If indeed, as implied by the symbolic analogies being used, this was the Holocaust, and the Jews sent to the camps had previously received millions of deutschmarks and reasonable alternative housing (my mother, as someone who came from there, for some reason insists this was not the case) - then in fact the Holocaust was not so terrible. Moreover, if indeed these are the prevailing comparisons - what will we, who were not there, remember after those people with the bluish numbers on their arms and a real memory etched in their souls disappear from our lives?Verging on Holocaust denial
Over four years ago, more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama Bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high- level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting 4-5 major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism, Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing “302" forms, and the translator, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the Special Agent in Charge, Thomas Frields, and after 9/11 the agents and the translators were told to ‘keep quiet’ regarding this issue. The translator who was present during the session with the FBI informant, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, reported this incident to Director Mueller in writing, and later to the Department of Justice Inspector General. The press reported this incident, and in fact the report in the Chicago Tribune on July 21, 2004 stated that FBI officials had confirmed that this information was received in April 2001, and further, the Chicago Tribune quoted an aide to Director Mueller that he (Mueller) was surprised that the Commission never raised this particular issue with him during the hearing (Please refer to Chicago Tribune article, dated July 21, 2004). Mr. Sarshar reported this issue to the 9/11 Commission on February 12, 2004, and provided them with specific dates, location, witness names, and the contact information for that particular Iranian asset and the two special agents who received the information. I provided the 9/11 Commission with a detailed and specific account of this issue, the names of other witnesses, and documents I had seen. Mr. Sarshar also provided the Department of Justice Inspector General with specific information regarding this case.
For almost four years since September 11, officials refused to admit to having specific information regarding the terrorists’ plans to attack the United States. The Phoenix Memo, received months prior to the 9/11 attacks, specifically warned FBI HQ of pilot training and their possible link to terrorist activities against the United States. Four months prior to the terrorist attacks the Iranian asset provided the FBI with specific information regarding the ‘use of airplanes’, ‘major US cities as targets’, and ‘Osama Bin Laden issuing the order. ’ Coleen Rowley likewise reported that specific information had been provided to FBI HQ. All this information went to the same place: FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the FBI Washington Field Office, in Washington DC.
In October 2001, approximately one month after the September 11 attack, an agent from (city name omitted) field office, re-sent a certain document to the FBI Washington Field Office, so that it could be re-translated. This Special Agent, in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, rightfully believed that, considering his target of investigation (the suspect under surveillance), and the issues involved, the original translation might have missed certain information that could prove to be valuable in the investigation of terrorist activities. After this document was received by the FBI Washington Field Office and retranslated verbatim, the field agent’s hunch appeared to be correct. The new translation revealed certain information regarding blueprints, pictures, and building material for skyscrapers being sent overseas (country name omitted). It also revealed certain illegal activities in obtaining visas from certain embassies in the Middle East, through network contacts and bribery. However, after the re-translation was completed and the new significant information was revealed, the unit supervisor in charge of certain Middle Eastern languages, Mike Feghali, decided NOT to send the re-translated information to the Special Agent who had requested it. Instead, this supervisor decided to send this agent a note stating that the translation was reviewed and that the original translation was accurate. This supervisor, Mike Feghali, stated that sending the accurate translation would hurt the original translator and would cause problems for the FBI language department. The FBI agent requesting the retranslation never received the accurate translation of that document. I provided this information to the 9/11 Commission on February 12, 2004, and to the Department of Justice Inspector General in May 2002.
The latest buzz topic regarding intelligence is the problem of sharing information, intelligence, within intelligence agencies and between intelligence agencies. To this date the public has not been told of intentional blocking of intelligence, and has not been told that certain information, despite its direct links, impacts and ties to terrorist related activities, is not given to or shared with Counterterrorism units, their investigations, and countering terrorism related activities. This was the case prior to 9/11, and remains in effect after 9/11. If Counterintelligence receives information that contains money laundering, illegal arms sale, and illegal drug activities, directly linked to terrorist activities; and if that information involves certain nations, certain semi- legit organizations, and ties to certain lucrative or political relations in this country, then, that information is not shared with Counterterrorism, regardless of the possible severe consequences. In certain cases, frustrated FBI agents cited ‘direct pressure by the State Department,’ and in other cases ‘sensitive diplomatic relations’ is cited. I provided the Department of Justice Inspector General and the 9/11 Commission with detailed and specific information and evidence regarding this issue, and the names of other witnesses willing to corroborate this, and the names of certain U.S. officials involved in these transactions and activities.
Now, after almost 4 years, we get to hear new bits & pieces: FBI & Midhar’s Case; FBI & Abdel-Hafiz Case; FBI & Saudi planes leaving just days after 9/11 without having the passengers questioned; FBI & Youssef Case;… and the list goes on.
Today, after nearly four years since 9/11, the American people still do not know that thousands of lives can be jeopardized under the unspoken policy of ‘protecting certain foreign business relations.’ The victims family members still do not realize that information and answers they have sought relentlessly for almost 4 years has been blocked due to the unspoken decisions made and disguised under ‘safeguarding certain diplomatic relations .’
Where is the so-called congressional oversight? Why has the 9/11 Commission intentionally omitted this info; although they’ve had it all along? Where is accountability?
"Last week, someone mentioned that they had seen Rania Al-Baz on Oprah. After immediately checking local listings for the rerun, I called some of my cousins and friends to tell them to watch. After watching the first 25 minutes about happy women in different countries, I was convinced that I had misread the television schedule, and that the episode we were watching was not the one featuring Rania.On the other hand, if the burka fits...
"This episode began with Aishwarya Rai, and then moved on to Iceland, [with] its glaciers and hot springs. Icelandic talk show host Svanhilder Valsdottir discussed social customs, while offering Oprah Icelandic delicacies such as rotten shark meat and sour lamb testicles. When Oprah began talking about Belgium's justly-famous delicious fried potatoes and chocolates with another woman, I called my mother and told her that I was sure that this was not 'my' Oprah episode.
"I told her, 'This isn't the type of show Oprah's producer told me about. Besides, Oprah is taking us around the world to different countries showing us how satisfied women in those countries are. It would be totally unbalanced and unfair to shift to Saudi Arabia to focus on Rania. It would be as if what happened to her is what our women most enjoy about Saudi Arabia. Her story is not a happy one, and wouldn't flow with the others on this program.'
"I was wrong. Rania, swollen, bloodied and bruised, flashed across the screen moments later, as Oprah explained what had happened to her and followed it with the usual unfair and uninformed diatribe that American audiences love to hear about how miserable Saudi women are and how free and happy American women are.
"The entire original interview with Rania (a copy of which I still have here in Jeddah) lasted 64 minutes. Oprah used three of those 64. In the 61 minutes that were not shown, Rania talked about how wonderful our religion and our country are, and she discusses women's rights and their lives in Saudi Arabia in a fair and realistic manner.
"Rania and I were used by the Oprah Winfrey Show to paint Saudi Arabia in an unfair and negative light.
"When I called the producer I had dealt with in Chicago for an explanation, the warm greetings and enthusiasm to speak with me that had existed prior to the taping had been replaced by a hurried and impatient attitude that clearly meant, 'I don't have time for you anymore now that I have gotten what I wanted from you.' I was referred to the media relations department at Harpo Studios and from them, I received the following official statement:
"'Rania Al-Baz's story was always intended for inclusion in a show that examined the different lives of women from various countries. We feel her story was presented accurately and we hope that her courage in sharing it with an international audience will help millions of other women around the world.'…" 
In another article, "An Open Letter to Oprah, " posted on Al-Sharq Al-Awsat 's English-language website, Al-Ghalib continued to express his dissatisfaction with the production team and with the statement he received from the media relations department: "Dear Ms. Winfrey… I was told you weren't available to actually reply yourself, which leaves me wondering if you personally are aware of the injustice that's been committed… It is fair to say that she [Rania] has been victimized yet again, and the catalyst was your show….
"I still have a copy of the entire interview that I sent you, here in Saudi [Arabia]. May I have your permission to release it to an Arab television network that can perhaps help undo some of the damage you did to Rania's reputation? Or would you yourself like to do something realistic, fair, and unbiased [that is] worthy of your name?
"Something has to be done – if not for Saudi Arabia, if not for your Arab fans, if not for your very reputation, then at least for Rania, who has suffered enough – really." 
BEIJING --An unidentified illness has killed 17 farmers and sickened 41 in southwestern China after they butchered sick pigs or sheep, China's official news agency said Sunday.
Those affected had symptoms including high fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and "became comatose later with bruises under the skin," Xinhua news agency said.
Over the past four weeks, 58 people from areas around the cities of Ziyang and Neijiang in China's southwestern Sichuan province were hospitalized with such symptoms, Xinhua said.
Seventeen of those hospitalized have died, while 12 are in critical condition, 27 are stable and two have recovered, it said.
A "preliminary probe found out that the affected farmers have butchered sick pigs or sheep" before falling ill, the report said.
It said that medical experts believe the illness "is not spreading further among humans," and that there were "no obvious signs of (an) epidemic."
Local governments as well as health and agricultural officials have set up special teams to try to determine the cause of the illness, the report said late Sunday night.
The report did not cite a suspected cause of the sickness, but authorities in Hong Kong has said earlier Sunday that Chinese authorities believe a bacterial infection might be responsible for the deaths.
World Health Organization spokesman Bob Dietz said the cases didn't appear to be related to bird flu, a viral disease that has killed at least 57 people in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia since 2003.
The victims in Sunday's report suffered from poisoning-related shock syndrome and were acutely infected, an unidentified worker at a hospital treating the patients said in a telephone interview aired on Hong Kong's Cable TV.
The son of one of the victims told Cable TV his father fell ill after slaughtering and eating part of a sick pig. The names of the son and victim were not given.
Pigs in the area had been infected with streptococcus bacteria, which is common in domestic animals, the hospital worker said. It was unclear if the sick sheep in the area were infected with the same bacteria.
Hong Kong's Hospital Authority has asked its hospitals to notify health authorities of any patients with the same symptoms as those seen in Ziyang, spokesman Raymond Lo said Sunday.
Hong Kong has been wary of diseases spreading from China since severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, was brought to the territory by a mainlander in 2003 and killed 299 people in Hong Kong.
"Here is this question taken a step further -- what if you found out the child you were carrying was going to grow up to be gay?So what happens if medical science can identify whether a fetus does have the "gay" gene? What happens if women start having abortions because they do not want a gay child? How long will it be before this becomes an unacceptable reason for having an abortion, and becomes a "hate crime." So much for abortion not being anyone else's business. That may seem like a stretch, but how many things we face today seemed like a stretch when first predicted 30-40 years ago?
"What I do wonder is that if there is a gay gene (and I am one of those who thinks there is a genetic element to sexual orientation) and we can identify it, then there are actually some very severe moral dilemmas involved."