Daily Archives: May 20, 2004

10 posts

Trial of Returned Soldier Turned Conscientious Objector Deserves Attention

by Brendan Lalor The court-martial of conscientious objector Staff Sgt Camilo Mejia deserves more attention. Mejia’s desertion trial is under way. His experience during his five months of service in Iraq, until October, 2003, turned him into a conscientious objector, he says. As The Mirror (20 May 2004) reports: Staff Sgt Camilo Mejia, 28, who deserted because he didn’t want to fight in an “oil-driven war,” was … court martialled in the US yesterday. He went AWOL for five months after going home to Florida on two weeks leave from Iraq. The BBC (20 May 2004) adds that he refused […]

“Justice Department” Attacks GreenPeace — and Loses

[ The case was triggered by an April 2002 protest in which two volunteers from a Greenpeace vessel boarded the APL Jade cargo ship, which was carrying the mahogany from Brazil toward the Port of Miami. Just a few months before, President George W Bush himself publicly committed Washington to help developing countries prevent illegal logging of mahogany, and the two activists who boarded the ship unfurled a banner that read, “President Bush, Stop Illegal Logging.” The two activists, as well as the four others in the Greenpeace boat, were arrested when they came into port, pleaded guilty to a […]

“The Covert Campaign To Rig Our Tax System to Benefit The Super Rich — And Cheat Everybody Else”

18 May 2004 | DemocracyNow! The income gap in the United States is greater than many imagine — the top 29,000 Americans have as much income as the bottom 96 million. And in recent years tax burden for the richest Americans — especially corporations — has been falling sharply while everyone else’s has risen. A study by the General Accounting Office found that almost two-thirds of America’s corporations paid no federal income taxes during the late 1990’s, when corporate profits were soaring. Nine out of 10 companies paid less than the equivalent of 5 percent of their total income. A […]

The Newsweek Expos?, “Roots of Torture”

by Brendan Lalor In case you’ve missed recent discussions about the Newsweek piece that complemented the recent important Seymour Hersh article printed here, here’s a note about it reported in a DemocracyNow! piece entitled, “Bush OK’d Relaxing Of Geneva Conventions in 2002”: Newsweek is … reporting that President Bush had decided by January of 2002 that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Newsweek obtained a memo to the president from White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales that read “As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war. […]

Bush Administration’s Ads Deemed Illegal “Propaganda”

White House’s Medicare Videos Are Ruled Illegal May 20, 2004 | New York Times by ROBERT PEAR WASHINGTON, May 19 – The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Wednesday that the Bush administration had violated federal law by producing and disseminating television news segments that portray the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly. The agency said the videos were a form of “covert propaganda” because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, broadcast by at least 40 television stations in 33 markets. The agency also expressed some concern about […]

See the Film Most Americans Have Never Seen: “Afghan Massacre”

excerpted from 20 May 2004 | DemocracyNow! [see the film by clicking here] … Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death … provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War. According to eyewitnesses, after the seige of Kunduz, some three thousand prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four […]

Officer Says Army Tried to Curb Red Cross Visits to Prison in Iraq

May 19, 2004 | New York Times by DOUGLAS JEHL and ERIC SCHMITT WASHINGTON, May 18 — Army officials in Iraq responded late last year to a Red Cross report of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison by trying to curtail the international agency’s spot inspections of the prison, a senior Army officer who served in Iraq said Tuesday. After the International Committee of the Red Cross observed abuses in one cellblock on two unannounced inspections in October and complained in writing on Nov. 6, the military responded that inspectors should make appointments before visiting the cellblock. That area was the […]

Violent Occupation, Bush, and Sharon

by Brendan Lalor To develop a sense of how Israel’s violence toward Palestinians, and how continued U.S. support for Israel, are perceived in the Arab world, watch a few episodes of LinkTV’s MOSAIC, a daily digest of Middle East news broadcasts. Many Americans fail to see the relationship between Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian territory and the U.S.’s violent occupation of Iraq. In fact, the same tax payers support both expressions of destructive hubris. Witness Israeli policy’s disregard for Palestinian civilians who live under the Israeli-imposed apartheid system (and compare U.S. policy’s disregard for Iraqi civilians over recent decades, especially […]

Bush praises Sharon’s pullout proposal

Erakat: Proposal is ‘severe blow to peace process’ 15 April 2004 | CNN WASHINGTON — President Bush endorsed an Israeli plan Wednesday to pull back from Gaza and part of the West Bank, but denied the United States was taking sides in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At a White House news briefing following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Bush said “realities on the ground” dictated that Israel should be able to keep some settlements in any future peace agreement. Bush praised Sharon for his withdrawal proposal. “These are historic and courageous actions,” Bush said. “If all parties […]

Born-Again Rapture

[ From the review: … it would be hard to overemphasize the awkwardness with which [LaHaye/Jenkins] blend[] folksy humour, treacly sentiment and religiously justified bloodbaths. The Left Behind books have been energetically condemned by mainstream reviewers in the United States — not least by more orthodox Christians, who have been as offended by LaHaye?s manglings of biblical tradition as they have by his uncompromising sectarian zeal. Nevertheless, the series?s visions of beleaguered yet plucky evangelists speaks powerfully to the many millions of believers whom secular as well as religious ideologues have been mobilizing since the late 1970s. President Bush — […]