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Taking Inventory
Old story, New Reflection
March 12, 2006

On August 12, 2002, I was alerted to the following news release. My reaction at the time was one of shock and some doubt as to its authenticity. What followed after the reading of it was also very perplexing. And now, years later, and in the context of events that have transpired subsequent to that day – especially the so-called Patriot Act, wire taps, etc. - it seems to be the time to again share the newswire, as well as the subsequent experiences.
The following is the word for word release:

Bush OK's Summary Executions Of Some Designated As Terrorists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a surprise move sure to raise outcries from foreign governments, civil liberties groups and others, The White House today announced with little fanfare that effective immediately, certain individuals whom President Bush or other high-level Administration members have designated as terrorists are subject to summary execution by either Homeland Security operatives, U.S. intelligence operatives, and in some cases by U.S. military personnel.

The presidential directive applies to both U.S. and foreign citizens, both within and outside the United States territory.

The White House gave notice of the new policy in as quiet a way as possible, making the announcement late Sunday evening from Crawford, Texas. The unprecedented move is thought certain to generate a firestorm of protest from numerous quarters.

Citing national security considerations, Bush Administration spokespersons have declined to comment on the new directive. In light of the President's slippage in recent opinion polls, many political analysts believe the Administration will avoid making any further public references to what is sure to be a very contentious and unpopular decision.

> http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters200200811_493.html>

On that August day, I had just been to the Jeff Rense site. I had read or skimmed all of the posted articles listed that I found of interest. I surfed on to my favorite international news sources and began the process of finding out what was going on in the world.

I had been reading international news sources for about 10 minutes when my mailbox signaled that mail had arrived. I clicked my way to the email and opened the newly arrived document. It was from an Internet acquaintance with whom I communicated and exchanged links of common interest. This newly arrived email contained a link back to an article on Rense's site. I assumed that I had probably read the story because I had just been there. But, to be sure, I clicked the link. No, I had not read it. It was a Reuters release, but had an address located on the ABC news web site. I checked the article listing of the Rense sight and found it to be at the top of the list. Indeed, it had just been added within the 10 minutes or so since I had left.

As mentioned, and as you can readily understand, I was shocked. The title of the article, “Bush OK’s Summary Executions Of Some Designated As Terrorists,” was enough to grab my attention and center my focus. The content of this news release was earthshaking and very disturbing.

Immediately, I wanted to verify the story because it was (almost) unbelievable. Although the specific net address for the article on the ABC sight was given, no specific address for the article on the Reuters' sight was listed. Wanting to get as close to the original source as possible, I went directly to the Reuters sight to search for it. It wasn’t there.

I returned to the Rense sight, and used the link to ABC. The address was there - the page had been created. But the page address now contained the following: "Sorry .. This content is not available. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Soon thereafter, even the title was removed from the articles list on the Rense site.

I emailed the Rense web master about the disappearance of the story and asked if it was a false story, or was it a matter of Big Brother knocking at the door. Within an hour or so a reply was received saying they were "looking into it." That was the last communication received from the web master.

As near as I can figure, that article was released by Reuters, posted by ABC, picked up by Rense, and then gone within a very short period of time. I estimate that it was on Rense's site less than 45 minutes. Given that ABC had created the page for the item, and the notification that was now on the specific page address, it had been there. Obviously, it had been on the Rense sight because that's where I read it.

Neither the person who had alerted me to the story, or myself, had saved a copy of this disturbing news release. I was dumbfounded and more than a little puzzled by the whole sequence of events.

Then, less than a week later, I received a link to a story written by Edgar J. Steele. In his article, he referred to this same story. I quickly emailed Mr. Steele and asked him if he had a copy of the August 12, 2002 release. I soon received a copy of it from him with the comment, "The following article was put on the net at the two sites listed below and were stripped the same day. Luckily someone saw it before it was removed and posted it on another discussion group." Actually, both of the addresses are the same. One is a link to the original story at http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters200200811_493.html

I have contemplated the surrounding elements of this event for some time. Was it false? Was it accidentally released? Was it a release for the testing of political waters? Was it an indication that there is, indeed, a degree of censorship being employed in the name of National Security? Is the press sometimes made privy to information from the administration (state) that it is not allowed to divulge - if so, is not the press, or elements within it, simply an extension of the government. Doesn't the "news" then become propaganda in varying shades of gray?

Given the content of the story, it was difficult to give more than dubious merit to this release at the time. It seemed far to radical and straight away at odds with the constitution and the values we have struggled to maintain. It was just too akin to something you would hear from a dictatorship in a third world country, or read about some historical fascist state.

Today, however, in light of the changes and activities of this administration, the news release takes on a very different demeanor. Given the newly established, constitution trashing Patriot Act II, wire taping scandals, torture prisons, the building of “containment facilities” inside the U.S. boarder, the use of color coded fear to win elections, government agencies spying on US citizenry – even the library books checked out, terrorist and no-fly lists, the training of mailmen to look for devious behavior, etc. etc. etc – that news release doesn’t appear that outlandish.

If I were to read that news release today, I would not be as shocked as I was on August 12, 2002. Disturbed? Yes. Surprised? No.

In fact, I suspect …. I will predict …. That this news will be released again. But next time, it will not quickly disappear.

The times, they are a change'n…. quickly


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