Monthly Archives: April 2004

86 posts

Supreme Court Sides With Republican Gerrymanderers

[ The very justices who made the actual votes of the American people in the 2000 presdential election irrelevant are those who today sided with Republicans to disenfranchise voters in Pennsylvania (Rehnquist, O’Connor, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy). With a Republican governor and Legislature, the new [Congressional district] boundaries were set so that Democratic incumbents were placed in the same district in two instances, and another Democratic representative was placed in a heavily Republican district. Districts were given highly irregular shapes to give Republicans a further advantage. A similarly devious scheme was carried out by Republicans in Texas. As Justice Stevens opined, […]

Bush Rejects Labor’s Call to Punish China

[ The Bush Administration has expressed “callous disregard for workers in China” by refusing to punish China for violating the rights of workers. As the National Labor Committee has demonstrated, Wal-Mart, Nike, RCA, and other companies exploit lax labor and environmental policies in China to keep costs down and profits up. –BL ] April 29, 2004 | New York Times by ELIZABETH BECKER WASHINGTON, April 28 – With unusual fanfare, the Bush administration rejected on Wednesday an American labor organization’s demand that China be punished for gaining trade advantages by violating the rights of workers. Four cabinet members – Commerce Secretary […]

Understanding the President and His God

[ Alert: Tonight’s Frontline on PBS might be a must-see. Catch it here. –BL ] April 29, 2004 | New York Times REVIEW | ‘THE JESUS FACTOR’ by ALESSANDRA STANLEY The question is not, When did George W. Bush accept Jesus as his personal savior? The “Frontline” documentary “The Jesus Factor,” on PBS tonight, raises a different issue: Do most Americans realize just how fervent the president’s evangelical faith really is? “The Jesus Factor” is a little like those illustrated anatomy books where transparent plastic pages can be flipped to reveal the muscle, bone and organs beneath the skin. Stripping off […]

Debate Stirs Over Tiny Loans for World’s Poorest

April 29, 2004 | New York Times by CELIA W. DUGGER GORMA, Bangladesh — Nearly every woman in this village seems to have gotten tiny loans to invest in a miniature business. None has made better use of the cash than Firoza Akhter, a shrewd, flinty young mother who put her profits from four loans into cows, goats, land, a sturdy house and private tutors for her daughter. “I can make money out of anything,” she boasted in her wheezy voice, a gold, flower-shaped stud glinting in her nose. Hers is a shining success story for microcredit. But while she […]

Poll: Iraqis out of patience

April 28, 2004 | USA TODAY by Cesar G. Soriano and Steven Komarow BAGHDAD — Only a third of the Iraqi people now believe that the American-led occupation of their country is doing more good than harm, and a solid majority support an immediate military pullout even though they fear that could put them in greater danger, according to a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll. The nationwide survey, the most comprehensive look at Iraqi attitudes toward the occupation, was conducted in late March and early April. It reached nearly 3,500 Iraqis of every religious and ethnic group.

Great New Claim-vs.-Fact Database

Center for American Progress Conservatives have spent the last 20 years distorting reality and getting away with it. That is about to change. The Center for American Progress has launched this new database project to chart the dishonesty and lies of conservatives — and compare them with the truth. In this database, each conservative quote will be matched against well-documented facts. [ Below is the database’s output for just one conservative, Rush Limbaugh. You ought to visit the site to extract the results for a host of other opponents of progress. –BL ] Date: 9/1/1994 Quote/Claim: “If you have any doubts about the status of American […]

Bush: Making Women’s Issues Go Away

April 28, 2004 | A damning new report reveals that the Bush administration has quietly removed 25 reports from its Women's Bureau Web site, deleting or distorting crucial information on issues from pay equity to reproductive healthcare. by Rebecca Traister If you'd logged onto the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau Web site in 1999, you would have found a list of more than 25 fact sheets and statistical reports on topics ranging from “Earning Differences Between Men and Women” to “Facts About Asian American and Pacific Islander Women” to “Women's Earnings as Percent of Men's 1979-1997.” Not anymore. Those […]

Bush Diverting Enviro Funds Into Fossil Fuels

April 28, 2004 | The Daily Mislead President Bush yesterday tried to deflect questions about his environmental record by claiming that he supports efforts to reduce America's fossil fuel usage1. He said he had “introduced ideas like a hydrogen-powered automobile, put money behind it and research behind it” so that so that we will be “less dependent on foreign sources of energy” and we will “improve the environment.” But Bush's hydrogen-automobile proposal is purposely engineered to be fossil fuel dependent, and it is paid for by taking money out of programs that are actually reducing fossil fuel use. As Mother […]

CBS to Air Alleged GI Abuse of Iraqis

April 28, 2004 | Associated Press by DAVID CRARY NEW YORK – U.S. military police stacked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid, and attached wires to one detainee to convince him he might be electrocuted, according to photographs obtained by CBS News which led to criminal charges against six American soldiers. CBS said the photos, to be shown Wednesday night on “60 Minutes II,” were taken late last year at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, where American soldiers were holding hundreds of prisoners captured during the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

85 year-old Socialist to Sail to Cuba

[ The article below is about an 85 year-old socialist who, for the past 15 years, has been preparing for the adventure of a lifetime: He is building a boat and will sail to Cuba along with a crew of friends he’s met on the journey. –BL ] The Old Man, the Mountain and the Sea: Naturalist Has Big Plan for Sailboat April 28, 2004 | Washington Post by Blaine Harden ORCAS ISLAND, Wash. — At 85, App Applegate keeps pushing the limits of living off the grid. Out here in Puget Sound, on the upper west side of the American […]

Clinton Bombs Sudanese Pharmaceutical Plant

The El Shifa Tragedy 1999 | by Scott Loughrey On August 20, 1998 Bill Clinton launched 79 cruise missiles at seven defenseless targets in the Middle East. One was a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan called El Shifa. A pair of outstanding articles in Covert Action Quarterly (CAQ, Winter, 99) illustrates what a colossal crime was committed by this act of terrorism from our now-unimpeachable president. According to a well-researched article written by Richard Becker, Sara Flounders and John Parker in CAQ, the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant was responsible for over 50% of Sudan’s medicine. This included 90% of […]

Ethnic Cleansing in Sudan

[ The fundamentalist Islamic Sudanese government is committing or aiding in ethnic cleansing, and stalling the release of a UN human rights report in order to deter a UN envoy. As reported here over the course of the last month, Sudan may be the international community’s test of whether it has learned the lesson of Rwanda. I suspect the campaign of terror, murder, and relocation against black Sudanese is in part another resource war (that is, motivated by a plan to clear the way for oil exploration). Sudan, a British colony until less than 50 years ago, lost its main […]

Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins

October 21, 2003 | Washington Post by Dana Milbank Since the end of the Vietnam War, presidents have worried that their military actions would lose support once the public glimpsed the remains of U.S. soldiers arriving at air bases in flag-draped caskets. To this problem, the Bush administration has found a simple solution: It has ended the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers’ homecomings on all military bases. In March, on the eve of the Iraq war, a directive arrived from the Pentagon at U.S. military bases. “There will be no arrival […]

Geneva convention ‘breached’, agencies warn

[ A statement from an NGO delivering aid to Iraqis in Fallujah, Merlin, says: “Humanitarian agencies trying to supply life-saving supplies such as food and medicine have been obstructed by coalition forces”; the agency is “extremely concerned by reports that the general hospital of Falluja is being used as a military base by coalition forces,” as well. –BL ] April 26, 2004 | The Guardian by Tash Shifrin Aid agencies have warned that the Geneva convention is being breached in Falluja, Iraq, amid serious concern about the safety of civilians in the city where at least 600 people have been killed […]

Collective Punishment in Falluja

[ Dahr Jamail is Baghdad correspondent for The NewStandard. You can read his other daily dispatches online, or through ZNet. –BL ] 04/26/04 New Standard by Dahr Jamail The current “negotiations” in which the U.S. is engaged with the mujahedeen in Falluja boil down to this: the mujahedeen are to relinquish their “heavy weaponry” (ie, turn in their rocket propelled grenade launchers) to the U.S. military. This is an interesting proposition in light of how this all began. First the U.S. invaded Iraq. Just afterwards, in April 2003, American soldiers gunned down several people in Falluja during a demonstration against […]

Lawyers try to gag FBI worker over 9/11

[ In connection with the article below, you might want to consult the DemocracyNow! interview with Edmonds, who the Bush Administration wants to gag. –BL ] 26 April 2004 | The Independent by Andrew Buncombe in Washington The Bush administration will today seek to prevent a former FBI translator from providing evidence about 11 September intelligence failures to a group of relatives and survivors who have accused international banks and officials of aiding al-Qa’ida. Sibel Edmonds was subpoenaed by a law firm representing more than 500 family members and survivors of the attacks to testify that she had seen information proving […]

The Dystopic Duo: Sharon & Bush

Pastrami & Champagne May 10, 2004 | The Nation by ROANE CAREY & ADAM SHATZ Three decades ago Winston Churchill’s grandson asked Ariel Sharon how Israel should deal with the Palestinians. “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich out of them,” he replied. “We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years’ time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.” Mission accomplished. On April 14 in Washington, Sharon unwrapped his pastrami sandwich and received […]

Four children shot dead in Iraq: witnesses

April 26, 2004 | Reuters/AFP Four schoolchildren have been killed by gunfire in Baghdad, shortly after a roadside bomb ripped through a US military vehicle, witnesses said. Some witnesses said the children, all aged around 12, were shot dead by US troops who had opened fire randomly after the blast on Canal Street in eastern Baghdad. At least five other people were wounded. The children had left their nearby school to look at the burning Humvee, the witnesses said. Children and some passersby were “celebrating” the attack near the vehicle when the deadly shots were fired. The US military had […]

The Basis of Iraqi Resentment

[ If the “coalition” occupying Iraq is frustrated that all Iraqis are not more appreciative of their liberators’ efforts, it would do well to recall the devasting effects of the 1991 bombing of Iraq, the sanctions that followed under which thousands of children per month died of preventable causes (see below), and the more than 10,000 civilian casualties (and uncounted tens of thousands of conscript deaths) suffered under recent “coalition” bombings and attacks, not to mention the “regime change” British invasion of 1941. While many Iraqis appreciate the removal of Saddam Hussein, they may be tiring of suffering under the […]

Must We Fight Terror With Terror?

[ This in light of reports that U.S. soldiers shot dead four Iraqi children in Baghdad. –BL ] Extremism in the defence of liberty April 24, 2004 | The Spectator [UK] by Paul Robinson Paul Robinson says that some well-respected hawks are threatening civilisation by advocating terror tactics in the war on terror “I don’t know what effect these men will have upon the enemy,” said the Duke of Wellington of his troops, “but, by God, they terrify me.” I feel much the same way about some of those who purport to be on our side in the so-called Global […] Responds to Bush Camp’s Attack on Kerry Purple Heart

by Brendan Lalor While I am not a Kerry enthusiast, I am pleased to recommend this ad for your viewing pleasure: click here to see the Bush-Kerry comparison ad. A little background: It is hard to imagine a more absurd angle of attack against John Kerry for the GOP than to question his military record, in particular, whether he deserves all three of his Purple Hearts. While the claim that George W. Bush fulfilled his military service requirements is iffy at best, and Dick Cheney had “other priorities” than military service, Kerry’s life was on the line in Vietnam. […]

Republican Smear Ad Misrepresents Cleland

Ad uses Saddam, bin Laden to question Cleland’s record Oct. 11, 2002 | Associated Press by JEFFREY McMURRAY WASHINGTON – Sen. Max Cleland is angrily defending himself against a rival’s television ad that shows pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and implies the Democratic incumbent is soft on homeland security. The ad, sponsored by Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss’ Senate campaign, doesn’t directly compare Cleland and the rogue leaders but alleges the senator isn’t telling the truth when he claims to support some of President Bush’s efforts in the war against terrorism. It began airing Friday in the Atlanta […]

Majority Still Believe in Iraq’s WMD, al-Qaeda Ties

[ WARNING: “57 percent of respondents … said they believed Iraq was either ‘directly involved’ in carrying out the 9/11 attacks … or had provided ‘substantial support’ to al-Qaeda.” –BL ] April 22, 2004 | InterPress Service by Jim Lobe U.S. public perceptions about former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to al-Qaeda and stocks of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) continues to lag far behind the testimony of experts, boosting chances that President George W Bush will be re-elected, according to a survey and analysis released Thursday. WASHINGTON (IPS) – Despite statements by such officials as the Bush administration’s former […]

Our Hidden WMD Program

Why Bush is spending so much on nuclear weapons. by Fred Kaplan Friday, April 23, 2004 | Slate The budget is busted; American soldiers need more armor; they’re running out of supplies. Yet the Department of Energy is spending an astonishing $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons this year, and President Bush is requesting $6.8 billion more for next year and a total of $30 billion over the following four years. This does not include his much-cherished missile-defense program, by the way. This is simply for the maintenance, modernization, development, and production of nuclear bombs and warheads. Measured in “real dollars” […]

How Big Business Evades Taxes

[ The article below is a primer on how companies like Bush-patron Enron (which was run by Bush pioneer Ken Lay) Harken Energy (with Bush on its board) Halliburton (with Cheney as its CEO) and their ilk evaded taxes — and continue to evade taxes — by setting up off-shore subsidiaries. (The Republican White House likes prefers “tax competitiveness” to “evasion.”) Of course, it goes without saying that education, health care, foreign aid, and more suffer for want of funds while the Bush Administration prefers to let the real anti-patriotic criminals go unpunished, as it expends IRS resources to catch […]

The Human Cost (to the U.S. Military)

[ According to the Newsweek article below, although “For the Bush administration it has been a mantra … America’s troops will get whatever they need to do the job,” a recent study concludes that “one in four of those killed in combat in Iraq might be alive if they had had stronger armor around them … Thousands more who were unprotected have suffered grievous wounds, such as the loss of limbs.” “[T]he I Marine Expeditionary Force … has paid dearly … with an astonishing 30 percent-plus casualties (45 killed, more than 300 wounded) in Fallujah and Ar Ramadi.” “The military […]

“Tax Cuts” Actually Regressive Tax Shift

April 21, 2004 | AlterNet by Sean Gonsalves Analysts at United for a Fair Economy have just released a new report called “Shifty Tax Cuts: How They Move the Tax Burden off the Rich and onto Everyone Else.” Here are some of the key findings in the report. (Click here to see the full report.) For fiscal years 2002-2004, state governments filled approximately $200 billion in budget gaps by raising state taxes and fees and by cutting services. And during those same years, newly enacted federal tax cuts delivered about as much money — $197.3 billion — in new tax […]

Photos released in error (War & Censorship, part II)

[ This piece covers the Pentagon’s chagrin over the Air Force’s erroneous release of photos of U.S. soldiers’ flag-draped coffins (in violation of the Administration’s policy preventing access to the Dover mortuary). Getting photos like these out has already cost U.S. workers in the Middle East their jobs. –BL ] by Caroline Overington April 24, 2004 | The Age [Australia] The US Air Force released 361 photographs of the flag-draped coffins of American soldiers to an internet website yesterday, angering the Pentagon. The photographs – which Department of Defence photographers took at an air force base that doubles as a soldiers’ […]

Censorship in Iraq (War & Censorship, part I)

[ This piece covers the U.S. military’s declaration of posters picturing the controversial cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, forbidden. Company commander Capt. Ronald Hayward, who gave his soldiers the order to quell Iraqis’ free expression, said, “I think it was important [to remove the posters] because al-Sadr currently stands for all things that are anti-coalition.” –BL ] Tension forms when Soldiers take down posters of Al-Sadr April 21, 2004 | Army News Service by Spc. Jan Critchfield BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, April 21, 2004) — Engineers from Fort Hood avert a possible riot after taking down posters of anti-coalition cleric Muqtada […]

Russia revels in US’s woes

[ From the article below: The political calculation by President George W Bush is that, even if the disgruntled families of the 20,000 troops affected immediately – one in every seven in Iraq – vote against him later this year in the presidential elections, that will still add up to fewer votes against him than if he adds 20,000 new troops who begin to suffer casualties. The piece mainly addresses the effect of the regional instability that would be caused if the U.S. abandons Iraq on Russia’s economic (and other) interests. –BL ] DANCES WITH BEARS: Russia revels in US’s woes […]

Amnesty International Welcomes Geneva Decision on Corporate Responsibility; Bush Administration Criticized for Opposition to Accountability for Businesses

Apr 20, 2004, U.S. Newswire NEW YORK, April 20 — Amnesty International today welcomed the decision by governments meeting at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva to confirm the importance that the Commission assigns to companies’ responsibilities in relation to human rights. The Commission adopted a resolution on the UN Norms for Business, which clarify the obligations and responsibilities of businesses with regard to human rights. Amnesty International noted that this decision to adopt the resolution was made in the face of sustained opposition from the Bush Administration. “Amnesty International USA welcomes the adoption today, despite intense US […]

Negroponte, a Torturer’s Friend

April 20, 2004 | The Progressive by Matthew Rothschild Bush’s announcement that he intends to appoint John Negroponte to be the U.S. ambassador to Iraq should appall anyone who respects human rights. Negroponte, currently U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., was U.S. ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s and was intimately involved with Reagan’s dirty war against the Sandinistas of Nicaragua. Reagan waged much of that illegal contra war from Honduras, and Negroponte was his point man. According to a detailed investigation the Baltimore Sun did in 1995, Negroponte covered up some of the most grotesque human rights abuses imaginable.

Death By Slow Burn: How America Nukes Its Own Troops

[ This article is a decent primer on the human rights issues surrounding the military’s use of depleted uramium. Thanks to Barbara Geary for passing this article along. –BL ] What “Support Our Troops” really means April, 2003 | The Idaho Observer by Amy Worthington On March 30, an AP photo featured an American pro-war activist holding a sign: “Nuke the evil scum, it worked in 1945!” That’s exactly what George Bush has done. America’s mega billion dollar war in Iraq is indeed a NUCLEAR WAR. Bush-Cheney have delivered upon 17 million Iraqis tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons, a […]

New Reports on U.S. Planting WMDs in Iraq — “October Surprise”?

[ The Iranian press is insinuating that the Bush Administration may have an “October Surprise” in store, to boost Bush’s ratings just before the election: the discovery of WMDs in Iraq, which the Administration may have begun planting after the invasion (see the article below). Nor would this charge be refutable, because the Bush Administration “has refused to allow the [International Atomic Energy A]gency’s weapons inspectors into the country, saying that the alliance has taken over responsibility for illicit weapons searches.” This is not the only potential October Surprise. Bob Woodward’s recent revelations suggested that Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar […]

Exxon Still Has Not Paid the $5.2 billion It Owes Alaskans

Whatever It Takes April 5, 2004 | The Nation by ASHLEY SHELBY Shortly after the catastrophic 1989 Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Exxon sent Don Cornett, the company’s top official in Alaska at the time, to the fishing port of Cordova to reassure the fishers that the company would make things right. “You have my word,” Cornett told them then. “I said it, Don Cornett. We will do whatever it takes to keep you whole. We do business straight.”

US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush’s Middle East policy

Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush's Middle East policy April 20, 2004 | The Guardian by George Monbiot To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston. The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the […]

Who Removed Aristide?

[ News about Haiti and the U.S.’ anti-democratic influence there continues to be overshadowed by the “major stories.” The Associated Press reports today that the U.S. State Department is demanding that CARICOM — the 15-nation Caribbean Community — recognize the interim government, non-democratically set up by the U.S. CARICOM and much of the world still see Aristide as the rightful president of Haiti. In another story, Reuters is reporting that Haiti’s new U.S.-backed leader said on Sunday he had dropped a “ridiculous” demand by ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide for France to return $22 billion he said the Caribbean nation was forced […]

Invade Iraq? It’s a no brainer

Terry Jones on what makes our leaders tick April 19, 2004, The Guardian Everyone agrees that President George Bush’s lobotomy has been a tremendous success. Dick Cheney, the vice-president, declared that he was fully satisfied with it from his point of view. “Without the lobotomy,” Mr Cheney told the American Academy of Neurology, “it might have proved difficult to persuade the president to start wars all around the world without any good pretext. But the removal of those parts of the brain associated with understanding the outcome of one’s actions has enabled the president to function fully and without hesitation. […]

Saudi envoy had knowlege of Iraq invasion

April 19, 2004, The News International (Pakistan) by Nayyar Zaidi Washington: Saudi Ambassador to Washington for last two decades, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was informed of US decision to invade Iraq, a full 48 hours ahead of the briefing to Secretary of State Colin Powell. On January 11, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney invited Ambassador Sultan to the White House where Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Richard B Myers were also present. Sitting on the “edge of the table”, General Myers took out a large map labeled “TOP SECRET: NOFORN”. The term […]

US holding 200 Iraqi ‘mutineers’

[ According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Reuters reports that “US forces have detained around 200 Iraqi paramilitary” who refused to kill their fellow Iraqis in Fallujah. “They were bombing the city with warplanes and using cluster bombs. I could not be a part of this,” a Kurdish soldier said. –BL ] April 18, 2004 | Sydney Morning Herald / Reuters US forces have detained around 200 Iraqi paramilitary soldiers who refused to take part in a US offensive against the Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah, their former comrades said on Saturday. The US military declined to confirm whether the men […]

Prince Bandar’s Election-Time Gift to Bush, Cheney’s “War Fever,” & Bush’s Illegal $700 Million

[ Must read! From the article (based on the April 18 episode of 60 Minutes), on Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, Plan of Attack: [Saudi] Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election – to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day…. That’s the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a […]

A NATION CHALLENGED: WARNINGS; Earlier Hijackings Offered Signals That Were Missed

October 3, 2001 | New York Times by MATTHEW L. WALD WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 — Over and over since Sept. 11, aviation and security officials have said they were shocked that terrorists had hijacked airliners and crashed them into landmark buildings. ”This is a whole new world for us,” Jane F. Garvey, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said in testimony before a House subcommittee on Sept. 20. But the record shows that for her and others, there were numerous warnings. In 1994, two jetliners were hijacked by people who wanted to crash them into buildings, one of them […]

Surprise: Army Simulated Pentagon Plane Crash in 2000

[ It is shocking that this story about the Army’s simulation of plane attacks on the Pentagon has not been covered by the major news agencies. Did I miss it? It provides some context in which to evaluate Rice’s and Bush’s claims that no one could have imagined terrorists using planes to attack major targets. Notice that the article comes from an Army website! (It appears it had occurred to the FAA, too.) This is a follow-up to a recent story. Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for finding the article below. –BL ] Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing […]

What Bush Knew and more …

[ After a few prefatory paragraphs, the lengthy article below is largely an indictment composed of damning excerpts, mostly from standard news sources, categorized by the following topic areas: what Bush knew about about 9/11 the planes incompetence predictions what a mess war fever the defectors [within the Administration] a statesman's guide to Iraq [or: why previous administrations would not invade] the media [failed] about face [shifting rationales for invasion] support the troops [vets speak out] the draft mob mentality [the mean ways of the Bush cabal] funny money It's a reference work, forwarded by Suzanne Faye. –BL ] Deep Dark […]

NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer Made Unjustified, Inflammatory Claim

[ Paul Bremer’s decision to close the al-Sadr-affiliated newspaper, Al Hawza, was arguably an important cause of the increased violence in Iraq. Hence, it is important that journalists properly represent to the American people the rationale for the censorship. –BL ] NewsHour Should Correct Lehrer’s Falsehood April 16, 2004 | Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) On the April 7 edition of the PBS NewsHour, anchor Jim Lehrer offered a rationale for the U.S. closure of the Al Hawza newspaper, affiliated with Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr. But so far the program has been unable to supply evidence to back up Lehrer’s […]

Marines in Fallujah trade ‘ culturally sensitive’ training for bullets

by LOURDES NAVARRO April 15, 2004 — FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) On a rooftop overlooking Fallujah’s industrial wasteland, Lance Cpl. Tom Browne pokes his machine gun muzzle out of a hole in a barrier wall, singing to himself to pass the time. In the street below, the corpse of an insurgent suspect lies baking in the sun. Browne, from Boston, says he has killed several rebels, probably Iraqis, so far. “I don’t even think about those people as people,” he says. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The band of Marines in this insurgent stronghold received two big orders this […]

U.S.’ Use of Violence in Najaf Could “Define the Future of Iraq”

[ Most citizens of Najaf do not support radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. But the U.S.’s sledge hammer approach to winning hearts and minds is helping al-Sadr win converts. Even more sobering, if the U.S. makes good on its threats to attack Najaf, that could well define the future of Iraq…. Any attempt by the US military even to approach this most sacred of sites, burial place of the Prophet Mohammad’s son-in-law Ali, would inflame Islamic opinion across the globe and bring on to the streets of Najaf even those who have little time for Mr Sadr’s extremism. –BL ] Gunmen […]

U.N. Warns of Possible Nuclear Thefts in Iraq

[ From the article below: Some Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are being taken out of the country…. The International Atomic Energy Agency sent a letter to United States officials three weeks ago telling them of the findings…. Officials said the agency was awaiting a reply from the United States … Arms control officials fear that the war and the continuing unrest may have increased chances that terrorists may get their hands on materials used for unconventional weapons or that civilians may be exposed to radioactive materials. The agency has been unable to investigate, monitor […]

Pentagon crash ‘too unrealistic’

4/14/2004, Boston Globe by Bryan Bender WASHINGTON — Five months before Sept. 11, 2001, the officers responsible for defending American airspace wanted to test their ability to prevent a hijacked airliner from being crashed into the Pentagon, but the scenario was rejected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as impractical, a Joint Chiefs spokesman confirmed yesterday. The disclosure was made after a government watchdog group released a leaked e-mail from a former official at the North American Air Defense Command. In the message, the official told colleagues a week after the attacks that in April 2001 NORAD requested that war […]

U.S. Funds Opposition to Democratically Elected Venezuelan President

U.S. Funding for Foes Enrages Venezuela’s Chavez Apr 15, 2004, Reuters by Pascal Fletcher CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – Documents showing U.S. funding for Venezuelan opposition groups have prompted an increase in personal attacks by President Hugo Chávez against President Bush, according to a U.S. lawyer who helped unearth the evidence. Eva Golinger, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based attorney who supports Chavez, said documents obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act showed that around $4 million in U.S. Congress-allocated funds had been channeled to the groups before and after a 2002 coup that briefly toppled Chavez.

Venezuelan Leader, in Fiery Speech, Blames U.S. for Iraq Chaos

[ In response to Venezuelan President Chavez’ blaming Bush for the violence in Iraq, State Department weasel Roger Noriega called for an assessment of “Venezuela’s respect for the law and human rights”! Noriega apparently fails to see the irony in his response to Chavez’ criticism of Bush’s immoral war, which continues to violate international law, and which has generated more terrorism and hatred of the U.S. than was imaginable just a few years ago. Further, the Bush Administration has been funding opposition groups in Venezuela and assisted the failed 2002 coup against the democratically elected Chavez. None of this opposition […]

CNN to Al Jazeera: Why Report Civilian Deaths?

April 15, 2004, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) As the casualties mount in the besieged Iraqi city of Fallujah, Qatar-based Al Jazeera has been one of the only news networks broadcasting from the inside, relaying images of destruction and civilian victims– including women and children. But when CNN anchor Daryn Kagan interviewed the network's editor-in-chief, Ahmed Al-Sheik, on Monday (4/12/04)– a rare opportunity to get independent information about events in Fallujah– she used the occasion to badger Al-Sheik about whether the civilian deaths were really “the story” in Fallujah. Al Jazeera has recently come under sharp criticism from U.S. […]

Heads Up… from Michael Moore

[ FYI: Here’s the latest from Michael Moore. –BL ] April 14th, 2004, Friends, I have never seen a head so far up a Presidential ass (pardon my Falluja) than the one I saw last night at the “news conference” given by George W. Bush. He’s still talking about finding “weapons of mass destruction” — this time on Saddam’s “turkey farm.” Turkey indeed. Clearly the White House believes there are enough idiots in the 17 swing states who will buy this. I think they are in for a rude awakening. I’ve been holed up for weeks in the editing room […]

How Will the U.S. Respond to Genocide?

[ From the article: “And what should parents do when the Janjaweed seize their children, or gang-rape their daughters? Should they resist, knowing they will then be shot at once in front of their children? Or what about the parents described by Human Rights Watch who were allowed by the militia to choose how their children would die: burned alive or shot to death? …. We can save many tens of thousands of lives in the coming weeks — but only if Mr. Bush and Mr. Annan speak out more boldly, if the U.N. Security Council insists on humanitarian access […]

Remember Rwanda, but Take Action in Sudan

[ From the article: “Today, roughly 1,000 miles north of Rwanda, tens of thousands of Africans are herded onto death marches, and Western leaders are again sitting in offices. How sad it is that it doesn’t even seem strange.” –doclalor ] April 6, 2004, New York Times by Samantha Power Ten years ago this week, Rwandan Hutu extremists embarked on a genocidal campaign in which they murdered some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus — a genocide more efficient than that of the Nazis. On this anniversary, Western and United Nations leaders are expressing their remorse and pledging their resolve to prevent […]

US Marines Shoot Ambulances in Fallujah

[ Although the U.S. has sought to prevent news agencies such as Al-Jazeera from covering the U.S. massacre of Fallujah, a number of independent and alternative media have managed to get stories and footage out — including this story Free Speech Radio filed with Democracy Now!, this coverage by ahr Jamail, and by Voices in the Wilderness. Below is another such report. –doclalor ] Pacifica Network Reports from Iraq, April 13, 2004 BAGHDAD, IRAQ — Speaking from his ranch in Crawford, Texas the President the United States, George W. Bush told reporters American soldiers have acted against, quote: “lawlessness and gangs” […]

Iraqi ‘beaten to death’ by US troops

14apr04, The Australian AN Iraqi has died of his wounds after US troops beat him with truncheons because he refused to remove a picture of wanted Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada Sadr from his car, police said today. The motorist was stopped late yesterday by US troops conducting search operations on a street in the centre of the central city of Kut, Lieutenant Mohamad Abdel Abbas said. After the man refused to remove Sadr’s picture from his car, the soldiers forced him out of the vehicle and started beating him with truncheons, he said. US troops also detained from the same […]

Conscientious Objectors in the U.S. Military go to Canada

Facing Iraq duty, two U.S. G.I.’s head north to seek asylum: Soldiers Choose Canada by Alisa Solomon Village Voice, April 6th, 2004 TORONTO – Army private Brandon Hughey got in his silver Mustang around midnight on March 2, rolled past the gates at Fort Hood in Texas, and headed northeast. All he had to guide him was a deepening dread and principled objection to the war in Iraq and a promise of help from a complete stranger he’d found on the Internet. His unit was deploying to the Middle East the next morning and, as Hughey, 18, wrote in a […]

U.S. Helped Impose Death Sentence on Democracy in Haiti

[ “Tom Griffin, part of a delegation sent by the National Lawyers Guild to Haiti to meet with victims and their families, witnesses and grassroots leaders,” reports that the de facto leaders of Haiti — praised by the U.S.-installed interim leader, Gerard Latortue — are military thugs who have been summarily executing supporters of the popular Lavalas Party (i.e., the party of Aristide, the leader deposed in a recent U.S.-backed coup). Based on previous reports, we know that the rebels had freed human rights violators from jail, and used violence against Lavalas supporters. In the interview introduced below, Griffin reports […]

Americans Slaughtering Civilians In Falluja

[ The following is a representative description of the carnage in Fallujah from correspondent Dahr Jamail, who was there on Sunday capturing the story untold by the corporate media. (Follow the link below to see Jamail’s photographs.) As I was there, an endless stream of women and children who’d been sniped by the Americans were being raced into the dirty clinic, the cars speeding over the curb out front as their wailing family members carried them in. One woman and small child had been shot through the neck — the woman was making breathy gurgling noises as the doctors frantically […]

Panel Says Bush Saw Repeated Warnings

Reports Preceded August 2001 Memo by Dana Priest April 14, 2004; Page A01, Washington Post By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President’s Daily Brief headlined “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda’s intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush’s top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports “Bin Laden planning multiple operations,” “Bin […]

Misery in Iraq: The Latest

[ “The head of US Central Command in Iraq, General John Abizaid,” says he needs at least 10,000 more troops in Iraq. Before the war neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfowitz would hear anything about this from the experts. From CBS, Feb. 28, 2003: It’s also unclear how long the U.S. will maintain a presence in post-war Iraq, and how many troops will have to be there. This week, Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki guessed “several hundred thousand” soldiers could be needed, but Rumsfeld predicts far fewer will be required. The article below is captures the situation in Iraq now. […]

Hospitals in Fallujah Report Deaths of Children, Women, Elderly

April 12, 2004 | Democracy Now! The town of Fallujah is under siege and there are reports of a massacre of Iraqis at the hands U.S. troops. The death toll in the town has now topped 600 with over 1,000 injured. Local hospitals reported the majority of the dead were women, children and the elderly. The U.S. maintains 95 percent of those killed were members of the resistance. This according to the Guardian of London. More than 60,000 women and children fled the city during a brief ceasefire on Friday but the US blocked any men of military age from […]

How Did Iraq Spin Out of U.S. Control?

[ From the article: “[The paper] Al Hawza was closed March 28 for what US administrators deemed its tendency to incite violence…. It proved a miscalculation.” –doclalor ] Uprising in Iraq March 28 US-led coalition authorities close Moqtada al-Sadr’s newspaper, Al Hawza. March 31 A guerrilla ambush on two vehicles in Fallujah kills four American military contractors. Images of their mutilated bodies are shown worldwide. April 3 The arrest of Mustafa al-Yacoubi, a close aide of Sadr and a lieutenant in Najaf, provokes demonstrations and attacks in Baghdad and southern Iraq. April 4 Dozens of militants belonging to Sadr’s Mahdi army […]

Ashcroft’s Record of Lying to Congress About 9/11

April 13, 2004 | With Attorney General John Ashcroft testifying before the 9/11 Commission today, a quick analysis of his previous statements shows he has repeatedly lied to Congress about the Bush Administration’s counterterrorism record. Specifically, when questioned by Congress in 2002 about why he tried to de-prioritize and slash funding for counterterrorism before 9/11, Ashcroft resorted to dishonest denials — even in the face of budget documents that proved he was not telling the truth. For instance, in testimony before the House of Representatives, Ashcroft said that before 9/11, his “number-one goal” at the Justice Department “was the […]

Taxpayers’ total contribution to military is close to 40 cents of every dollar

APRIL 8, 2004 | National Priorities Project Nearly Half of Every Tax Dollar Goes to Military, National Debt NORTHAMPTON, MA – April 8 – As April 15 approaches and people prepare to pay their 2003 income taxes, they should know that nearly half of every dollar they owe will be used to support military spending and interest on the national debt. Military spending in 2003 required 29 cents of every income tax dollar, with the debt taking another 20 cents, according to the National Priorities Project. By comparison, education and veterans benefits receive only four cents of every income tax […]

‘US is bigger threat than terror’

BBC NEWS, April, 9, 2004 Globalisation and the US pose a more serious threat to the world than war and terrorism, according to a BBC poll. Corruption came second on a list of the biggest problems facing the world, the survey of BBC viewers worldwide found. Conflicts – war and terrorism – ranked third, with 50%, followed by hunger, 49%, and climate change with 44%. BBC World asked 1,500 viewers of its news and international channel for the biggest problems in the world with 52% saying the US and globalisation. Respondents from Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Middle […]

US tactics condemned by British officers

[ British commanders in Iraq are thinking, “[t]he US will have to abandon the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach – it has failed.” From the article: British rules of engagement only allow troops to open fire when attacked, using the minimum force necessary and only at identified targets. The American approach was markedly different: “When US troops are attacked with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area.” –doclalor ] London’s Telegraph, April 11, […]

Untruths from Condie Rice and Scott McClellan

by Brendan Lalor The stream of misinformation from the White House continues to flow. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice stated in testimony before the 9/11 Commission that RICE: … [the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief] did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States. As Lerxst points out, she later appeared to contradict her crucial “old reporting” claim: KEAN: This is the last question, Senator. KERREY: Actually it won’t be a […]

Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist Attack by November

[ WARNING: the possibility discussed in the article below — of the “suspension of the U.S. Constitution and the installation of a military form of government” led by Bush — is sure to cause the onset of a deep sense of gloom … But it’s a must-read — not because there’s an overwhelming probability that this will come to pass, but because it’s a grave and, unfortunately, plausible (if not probable) scenario. –doclalor ] April 6, 2004, by Maureen Farrell On Dec. 31, 2003, New York Times columnist and former Nixon speech writer William Safire offered his standard New Year’s […]

The Bad Intelligence Cited by Colin Powell

[ Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed before the U.N. Security Council, just weeks before the bombing of Iraq, to have “firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.” But David Kay, who was in charge of the U.S. search for illicit weapons after the bombing of Iraq, has retorted, that “Powell’s account was ‘disingenuous’, and added: “If Powell had said to the Security Council: ‘It’s one source, we never actually talked to him, and we don’t know his name,’ as he’s describing this, I think people would have laughed us out of court.” The article below […]

Richard Clarke on ABC’s NIGHTLINE tonight

by Brendan Lalor Announcement: On ABC’s NightLine, former head of counterterrorism for the Administration, Richard Clark, will respond to Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission earlier today. Here’s how NightLine plugged the event: TONIGHT’S FOCUS: At long last, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testified this morning before the 9/11 Commission about what the White House knew and when they knew it. Time and time again the questions and answers returned to the testimony and public statements of former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke. Tonight we’ll let you hear the highlights of Rice’s testimony – and Ted Koppel’s guest will be […]

The International Republican Institute, McCain, and the Coup in Haiti

[ As the “coalition” occupation of Iraq seems to spin out of control, it is easy to forget about U.S. interventions elsewhere in the world, for instance, in Haiti — which is very much an expression of U.S. hegemony in the region. While I would like to see more solid documentation of the claim in the article below that the International Republican Institute (IRI) trained and funded the violent, anti-democratic forces in Haiti, there are other reports that corroborate Jordan’s theory. Earlier this week, Dr. Luis Barrios, on DemocracyNow!, reported that on his recent fact-finding mission to the Dominican Republic, […]