(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)


Subject: "Dirty Bomb" or "Dirty Bum"?
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:26:35 -0600 (MDT)

[-- please check out the new front page at -->

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld just said the U.S. probably won't try Jose Padilla for any crime--ever. On prime time TV yesterday they told us Padilla was plotting with al Qaeda to ruin an entire U.S. city. But Rummy now says, "Our interest is not in trying him and punishing him."

As John Ashcroft was making his dramatic prime-time announcement that Bush had saved the world, administration officials were already quietly telling reporters that there actually was no dirty bomb plot at all -- that it was probably just some guys sitting around wondering if such a project would be possible.

I get a lot of hate mail at from people telling me that if I'm not "for Bush" then I'm "against America." They say that we have to give Bush our complete trust because "we're at war."

But America has survived for so long, and is as strong as it is, precisely because we ALWAYS question our leaders -- even during wartime and other crises. That's how we keep them honest, accountable and on the right track. When we stray from that, America gets into trouble.

Should we be scared of terrorist attacks on the U.S." Absolutely! The question is: What is the best long term plan to prevent those attacks and to eliminate terrorism altogether? The Bush administration HAS NO SUCH PLAN. Their only plan is for re-election in 2004. And they are using their own terror tactics to try to ensure that re-election. The American people will not fall for it.

At, despite the steady flood of hate mail, the questioning continues (with humor of course). Please visit today and check out the new front page!  ##

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Subject: FW: Arundhati Roy
Date: 2 Jun 2002 10:28:35 -0900
From: "hammond guthrie" <>
To: "Al Arnowitz" <>

Sent by a friend today = very powerful indeed.... Hammond

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Subject: Article:
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 12:54:35 -0400 (EDT)

June 8, 2002

In Israeli Hospital, Bomber Tells of Trying to Kill Israelis


FULA, Israel, June 7 " On one ward of an Israeli hospital here, gilded tonight by votive candles honoring the Jewish Sabbath, Israeli soldiers wounded in a devastating suicide attack lie just a few rooms away from a failed Palestinian suicide bomber, who had hoped to kill as many of their comrades as possible.

The young men in their matching pajamas might be hard to tell apart, but beneath his blanket, the bomber is manacled by a wrist and an ankle to his bed.

He is guarded by two Israeli police officers who read the newspaper, crunch sunflower seeds and occasionally joke with their prisoner and arrange his pillows. As he chewed on a cucumber, the bomber grinned at their teasing.

Even by the sorrowful standards of these most intimate enemies, the juxtaposition of Palestinian bomber and Israeli wounded was stunning. They were all wounded a few miles south of here, in two separate attacks at a crossroads marking the ancient battleground of Megiddo, which is Hebrew for Armageddon.

In a conversation that lasted more than two hours tonight, the bomber, Zaydan Zaydan, gave a rare glimpse into the blend of religion, desperation, low technology and cruelty that can produce suicide bombers. He described his ease in evading Israeli tanks and checkpoints, and a bomb that reeked so badly that he doused it with cheap perfume as he walked toward his chosen killing ground.

Mr. Zaydan, who is 18, spoke of his hopeless search for a job, of long days spent in pool halls before he found his way deeper into Islam, and of how his recruiter composed his last, videotaped statement for him, because, as a fifth-grade dropout, he can read but not write.

He said he was "pushed" to make his attack not by Israeli action or a terrorist group, but by "the love of martyrdom." He added: "I didn't want revenge for anything. I just wanted to be a martyr."

Mr. Zaydan, who is from the West Bank city of Jenin, triggered his bomb at Megiddo junction on May 8, Israeli officials said. They said that only the detonator fired, tearing open his stomach and damaging several organs. A picture of an Israeli Army robot dragging his wounded body across the pavement was published around the world.

Mr. Zaydan, who was sent by the extremist group Islamic Jihad, insisted today that he had not detonated his bomb, but instead had been shot twice in the stomach by soldiers. That account was not supported by his wounds, according to the hospital. No one else was wounded in the incident.

The soldiers hospitalized here were wounded on Wednesday, when another suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad drove a car alongside a bus and detonated a powerful explosion. In a rolling inferno, 17 people died, 13 of them soldiers.

Sgt. Kfir Levi, 20, remembers vividly the smell of burning bodies and the screams of fellow passengers trapped inside. He lay tonight two rooms away from Mr. Zaydan, with burns and shrapnel wounds. Nurses change his sheets four times a day, he said, because glass keeps coming out of him.

"He's also a human being, despite all of this," Sergeant Levi said of Mr. Zaydan. "That's the difference between us and them, at least in our thoughts. I don't believe if something like this happened on the other side, they'd be giving this kind of treatment. Just the opposite."

Mr. Zaydan expressed gratitude for his treatment, even by his immediate captors. "This Jewish policeman is better than many, many Arabs," he said, indicating one of his monitors.

A frail man with a wisp of beard, Mr. Zaydan may have hoped to ingratiate himself with the Israelis. He seemed anxious to avoid implicating other Palestinians, and it was impossible to know tonight how he was trimming and shading his account. Permission for the interview was granted through the hospital.

He insisted that he had sought to kill only soldiers, whom he described as overwhelming adversaries.

"I know Israel," he said, recalling his six years as a peddler here. "I know that the individual Israeli citizen is innocent like us. Unfortunately, we are victims of our leaders, sitting on their chairs."

After dropping out of school, Mr. Zaydan became a carpenter, then a peddler of newspapers and other products in Israel. When the latest conflict began in September 2000, he said he sought work fruitlessly in Jenin, settling for a couple of hours spent each day carrying boxes of vegetables in the market there.

The rest of the day he spent sleeping or hanging around a pool hall, smoking. Then he happened to watch a religious lesson on television that convinced him he was wasting his time. In what he called his life's turning point, he quit billiards and began going to the mosque regularly. Eventually, he stopped smoking.

He insisted that he was drawn to martyrdom by what he read in books, not by anything he heard from his imam, or priest.

After Israel first raided Jenin's refugee camp at the beginning of March, Mr. Zaydan said, he began to think seriously about becoming a suicide bomber. He knew of Mahmoud Tawalbeh, the local leader of Islamic Jihad, and found his brother, whom he called Raed, in the camp.

"I told him I wanted to be a martyr," he said. "He conveyed the message."

But a subsequently planned meeting was canceled when Israel again invaded Jenin, as part of its West Bank offensive in April. Mahmoud Tawalbeh died in the fighting.

After the raid ended and Israel lifted the curfew, a young man came to Mr. Zaydan with a message left behind by Mahmoud Tawalbeh. The message was that he had accepted the offer of Mr. Zaydan's life.

The young man, whose name Mr. Zaydan insisted he did not know, led the new recruit to an abandoned house, where he showed him a large black bag. Inside was the bomb, wired to two 9-volt batteries, he said. He said that he could not identify the explosive, but that it stank, suggesting that it might have been fertilizer.

Mr. Zaydan said the bomb weighed more than 30 pounds and had two switches in case one did not work. "On-off," he said, using English for the only time in the interview. He said he had received no other training than how to use the switch.

The man also gave him a new cellular phone and told him to call whenever he was about to detonate the bomb to give his location. Mr. Zaydan said the young man had not suggested a target.

"He told me, this guy, `Our main target is soldiers, but if people discover you, then blow yourself up,' " he said.

Mr. Zaydan said he gave no sign of his plans to his family that night, laughing over dinner with a brother. At 4 a.m., as was his custom, he crept in and kissed his mother, receiving her blessing, then went to the mosque to pray. He said he knew that he would cause his mother pain by killing himself, but said each martyr gains the power in paradise to choose 70 people to join him. He said he would have included his family.

He described crossing the West Bank boundary on foot, dousing the bag with three-dollar perfume to mask the bomb's smell, then hitch-hiking to Megiddo junction.

Mr. Zaydan, who has been interrogated by the Israelis and is expecting to be prosecuted, said bitterly that he knew he would be jailed for life and remembered only as a terrorist.

"I feel sorry, because it was a mistake," he said. "But as a human being, I should live like others. The way there is an Israeli state, there are people living in this state, enjoying life, having someone protect them. I don't live in this situation. I don't feel I'm secure."

Soldiers could enter Jenin at any time, he said, and he constantly feared being arrested. "As long as life continues like this," he said, "you will have people who think like me." He insisted that he wanted peace, but said he saw little chance for it.

                Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company  ##

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