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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: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-16-08)
He loved the view from his 60 acre estate on Black Down, near Haslemere in Surrey, which looks out at the Sussex Weald and Downs and stretches to the English Channel, 40 miles away.
In his poem Prologue, To General Hamley, Tennyson wrote: "You came, and looked and loved the view, Long-known and loved by me, Green Sussex fading into blue, With one gray glimpse of sea."
Built in 1869 by Sir John Knowles on the site of an old smugglers' inn, Aldworth House is a Grade One listed French-style Gothic house, made from sandstone.
When it was built, the house included the modern luxury of piped hot water and Tennyson used to enjoy at least three baths a day.
He loved the private setting and stayed clear of the local inhabitants, inviting literary friends such as George Eliot and Henry James to stay when he desired company.
Tennyson died at Aldworth in 1892 and was found holding a book of Shakespeare in his hand.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-16-08)
Such was the speed of the crash that it buried both plane and pilot 20 feet beneath the leafy carpet covering the floor of Daniel's Wood, near Maidstone.
The wreckage and remains would have lain where they fell, hidden in dense forest for ever, before a desperate plea from his mother Grace led a team to find the missing hero's body in 1976.
Now the full story of his heroic death 68 years ago to be revealed in a modern-day auction room.
A photograph of Sgt Egan standing proudly beside his Hurricane, the ill-fated fighter's identification plate, the remains of a charred notebook and a solitary shirt button recovered from the crash site are due to go under the hammer.
The items are expected to fetch between £400 and £600 at Dreweatts Donnington Priory saleroom, near Newbury, Berks on November 19. Malcolm Claridge, the auctioneer, said: "We are expecting a lot of interest from Battle of Britain collectors, especially as this year is the RAF's 90th anniversary.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-15-08)
Mr Scheungraber denies the charges, but he will have to face testimony from a survivor of the massacre, a 79-year-old former Carabinieri officer, who was a 15 year-old boy on June 27 1944.
That was the date that German soldiers from Mountain Infantry Battalion 818 set out on a reprisal operation after two of their number had been killed by partisans.
When the trial opens in Munich on Monday prosecutors charge that, led by Scheungraber, the German soldiers began their revenge attacks by shooting three farmhands and a local woman, Maria Bistarelli Casucci, aged 74, who crossed their path after the Partisan attack.
But they hope to prove that the attack did not stop there. Instead, the unit rounded up 12 local men, aged from 15 to 74. One of the men, a German speaker, was released, but the others were lined up against a wall of a local farmhouse.
"I was wearing shorts and remember the grass scratching my legs," said the survivor, only identified as Gino W. "I was sure that we were going to be shot."
According to Gino W however, new orders were given at the last minute for the 11 to be driven to a farmhouse, locked inside, and blown to pieces.
"The Germans pushed us into the ground floor, a kind of stall. I pushed myself into a corner, the others lay on the ground. Through the door frame I saw the Germans bringing up heavy boxes and heard someone running down the stairs. After the explosion I remember nothing." Later that day, the 15-year-old was pulled from the rubble by villagers. He was the only survivor.
The killings were later marked by a memorial, but no judicial action was taken against the suspected perpetrators until 2006, when a court in Italy convicted Josef Scheungraber and another soldier of murder.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-12-08)
This could see her looked after and run by a private firm or a charity to save cash, options which critics said would be a "tragedy".
The MoD said that increasing budgetary pressures meant it must review Victory's future like any other ship but insisted it would remain part of the Royal Navy.
But a former Commanding Officer of Victory and ex-First Sea Lord said handing the oldest commissioned warship in the world to a private company would "turn it into Disneyland" and make a mockery of Britain's naval heritage.
Victory, which was built between 1759 and 1765 and is best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, sits in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hants.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (9-16-08)
It's all down to the wet weather encouraging algae, lichen and grass to grow in the chalk trenches of his outline.
But couples wanting to test the fertility legends need not worry - a team of National Trust volunteers is at hand.
It's said that women who sit on the giant will soon become pregnant and women who sleep next to him will have many children. The question is, who would want to?
"People who want children will try anything and it's always worth a go on the giant," says Nancy Grace, archaeologist and Giant expert.
"They may try anything but this is a really steep hill. It's hard enough walking up and trying to sit down, let alone have a good night's sleep."
As for sitting on the giant - well if the legend proves correct - there'll be one big baby boom within the National Trust offices over the next 012 months.
No-one's quite sure how this giant came to be naked and armed with a huge club, guarding the villagers of Cerne Abbas.
Some believe he's an ancient god and 1,500 years old. More plausible is that it was created by landowner Lord Denzil Holles back in the 17th Century as a protest against Oliver Cromwell. There certainly are no records before this time.
"It's all a bit of a mystery," admits Nancy Grace. She's been delving through archives, tracing the giant's history back and reaches 1694 - the first written record.
SOURCE: BBC (9-16-08)
Yorkshire landowner Sir Mark Sykes died in France in 1919 from Spanish flu.
Sir Mark was buried in a lead coffin which scientists hope may have helped preserve the virus.
They believe his remains will help piece together the DNA of Spanish flu, which could have a similar genetic structure to modern bird flu.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (9-15-08)
General Rasim Delic was sentenced to three years in prison for responsibility for Islamic volunteers under his command who abused captured Bosnian Serbs in the summer of 1995.
SOURCE: AP (9-12-08)
It's known simply as The Great Storm of 1900, and it was the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States.
At least 6,000 people on the 30-mile-long by 3-mile wide strip of sand along the southeast Texas coastline were killed — one-sixth of the city's population. Another 10,000 were left homeless. More than 3,600 buildings were destroyed by a 16-foot storm surge fueled by 150 mph winds.
Bonnie Rice, 74, a retired caterer, was born on Galveston Island and has lived there all her life.
"My grandmother's family went in two boats to safety — one made it, the other didn't," she said Friday."My grandfather's family lived down the island and they tied themselves down to two trees. One blew away, the other didn't.
"So yes, this does make me think of it. I'm just in awe of God's nature. He can do such powerful things."
The graves and tombs spanned an 800-year period from the fourth century BC to Roman times in the fourth century AD.
The finds range from humble pits and altar tombs of stone to marble sarcophagi, the ministry said.
"He's the biggest celebrity in the world," a female narrator warns in breathless tones for a McCain ad, "but is he ready to lead?" Chants of "O-bama! O-bama!" form a mischievous backtrack to fleeting images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — one a troubled singer and the other a socialite who is famous for, well, being famous.
What McCain and his image-makers don't bother to tell us is that all serious presidential candidates are celebrities....
"People want to find candidates appealing and find some qualities where they're like me or they're better than me," says Victoria Ott, a historian at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama who studies the pre-Civil War era.
She points to Andrew Jackson, the self-styled populist who called himself "Old Hickory" and touted his war record. His allies cast rival John Quincy Adams as an elitist with the slogan, "Vote for Andrew Jackson, who can fight. Not for John Quincy Adams, who can write."
Nearly 180 years later, the celebrity machine is churning out the same pablum, albeit electronically and instantaneously. Now it's Vietnam POW John McCain who can fight and best-selling author Barack Obama who can write.
Abraham Lincoln edited his speeches before sending them off to newspapers, and his image-makers marched into a convention hall with two fence rails placarded, "Abraham Lincoln, The Rail Candidate for President in 1860."
A celebrity was born, later to be deified upon his assassination and now celebrated daily at the Disney-influenced Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois.
In the 19th century, three developments fueled the celebrification of politics: a new form of communications (the telegraph), the proliferation of a largely partisan and affordable medium (newspapers) and the democratization of the electoral process that gave more people the vote. The same dynamics are driving the culture of celebrity today, though with different platforms: the Internet, blogs and Obama's drive to swell voter registration rolls with young voters.
Teddy Roosevelt, the rugged outdoorsman. John F. Kennedy, the dashing war hero. Ronald Reagan, the morning-in-America optimist. No less than Kennedy's "Rat Pack," these presidents were celebrities.
"What we're looking for in any celebrity is the marvel of discovery," says Jim Broussard, a historian at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. "A movie star is a celebrity because we see them in movies and we think they're great. I want to be him or like him. Obama's celebrity comes from the fact that a lot of people are hungry for something and all of a sudden they find it and say, 'This is terrific.'"...
The Richmond museum and the town of Appomattox are eying a 4-acre site near the intersection of Route 24 and U.S. Route 460. The town has secured the right to purchase and finance the future site, which then would be leased to the museum.
SOURCE: AP (9-12-08)
Like hundreds of Muslims who visit Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage in nearby Mecca, the Iranians had heard the legend that Eve was buried in that spot. The two blue signs inscribed with"The Graveyard of our mother Eve" flanking the cemetery entrance appeared to add credibility to a story passed on by generations of Saudis but never scientifically proven.
"We hear this is the tomb of Eve," said Minoo Ghadimkhani, 45."That is why we want to go in."
There is no archaeological evidence old enough to authenticate the story of Eve's burial in Jiddah, according to many Bible experts. But that hasn't kept the legend from persisting.
Name of source: Politifact.com (St. Petersburg Times)
SOURCE: Politifact.com (St. Petersburg Times) (9-11-08)
The questioner was ABC News' Charles Gibson. Gibson asked her, "You said recently in your old church, 'Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.' Are we fighting a Holy War?"
Palin: "That's a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words, when he said, first he suggested, never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words, but what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was, let us not pray that God is on our side, in a war, or any other time. But let us pray that we are on God's side. That's what that comment was all about, Charlie."
Gibson then followed up: "But you went on and said, 'There is a plan, and it is God's plan.'"
Here's the rest of their exchange:
Palin: "I believe that there is a plan for this world, and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country, to be able to live and be protected within inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie. And I believe those are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That in my worldview is the grand plan."
Gibson: "Then, are you sending your son on a task from God?"
Palin: "I don't know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision. What he decided to do, in serving for the right reasons in serving something greater than self, and not choosing a real easy path, where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer."
We decided to compare Palin's words and Lincoln's words side-by-side to see if Palin's words were a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's.
Palin made the original comments in June 2007 to the Wasilla Assembly of God. Her visit there had been videotaped and posted to the church's Web site. The video has since been removed, but copies are available on the Internet.
In the video, Palin is speaking informally to a group of students, talking about her family and discussing current events. She offers quotes from the Bible at times, and also makes enthusiastic, casual comments, at one point joking that the students are "a cool-looking bunch of Christians."
"My oldest, my son Track, is a soldier in the United States Army now. ... Pray for our military. He's going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan."
We think it's important to note that Palin is asking the audience to "pray for" military men and women, and that national leaders are sending troops out "on a task that is from God." She even repeats "that's what we have to make sure that we're praying for." Gibson doesn't mention the words "pray for" when he questions her. Praying for something implies that you don't yet have it or that it there is some uncertainty, so it seems logical that Palin is expressing a hope that something is true, not a certainty.
Meanwhile, we tracked down Abraham Lincoln's words on God's will. The original source appears to be a book titled Six Months in the White House with Abraham Lincoln, written by Francis B. Carpenter and published in 1867, not long after Lincoln's death.
The following is from Page 282 of Carpenter's account:
"No nobler reply ever fell from the lips of a ruler, than that uttered by President Lincoln in response to the clergyman who ventured to say, in his presence, that he hoped 'the Lord was on our side.'
"'I am not at all concerned about that,' replied Mr. Lincoln, 'for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side.'"
In fairness, Lincoln's words do seem to express a greater degree of anxiety about being on God's side than Palin's. Lincoln is also rebuking a clergyman's inflated sense of moral piety, while Palin appears to be expressing solidarity with fellow believers. But Gibson's truncation of her comments — omitting the crucial words "pray for" — change the meaning of her comments from a wish to a certainty. Palin's and Lincoln's words are similar in that they both express a hope that a plan meets with God's favor. Granted, some people find any mention of God's will and warfare to be disturbing. But we find similarities between the two sets of comments. We find Palin's statement Mostly True.
Name of source: Press Release--David S. Wyman Foundation
SOURCE: Press Release--David S. Wyman Foundation (9-15-08)
The ICC’s chief prosecutor recently announced plans to seek al-Bashir’s arrest, but the Arab League, African Union, China, and Russia are trying to prevent action against al-Bashir.
“Prosecuting al-Bashir will help stop the Darfur genocide and will send a powerful warning to future would-be killers,” said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which organized the petition. “The governments that are trying to protect al-Bashir should be ashamed of themselves.”
The petition marks the first time that an organized group of Holocaust and genocide scholars is getting involved in the escalating controversy over the attempts to rescue Bashir from prosecution.
The signatories, who come from the United States, Russia, Canada, Israel, England, Germany, and Australia, include the most distinguished figures in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies, many of whom seldom take part in public protests. The 130 signatories include:
* Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, past chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council; and Dr. Michael Berenbaum, former research director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
* Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, longtime associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Dr. Gemma Del Duca, co-director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education.
* Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the watchdog group Genocide Watch; Prof. Henry R. Huttenbach, founder and editor of the Journal of Genocide Research; and Prof. Israel W. Charny , editor of the Encyclopedia of Genocide.
* Prof. David Bankier, head of Yad Vashem’s International Center for Holocaust Studies; Prof. Yehuda Bauer, former director of Yad Vashem’s International Center for Holocaust Studies; and Prof. Zeev Mankowitz, director of Yad Vashem’s Center for the Study of the Aftermath of the Holocaust.
* Dr. Ilya Altman, co-chair of Russia’s Research and Educational Holocaust Center.
The petition also compares the efforts by Bashir’s allies to the position of the U.S. State Department in the 1940s, which advocated prosecuting only a limited number of Nazi war criminals.
The controversy surrounding the State Department’s position on prosecuting Nazi war criminals is discussed in Dr. Medoff’s new book, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. and the Struggle for a U.S. Response to the Holocaust, which was published this week by Purdue University Press.
The complete text of the petition, with all the signatories, follows below.
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Hon. Luis Moreno-Ocampo
International Criminal Court
Dear Mr. Moreno-Ocampo:
As scholars who write or teach about the Holocaust, we strongly support your efforts to prosecute Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur genocide.
We are concerned by recent media reports that the Arab League, the African Union, and the governments of China and Russia, are pressuring you and the International Criminal Court to refrain from indicting al-Bashir, because of their political, economic, and military relationships with the Sudanese regime.
During the years of the Nazi genocide, too, there were those who put politics ahead of justice. The U.S. State Department and the British Foreign Office advocated prosecuting only a limited number of Nazi war criminals, in order to improve prospects for postwar relations with Germany. They were wrong then, and those who are seeking to protect Omar al-Bashir are wrong now.
We urge you to resist pressure from al-Bashir’s allies. Prosecuting genocide is not always popular--but it is necessary to deter future atrocities.
Prof. David S. Wyman
Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. Professor of History (emer.)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Author, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945
Prof. Irving Abella
Shiff Professor of Canadian Jewish History
York University, Toronto
Author, None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948
Prof. Mark J. Allman
Author, Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace and the Christian Tradition
Dr. Ilya Altman
Co-chairman, Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center
Co-editor, The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories
Prof. Alex Alvarez
Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Northern Arizona University
Author, Governments, Citizens, and Genocide
Prof. Shlomo Aronson
Hebrew University and University of Arizona, Tucson
Author, Hitler, the Allies, and the Jews
Prof. Marie L. Baird
Associate Professor of Theology & Director of Graduate Studies
Author, On The Side of the Angels: Ethics and Post-Holocaust Spirituality
Prof. David Bankier
Professor of Holocaust Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Head of International Research Center of Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
Author, Hitler, the Holocaust and German Society
Prof. Omer Bartov
John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and
Professor of German Studies, Brown University
Author, The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath
Dr. Paul R. Bartrop
Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Arts
Deakin University, Australia
Author, Dictionary of Genocide (2 vols)
Prof. Yehuda Bauer
Professor of Holocaust Studies (Emer.), Hebrew University
Academic Adviser, International Center for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
Author, A History of the Holocaust
Recipient of Emmy and CINE Golden Eagle Awards
Producer-Correspondent, The Search for Mengele
Prof. Doron Ben-Atar
Chair, Department of History
Co-author, What Time and Sadness Spared: Mother and Son Confront the Holocaust
Dr. Michael Berenbaum
American Jewish University
Executive Editor, Encyclopedia Judaica
Author, The World Must Know
Prof. Alan L. Berger
Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of Holocaust Studies
Florida Atlantic University
Co-editor, Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature
Prof. Aaron Berman
Dean, Hampshire College
Author, Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism 1933-1948
Chaplain, St. Joseph's Villa
Author, Following the Virgin Mary Through Auschwitz
Dr. Ron Bombardi
Professor of Philosophy
Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Harold Brackman
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Author, "The Holocaust in the Thought of W.E.B. DuBois"
Prof. Christopher R. Browning
Frank Porter Graham Professor of History
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Author, Ordinary Men
Prof. James P. Buchanan
University Professor and Director
The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue
Dr. Daniel Burston
Associate Professor and Chair
Prof. David Cesarani
Research Professor in History
Royal Holloway, University of London
Author, Genocide and Rescue
Prof. Israel W. Charny
Editor, Encyclopedia of Genocide
Executive Director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide
Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Prof. Vivian Grosswald Curran
Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
Author, “The Legalization of Racism in a Constitutional State: Democracy’s Suicide in Vichy France”
Contributor, "Children Who Survived the Final Solution"
Dr. Gemma Del Duca, S.C.
The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
Seton Hill University
Prof. Rebecca I. Denova
Dept. of Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Audrey Doetzel, NDS
Associate Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning
Department of Theology, Boston College
Managing Editor, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
Prof. Doris Donnelly
Director, The Cardinal Suenens Center
John Carroll University
Prof. Deborah Dwork
Rose Professor of Holocaust History
Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Author, Holocaust: A History
Prof. Liba H. Engel
Dept. of Elementary Education, Jewish Studies
Queens College CUNY
Stuart G. Erdheim
Director, They Looked Away
Author, “Could the Allies Have Bombed Auschwitz-Birkenau?”
Prof. Emeritus Henry L. Feingold
Graduate Center and Baruch College of CUNY
Author, Silent No More: Saving the Jews of Russia
Dr. Helen Fein
Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Genocide
Founder and President Emeritus, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Author, Accounting for Genocide
Dr. Eugene J. Fisher
Associate Director (Ret.), Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC
Editor, Catholics Remember the Holocaust
Prof. Allon Gal
Author, David Ben-Gurion and the American Alignment for a Jewish State
Prof. Zev Garber
Professor Emeritus, Jewish Studies, Los Angeles Valley College
Author, Shoah: The Paradigmatic Genocide
Series Editor, Studies in the Shoah
Prof. Jay Geller
Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Culture, Vanderbilt Divinity School
President, Tennesseans Against Genocide
Editor, Postmemories of the Holocaust
Associate Professor of Jewish History
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Prof. Myrna Goldenberg (Emer.)
Montgomery (MD) College
Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor in Holocaust Studies, 2005-206
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Co-Editor, Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis and the Holocaust
Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin
President, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
Editor, Megillat HaShoah
Prof. Henry Gonshak
Professor of English, Montana Tech
Author, "Does ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ Accurately Depict the War Crimes Trials?"
Prof. Gershon Greenberg
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Co-Editor, Wrestling with God: Jewish Theological Responses During and After the Holocaust
Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg
Past Chairman, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Author, Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire: Judaism, Christianity, Modernity After the Holocaust
Dr. Alex Grobman
Author, Rekindling the Flame
Dr. Elvira Groezinger
Freie Universitaet Berlin/ SPME Germany
Author, Die jiddische Kultur im Schatten der Diktaturen
Prof. Wendy C. Hamblet
North Carolina A&T State University
Author, The Sacred Monstrous: Reflections on Violence in Human Communities
Prof. Susannah Heschel
Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Author, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany
Prof. Herb Hirsch
Professor of Political Science
Virginia Commonwealth University
Co-editor, Genocide Studies and Prevention
Author, Genocide and the Politics of Memory
Prof. Ron Hollander
Montclair State University
Contributor, Why Didn't the Press Shout?
Prof. Henry R. Huttenbach
City Colllege of New York
Director, Center for the Study of Ethnopolitics and Ethnonationalism
Founder / Editor, Journal of Genocide Research
Dr. Steven Leonard Jacobs
Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair of Judaic Studies
The University of Alabama
Associate Editor, The Encyclopedia of Genocide (2 vos.)
Auschwitz Memories; Rimalev, The Seventh House
Prof. Marty J. Kalb
Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts/Artist
Ohio Wesleyan University
Dr. Wilda Kaylor
The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
Seton Hill University
Prof. Katharina von Kellenbach
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Author, Mit Blick auf die Täter
Prof. Paul F. Knitter
Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture
Union Theological Seminary
Dr. Neil J. Kressel
William Patterson University
Author, Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror
Prof. Thomas Kühne
Strassler Family Professor in the Study of Holocaust History
Prof. Michael Kuelker
St. Charles Community College
Council Member, St. Louis Holocaust Museum & Learning Center
Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S. J., Ph. D
Coordinator, Hiatt Holocaust Collection
The College of the Holy Cross
Author, The Jesuits and the Third Reich
Dr. Tom Lawson
Lecturer in Modern History, University of Winchester
Editor, Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History
Author, The Church of England and the Holocaust
Prof. Fred A. Lazin
Lynn and Lloyd Hurst Family Professor of Local Government
Chair, Department of Politics & Government, Ben Gurion University
Author, The Struggle for Soviet Jewry in American Politics
Prof. Laurel Leff
Author, Buried by 'The Times': The Holocaust and
America's Most Important Newspaper
Prof. Richard Libowitz
Intellectual Heritage Program
Co-editor, The Genocidal Mind
Prof. Deborah E. Lipstadt
Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
Author, Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust
Prof. Franklin H. Littell
Professor Emeritus. Temple University Dept. of Religion
Professor Emeritus. Richard Stockton College of N.J. School of Graduate Studies
Author, The Crucifixion of the Jews
Prof. Marcia Sachs Littell
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Founding Director, MA Program in Holocaust & Genocide Studies
Editor: Women in the Holocaust: Responses, Insights & Perspectives
Dr. Erich H. Loewy
Professor of Medicine and Founding Chair of Bioethics (emer.)
Associate in Philosophy
University of California, Davis
Prof. Hubert G. Locke
Dean and Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
Author, A Black Christian’s Perspective on the Holocaust
Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein
Kehilath Jeshurun / Ramaz School
Author, Were We Our Brothers' Keepers?
Prof. Ze’ev Mankowitz
Director, Diana Zborowski Center for the Study of the Aftermath of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
Author, Life between Memory and Hope: Survivors of the Holocaust in Occupied Germany
Dr. Elisabeth Maxwell
Honorary President, Remembering for the Future
Honorary Chair, RFTF Online: Survivor Testimony Database
Member, Executive Council, The Dreyfus Society of Human Rights
Dr. Michael McKale
Professor of Philosophical & Religious Studies
Director, Institute for Ethics
Saint Francis University
Dr. Rafael Medoff
Director, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Author, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide
Prof. Robert Melson
Professor Emeritus Purdue University
Cohen-Lasry Distinguished Professor,
Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2006-2008)
Prof. Robert Michael
Professor (Emer.) European History/University of Massachusetts
Graduate Faculty, Florida Gulf Coast University
Author, Holy Hatred
Prof. Joanna B. Michlic
Department of History
Helene and Allen Apter Chair in Holocaust and Ethical Values, Lehigh U.
Author, Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the
Prof. Rochelle L. Millen
Editor, New Perspectives on the Holocaust
Prof. Paul Miller
McDaniel College and the International University of Sarajevo
Executive Producer, They Looked Away
Prof. James F. Moore
Author, Christian Theology after the Shoah
Prof. Stephen H. Norwood
University of Oklahoma
Coeditor, Encyclopedia of American Jewish History
Prof. David Novak
J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies
University of Toronto
Author, The Sanctity of Human Life
Prof. Michael Novak
George Frederick Jewettt Chair in Religion and Public Policy
Director of Social and Political Studies
American Enterprise Institute
Prof. Paul Oppenheimer
City College and Graduate Center, The City University of New Yor
Author, Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior
Prof. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath
The Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies
The University of Texas at Dallas
Author, In the Footsteps of Orpheus: The Times and LIfe of Miklos Radnoti
Prof. Jo Alyson Parker
Chair and Professor of English
Saint Joseph's University
Book Review Editor, KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time
Prof. David Patterson
Bornblum Chair in Judaic Studies
The University of Memphis
Author, Open Wounds
Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D
Professor of Social Ethics
Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program
Catholic Theological Union
Prof. Monty Noam Penkower
Professor Emeritus of Jewish History
Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
Author, The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust
Dr. Susan Lee Pentlin
University of Central Missouri
Editor, Mary Berg’s Diary: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto
Prof. Eunice G. Pollack
University of North Texas
Coeditor, Encyclopedia of American Jewish History
Dr. Allen Podet
Professor, Philosophy and Humanities
State University College at Buffalo, NY
Author, Success and Failure of the Anglo-American Committee
Prof. Elena G. Procario-Foley
Driscoll Professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies
Chair, Religious Studies Department
Prof. Elihu Richter
Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide
Dr. Carol Rittner RSM
Distinguished Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Co-Editor, The Holocaust & the Christian World
Prof. Paul Lawrence Rose
Mitrani Professor of European History, The Pennsylvania State University
Author, Archives of the Holocaust, vol. XIV
Dr. Peter I. Rose
Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology
Editor, The Dispossessed: An Anatomy of Exile
Prof. Thane Rosenbaum
John Whelan Distinguished Lecturer in Law
Director of the Forum on Law, Culture & Society
Fordham University School of Law / Author, The Myth of Moral Justice
Prof. Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Professor of English and Jewish Studies
Author, Imagining Hitler
Prof. John K. Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Founding Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
Claremont McKenna College
Dr. Nancy E. Rupprecht
Professor of History
Chair, Holocaust Studies Committee
Middle Tennessee State University
Author, An Overview of the Holocaust
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel
Remember the Women Institute
Author, The Jewish Women of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp
Dr. Ofer Schiff
Ben Gurion Research Institute
Ben Gurion University
Author, Assimilation in Pride: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust and Zionism
Sr. Lois Sculco
The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
Seton Hill University
Dr. Zohar Segev
Department of Jewish History, Haifa University
Author, From Ethnic Politicians to National Leaders: American Zionist Leadership, the Holocaust and the Establishment of Israel
Prof. Robert Moses Shapiro
Judaic Studies Department
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Translator and Editor, Lodz Ghetto: A History
Dr. Baila Shargel
Author, Female Leadership in the American Jewish Community
Musicologist, Author, Concert Artist
Author: The Undying Flame: Ballads And Songs Of The Holocaust
Prof. Melvin Small
Distinguished Professor of History, Wayne State University
Co-editor, Appeasing Fascism
Prof. Gerald Sorin
American and Jewish Studies
State University of New York, New Paltz
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton
President, Genocide Watch
President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Prof. Leon Stein
Professor of History (emer.)
Roosevelt University, Chicago and Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Ilinois
Dr. Mark Stern
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Prof. Leonard J. Swidler
Editor, Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Prof. Norton S. Taichman
Professor Emeritus of Pathology
University of Pennsylvania
Editor, The Ivansk Project e-Newsletter
Prof. Peter Tarjan
Professor Emeritus, University of Miami
Editor, Children Who Survived The Final Solution
Prof. Samuel Totten
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Co-editor, Genocide in Darfur: Investigating Atrocities in the Sudan
Dr. James E. Waller
Author, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
Prof. Kenneth Waltzer
Professor & Director, Jewish Studies
Michigan State University
Prof. Chaim I. Waxman
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Rutgers University
Senior Fellow, Jewish People Policy Planning Institute
Dr. Racelle R. Weiman
Executive Director, Global Dialogue Institute, Temple University
Founding Director, Center for Holocaust and Humanities Education,
Hebrew Union College
Director, Holocaust Council of MetroWest
Founder, Global Association of Holocaust/Genocide Educators
Prof. Jack B. Winget
Author, Nightmare of Crime
Prof. Victoria Saker Woeste
Research Professor, American Bar Foundation
Contributor, Encyclopedia of Antisemitism, Anti-Jewish Prejudice, and Persecution
Prof. Randall C. Zachman
Professor of Reformation Studies
University of Notre Dame
Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker
Bar Ilan University
Author, In Search of Refuge
(Institutions listed for identification purposes only.)
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (9-14-08)
A burst of ferocity stunned the room into silence. No other word for it: The vice president's attorney was shouting.
"The president doesn't want this!  You are not going to see the opinions. You are out . . . of . . . your . . . lane!"
Five government lawyers had gathered around a small conference table in the Justice Department command center. Four were expected. David S. Addington, counsel to Vice President Cheney, got wind of the meeting and invited himself.
If Addington smelled revolt, he was not far wrong. Unwelcome questions about warrantless domestic surveillance had begun to find their voice.
Cheney and his counsel would struggle for months to quash the legal insurgency. By the time President Bush became aware of it, his No. 2 had stoked dissent into flat-out rebellion. The president would face a dilemma, and the presidency itself a historic test. Cheney would come close to leading them off a cliff, man and office both .
SOURCE: WaPo (9-14-08)
But a visit to this former mining supply post 40 miles north of Anchorage shows the extent to which Palin's mayoralty was also defined by what it did not include. The universe of the mayor of Wasilla is sharply circumscribed even by the standards of small towns, which limited Palin's exposure to issues such as health care, social services, the environment and education.
Firefighting and schools, two of the main elements of local governance, are handled by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the regional government for a huge swath of central Alaska. The state has jurisdiction over social services and environmental regulations such as stormwater management for building projects.
With so many government services in the state subsidized by oil revenue, and with no need to provide for local schools, Wasilla has also made do with a very low property tax rate -- cut altogether by Palin's successor -- sparing it from the tax battles that localities elsewhere must deal with. Instead, the city collects a 2 percent sales tax, the bulk of which is paid by people who live outside town and shop at its big-box stores.
SOURCE: WaPo (9-13-08)
"In what respect, Charlie?" she replied.
Intentionally or not, the Republican vice presidential nominee was on to something. After a brief exchange, Gibson explained that he was referring to the idea -- enshrined in a September 2002 White House strategy document -- that the United States may act militarily to counter a perceived threat emerging in another country. But that is just one version of a purported Bush doctrine advanced over the past eight years.
Peter D. Feaver, who worked on the Bush national security strategy as a staff member on the National Security Council, said he has counted as many as seven distinct Bush doctrines. They include the president's second-term "freedom agenda"; the notion that states that harbor terrorists should be treated no differently than terrorists themselves; the willingness to use a "coalition of the willing" if the United Nations does not address threats; and the one Gibson was talking about -- the doctrine of preemptive war.
"If you were given a quiz, you might guess that one, because it's one that many people associate with the Bush doctrine," said Feaver, now a Duke University professor. "But in fact it's not the only one."
SOURCE: WaPo (9-8-08)
But there is little dispute that the new memorial, which opens to the public Thursday, was built right where it should have been: at the spot where American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the west wall of the Pentagon.
"This is hallowed ground," said James Laychak, whose brother, David Laychak, was killed in the attack.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (9-13-08)
So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.
Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.
SOURCE: NYT (9-10-08)
While Mr. bin Laden’s evolution from opposing Saudi Arabia’s ruling dynasty to running an international terrorist organization has been detailed before, said Flagg Miller, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, who spent five years translating the tapes, the recordings provide a more spontaneous look at Al Qaeda than what is available through the carefully choreographed messages it releases.
“These are back-room conversations of Al Qaeda’s key operatives as well as fresh or potential recruits who are trying to figure out what the heck is going on and what their role in it is,” Mr. Miller said.
SOURCE: NYT (9-14-08)
“If I had known — if we had known that at the time — if President Eisenhower had known it, he might have taken a different view with regard to her,” Nixon, who was Eisenhower’s vice president, is quoted as saying. “In other words, tainted evidence, even though a person is totally guilty, is a reason to get him off.”...
“Now if you look at it coolly, in retrospect, at this point,” Nixon said in a 1983 interview, “certainly we would have preferred that it not be done. But at the time I understand why it was done. And let us understand — Mrs. Rosenberg was guilty. This wasn’t a case of somebody not guilty going to the chair.”
The interview by Frank Gannon, who served in the Nixon White House and helped the former president compile his memoirs, was posted on a Web site, thenewnixon.org, operated by the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation.
SOURCE: NYT (9-11-08)
Until now. In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Sobell, who served nearly 19 years in Alcatraz and other federal prisons, admitted for the first time that he had been a Soviet spy. And he implicated his fellow defendant, Julius Rosenberg, in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets vital classified military information and what the American government claimed was the secret to the atomic bomb.
In the interview, Mr. Sobell, who is 91 and lives in the Bronx, was asked whether as an electrical engineer he turned over military secrets to the Soviets during World War II when they were considered allies of the United States. Was he, in fact, a spy?
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, call it that,” he replied. “I never thought of it as that in those terms.”
SOURCE: NYT (9-12-08)
The decision came after two days of largely negative reaction to the possibility of a deal with Allianz, which insured facilities at Auschwitz and other concentration camps, and which deprived many Jewish customers of the proceeds from their insurance policies.
The New York Times first reported about the talks between Allianz and the teams on Sept. 1 and provided details of the company’s history Wednesday. Mark Lamping, the president of the teams’ joint venture, New Meadowlands Stadium, informed Allianz on Friday morning that the discussions were over.
Lamping said in an interview: “We paid very close attention to what people were saying this week. Whether those opinions were expressed directly to us, or through the media, we paid attention and was one of many factors that went into our decision.”
But he would not say why the teams entered into negotiations with Allianz knowing of its Nazi-era dealings and the potential that people in the New York market, which includes many Jews and Holocaust survivors, might be offended.
NYT: Naming Rights and Historical Wrongs
SOURCE: NYT (9-13-08)
Federal agencies have rushed to embrace the Internet and new information technology, but their record-keeping efforts lag far behind. Moreover, federal investigators have found widespread violations of federal record-keeping requirements.
Many federal officials admit to a haphazard approach to preserving e-mail and other electronic records of their work. Indeed, many say they are unsure what materials they are supposed to preserve.
This confusion is causing alarm among historians, archivists, librarians, Congressional investigators and watchdog groups that want to trace the decision-making process and hold federal officials accountable. With the imminent change in administrations, the concern about lost records has become more acute.
“We expect to see the wholesale disappearance of materials on federal agency Web sites,” said Mary Alice Baish, the Washington representative of the American Association of Law Libraries, whose members are heavy users of government records. “When new officials take office, they have new programs and policies, and they want to make a fresh start.”
Name of source: NYT Editorial written by Adam Cohen
SOURCE: NYT Editorial written by Adam Cohen (9-15-08)
The lawsuit is a case of what legal experts are calling “libel tourism.” Ms. Ehrenfeld is an American, and “Funding Evil” was never published in Britain. But at least 23 copies of the book were sold online, opening the door for the lawsuit. When Ms. Ehrenfeld decided not to defend the suit in Britain, Mr. bin Mahfouz won a default judgment and is now free to sue to collect in the United States.
The upshot is a First Amendment loophole. In the Internet age, almost every American book can be bought in Britain. That means American authors are subject to being sued under British libel law, which in some cases puts the initial burden on the defendant to prove the truth of what she has written. British libel law is so tilted against writers that the United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized it last month for discouraging discussion of important matters of public interest.
Mr. bin Mahfouz, who has denied financing terrorism, said Ms. Ehrenfeld’s book contained inaccuracies and demanded a retraction. He also demanded a significant contribution to a charity of his choice — a charity Ms. Ehrenfeld said she feared would be one with ties to terrorism. Ms. Ehrenfeld, who describes herself as being “in the business of stopping people who fund terrorism,” refused to back down. “I said,” she later recalled, “he’s found the wrong victim.”
Ms. Ehrenfeld rallied prominent champions of free speech to her cause, including the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers and the PEN American Center. She also set to work trying to change American law. The New York State Legislature passed a bill that some are calling “Rachel’s law,” which blocks enforcement of libel judgments from countries that provide less free-speech protection than the United States. Gov. David Paterson signed it on May 1.
A similar, bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress. The federal bill would extend protection to the entire country. It would also allow American authors and publishers to countersue, and if a jury found that the foreign suit was an attempt to suppress protected speech, it could award treble damages. There is little opposition to it — and Congress should pass it before it adjourns later this month....
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (9-15-08)
In a bid to recognise its faults in the run up to next year's 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, the church has launched a series of articles on its website.
An essay by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the church's head of public affairs, called Good Religion Needs Good Science directly addresses Darwin. It concludes: "We try to practise the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends. But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests.
"Good religion needs to work constructively with good science – and I dare to suggest that the opposite may be true as well."
Next year also marks 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species, in which Darwin outlined the theory of natural selection. This anniversary, the church says, presents an opportunity "to look back on the relationship between Darwin, his supporters and the Christian church".
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (9-15-08)
"Twenty years after the end of the GDR, there should be no forgetting and no repressing," reads the draft of the document, which is set to be signed on Monday, Sept. 15.
The 21-page paper will be presented as a motion at the CDU's next party conference in Stuttgart at the beginning of December. It calls for the division of Germany into two states after World War II, the crimes committed by the East German regime and the revolution that culminated with the regime's downfall in 1989 to become mandatory topics covered in history lessons in German schools.
Studies have indicated an alarming lack of knowledge about events in East Germany among German pupils.
The CDU is also calling for the creation of a permanent professorship for research into the GDR at one of Berlin's universities, and additional monuments commemorating the East German population's struggle for freedom in both Berlin and Leipzig.
Name of source: History Today
SOURCE: History Today (9-15-08)
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (9-15-08)
The reels of tape, over 13 hours long, were discovered by the author's grandson in a cardboard box during a spring clean-out at Christie's former home in Torquay.
They date back to the 1960s and are working notes for her autobiography which was published posthumously in 1977.
But the recordings go into far greater detail about some aspects of Christie's life than the finished book, with descriptions of what life was like in wartime Britain, her honeymoon with her second husband and the reason why she would never let her legendary sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple meet...
Unfortunately, the tapes give no insight into one of the most intriguing parts of her life [her mysterious 12-day disappearance in 1926]...
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (9-13-08)
The 85-year-old man, who was once the very symbol of communist repression, faces a possible ten-year jail sentence for “directing a criminal organisation” – a reference to the Military Council that imposed and ran the martial law crackdown of the early 1980s. It is a strange legal device – “the generals are being treated like gangsters”, said the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza– that seemed to be the only way of nailing down the general and seven other top Communist officials, all in their eighties.
For Poland it is a final reckoning with one of the most divisive and emotionally charged events of the Cold War. At its heart is a question that can be only partly answered in a courtroom: was Jaruzelski a Polish patriot or a Soviet puppet?
While onlookers at the Warsaw court struggled to recognise the other defendants – Stanislaw Kania, 81, a former Communist Party leader, and General Florian Siwicki, former head of the General Staff – there was no difficulty in recognising Jaruzelski. He wore the same sinister, dark glasses that he wore to make the television announcement at 7am on Sunday, December 13, 1981. In an almost robotic fashion the general told viewers that the Polish experiment in freedom was over. There was to be a dawn-to-dusk curfew, strikes were banned, the right to association suspended, petrol sales to private cars forbidden – and Solidarity was declared illegal. The reason: Poland “is on the brink of an abyss” – codewords for a Soviet invasion.
A frail but stiff-backed General Wojciech Jaruzelski strode into a Polish courtroom as if on parade yesterday to face trial for using tanks and bayonets to crush the Solidarity revolution in the bleak midwinter of 1981.
SOURCE: Times (UK) (9-13-08)
The unique watch was made in 1930 and presented to Einstein on February 16, 1931, in Los Angeles. Collectors will be able to see the timepiece in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Hong Kong before the item is auctioned on October 16.
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (9-14-08)
Wearing desert fatigues, cap badge pulled down over his left eye, a frown etched on his face, General Richards, second from the right, had just taken control of the Herat Room, the command centre at the heart of Nato's headquarters in Afghanistan.
Most unusually, this historic scene inside the military's main briefing room in Kabul was captured by a painter - British portrait artist Brendan Kelly, who spent more than a year and a half completing the work, which fills a huge 11ft by 5ft canvas.
Last night Mr Kelly said: 'I was commissioned as a war artist to go out to Kabul to paint a large group portrait of all the senior figures running the war in Afghanistan.
'I was always aware of artists who had done war paintings but never thought that one day I might head out to a war zone to do the same.
'It is rare today for a portrait painter to be asked to capture a moment in history. I guess that's normally left to other mediums, like film and TV.
Name of source: Times (of London)
SOURCE: Times (of London) (9-14-08)
The author, whose real name is David Cornwell, wrote his first novel while working for MI6 in 1961. He says he was not attracted to communism –- he was just curious to find out what life was like behind the iron curtain in the 1960s.
His books, including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, portray a world of moral ambiguities.
In an interview in today’s News Review, le Carré says: “When you spy intensively and you get closer and closer to the border... it seems such a small step to jump... and, you know, find out the rest.” Asked if he was genuinely tempted, he said: “Yes, there was a time when I was, yes.”
[John le Carré continues his exploration of the post-Cold War thriller in ``A Most Wanted Man'' (Scribner, Oct. 7)]
Name of source: Contra Costa (Calif.) Times
SOURCE: Contra Costa (Calif.) Times (9-13-08)
For 1858, this was a giant leap in modern communications.
Monday marks the sesquicentennial of the first transcontinental stagecoach mail route, bringing California and the Inland Empire far closer to the rest of the United States.
That San Jose stage stop, later called Spadra, is now part of today's Pomona.
On Sept. 15, 1858, the first eastbound stage of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. left San Francisco for a 25-day trip that took it south through latter-day Pomona, Chino and Corona, east to El Paso, across Texas, and then northeast to St. Louis, the farthest west railroads then had reached.
A day later, the first stage left St. Louis for the West Coast...
In those times, it was a major effort to get word from one coast to the other. It took more than six weeks by clipper ships and mule (across Panama) for word of California's 1850 statehood to arrive in San Francisco.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (9-11-08)
The documents include the grand jury testimony of Ethel Rosenberg’s sister-in-law, Ruth Greenglass, in which she describes writing in her own longhand the information her husband obtained at the Los Alamos nuclear installation, for passing on to Julius Rosenberg and the Soviet Union. Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that ten days before the trial against the Rosenbergs commenced, Ruth and David Greenglass for the first time mentioned that Ethel Rosenberg had typed those notes. At trial, Ruth and David Greenglass testified that Ethel Rosenberg had typed up the information from the Los Alamos nuclear installation. Ruth Greenglass was never herself prosecuted for her role. The lead prosecutor used the Greenglass testimony as the culmination of his closing speech to the jury, saying that Ethel Rosenberg sat at that typewriter and “struck the keys, blow by blow, against her own country in the interests of the Soviets.”
Ronald Radosh, co-author of The Rosenberg File and one of the experts who filed affidavits in the case, commented, “The grand jury documents cast significant doubt on the key prosecution charge used to convict Ethel Rosenberg at the trial and sentence her to death.” Radosh found confirmation for the grand jury version, in contradiction to the trial version, in the VENONA intercepts of Soviet intelligence communications, which describe key information on Los Alamos coming from David Greenglass through Julius Rosenberg in hand-written form in January 1945.
Today’s release includes 940 pages of the Rosenberg grand jury testimony, and 41 of the 45 witnesses who appeared before the grand jury between August 1950 and March 1951.
David Vladeck, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, remarked that today’s release was only the fourth time in history that historical grand jury testimony has been released to the public. Vladeck called the release the “first act in a two-act play,” referring to the still-withheld grand jury testimony from the Brothman-Moskowitz trial, which served as a “tuneup” for the Rosenberg trial.
“It is quite clear that if the trial were held today the government would have had a very difficult time establishing that Ethel Rosenberg was an active participant in this conspiracy and indeed it looks like the key testimony against her was perjured,” commented Vladeck. “It is clear that at some point the government strategy took a dramatic turn. Grand jury testimony reveals that there was a great deal of espionage on conventional munitions but none of that came out at trial. Why not? It may be that the government did not want to reveal the extent to which Rosenberg and other Soviet spy rings had managed to penetrate the U.S. defense establishment. “
Steven Usdin, author of Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley (Yale Univ. Press), commented that there is no question about the guilt of Julius Rosenberg and those associated with him in spying for the Soviet Union, “but the new records suggest that the government committed its own misconduct in the way it prosecuted the Rosenbergs.” In Usdin’s view, the grand jury testimony was also important for what was not there, that is, evidence on the industrial espionage carried out by the group around Julius Rosenberg, which the government apparently did not pursue.
Bruce Craig, professor of History at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada and author of Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case (University of Kansas), remarked that the new evidence raised significant questions about whether the trial was fair, whether the prosecution strategy was improper, and whether the prosecutors manipulated the grand jury.
Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History at George Mason University and co-author of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, cautioned that the real analogy between the Rosenberg trial and today was not so much any similarity between Communists and Islamists, but the “charged atmosphere” to the point of hysteria in which the government reacted in both the early Cold War and post 9/11.
The release of the previously secret transcripts resulted from a successful law suit filed by the National Security Archive and several historical groups and historians almost eight months ago. The National Archives and Records Administration today released transcripts from 41 of 45 witnesses’ appearances before the grand jury between August 1950 and March 1951, providing key insights into the early Cold War period. ...
SOURCE: National Security Archive (9-10-08)
The telephone call transcripts—known as ‘telcons’—include previously-unreported conversations between Kissinger and President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers. Just eight days after Allende's election, Kissinger informed the president that the State Department had recommended an approach to “see what we can work out [with Allende].” Nixon responded by instructing Kissinger: “Don’t let them do it.”
After Nixon spoke directly to Rogers, Kissinger recorded a conversation in which the Secretary of State agreed that “we ought, as you say, to cold-bloodedly decide what to do and then do it,” but warned it should be done “discreetly so that it doesn’t backfire.” Secretary Rogers predicted that “after all we have said about elections, if the first time a Communist wins the U.S. tries to prevent the constitutional process from coming into play we will look very bad.”
The telcons also reveal that just nine weeks before the Chilean military, led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet and supported by the CIA, overthrew the Allende government on September 11, 1973, Nixon called Kissinger on July 4 to say “I think that Chilean guy might have some problems.” “Yes, I think he’s definitely in difficulties,” Kissinger responded. Nixon then blamed CIA director Helms and former U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry for failing to block Allende’s inauguration three years earlier. “They screwed it up,” the President declared.
Although Kissinger never intended the public to know about these conversations, observed Peter Kornbluh, who directs the National Security Archive’s Chile Documentation Project, he “bestowed on history a gift that keeps on giving by secretly taping and transcribing his phone calls.” The transcripts, Kornbluh noted, provide historians with the ability to “eavesdrop on the most candid conversations of the highest and most powerful U.S. officials as they plotted covert intervention against a democratically-elected government.”
Kissinger began secretly taping all his incoming and outgoing phone conversations when he became national security advisor in 1969; his secretaries transcribed the calls from audio tapes that were later destroyed. When Kissinger left office in January 1977, he took more than 30,000 pages of the transcripts, claiming they were “personal papers,” and used them, selectively, to write his memoirs. In 1999, the National Security Archive initiated legal proceedings to force Kissinger to return these records to the U.S. government so they could be subject to the freedom of information act and declassification. At the request of Archive senior analyst William Burr, telcons on foreign policy crises from the early 1970s, including these four previously-unknown conversations on Chile, were recently declassified by the Nixon Presidential library.
On November 30, 2008 the National Security Archive will publish a comprehensive collection of Kissinger telcons in the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA). Comprising 15,502 telcons, this collection documents Kissinger’s conversations with top officials in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including President Richard Nixon; Defense Secretaries Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, and James Schlesinger; Secretary of State William P. Rogers; Ambassador to the U.N. George H.W. Bush; and White House Counselor Donald Rumsfeld; along with noted journalists, ambassadors, and business leaders with close White House ties. Wide-ranging topics discussed in the telcons include détente with Moscow, military actions during the Vietnam War and the negotiations that led to its end, Middle East peace talks, the 1970 crisis in Jordan, U.S. relations with Europe, Japan, and Chile, rapprochement with China, the Cyprus crisis (1974- ), and the unfolding Watergate affair. When combined with the Archive’s previous electronic publication of Kissinger’s memoranda of conversation -- The Kissinger Transcripts: A Verbatim Record of U.S. Diplomacy, 1969-1977 -- users of the DNSA will have access to comprehensive records of Kissinger’s talks with myriad U.S. officials and world leaders. Like the Archive’s earlier publication, the Kissinger telcons will be comprehensively and expertly indexed, providing users with have easy access to the information they seek. The collection also includes 158 White House tapes, some of which dovetail with transcripts of Kissinger’s telephone conversations with Nixon and others. Users of the set will thus be able to read the “telcon” and listen to the tape simultaneously....
Name of source: http://blogs.abcnews.com
SOURCE: http://blogs.abcnews.com (9-11-08)
However Palin was mistaken, at least where recent history is concerned.
Every vice president over the last 30 years had met a foreign head of state before being elected.
"Have you ever met a foreign head of state?" Gibson asked Palin Thursday.
"I have not," Palin said, "and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."
However Palin, who obtained her first passport two years ago, would in fact be the first vice president in 32 years who hadn't met a foreign head of state, if she were elected....
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (9-8-08)
But a new study of Neanderthal skeletons suggests the species grew quickly but reached sexual maturity later than so-called modern humans—and quite possibly survived to a ripe old age.
The study also suggests that Neanderthals had a harder time of child bearing and possibly child raising. As a result, modern humans may have simply outbred their heavy-browed rivals.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (9-12-08)
On Wednesday, the scaled-down Georgian mansion two hours southwest of Washington will be ready for its close-up.
The five-year, $24 million restoration has returned the stately home to the way it appeared during the fourth U.S. president's retirement years. Proponents of the project say it is a fitting tribute to a Founding Father who lacks a national monument, despite being considered the principal author of the Constitution.
SOURCE: USA Today (9-10-08)
Since being selected as John McCain's running mate, Palin has faced questions over discussions she had with Wasilla's librarian in 1996. In recent days, a bogus list of"banned books" has been widely circulated on the Internet.
But on its website, the city of Wasilla posted a statement asserting that no books at the library have ever been banned.
The statement notes that the library has a policy to handle requests to remove books. During a period of more than two decades four books have been challenged by library patrons, including a book in 2005 by television comedian Jon Stewart, America (The Book), according to the city.
Related Commentary & News Links
Despite the whitewashing attempt being made by the Republican Party, it is obvious to me that the allegation stands, that Palin inquired pointedly and repeatedly with the Wasilla librarian about how to remove objectionable books from the library.
"Mary Ellen Emmons was Wasilla's librarian at the time. She told a local newspaper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, in December 1996 that Palin repeatedly had asked her about removing books from the library, but said Palin never mentioned specific titles, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Palin has cast her questions about the library's policy, including at a 1996 City Council meeting, as theoretical. Her critics, including a city resident who attended the meeting, say the questioning was more direct.
"There was no way that I thought it was rhetorical," said Anne Kilkenny, who said she attend ed the meeting where Palin raised the issue but says she did not remember Palin's exact words."
Name of source: International Herald Tribune
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (9-11-08)
On the morning of Jan. 17, 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber returning from a routine Cold War alert mission exploded during airborne refueling, sending its cargo of B28 hydrogen bombs plummeting toward earth. One went into the azure waters of the Mediterranean and three others fell around this poor farming village, about 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, east of Granada.
Seven crew members on the air force planes perished in the fireball, while four parachuted to safety. No one on the ground was killed. The nuclear warheads, many times more powerful than those that fell on Hiroshima, did not go off - exactly....
But the past has resurfaced literally with recent findings of unusually radioactive snails and the confiscation of fresh tracts of land for additional testing and cleanup. Not exactly a selling point for the melons and tomatoes still grown in large-scale, plastic-covered greenhouses nearby, much less a carefree life by the sea.
Name of source: Telegraph
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-12-08)
The original Spitfire MK XVI was completed in late April 1945, just days before the Germans surrendered...
Later it was flown in the 1957 Battle of Britain Memorial flight before being donated to the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1959, where it was displayed for the next 38 years.
Name of source: Spiegel Online
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (8-21-08)
When it was over, Western officers, awkwardly, seemed surprised. Against their will they had to admit the camouflage hiding the march of Warsaw Pact troops into Prague had been "good," and the speed of their divisions "impressive." The way the Kremlin led units out of the western part of the Soviet Union "unnoticed" was also noteworthy. The enemy, in short, had scored a "tactical victory."
This was the verdict on Aug. 27, 1968 from NATO headquarters in Brussels on "Operation Danube" -- the suppression of the legendary Prague Spring. A week earlier, 27 divisions of Soviet Russians, Poles, Hungarians and Bulgarians -- around 300,000 men, armed with 2,000 heavy cannons -- marched into the small state of Czechoslovakia to end the experiment of "socialism with a human face." It was the largest military operation since the World War II, and the West was caught off guard.
For months, the eyes of the world had been on Prague, where a group of officials around Communist Party chief Alexander Dubcek had challenged the Soviets with new civil rights for Czechoslovakia, new press freedoms and plans for privatization. Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the USSR's Communist Party, ordered a number of threatening military maneuvers in and around Czechoslovakia starting in May.
But when the maneuvers grew serious, the American, British and German governments seemed to look the other way, judging by documents from the NATO archive in Brussels as well as intelligence files seen by SPIEGEL. "Not a single evaluation" managed to predict the Soviet invasion of Prague, according to the NATO Military Committee, the alliance's highest military authority.
Name of source: State Journal
SOURCE: State Journal (9-11-08)
For the past four years, a group of Jefferson County residents has been fighting to save an historic battlefield there, said Edward Dunleavy, president of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc.
"It's been difficult for the past four years," he said. "(A developer) bought a 122-acre farm and proposed building 152 houses on it."
The problem as association members see it is that much of the development will be on hallowed ground that was the site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherstown. The battle took place Sept. 19-20 of that year, two days after the Battle of Antietam -- the bloodiest single-day battle in American history with a combined 24,000 killed, wounded or missing.
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (9-11-08)
This week he will take that argument to France, one of Europe's most deeply secular states, which long ago segregated religion from public life.
The strict division between church and state in France began in the French Revolution with a bloody purge of Roman Catholic clergy from the political establishment and reached its pinnacle in 1905 with the expropriation of church property by the state.
To this day, the Vatican accuses France of cutting the pulpit out of public discourse. Vatican officials denounced France's 2004 decision to ban religious symbols, such as Christian crucifixes and Muslim head scarves, from schools and other public spaces. Unlike in Italy and Spain, the Catholic Church, its charities and schools aren't eligible for public funding in France, nor do they receive generous tax breaks, as in the U.S.
French secularism "assumes that religion has no real social dimension, that it must remain private and doesn't have the right to publicly express itself," Bishop Fortunato Baldelli, the Vatican's ambassador for France, says.
During his visit, which begins Friday, Pope Benedict will try to bridge that 200-year-old chasm, seeking common ground between the corridors of the Vatican and the cafes of Paris. The pontiff, a former professor and theologian, is scheduled to go before members of France's highest academic institutions on Friday evening, when[THERE,] he will argue that history has wrongly labeled the Roman Catholic Church as a foe of scientific and rational inquiry, according to Vatican officials.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (9-12-08)
The government said 22 police and nine civilians were injured. An 18-year-old man is in serious condition.
SOURCE: CNN (9-11-08)
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld returned to the Pentagon to help dedicate a memorial to victims of the attack there.
"Today we renew our vows to never forget how this long struggle began and to never forget those who fell first," said Rumsfeld, who despite his high office helped carry the wounded from the burning building seven years ago.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (9-12-08)
Poland's National Remembrance Institute accuses the defendants, now grey-haired elderly men, of violating the law and flouting human rights with the 1981 decision, which led to the deaths of dozens of people and the jailing of hundreds more.
The defendants deny the accusations, saying they acted out of "higher necessity" to silence the anti-communist Solidarity trade union and avert a threatened Soviet invasion of Poland.
Solidarity, led by shipyard electrician and later Nobel Peace Laureate Lech Walesa, played a leading role in overthrowing communism in Poland eight years later.
Jaruzelski has often argued that the imposition of martial law spared Poland the bloody Soviet intervention suffered by Hungary in 1956 and the then-Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (9-11-08)
Sept. 11: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting with a group of Western foreign policy experts in Sochi on Russia's Black Sea.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned the West on Thursday not to instigate an arms race in Europe, Reuters reported.
The Russian leader said there is no basis for a new Cold War, as Russia has no imperialist ambitions.
Putin told a meeting of officials and experts at a forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi that Russia has, "no wish or grounds to encroach on the sovereignty of former Soviet republics."
Putin also said talk of sanctions against Russia goes against the script of the free market, Reuters reported.
"We don't have any ideological differences, no basis for a Cold War," he said. "On the contrary, we have a lot of common problems that we can only resolve together," including infectious diseases, terrorism and nonproliferation.
SOURCE: Fox News (9-11-08)
Yulia Tymoshenko suggested that she has being targeted because she is a potential competitor to Yushchenko in the 2010 presidential elections.
"When a person who is considered by the president as his rival at elections is simultaneously accused of state treason and of spying for the Kremlin, and then Viktor Yushchenko summons me to the prosecutors in relation to his poisoning, I think that ... no comment is needed," she told reporters outside the prosecutor's office in Kiev. "Everything is apparent enough."
Yushchenko accused Tymoshenko of teaming up with the Russia-friendly opposition Party of Regions in order to sideline him and "ruin the democratic developments" of Ukraine.