about the report," the official said.
The letter detailed decisions made at a high-level meeting in South Korea on July 25, 1950, the night before the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment shot the refugees at No Gun Ri.
The No Gun Ri killings were documented in a Pulitzer Prize-winning story by The Associated Press in 1999, which prompted a 16-month Pentagon inquiry.
The Pentagon concluded that the No Gun Ri shootings were "an unfortunate tragedy" _ "not a deliberate killing."
It suggested panicky soldiers, acting without orders, opened fire because they feared that an approaching line of families, baggage and farm animals concealed North Korean troops.
Following reports of the Muccio letter, the No Gun Ri victims' group condemned the U.S. government for allegedly covering it up, calling for a reinvestigation by the United Nations.
In 2001, the United States offered to set up a scholarship fund and build a memorial for the victims, but the project hasn't been implemented yet due to a dispute with the victims' group.
After years of delay, Washington proposed in April to spend $4 million for the project. But the victims' group rejected the offer again, claiming Washington is trying to build a memorial for all Korean War victims killed in similar cases, not specifically for No Gun Ri victims.
The survivors claim that the U.S. government is pressuring Seoul to persuade them to accept the proposal, by saying the project's budget will expire at the end of September.
Estimates vary on the number of dead at No Gun Ri. U.S. soldiers' estimates ranged from under 100 to "hundreds." Korean survivors say about 400, mostly women and children, were killed at the village 100 miles southeast of Seoul.
Hundreds more refugees were killed in later, similar episodes, survivors say.
Name of source: NBC Nightly News (video)
SOURCE: NBC Nightly News (video) (5-30-06)
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (5-30-06)
Bingham's actions cost him his Foreign Service career but won him the undying gratitude of the more than 2,000 refugees he helped save by issuing them travel visas and false passports, and even at times sheltering them in his home. Only in recent years has his heroism been officially recognized by his own country.
Bingham, the Yale-educated son of a former U.S. senator, died in 1988 at age 84. His own children did not learn the extent of his wartime deeds until 1996, when a son found a cache of old journals and correspondence stashed in a hidden closet in the family's Connecticut home. Soon Bingham's face -- and, supporters hope, his story -- will be well known across the United States, as the U.S. Postal Service issues a stamp next Wednesday in his honor.
Name of source: DW-World.de
SOURCE: DW-World.de (5-29-06)
Football-mad President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be travelling to Germany to watch Iran's World Cup clashes, his spokesman told AFP Monday.
The news about the possibility of Ahmadinejad supporting the Iranian national team in person at the June 9-July 9 World Cup finals raised some eyebrows, especially after the Iranian president's provocative interview for a prominent German weekly Der Spiegel. In this interview, which was published on Monday, Ahmadinejad said he doubted the Holocaust really happened, and repeated earlier calls for Jews to leave Israel and return to Europe.
Name of source: NYT
Since the start of the war in 2003, 71 journalists have been killed in Iraq, a figure that does not even include the more than two dozen members of news media support staff who have also died, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That number is more than the 63 killed in Vietnam, the 17 killed in Korea, and even the 69 killed in World War II, according to Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan free speech advocacy group.
Those images, captured largely by amateurs, are moments from more than 500 hours of videos and films, the largest collection of raw visual data from what historians say is the best-documented catastrophe in history. About 1,700 clips from the collection have attracted more than a million hits in the three months since they were put on Google Video.
The 7,000-gigabyte archive was assembled by Steven Rosenbaum, a Manhattan-based documentary producer. In the days after the terrorist attacks, he put up posters and fliers and placed an ad in The Village Voice urgently requesting images that captured the attack, its aftermath and the mood of the city.
Now his collection is the largest asset of his dormant television production company, CameraPlanet, and Mr. Rosenbaum is working out an agreement with the Bank of America, the company's primary lender. He wants to structure a deal with a donor, buyer or partner that would keep the collection from being sold piecemeal, would repay the company's debt of more than $500,000 and would make the videos available to researchers, filmmakers and the public.
Mr. Bush spoke at the cemetery's marble-columned amphitheater after placing a floral wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac. The president vowed to honor those who had died in Iraq and Afghanistan "by completing the mission for which they gave their lives: by defeating the terrorists, by advancing the cause of liberty and by laying the foundation of peace for a generation of young Americans."
Seeking to draw a connection to wars past, the president quoted from two similar letters written more than half a century apart, the first by Second Lt. Jack Lundberg, who died two weeks after D-Day, the other by First Lt. Mark Dooley, killed by a bomb last September in Ramadi, Iraq. Lieutenant Lundberg wrote his parents to say, "The United States of America is worth the sacrifice."
The resolution by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education deepened the contest among academics in Britain, the United States and the Middle East that has evoked questions of academic freedom. The debate threatened to further divide British academics into camps — for or against the imposition of penalties on Israeli university teachers cast as complicit in Israeli government actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
At its annual conference in Blackpool, in northern England, the association voted 106 to 71 in favor of the resolution, which called for the organization's members "to consider their own responsibility for ensuring equity and nondiscrimination in contacts with Israeli educational institutions or individuals." There were 21 abstentions, said Trevor Phillips, an association spokesman.
The questions don't end there, either. In most of these gatherings, she gets far more specific, burrowing into the history and tactics of the American civil rights movement.
"Who knows what the Birmingham bus boycott was?" she asked a group of university students in May. "What is a sit-in?" "What's the meaning of separate but equal?" At the level of language, every one of those terms presents a formidable challenge, even to a woman who has spent years in this country and speaks fluent Chinese.
But language is not the half of it. How can one translate Dr. King's actions into the realm of ideas for an audience in a city notably hostile to protests? How does one convey to Chinese people the meaning of the life of a man who died fighting for civil rights nearly 40 years ago?
The answers may have begun to emerge since the production at the National Theater on Sunday of the play "Passages of Martin Luther King Jr." by the noted King scholar Clayborne Carson and based on the life and words of the American civil rights leader. Ms. McKiernan, who studied under Mr. Carson at Stanford and is the play's producer, was prepared for any kind of audience response, from deeply moved to completely stumped and anything in between.
SOURCE: NYT (5-28-06)
For decades, the 15-by-20-foot oil painting has served as a national icon. This is the same image that, in the 1960's and 70's, was widely reproduced and hung near the entrances to millions of homes, schools, factories and government buildings. During the Cultural Revolution, when Mao was raised to cult status, it seemed as if the entire nation had set about drawing a Mao portrait, or at least honoring one. If Mao's Little Red Book was the national bible, Mao's official portrait was the national stamp.
And so it is no surprise that a firestorm erupted in China a little over a week ago after a state-controlled Beijing auction house wheeled out an old official portrait of Mao, owned by a Chinese-American, and said it would sell the piece to the highest bidder on June 3.
SOURCE: NYT (5-27-06)
But that is what Jean-Pierre Houdin said as he lifted his tall lanky body up the steps into the pyramid of Cheops, the largest of the three pyramids high up on the Giza plateau overlooking this teeming, ancient city on the Nile.
Mr. Houdin selected the pyramids as his vehicle for personal reflection, as the salve for his midlife crisis. His was an analytical venture, a quest to explain what appears impossible to prove, at least given the current public record: exactly how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids using about 2.5 million stones, each weighing at least several tons.
Now, eight years later, he is ready to present his findings, one step at a time, and in doing so will be remembered either as the man who unlocked the secrets of ancient brilliance or as a bit of an eccentric who merely indulged his imagination.
SOURCE: NYT (5-28-06)
The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, Britain's biggest union of college teachers, is to vote Monday on a resolution asking its 67,000 members to boycott Israeli colleagues who do not distance themselves from what it calls Israel's "apartheid policies."
The ballot, at the union's annual conference in Blackpool, follows a similar move last year by the smaller Association of University Teachers, with 40,000 members, which first supported a boycott of two Israeli universities, then overturned it. The two unions are set to merge on June 1, but the vote on Monday will determine whether the newly merged union will come into being under the shadow of a dispute over the proposed boycott.
Supporters of the resolution predict it will be approved, but Jon Pike, a philosophy lecturer at the Open University and one of the 600 opponents of the move, said: "I think it's up in the air. I'm not completely pessimistic."
SOURCE: NYT (5-27-06)
The letters recount how the description of the school in "Jane Eyre" upset the Rev. William Carus-Wilson, who wrote to Brontë — his former student — and threatened her with legal action. But Brontë dissuaded him by sending a 1,400-word sketch, expurgated of the offending passages. Even so, she never changed the original book and the headmaster never pursued a legal case. The letters, discovered in a pile of documents sent by a book dealer to the auctioneer, are expected to fetch up to 100 pounds, or $185.
SOURCE: NYT (5-26-06)
The "single most important element that contributed to the violent outcome of the confrontation was the absence of police" from the Nov. 3, 1979, march, the panel, the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, wrote in a summary of its report.
SOURCE: NYT (5-26-06)
Zahi Hawass, the hard-charging secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, learned of the artifact's existence on Wednesday at a preview for the press at the Field Museum. At the event, Randy Mehrbert, a representative of Exelon, the giant energy company based in Chicago, observed in his formal remarks that the company's chairman, John W. Rowe, had such a passion for Egyptian antiquities that he kept one in his office.
Dr. Hawass immediately demanded that organizers of the show drop Exelon as a sponsor unless it agreed to give the sarcophagus to the Field Museum or return it to Egypt. Late yesterday, after a flurry of meetings at the museum, a spokeswoman for Exelon announced the resolution.
Name of source: Editorial in the NYT
SOURCE: Editorial in the NYT (5-29-06)
Last month the Empire State Development Corporation unveiled a new plan for Moynihan Station. It is a bold reinvention of the current Penn Station, which could become a truly breathtaking entrance to this city. But this plan is also a bold — and necessary — reinvention of the previous vision of Moynihan Station, which was flawed by the simple fact that the broad expanse of railroad tracks lies east of Eighth Avenue and not under the post office....
All of this depends on one thing: moving Madison Square Garden. In the draft environmental impact statement that accompanies this plan, the prospect of moving the Garden is described as an alternative. It is nothing of the kind. If the Garden does not move, its owners will renovate it where it stands, putting an end to any real prospect of expanding or improving Penn Station.
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (5-30-06)
He didn't complain about living in horse stalls without bathrooms or doing stoop work for 12 hours a day without breaks for fear he would be sent back to Chihuahua and lose the steady work that allowed him to support his family in Mexico.
But the 78-year-old San Jose man opposes a temporary worker proposal in the immigration bill the Senate passed last week.
Some immigrant advocates say the new plan remedies shortcomings of the old Bracero Program, through which the United States recruited Mexican workers to toil at 4.5 million mostly agricultural jobs from 1942 to 1964. And they say it's a crucial alternative to the current state of affairs where migrant workers risk their lives crossing the border illegally.
But others say the new arrangement probably will replicate the pitfalls of the Bracero Program and two present-day guest worker programs. They also fear new worker protections in the Senate bill will vanish when lawmakers seek to reconcile the legislation with the enforcement-only bill the House passed in December.
In the early years of the Bracero Program, 10 percent of workers' wages was withheld to be deposited in savings accounts they could claim when they returned to Mexico.
Somewhere between the payroll deductions and bank transfers, the money vanished. In the United States, a class-action lawsuit filed four years ago on behalf of defrauded braceros is inching through the federal courts; last year, the Mexican government announced it would pay roughly $3,800 to former braceros who could prove their claim to the deducted pay. Former braceros dismiss the one-time payments as inadequate.
From 1942 to 1964, Mexicans filled 4.5 million mostly agricultural U.S. jobs in exchange for food, housing, transportation and the prevailing wage. About 10 percent of the wages of these workers were withheld as an incentive for them to return home, but most of the money was never repaid. A similar program for British West Indians ran from 1943 to 1952.
Source: Migration Policy Institute
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (5-30-06)
``During the war everything was action," said Pierro, 110 years old, who lives in Swampscott with his brother and a nephew. ``You're at the front line, you duck the shells coming your way. It was no fun being out at the front lines, being shot at. You gotta duck."
A US Army private in the 320th Field Artillery Regiment of the 82d Division in France in 1918, Pierro is one of about two dozen still living of the 4.8 million who served in the US military during World War I, and one of a handful of living US veterans who survived the battlefields of the Western Front.
Two other World War I veterans living in New England, Russell Buchanan of Watertown and Samuel Goldberg of Greenville, R.I., both 106 years old, served in the United States during the war. Buchanan also is a veteran of World War II.
SOURCE: Boston Globe (5-30-06)
In prayers and song, the tribe paid homage to warriors whose sacrifice had been all but forgotten -- Native Americans who converted to Christianity and were believed to have fought with the Colonists during the Revolutionary War.
On Main Streets and town greens across the state, people gathered yesterday to remember those who served their country in uniform, and those who died defending it. But on a small Indian burial ground near the center of town that was originally 100 acres, people gathered to resurrect and redeem the faded memories of 21 fallen Native American soldiers buried in unmarked graves.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (5-29-06)
The ancient artefacts from the collection known as the Lydian Hoard were repatriated from the United States 13 years ago after being stolen in the 1960s.
"Nine people including the Usak Archaeology Museum director have been detained in four provinces," state-run Anatolian news agency quoted Governor Kayhan Kavas as telling a news conference.
Name of source: News8
SOURCE: News8 (5-30-06)
One of those sites is now the Caddoan Mounds State Historic Park where scientists are uncovering the past. Researchers have found a new way to explore beneath the earth without lifting a shovel.
"Culturally this is an important site. It's important to the people of Texas and it’s important interpreting American culture … The more we know about these folks, the better we are in explaining and learning about our history," manager David Shirley said.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (5-16-06)
"Every second minute there is another prisoner and this goes on for pages," says Udo Jost, an archivist at the International Tracing Service (ITS) which looks after the world's biggest collection of documents from World War Two.
"They shot 300 prisoners for Hitler's birthday present: not just shot but then registered them by name."
Millions of documents, like this register from the camp near Linz in Austria, sit in the cellars of a converted hotel in the central German town of Bad Arolsen, testament to the chillingly efficient bureaucracy of the Nazi regime.
The ITS, under the management of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been administering the archive and answering queries for around 60 years. Until now, Germany had staunchly opposed opening the archive to a wider public.
Name of source: Timesonline (UK)
SOURCE: Timesonline (UK) (5-30-06)
Yet Tom Robinson, 48, has become the first man outside Asia to trace his ancestry directly to Genghis Khan, the 13th-century Mongol leader whose empire stretched from the South China Sea to the Persian Gulf.
And, since his paternal great-great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from Windermere, Cumbria, many more descendants are probably scattered across the Lake District.
Genetic tests have revealed that Mr Robinson, a professor of accountancy at the University of Miami, shares crucial portions of his DNA with the Mongol ruler.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (5-29-06)
The letter — dated the day of the Army's mass killing of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri in 1950 — is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all U.S. forces in Korea, and the first evidence that that policy was known to upper ranks of the U.S. government.
"If refugees do appear from north of US lines they will receive warning shots, and if they then persist in advancing they will be shot," wrote Ambassador John J. Muccio, in his message to Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
The letter reported on decisions made at a high-level meeting in
South Korea on July 25, 1950, the night before the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment shot the refugees at No Gun Ri.
Estimates vary on the number of dead at No Gun Ri. American soldiers' estimates ranged from under 100 to "hundreds" dead; Korean survivors say about 400, mostly women and children, were killed at the village 100 miles southeast of Seoul, the South Korean capital. Hundreds more refugees were killed in later, similar episodes, survivors say.
The No Gun Ri killings were documented in a Pulitzer Prize-winning story by The Associated Press in 1999, which prompted a 16-month
The Pentagon concluded that the No Gun Ri shootings, which lasted three days, were "an unfortunate tragedy" — "not a deliberate killing." It suggested panicky soldiers, acting without orders, opened fire because they feared that an approaching line of families, baggage and farm animals concealed enemy troops.
But Muccio's letter indicates the actions of the 7th Cavalry were consistent with policy, adopted because of concern that North Koreans would infiltrate via refugee columns. And in subsequent months, U.S. commanders repeatedly ordered refugees shot, documents show.
The Muccio letter, declassified in 1982, is discussed in a new book by American historian Sahr Conway-Lanz, who discovered the document at the U.S. National Archives, where the AP also has obtained a copy.
Conway-Lanz, a former Harvard historian and now an archivist of the National Archives' Nixon collection, was awarded the Stuart L. Bernath Award of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for the article on which the book is based.
"With this additional piece of evidence, the Pentagon report's interpretation (of No Gun Ri) becomes difficult to sustain," Conway-Lanz argues in his book, "Collateral Damage," published this spring by Routledge.
The Army report's own list of sources for the 1999-2001 investigation shows its researchers reviewed the microfilm containing the Muccio letter. But the 300-page report did not mention it.
Asked about this, Pentagon spokeswoman Betsy Weiner would say only that the Army inspector general's report was "an accurate and objective portrayal of the available facts based on 13 months of work."
Said Louis Caldera, who was Army secretary in 2001 and is now University of New Mexico president, "Millions of pages of files were reviewed and it is certainly possible they may have simply missed it."
Ex-journalist Don Oberdorfer, a historian of Korea who served on a team of outside experts who reviewed the investigation, said he did not recall seeing the Muccio message. "I don't know why, since the military claimed to have combed all records from any source."
Muccio noted in his 1950 letter that U.S. commanders feared disguised North Korean soldiers were infiltrating American lines via refugee columns.
As a result, those meeting on the night of July 25, 1950 — top staff officers of the U.S. 8th Army, Muccio's representative Harold J. Noble and South Korean officials — decided on a policy of air-dropping leaflets telling South Korean civilians not to head south toward U.S. defense lines, and of shooting them if they did approach U.S. lines despite warning shots, the ambassador wrote to Rusk.
Rusk, Muccio and Noble, who was embassy first secretary, are all dead. It is not known what action, if any, Rusk and others in Washington may have taken as a result of the letter.
Muccio told Rusk, who later served as U.S. secretary of state during the Vietnam War, that he was writing him "in view of the possibility of repercussions in the United States" from such deadly U.S. tactics.
But the No Gun Ri killings — as well as others in the ensuing months — remained hidden from history until the AP report of 1999, in which ex-soldiers who were at No Gun Ri corroborated the Korean survivors' accounts.
Survivors said U.S. soldiers first forced them from nearby villages on July 25, 1950, and then stopped them in front of U.S. lines the next day, when they were attacked without warning by aircraft as hundreds sat atop a railroad embankment. Troops of the 7th Cavalry followed with ground fire as survivors took shelter under a railroad bridge.
The late Army Col. Robert M. Carroll, a lieutenant at No Gun Ri, said he remembered the order radioed across the warfront on the morning of July 26 to stop refugees from crossing battle lines. "What do you do when you're told nobody comes through?" he said in a 1998 interview. "We had to shoot them to hold them back."
Other soldier witnesses attested to radioed orders to open fire at No Gun Ri.
Since that episode was confirmed in 1999, South Koreans have lodged complaints with the Seoul government about more than 60 other alleged large-scale killings of refugees by the U.S. military in the 1950-53 war.
The Army report of 2001 acknowledged investigators learned of other, unspecified civilian killings, but said these would not be investigated.
Meanwhile, AP research uncovered at least 19 declassified U.S. military documents showing commanders ordered or authorized such killings in 1950-51.
Name of source: Washington Times
SOURCE: Washington Times (5-28-06)
The 861 men and women belong to the first class to have entered West Point after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and Mr. Bush told them the fight is "still in the early stages."
"The war began on my watch -- but it's going to end on your watch," he said. "Your generation will bring us victory in the war on terror."
The president repeated the Bush doctrine of military intervention, which he laid out at West Point's graduation ceremony in 2002.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (5-28-06)
Ending a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, Benedict said humans could not fathom “this endless slaughter” but only seek reconciliation for those who suffered “in this place of horror.”
As on the rest of his trip, he walked in the footsteps of his Polish-born predecessor John Paul, who came to the camp in 1979 on his first visit to Poland as pope. John Paul died in April 2005 and is revered as a saint in his native country.
Name of source: Rocky Mountain News
SOURCE: Rocky Mountain News (5-27-06)
On the treacherous, frostbitten face of the remote Alaskan volcano, a wildlife biologist saw the ragged but distinctive metal wing of an old airplane and scrambled toward the wreckage.
It was an unusually clear day in 2001 on Kiska Island, and Ian Jones and his colleague took the chance to climb the active volcano, searching for signs of rats that had begun attacking the island's native bird population. Then he saw the airplane.
Jones scurried across the rocky side of the volcano to the fuselage and looked into the cockpit. Before arriving on the island, he had heard stories about the daring American raids on Kiska, then occupied by the Japanese, during "the forgotten campaign" of World War II. He knew that not everyone made it back home.
Among the twisted metal, he saw leather flight gear and parachute silk. He saw a comb, a sweater, and a flight map - all of it preserved by the island's freezing wind, ice and snow.
"I was shocked," said Jones, a biology professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
"I looked back and said, 'This is a war grave.' "
It would take another two years before the military retrieved the remains. It would take two years more before the seven Navy aviators aboard the plane were positively identified and their relatives located.
"The site of the wreck is an incredibly remote, harsh, spectacular, wild place where there's terrific winds and weird clouds coming over the volcano," Jones said. "And from the wreck site you can hear the tremendous roar of steam coming out of the vents because it is an active volcano. It's a place of incredible ruggedness, and harshness, and great beauty, actually."
Jones hurried back to his base for the daily radio communication. As the long Alaskan day ended, he thought about the plane's massive impact as it slammed into the mountainside, and the lives of the people left behind.
"It was really quite overwhelming, quite emotional," he said. "That night, while falling asleep, I thought, 'Oh my goodness, we've found something really important.' "
'Dumbfounded' by find
Sixty-three years after her brother disappeared, the phone rang at Eleanor Keller's Denver home.
The man on the line identified himself as a Navy lieutenant and mentioned something about her brother, something about retrieving an airplane.
Everything else, she said, was a blur. At the time, in 2005, she was 85.
"I was dumbfounded," she said.
Then she was suspicious.
"I told my friends and relatives, and they all told me to watch out - there are a lot of people claiming to be such-and- such. I was being warned about all these telephone calls you get nowadays," she said.
"You're not sure about these things. Especially when it was 63 years ago."
As she absorbed the news, the man said he would call back later.
She later decided the phone call was a hoax.
The forgotten campaign
In the comma-shaped Aleutian Island chain that stretches from Alaska across the Pacific, Kiska Island hangs near the western edge, about as close to Siberia as it is to the Alaskan mainland.
For Japan in 1942, the unguarded island chain presented an opportunity to claim a moral victory, if not necessarily a strategic one, at the height of the war in the Pacific. In the process, thousands of men would die in the miserable conditions for which neither the U.S. nor Japan was prepared.
The campaign began in early June of 1942, after the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians and soon afterward took the islands of Kiska and Attu, the first U.S. territories occupied by foreign forces in North America since the war of 1812, according to John Cloe, historian and author of The Aleutian Warriors.
"It's referred to as the forgotten campaign, the forgotten theater of World War II," said Cloe, who lives in Anchorage.
"Everyone's familiar with Normandy, everyone's familiar with Guadalcanal, but few know about this. And it's kind of ironic because this was on American soil, on the homeland."
With the arrival of the Japanese ships, U.S. forces scrambled all the available aircraft in the area.
The American response began with bombing attacks using fleets of lumbering amphibious PBY Catalina airplanes, essentially "flying boats" that weren't designed for the attacks on the heavily-fortified gunships at Kiska Harbor.
From the onset of the campaign, the missions lasted as long as the Alaskan days, the planes flying virtually nonstop, landing in the water, reloading from a supply ship and taking off again.
On June 14 - four days after the initial attacks were ordered - a plane known as PBY-5 04511 took off on what would be the final mission of the "Kiska Blitz."
The plane emptied its bombs on the harbor, according to Navy reports, and "was last seen plunging into a cloudbank."
Flying was a dream come true
When that amphibious plane took off from the cold waters of the North Pacific, Navy Ensign Robert "Bob" Franklin Keller had only flown for a few years.
In his mind, he had been in the air for much of his life.
While growing up in Denver, Keller and his brother, John, built a soapbox derby-sized airplane using leftover parts from their father's sewing machine sales business.
As his sister remembers, the plane was just big enough for one of them to sit inside, and imagine.
"That was the thing in those days - planes," Eleanor Keller said. "And after all, you want to do something adventurous, you know."
The family moved to Colorado Springs, where Keller graduated from Palmer High School, then to Wichita, Kansas, where he earned a journalism degree and worked as a reporter for the Wichita Eagle.
In Kansas, he finally had a chance to take the flying lessons he had spoken of for so long, beaming with what his sister called "a smile that could break your heart." The handsome, wavy-haired Coloradan joined the Naval Reserves in February 1941.
Three months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he reported to Patrol Squadron 43 - a group made up of amphibious planes that would soon find itself in the midst of the "Kiska Blitz."
Eleanor Keller remembers kissing her brother goodbye at their home before her father took the young aviator to the train station. Only a few months later, they received word that he was missing.
"At first, you have hopes," she said. "I had an uncle from World War I who was missing in action, and he was found in a prison camp when the war ended."
Inside her home, she picked up a photo of her brother taken in San Francisco before he deployed. In the photo, he gazes into the eyes of a girl he had likely just met.
"To a swell fellow of the Navy by the name of Bob," the inscription reads. "Sincerely yours, Diane."
His 86-year-old sister flipped through another photo album, then closed the cover.
"He was 24 years old. I feel like he didn't get his life at all," she said. "But then you think, there was one (of the plane's crew members) who was only 18 years old - he didn't even get as much as Bob."
Interred in ice for 63 years
When the Americans finally took Kiska Island in August 1943, they expected massive resistance, but found nothing. Japanese forces had slipped away days earlier, shrouded by the fog.
The Americans then began to look for their dead.
According to Navy reports, a search party found the remains of the plane in 1943, nearly 3,000 feet high on the island's volcano. A burial team later interred the crewmen in a common grave, marked by a wooden cross with a hand-carved inscription.
"SEVEN U.S.N. AIRMEN," it read.
Following the war, the military mounted two attempts to find the grave and transport the bodies home but was unable to relocate the burial site, which was covered by snow and blocked by drifts 15 to 20 feet deep.
"On 30 Sept. 1948 the U.S. Navy ceased further efforts to recover the remains," a report said, "and recommended that all seven men aboard . . . be declared non-recoverable."
After Ian Jones rediscovered the site in 2001, the military mounted another recovery mission. In 2003, a team of forensic anthropologists landed on Kiska and scaled the volcano.
The recovery lasted nearly two weeks as the crew worked in dense fog that at one point stranded the team on the volcano for three days.
Still, anthropologists scoured the area, carefully removing human remains and personal items, cataloging the site with detached precision.
"Metal whistle," the report reads, "pocketknife . . . glove, winter flying . . . mercury dime . . . bottle opener/corkscrew . . . toothbrush . . ."
Near the rock cairn that marked the mass grave, the recovery team found a splintered plank of wood with all that remained of the epitaph:
". . . AIRMEN."
Internet queries find family
The Tablets of the Missing war memorial in Honolulu is inscribed with thousands of names of troops lost in the Pacific. Since the late 1940s, Robert Keller and his fellow crewmen have been included among them.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is on the same island as the Tablets of the Missing memorial.
Inside forensics laboratories, investigators are dedicated to shortening the list.
"We're working cold cases that go back to the War of 1812 and the Civil War," said spokesperson Maj. Rumi Nielson-Green, who noted that more than 78,000 service members from World War II remain missing.
"We promised we wouldn't leave a comrade behind," she said, "and we're going to stick to that promise."
When the remains of the Kiska crash arrived in Hawaii, forensic teams analyzed bones and teeth and sampled DNA. They reconstructed skeletons and compiled lengthy reports.
In Keller's case, dental records, along with historical evidence of his part in the crew were enough for a positive identification.
Then, in 2005, the search began for surviving family members - a search that is often as intricate as the forensics investigation. In Keller's case, a search of next-of-kin turned up empty, even though the Navy Ensign had already been immortalized in Naval history.
In 1944, the military had commissioned a destroyer escort in his name. The U.S.S. Robert F. Keller aided in the last stages of the war, including the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and then served through the next two decades.
It was scrapped in 1972 - and by then, the Navy had long since lost contact with the Keller family.
Navy casualty officers eventually turned to the Internet, posting queries on genealogy databases and group forums - one of which was the Collector's Newsletter (tias.com), an antique and collectibles site that often matches people with lost family heirlooms.
In early 2005, several readers at the site saw the posting and led the casualty officers to a home in Denver.
Return to Denver
When the second call came, Eleanor Keller remained wary.
She wasn't sure if she wanted to know any more.
"After my mother passed away, I sat down one day and was cleaning out the desk. I found a bunch of his letters that he had written during the war," she said. "When I read the letters, I don't remember ever crying so hard - I don't remember ever crying like that in my life. I read them all. And then I threw them away. I never wanted to go through that pain again. Ever."
She worried that the phone call would open the door to the pain.
"But now I'm glad," she said. "I'm really glad."
After scheduling a meeting that included her nephews (to ensure it wasn't a hoax, she said), casualty assistance calls officers presented her with the full account of the forensic investigation, including graphic pictures of bones, teeth, and pictures from the crash site.
She's impressed by the thoroughness of the report, she said, but at this point, she's simply ready to bring her brother home.
"He always wanted to return to Denver," she said.
This month, the Navy conducted a formal service at Arlington National Cemetery for burial of the remains of crew members that couldn't be individually identified.
She couldn't make the long trip to Virginia, so she sent the nephew who carries her brother's name, John Robert Keller of Aurora.
Now she's looking forward to the next funeral, at 10 a.m. on June 21, when Robert Keller's remains will be buried with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
After years of wondering, she said, she had forced herself not to think about her brother's gravesite. Now she can't wait to see it.
"Once upon a time, every day I thought about him," she said.
"Then there comes a time when - it's not that you love them any less - but you just start to think of other things."
Inside her home, she looked at the thick forensic investigation book, then at her brother's photo album that is only half-filled.
"Now I do think of him again," she said.
Back to Kiska
In the five years since he spotted the plane on Kiska Island, Ian Jones has continued to wonder about the lives that ended on the side of the volcano.
He'll always remember the first time he saw the ragged wing and looked in the cockpit, he said. But among all the twisted metal, among the propellers in the wreckage, he's most shaken by the image of a single comb.
"It made me think, 'Here are young men, maybe 20 years old, who had all of their life ahead of them, even their vanity, that even though they were stuck out in the middle of nowhere, they were combing their hair,' " he said.
"Then it was suddenly gone for all of them, all those brave guys."
Earlier this month, Jones set off on another summer-long research trip in the Aleutians.
By Memorial Day, he should be back on the islands.
When he returns to Kiska, he said, there's one place where he promises to pause.
"I'm not a religious or spiritual person, but I can look up at that spot (of the crash), and it holds a special significance. It's a harsh place, and it's often covered in clouds and fog, but sometimes a clear spot breaks out for five or 10 minutes," he said.
"It's really spectacular, and then it disappears again."
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (5-27-06)
Declaring himself to be ''an old-fashioned historian'', Professor Reynolds said postmodernism had provided an interesting take on the language of history but ''it just goes round and round, with lots of lights and colours and doesn't get you anywhere''.
''I think the postmodernist movement has gone,'' he told a session of the Sydney Writers Festival. ''We live in profoundly different times to 1980. We live in some ways in a terrifying world where old-fashioned history and truth continue to have their great value and virtue.''
During a discussion with fellow historian Ross Fitzgerald, Professor Reynolds said he believed history had a purpose, which was to search for the truth.
''Truth is important. It always has to be partial, it always has to be as I see it, but that is what we have to search for,'' he said.
After the session, Professor Reynolds said that school history courses were tending to preach rather than teach, which was inappropriate.
''History can teach us to understand and empathise and sympathise with people who are different from us, either because they're (from) different cultures or of a different era,'' he said.
''If that also makes us more understanding and tolerant, I think that's a splendid thing.''
But courses such as the NSW modern history syllabus were ''too prescriptive'' for attempting to go beyond fostering an appreciation of different cultures and traditions.
The syllabus said students will ''display a readiness to counter disadvantage and change racist, sexist and other discriminatory practices''.
''That's probably too prescriptive,'' Professor Reynolds said.
''It's not the central point of history, which is explaining things so people understand why others behaved the way they did.
''You have to have confidence in your students. They have to make up their own minds ... otherwise it's just propaganda. It's wrong to preach at them.
''I always tell my students, 'I will tell you what I think happened but you've got to make up your own mind'.''
In Western Australia, the draft history exam for the new course to be introduced next year contains little examination of historical events.
Rather, it requires students to analyse primary historical sources, comparing messages in the sources, identifying opinion and fact, and the nature of bias or prejudice.
Professor Reynolds said he had no problem with such questions as long as the students knew enough facts to make sense of the interpretations.
''As a general principle, I think for students to make sense of history, they have to have a good factual foundation,'' he said.
''Only then can they make sense of all assessments and interpretations.''
Indicative of the direction of history teaching in schools is a question asking ancient history students whether the raiding of the pyramids was analogous to sending Aboriginal artefacts, including human remains, overseas. Australia's leading Egyptologist, Naguib Kanawati of Macquarie University, said there were no similarities, saying Aboriginal culture was an existing culture with links to the artefacts.
''But an Egyptian mummy is just a mummy. It should be treated as a human being, with respect, but no modern Egyptian has a spirtual link to it,'' he said.
The other important difference was that Egyptian artefacts had left the country with the permission of the government.
Professor Kanawati said the issue of respecting cultural artefacts was an important ethical consideration that should be part of a course preamble.
But the study of the pyramids was not about their looting but about the magnificence of the structure and the achievement of ancient man.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (5-27-06)
Hughes has written the first scholarly book about the mythical Helen, whose abduction by Paris caused the 10-year Trojan war. She will tell the festival that historians from Plutarch onwards have ignored Helen as a serious figure, preferring to reduce her to an object of sexual obsession. "She walks through history for 28 centuries holding up a mirror to the way men think of women."
Though Homer's account of Helen in the Iliad and the Odyssey is largely positive, said Hughes, by the 5th century BC she was already seen to embody dangerous female sexuality.
The dramatist Euripides called her a "bitch whore". A medieval writer called Joseph of Exeter wrote a condemnatory, but virtually pornographic epic about her in 1184, in which she "robs Paris of his semen". In Shakespeare's Lucrece she is a "strumpet", in Marlowe she "sucks forth my soul".
The Pre-Raphaelites made her an airhead, and in the 2004 film Troy she is "simpering, vacuous, empty and wishy-washy", according to Hughes. "Even Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad (from which the author reads tonight at Hay) makes her a brainless bitch, though at least she's got a character." According to Hughes, Homer's account points to a real historical background of powerful noblewomen in the Mycenean period, 500 years before he composed his poems at the start of the 7th century BC and passed on through oral tradition.
For example, in the Odyssey, Helen mixes a drug for the Greek veterans to make them forget painful memories of war. In the past 18 months, archeologists have found an "extraordinary percentage of opiates", according to Hughes, in vast dishes found on bronze age sites in Greece. That and other evidence suggest Helen's drug preparation in Homer could be a "500-year-old memory of a real Queen of Sparta".
She added: "I haven't found Helen of Troy, but this is the first time that anyone has realised that she exists beyond a multilayered fantasy object . . . She relates to late-bronze age aristocratic women, who were in charge of much of palace society in the eastern Mediterranean and mainland Greece." In addition, Helen became important as a semi-divine figure. "From 600BC to AD 400 she was worshipped ardently as a quasi goddess," according to Hughes.
Adolescent girls venerated her in order to capture Helen's sexual power, singing homoerotic hymns describing each other's golden hair and delicate ankles. "This aspect of Helen has been completely ignored. People have wanted to keep her as a pretty-pretty, chocolate-box girl, instead of a fear-inspiring, venerated cult figure."
The Guardian Hay festival, dubbed "the Woodstock of the mind" by Bill Clinton, takes place in a town where books outnumber people 1,000 to one. This year, it occupies its biggest ever site, at 20 acres, compared with 13 acres in 2005. According to festival director Peter Florence, box office takings are up 25% on last year, with tickets for sold-out events doing a brisk black-market trade on eBay.
Those for Seamus Heaney were yesterday selling for £250 on the site, proving hotter than last night's PJ Harvey concert (£150), and former US vice president Al Gore (£65), who sweeps in to town on Monday to talk about climate change.
This year, said Mr Florence, the festival sees "a new generation of writers stepping up, successors to the great generation of Barnes, Rushdie, Amis and McEwan. They are people like Sarah Wa ters, Zadie Smith, Ali Smith, Monica Ali and Julie Myerson. These are the new superstars, and they are all women. Women are absolutely dominant at this year's festival." The festival also sees appearances from figures as diverse as Moazzem Begg, DBC Pierre, Princess Michael of Kent and Slavoj Zizek.
Alleviating fears that wet weather might cause the festival to descend into a Glastonbury-esque mudbath, Mr Florence pointed out that "very reasonably priced wellington boots are available for sale. . . the dress code this year is very much tea-dresses and wellies."
Name of source: Sam Roberts in the NYT
SOURCE: Sam Roberts in the NYT (5-25-06)
According to an official account, they came ashore "never to leave." Except for one thing. By the end of the 17th century, after creating a legacy that included slavery and profiteering from tobacco, the Jamestown settlement had all but vanished. Jamestown, Va.'s permanent population today? Two — an archaeologist and his wife.
Jamestown has been billed as the nation's birthplace, the first permanent English colony, and has already begun an extended celebration of the site of America's 400th anniversary.
While plenty of other locations stake a claim, some New Yorkers maintain that if any place deserves to be known as the nation's birthplace, it is New York, population 8.2 million. And a real birthday is almost here.
Perhaps it slipped your mind, but 2009 is the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Hudson up the river that would within a few years bear his name. It's also 400 years since Champlain sailed down his lake upstate. The 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton's inaugural steamboat voyage up the Hudson in 1807 is also being marked in 2009.
Name of source: frontpagemag.com
SOURCE: frontpagemag.com (5-26-06)
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists
"The Office of the Vice President (OVP), the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), and the Homeland Security Council
(HSC) failed to report their data to ISOO this year," the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) noted in its new 2005 Annual Report to the President (at page 9, footnote 1).
The Office of the Vice President has declined to report such data since 2002. Yet it is clear that disclosure is not optional.
"Each agency that creates or handles classified information shall report annually to the Director of ISOO statistics related to its security classification program," according to ISOO Directive 1 (at section
This and other ISOO directives "shall be binding upon the agencies,"
President Bush wrote in Executive Order 13292 (section 5.1). And an "agency" is not only a statutorily defined executive branch agency, but also includes "any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information."
Despite this straightforward language, a spokeswoman for Vice President Cheney told the Chicago Tribune in April that his Office is "not under any duty" to provide the required information.
On prior refusals by the Vice President to disclose classification and declassification data, see "Cheney exempts his own office from reporting on classified material" by Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, April 29, 2006:
Historically, the OVP has "not reported quantitatively significant data," according to ISOO. So the Vice President's current defiance of the executive order does not greatly distort the overall presentation of classification activity.
But it signals an unhealthy contempt for presidential authority and undermines the integrity of classification oversight.
Total classification activity (including "original" and "derivative"
classification) dropped from the record high 2004 level of 15.6 million classification actions to 14.2 million, almost identical to the 2003 level.
"ISOO views the decrease reported in classification, particularly after three years of rising numbers, as a positive step," ISOO Director William Leonard reported to the President.
Declassification increased during FY 2005 by 4 percent to 29.5 million pages.
While the data reported by ISOO each year serve as a useful benchmark, the ISOO methodology for collecting and reporting data is rudimentary and not very illuminating. For example, the annual report provides no way to assess overclassification.
During the period covered by the latest annual report, the 9/11 Commission determined that the amount of the annual intelligence budget was improperly classified and should be disclosed. But House Republicans and the White House blocked declassification (the Senate favored it) and the budget figure remained classified despite an expert bipartisan consensus in favor of disclosure.
But the reality of overclassification is not reflected in the ISOO data.
There is no mechanism for determining just what fraction of classification actions are, like intelligence budget secrecy, illegitimate.
Still, the ISOO annual report provides an occasion to reflect on larger trends in classification and declassification.
"A responsible security classification system and a committed declassification program are the cornerstones of an open and efficient government that serves to protect and inform its citizens," Mr. Leonard wrote.
The 2005 ISOO annual report also presents useful information on individual agency performance and related topics such as the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, the Public Interest Declassification Board, industrial security, and more. See:
In an extraordinary act of public outreach, the Information Security Oversight Office will hold a free public workshop on June 30 on the use of mandatory declassification review as a tool for researchers. See:
ISOO is also offering interested members of the public a DVD recording of an October 2005 Symposium on classification policy that was held to mark the 10th anniversary of executive order 12958. See:
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (5-26-06)
Published on-line in the Digital National Security Archive (ProQuest) as well in print-microfiche form, the 28,000-page collection is the result of a seven-year effort by the National Security Archive to collect every memcon that could be found through archival research and declassification requests. According to Kissinger biographer and president of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson, "Henry Kissinger's memos of conversation are an amazing, fascinating, and absolutely indispensable resource for understanding his years in power." Nearly word-for-word records of the meetings, the memcons place the reader in the room with Kissinger and world leaders, and future leaders, including Mao Zedong, Anwar Sadat, Leonid Brezhnev, Georges Pompidou, Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Donald Rumsfeld, and George H.W. Bush.
The memcons show Kissinger at work from 1969 to early 1977 as policymaker, negotiator, and presidential adviser. They show him pursuing détente with the Soviet Union, rapprochement with China, strong ties with Europe and Japan, stability in the Middle East, and, most important, a diplomatic resolution to the Vietnam War. The near-verbatim transcripts vividly show Kissinger's style as negotiator, his use of flattery and humor, his outbursts, and his musings on U.S. interests and the use of power. They show Kissinger in the early days of the Nixon administration as his influence was growing as presidential adviser, at the height of power when he served simultaneously as Secretary of State and national security adviser, and later after President Ford fired him from his White House post. The documents are equally revealing of Kissinger's numerous interlocutors.