February 2006


Department of BAD ideas:

This is just going to be a quickie. I lurk and monitor posts from the Society of Environmental Journalists. I do this for a number of reasons. Mostly because their interests such as the planet we live on…

Eath

tends to dovetail quite often with my own. Also, they’re scientists and often liberals and that also works to their favor in my book. Mostly I like them because they will sometimes “go deep” or bring statistics or an outlook to a story that I wouldn’t think of. Here are a couple of examples of things they were on about last week that caught my eye.

The opening remark was that comedians say something absurd and hope that you’ll laugh whereas lawyers say something absurd and dare you to laugh. The turnabout I suppose would be the tobacco industry suing the Surgeon General for not shouting louder and sooner about the dangers of smoking. It is to laugh. Unless you had the misfortune of being trapped in that awful place underground. Then I suppose in the words of Warren Zevon, “It ain’t that pretty at all.”

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_02/008175.php

February 8, 2006

Guest: Stephanie Mencimer

TORT REFORM, CORPORATE STYLE….After the Sago coal mine disaster killed 12
West Virginia miners last month, the Mine Safety and Health Administration
(MSHA) came under widespread criticism for failing to adequately regulate
the coal industry and protect mine workers. Critics blamed the Bush
administration for stocking the agency with coal industry cronies who
wanted a more “cooperative” approach to safety regulations rather than serious
enforcement. Now, one more group has joined the chorus of MSHA critics:
the very coal companies that worked to gut the agency in the first place.

Here’s the story. Back in 2003, West Virginia suffered its worst coal mining
accident in a decade when an explosion in a mine owned by CONSOL Energy
killed three miners and disabled two others. The families of the dead and
injured miners sued CONSOL, alleging that it had demonstrated a willful
disregard for its workers’ safety and was ultimately responsible for the
accident. The trial is set for June. But with all the recent publicity about
MSHA’s failures, CONSOL apparently saw an opportunity for a novel legal defense.

This week, after three years of litigation, CONSOL and the other
defendants filed a motion stating their intention to sue MSHA, which they argue is
really to blame for the mine explosion. “The negligence of CONSOL, if any,
was the result, in whole or in part, of the negligence of the Mine Safety
and Health Administration,” they write, demanding that the federal
government pay any jury award against the companies that might result from
the litigation, along with all their legal fees. …
—————————————————————————

Like I said – Bad idea.

Now here is something that has a few more sides. It sort of ties in with the whole Haliburton Gulag building for big bucks but it’s not so nearly black and white.

VB writes: Has anyone heard of this proposed regulation to close vital records
nationally and yet pool them in a federal database open only to, well,
those who enable us to sleep safe from terrorists? This law would make it a lot
easier to disappear people and send them off to the gulags. Let’s see, I
wonder which states will volunteer to host federal gulags in exchange for
influxes of money from the DoD and DoE? And who will run those gulags?
Halliburton, Blackwater Security?

See “Information Is Power” by Terry J. Allen, February 14, 2006

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2488/

Excerpt:

“Sometimes it’s the small abuses scurrying below radar that reveal how
profoundly the Bush administration has changed America in the name of
national security. Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism
Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation that bars most public access to
birth and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. In much of the country, these
records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers, and
reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss
or ignore.

In These Times has obtained a draft of the proposed regulations now
causing widespread concern among state officials. It reveals plans to create a
vast database of vital records to be centralized in Washington, and details
measures that states must implement-and pay millions for-before next
year’s scheduled implementation.

The draft lays out how some 60,000 already strapped town and county
offices must keep the birth and death records under lock and key and report all
document requests to Washington. Individuals who show up in person will
still be able to obtain their own birth certificates, and in some cases,
the birth and death records of an immediate relative; and “legitimate”
research institutions may be able to access files. But reporters and activists
won’t be allowed to fish through records; many family members looking for
genetic clues will be out of luck; and people wanting to trace adoptions will
dead-end. If you are homeless and need your own birth certificate, forget
it: no address, no service.” [more]

________________________________________________________________

The article spends a fair amount of time on some 1984 scenarios that I think are a bit unlikely and a few of those are refuted well enough in the comments following that article that I don’t really feel the need to go into them further here but for me the interesting thing is the public health aspect. You start putting all of this information in one place and restricting access to researchers and the potential and temptation to sit on bad news or news that can lead to corporate litigation becomes more than a little problematic.

Making sure this data is secure I can understand and appreciate. Identity theft is a real problem. But putting all of these eggs into one very big government controlled basket has so much potential for curtailing personal freedom that I find very little in the way of upside.

– Barney

p.s. – My father “lost” his middle name when the Milwaukee County Courthouse burned down. His hospital birth certificate and Navy discharge papers don’t list one. My dad told it to me when I was a kid but I’ve forgoten it and my own mother no longer remembers what it was. Another argument for de-centralized databases and some form of open access I suppose. Except my dad told me he hated his middle name and never missed it. Wonder what he would have made of all this.

If God is what people say there can be no one in the universe so unhappy as He; for He sees unceasingly myriads of His creatures suffering unspeakable miseries–and besides this foresees how they are going to suffer during the remainder of their lives. One might as well say, “As unhappy as God.”
Mark Twain – Notebook #24, April – Aug. 1885

Mark Twain on deck

For awhile now I’ve been trying to write a play about Mark Twain called THE TROUBLE BEGINS. Along the way I became rather obsessed with Mark Twain, his life and the many many books that have been written about him. How many? Well at the moment I have about 275 books about Twain evenly divided between the biographies, letters and journals and schools of literary criticism that have grown up around his body of work over the last 90 years or so. This does not count the 30 or so books that he actually wrote. That occupies a different bookcase. Madness.

Lately I’ve been using this blog as a way of archiving and organizing stray thoughts. What does Twain have to do with FRANKENSTEIN or Harlan Ellison or comics? Nothing really except that they’re my hobbies and obsessions. But by using the “categories” tab while placing these I should be able to create a space that can then be searched by topic. So that’s the plan. This will then appear to be a “random” Twain post, but as the archive builds itself these things will start to “hang together” like wagonloads of hay built while at work in the fields of my own headspace. And this pays about as well as farm work so the metaphor works on a couple of different levels.

A few months back I was reading the sometimes brilliant Hoffman biography INVENTING MARK TWAIN;

http://tinyurl.com/87eag

when I came across these two lifestyle conundrums…
Apparently Twain “sold” his family pew [it was the front left] in his good friend Reverend Twitchell’s church when he took his family to Europe for an extended visit. He was fleeing financial troubles on a couple of fronts at this time.

Anybody know how that works? I mean does everybody with religious tenure move up one? Is an ad placed in the local papers. Is there infighting? I would imagine this could all get incredibly mean and spiteful which would be funny and tragic given as it would be a dispute over church seating. Anybody?

Also, he arranged a letter of credit for his wife in Olivia’s family name to separate his finances from her ability to have a roof over her head while he traveled back and forth across the Atlantic and throughout Europe. So, ditto on letters of credit in terms of just how exactly would this work.

In all honesty I probably won’t use either of these factoids for my play but I’m still really
curious about what people did before tapping their local ATM machines. It seems it must have been a very interesting and convoluted process with its own etiquette but I can’t imagine what that would be.

And if Twain fascinates you even a little – here are some great Twain links;

http://www.marktwainhouse.org/ 

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/railton/index2.html

http://www.twainquotes.com/

http://www.geocities.com/swaisman/ 

At some point I intend to catalog my Twain collection using “Library Thing”

http://www.librarything.com/index.php 

and then people will actually know what I have and will have no excuse like “well, I figured you must already have that Twain book” when my birthday rolls around. What’s that? Yes. I intend to keep having those. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
– Barney

Ok. I’m not proud of this, but what the hell. Like you never stooped to this level. “Sure sure kid.” as Paul Newman says.

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2058126#2058126

Robert Burns

We’ve recently become acquainted with a lovely (and somewhat deadly) couple – Peter and Amy Wardle. What makes them “deadly” will become apparent as I proceed through the recounting of this particular evening. Lately, Peter and Amy have taken it upon themselves to host an annual Burn’s Night Supper. They have been doing this for at least five years and perhaps longer. Much longer would put Amy back into puberty so I’ll just say five years and leave it at that.

For more about who Robert [Rabbie to us] Burns was and the places he slept and the women he slept with and the Counties he set about impregnating single…er, handedly you could go here;

http://www.robertburns.org/

To absorb some of the finer (and grosser) points of a Burns Dinner and how they can sometimes play out and be conducted you could try here;

http://www.rabbie-burns.com/index.cfm

and here;

http://www.rabbie-burns.com/the_supper/index.cfm

Last year was my first Burn’s Night Supper and since it was my turn in the barrel and Pete had somehow gotten the impression that I am high verbal and not terribly shy he asked me to perform “The Immortal Memory” speech, where Robert Burns life is reviewed and celebrated. I found this to be a fascinating task and ended up with reams of material. In fact I went on far too long and the kitchen staff had to be paid overtime while wine and cheese aged at a ferocious pace. But it seems I didn’t embarrass myself any more than anyone else who’d had that much to drink – and we’d ALL been drinking – so we were invited back. Huzzah!

While I performed this speechifying Pete was lying in wait – clever bastard that he is – with his own variation on “The Ode to a Haggis”. To wit, what Pete had done was adapted Ernest L. Thayer’s CASEY AT THE BAT in it’s entirety into some sort of mad epic about smuggling haggis from the UK into the Pennsylvania hinterlands of Bucks County.

Line for line. Stanza for stanza. It was a brilliant and evil trump card. But I am a patient man. Or, I am learning to be. So I decided IF my opportunity ever came around again I would retaliate. And lo and behold the invite came. This year Pete switched things up in the batting order and asked if I would do the “Toast to the Lasses”. Pete is also under the impression that on top of not being shy, that I also happen to like women. Just how he acquires these notions I’m not quite sure. So I said, “sure Pete, no problem. Say, would you mind if I also wrote another piece for the table while I’m at it?” Looks off into the corner. Whistles a happy tune. Drums fingers. “That’s fine? Great.” Trap = sprung.

So, comes the evening and I did do the Toast to the Lasses and that went rather well, as did the Lasses response. All well and good. But the piece I had been waiting to read was my newly minted “Toast to the Hosts”.

Join me now as I rise, check my jacket pocket, look again, pat my outer jacket pockets, look inside said jacket once more, check front and back pants pockets, looking uncomfortable I begin to twist, grimace, bend slightly at the waist… AND PULL THIS OUT OF MY ASS!!!

[Readers and former diners and sharers of finger food we’ll be pleased as punch to know that this was an optical illusion and that the manuscript was paper clipped to the inside of my belt. I am only willing to go so far for Art.]

All you will need to know for the rest is that there are more than a few wine courses with this dinner and that Pete always wears a kilt. And that all of this really does rhyme if you mangle enough UK regional accents. No. Really. Ok, screw you.

So, to the tune of my father’s all-time favorite poem, Rudyard Kipling’s GUNGA DIN

http://www.bartleby.com/103/48.html

I give you my Toast to the Hosts – Pete & Amy Wardle.

Ruddy Pete (formerly Gunga Din)

Or, digging up and defiling a dead poet laureate.

YOU may talk of wine and beer

When you’re seated safe in here

Or you’re sent to liquor stores to buy some plonk

But when it comes to drinking

And getting really stinking

It’s the Wardle’s that you’ll hie thee to for drunk!
Now in PA’s dismal clime

Where I used to spend my time

A Servin’ of Her Majesty the Queen

Of all that guzzling crew

The finest man I knew

Was our gourmandastic beastie, Ruddy Pete.
It was Pete! Pete! Pete!

That trans-Atlantic haggis smuggler, Ruddy Pete!

Wine! Get it! Hurry! Now!!!

Go and milk the vineyards cow!

We don’t care how you get it Ruddy Pete!
Now the Scottish Kilt he wore

Was nothing much before

And sadly less than aff of that behind

But amongst the Wardle Clan

Easy access was the plan

As he and Mrs. Wardle did recline
But back now to this Burns Dinner

And this groaning board for sinners

You should see the way these folks would entertain!

Vertical or horizontal

With wine or women, there’s a mouth full

Many courses, was that Wardle plan sublime.
Yes it was Pete! Pete! Pete!

You British transport, where in mischief have you been?

You’ve stuffed these guests to bursting

No more eating, no more thirsting

Better bring an extra leg to Ruddy Pete’s!
Oh he would drink and carry on

‘til our last glass of Port was gone

And ‘e didn’t seem to have no use for beer

Be it white wine or with red

He’d have us swimming to our beds

Gotten well and truly snockered, have no fear

For with a cellar full of plunder

He would drink the table under

Where guests no longer sober – disappeared!

Hey G’day and good luck to you

Wardle’s drinking? Glad I knew ya!

You’ll be pissing 9% between the tears!
For it was Pete! Pete! Pete!

With his EX-sober guests left swerving down the street!

When post-prandials run out you can hear those ingrates shout

It’s another State Store run for poor mad Pete!
Now I shant forget the night…
No! I shant forget the night

Or that gastronomic plight

When wine and haggis came and knocked me off my feet

With my stomach full of bullocks

Says this sadistic UK lummox

“Have another little drink!? says Bloody Pete!
Soze he lifted up me head

All my senses having fled

And he gives me one more glass of wine serene

It was “complex? and it spoke!

And it said, “Ain’t he a bloke??

Pontificating Wine from Ruddy Pete
It was Pete! Pete! Pete!

Here’s a houseguest with a headache most compleat

He’s goosing kitchen staff

And he’s farting just for laughs

For Gawd’s sake, give him water Ruddy Pete!
So they made me take a seat, room stopped spinning, there’s a treat

When the booze tab came and drilled the bugger clean.

“I’ve got this one? he sighed – and just before he died

“I hope you liked your drinks says Ruddy Pete!
So I’ll meet him later on in that place that we’ll have gone

Where it’s always closing time and no latrine

He’ll be squatting on the coals

Decanting plonk for poor damned souls

And I’ll get a swig in hell from Ruddy Pete!
For its Pete! Pete! Pete!

You vineyard boosting bastard Ruddy Pete!

Though I’ve rebuked you and I’ve punk’d you

Only Bacchus has out drunk you

Here’s to our gracious hosts and Ruddy Pete!
Barney Dannelke

De-Composed on Burn’s Night at Cannon’s 01/25/06

This is going to be a quick post where I’m going to try out a couple of things in my blog formatting learning curve. My friend Kenton sent me this site because he knows that I have a very strong interest (ie. I am a total geek) in FRANKENSTEIN related things because I’m working on a FRANKENSTEIN book project. I’m not going to talk about that here and now. Those of you who know me, kindly refrain from spilling the beans here.

Anyway, here is Kenton and my first “blocktext” effort.

Here’s a link to a great blog covering 70’s horror paperbacks, film,
etc. So many great covers!. Ahh, the memories of Popular Library’s
‘Frankenstein Horror’ series… The only one I still have is THE NIGHT
OF THE WOLF by Frank Belknap Long, of all people. I might have to go a-lookin’ for these. There are a lot of neat-o Frankenstein-related titles in here, too (of course whether they were great reads is debatable).

http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/

In addition to that, here is the extra-groovy link to the FRANKENSTEIN page…

http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2005_10_02_groovyageofhorror_archive.html

And here is my favorite Mike Ploog cover of all time…

Monster of Frankenstein #2
Oh my god! It worked. I’m sorry, but I’m really freaking happy that image graft worked.I’m still baby stepping here and you coders can all go screw.At any rate, now you know what one of my other obsessions is. Feel free to forward me cool FRANKENSTEIN stuff as you find it. And in return I will, I dunno. I’ll think of something.

– Barney

Bitsandpieces, PA.

Now if I could figure how to rename links I would be an even happier camper…

Wow. I can see where hitting your blog stats like some crystal-meth addicted lab rat could become a REAL problem. Watch that curve rise like a roller coaster. Get all excited. Go outdoors and have a life for 24 hours – and watch that thing crash like a brittle diabetic’s blood sugar level. Frowny faces all around. Crap.

So, as a place holder I’m adding/responding to my friend Marc Weidenbaum’s “4 Things” blogroll/list/meme/thingee. I am told this is “everywhere” but since I am not, this was my first time encounter with this internet meme. It’s probably TIRED, but less so than some “trapped on a deserted island with…” discussions. For myself, I always liked the Woody Allen bit in MANHATTAN where he is lying on a couch and making lists of his ALL TIME favorite things in life. On the one hand it’s a sure sign of an unchecked ego and on the other hand, somebody has to point cool stuff out and suggest where the gold and “True Gen” might be found. So, here – The Obligatory Four Things Meme/Lists

FOUR JOBS I’VE HAD

Mainframe Computer Operator

Armored Car Driver

House Framer

Antiquarian Bookseller [currently]

FOUR MOVIES I CAN WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Harold & Maude

Days of Heaven

The Right Stuff

The Man Who Would Be King

FOUR PLACES I’VE LIVED

Milwaukee, Wisconsin [home of Jeffrey Dahmer]

Appleton, Wisconsin [birthplace of Houdini]

Basement of the Paris Opera House [still waiting for my royalties]

Allentown, Pennsylvania. [A very different place than Billy joel would have it.]

Four tv shows that I love [or, at least think might justify the existence of television]

The Daily Show

The Outer Limits

The Wire

Deadwood

Four places I’ve vacationed

New Orleans

Puerto Rico

Seattle

Do hallucinations count?

Four of my favorite foods

Pop Tarts [sue me]

Cocoa Wheats [with lumps and preferably in the box from my childhood]

Chinese dumplings

The “meat lovers” stuffed slice at Parma Pizza on Cedar Crest Blvd.

Four sites I visit daily

The bathroom [oh, you meant VIRTUAL sites]

Ellison Webderland

New York Times.com

eBay

Amazon.com

[I could name some other REALLY cool sites and be all clever and exotic and shite but I don’t go to them “daily”. And neither would you. Except for the naughty ones. And you should really stop that.]

Four [just two right now] bloggers I am tagging

Marc Weidenbaum

http://www.disquiet.com/log20060122.html#0205meme

Dino Haspiel [Just ignore all the shirtless stuff. It’s a thing with him.]

http://man-size.livejournal.com/

Four places I’d rather be right now.

Canon’s Saloon [voted one of the 10 best “dive” bars in America by MAXIM]

Hava Java in the summertime. [My coffee shoppe]

The Strand [or any good used bookstore in America – or the world for that matter.]

In front of a computer screen where I have just FINISHED something.

– Barney Dannelke

Neverdone, PA.

When I was in High School I read the Gulag Archipelago books by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

http://tinyurl.com/djhyl

I have to say that my thoughts at the time were very much of the “It Can’t Happen Here” variety. Then I actually got around to reading IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE .

http://tinyurl.com/8d8ph

How I ended up reading it is, itself a bit strange, There was a David Bowie interview in a Rolling Stone and I was well aware that Bowie was very much not a politicl person but here was this photo of this book sitting on Bowie’s nightstand and I said to myself, “I want to read whatever David Bowie’s reading!” Hey, we take our influences where we find them.  Once you’ve read the Lewis novel you will try and tell yourself “ah, a very pointed fable but everything is going to be fine.

Then Henry sends me stuff like this and I just want to weep bitter tears;

***********************************************

This is no longer the paranoid fantasy of internet “conspiracy nuts”. This is the here and now.

2002 Village Voice article discussing the possibility of concentration camps in America.

http://tinyurl.com/a9clj

January 31, 2006Albion Monitor

http://tinyurl.com/7bo3q

February 1 2006Ferguson Report

http://tinyurl.com/d8sca

In another shining example of modern day corporate fascism, it was announced recently that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency. The language of the preamble to the agreement veils the program with talk of temporary migrant holding centers, but it is made clear that the camps will also be used “as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency.? Discussions of federal concentration camps is no longer the rhetoric of paranoid Internet conspiracy theorists, it is mainstream news.

Under the enemy combatant designation anyone at the behest of the US government, even if they are a US citizen, can be kidnapped and placed in an internment facility forever without trial. Jose Padilla, an American citizen, has spent over four years in a Navy brig and is only just now getting a trial.

In 2002, FEMA sought bids from major real estate and engineering firms to construct giant internment facilities in the case of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack or a natural disaster.

Okanogan County Commissioner Dave Schulz went public three years ago with his contention that his county was set to be a location for one of the camps.

Alex Jones has attended numerous military urban warfare training drills across the US where role players were used to simulate arresting American citizens and taking them to internment camps.

The move towards the database state in the US and the UK, where every offence is arrestable and DNA records of every suspect, even if later proven innocent, are permanently kept on record, is the only tool necessary to create a master list of ‘subversives’ that would be subject to internment in a manufactured time of national emergency.

The national ID card is also intended to be used for this purpose, just as the Nazis used early IBM computer punch card technology to catalogue lists of homosexuals, gypsies and Jews before the round-ups began.

Section 44 of the Terrorism Act in Britain enables police to obtain name and address details of anyone they choose, whether they are acting suspiciously or not. Those details remain on a database forever. To date, 119,000 names of political activists have been taken and this is a figure that will skyrocket once the post 7/7 figures are taken into account.

At the height of the Iraq war protests, around a million people marched across the country. However, most of these people were taking part in a political protest for the first time and as a one off. Even if we take a figure of half, 500,000 people being politically active in Britain, that means that the government has already registered around a quarter of political activists in the UK. In truth the number is probably above half because we are not factoring in those already on MI5 ‘subversive’ lists and those listed after the 7/7 bombings, when the powers were used even more broadly.

Concurrently in the US, a new provision in the extended Patriot Act bill would allow Secret Service agents to arrest and jail protesters accused of breaching any security perimeter, even if the President or any other protected official isn’t present. The definition of ‘free speech zones’ can be shifted around loosely and this would open the floodgates for protesters to be grabbed and hauled away in any circumstance at the whim of the Secret Service.

During the 2004 RNC protests, thousands of New Yorkers were arrested en masse in indiscriminate round-ups and taken to Pier 57 (pictured), a condemned, asbestos poisoned old bus depot, where they were imprisoned without charge for up to 24 hours or more.

The existence and development of internment camps are solely intended to be used to round up en masse and imprison ‘political dissidents’ (anyone who isn’t prepared to lick government boots) after a simulated tactical nuke or biological attack on a major US or European city.

***********************************************

Part II – Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia and the Ukraine. Let’s not go there.

OK – That was Henry’s stuff. Now you can say, ‘oh, sure, but Henry is a flaming liberal asshole.? Perhaps not to his face but I hear you muttering behind your sleeves. Nevertheless, this seems to dovetail quite neatly with a current policy. Namely, running similar camps in places abroad that we’re not supposed to know about. Here is a piece of news the Tribune picked up from a Paris source about a free speech struggle over intercepted foreign attaché documents out of Egypt – you know, that country we give a billion in aide to every year even though they keep last years “political opposition? in unwashed cages – that Egypt. At any rate, it was picked up by the New York Times two weeks ago and as of early February has gotten no television traction whatsoever. So, you didn’t hear this from me, but,

http://tinyurl.com/76q6q

[The easily forwarded printer friendly URL of the following piece because information may not want to be free but I bet some of the people held in these secret prisons wish they were.]

January 12, 2006

Swiss Investigate Leak to Paper on C.I.A. Prisons in Eastern Europe

By DOREEN CARVAJAL,
International Herald Tribune

PARIS, Jan. 11 – Switzerland is conducting criminal investigations to track down the source of a leak to the Zurich-based newspaper Sonntags Blick of what it reported was a secret document citing clandestine C.I.A. prisons in Eastern Europe.

The Sunday weekly published what it reported was a summary of a fax in November from Egypt’s Foreign Ministry to its London embassy that said the United States had held 23 Iraqi and Afghan prisoners at a base in Romania. It also referred to similar detention centers in Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia and Ukraine.

“The Egyptians have sources confirming the presence of secret American prisons,” said the document, dated Nov. 15 and written in French to summarize the contents of the fax.

“According to the embassy’s own sources, 23 Iraqis and Afghans were interrogated at the Mikhail Kogalniceau base at Constanza, on the Black Sea.”

The leaked fax, which the newspaper said was sent by satellite and intercepted by the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service, was signed by Egypt’s foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the report said.

Christoph Grenacher, the newspaper’s editor in chief, said that before the article was published, newspaper officials met with high-ranking Swiss government officials, who urged the paper to withhold the information. “We concluded that the discussion about so-called secret prisons is much more important than the interests of the secret service in Switzerland,” he said.

During those discussions, he said, no one contested the authenticity of the document. Egypt has not commented on the report, but it quickly reignited a political fury in Europe that began in the fall with news reports that said there were C.I.A. interrogation centers in Europe and that there had been secret flights through European countries transferring terrorism suspects for questioning.

After the article was published on Sunday, Romania and Ukraine issued denials, and the Swiss criminal investigations were opened. Some European lawmakers seized on the information as evidence of dissembling by European Union members. “This is a piece of real evidence to back up the gut instinct many of us have that the denials of complicity we are hearing from E.U. member and candidate states cannot be relied upon,” Sarah Ludford, a Liberal Democratic member of the British Parliament, said in a statement.

The Swiss Army’s chief prosecutor opened an investigation of Mr. Grenacher and two of his reporters to determine whether military secrets were exposed and to find the source of the leaks. The Swiss attorney general’s office is also investigating the issue, adding another layer to its existing investigation of whether there were C.I.A. flights in Swiss airspace.

Germany and Denmark are also examining accusations that the agency used their airspace to transport terrorism suspects.

The United States has acknowledged flights but not the existence of prisons. A C.I.A. spokeswoman declined to comment on the report in the newspaper.

Conceivably, the journalists could face five years in prison for revealing military secrets, although no one prosecuted under the law has ever served any prison time, the authorities said.

Martin Immenhauser, a spokesman for the military prosecutor, said of the document: “Nobody has told us that it’s not authentic. I think you can say that it’s 99 percent certain that it’s authentic.”

*******************************************************

Barney [with lots of help from Henry – ’cause I’m taking him down with me. 😉 ]

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