Monthly Archives: June 2004

137 posts

Iraq is worse off than before the war began, GAO reports

Jun. 29, 2004 | Knight Ridder Newspapers By Seth Borenstein WASHINGTON – In a few key areas – electricity, the judicial system and overall security – the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released Tuesday. The 105-page report by Congress’ investigative arm offers a bleak assessment of Iraq after 14 months of U.S. military occupation. Among its findings: -In 13 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, electricity was available fewer hours per day on average last month than before […]

Genital Cutting Shows Signs of Losing Favor in Africa

June 8, 2004 | New York Times by MARK LACEY NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7 – Isnino Shuriye still remembers the pride she felt years ago when she leaned over each of her three daughters, knife in hand, and sliced into their genitals. Each time, as the blood started to flow, she quickly dropped the knife and picked up a needle and thread. Quickly, expertly, she sewed her daughters’ vaginas almost shut. “I was full of pride,” she recalled recently. “I felt like I was doing the right thing in the eyes of God. I was preparing them for marriage by […]

U.S. Preferred Attack on Iranian Forces While Brits Used Diplomacy

Attack Iran, US chief ordered British 30 June 2004 | Telegraph by Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent America’s military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed. An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels. “If we had attacked the Iranian positions, all hell would have broken loose,” a defence source said yesterday.

Questions Raised over Missing Iraqi Money

29 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! A new study by the British charity Christian Aid has found the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority can not account for $20 billion of Iraq’s money over the past 15 months. In addition the CPA recently handed out a series of contracts with little oversight. The report states, “In the run-up to the handover, billions more dollars have been hastily allocated to projects that do not appear to have been properly planned. This lack of accountability creates an environment ripe for corruption and theft at every level.” The CPA officially dissolved itself on Monday after the […]

Osama: Thanks, Bush!

[ Terrorism experts like Pollack, Gunaratna, and Cannistraro agree that Bush’s Iraq War has helped create bin Ladenism. –BL ] The Wrong War | Backdraft: How the war in Iraq has fueled Al Qaeda and ignited its dream of global jihad July/August 2004 | Mother Jones by Peter Bergen

Who Lost Iraq?

[ From the column: By making Iraq a playground for right-wing economic theorists, an employment agency for friends and family, and a source of lucrative contracts for corporate donors, the administration did terrorist recruiters a very big favor. –BL ] Who Lost Iraq? June 29, 2004 | New York Times by PAUL KRUGMAN The formal occupation of Iraq came to an ignominious end yesterday with a furtive ceremony, held two days early to foil insurgent attacks, and a swift airborne exit for the chief administrator. In reality, the occupation will continue under another name, most likely until a hostile Iraqi populace […]

More Signs that Sovereignty is Illusory: Iraqi Judges Not Permitted to Make Judgments

[ In a related story from the July 1 issue of the Guardian by Rory McCarthy, entitled, “US will override Baghdad in war on terrorism”: American commanders will risk launching high-profile military actions at targets in Iraq even if they go directly against the wishes of the new Iraqi government, a senior US general said yesterday. Lieutenant General Thomas Metz, the second most senior American officer in Iraq and the force’s tactical operations commander, said the US military was prepared to risk provoking “friction” with the new government in strikes against “professional terrorists.” His frank admission, just two days after […]

US Supreme Court declines to order release of Cheney energy taskforce papers

[ From the article: Keeping the public in the dark until after the November election is the immediate benefit of the decision for Bush. It is believed that the task force records, if released, would confirm that the Bush energy policy was authored by industry officials and lobbyists. This could only further inflame an electorate already angry over rising fuel prices. Additionally, there is evidence that the task force reviewed maps of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines and refineries, as well as contracts of foreign companies for Iraqi oilfield development. The publication of such evidence would underscore the fact that the Bush […]

Congress Agrees With Bush: Screw the Shoshone for Gold and a Nuclear Dump

Congress Passes Bill to Force Payment on Western Shoshone Land Struggle — A Sad Day for the Rule of Law in the United States, but the Fight?s not Over Say the Western Shoshone. 28 June 2004 | UN Observer Crescent Valley, Nevada, U.S.A. — As of Friday morning, the Western Shoshone Distribution Bill has passed both houses of Congress and is on its way to the Bush Administration for signature. The bill would authorize an alleged payoff of approximately 15 cents an acres for tens of millions of acres of disputed lands in Nevada, Idaho, Utah and California. A majority […]

The ‘evil empire’ is next door, [Canadian] youth say

Poll finds teens view some U.S. actions as global threat excerpted from June 27, 2004 | The Ottawa Citizen by Misty Harris Evil is a word usually reserved for serial killers, Austin Powers villains, and kids who tear the legs off baby spiders. But, a new poll shows a significant number of young Canadians would use “evil” to describe their U.S. neighbours. In a telephone poll of 500 teens aged 14 to 18, more than 40 per cent of respondents saw the U.S. as an evil global force. Among French-Canadians, that number jumped to 64 per cent.

High Court Deals Blow to Bush’s War on Terror

Jun 28, 2004 | Reuters by James Vicini WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court placed the first limits on President Bush’s war on terrorism on Monday and ruled that terror suspects can use the American judicial system to challenge their confinement. The historic moves on the day before the end of the high court’s term marked a bitter defeat for Bush’s assertion of sweeping presidential powers to indefinitely hold “enemy combatants” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was the court’s first rulings on Bush’s terrorism policies. In one ruling, the court said the nearly 600 foreign terror suspects held […]

Guatemala and the Forgotten Anniversary: “50 years ago the U.S. supported the overthrow of the legitimate and democratically-elected government”

June 18, 2004 | Foreign Policy In Focus by Arnold J. Oliver Democracy has been much in the news of late. At the G-8 Summit in Georgia, one of the main items on the agenda was the democratization of the Middle East, and the recent commemoration of the D-Day anniversary and the passing of President Reagan both generated discussion concerning the defense and spread of democracy. But amidst all the hoopla, the anniversary of a decisive event in the modern history of democracy has somehow escaped notice. Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1954, the government of the United States […]

In Sudan, Death and Denial: Officials Accused of Concealing Crisis as Thousands Starve

June 27, 2004 | Washington Post by Emily Wax MORNAY, Sudan — There are tents here that no parent wants to visit. They are called feeding centers, shady rectangular units where children fight death. Sitting on a mat and holding his son’s frail hand, Mohammed Ishaq and his wife, Aisha, have been here five days, nursing 9-month-old Zohar on drops of water from a large pink cup, praying that somehow he will survive. Zohar spits up the water. His cough is rough, and his thin skin clings to his ribs. His withered left arm is connected to an IV. He […]

Contra Bush, It’s Not Freedom Terrorists Hate, but U.S. Policies

by Brendan Lalor To briefly follow up an earlier article on the new book “by a senior CIA analyst who headed the agency’s task force on Osama bin Laden,” Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (Brassey’s, 2004), the Washington Post’s Walter Pincus reports: The author, who writes under the name “Anonymous,” argues it is not dislike of freedom, democracy and Western culture that led bin Laden to wage war against America, but rather his disdain for U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world, particularly America’s relationship with Israel. Senior U.S. leaders, the book argues, […]

As Real as the Sovereignty: Fake Handover of Saddam?


U.S. Soldiers Surprised by the Youth of Iraqi Opposition

excerpted from 27 June 2004 | Washington Post “When we returned to camp that afternoon, me and my gunners were all shaking,” [Lt. Jon] Silk [whose platoon pushed into Kufa in May] said. “It was the first time we’d ever seen what our guns were doing to them.” Capt. Geoff Wright, who commands a tank company, was in the fight with Silk that day in Kufa. And he, too, was taken aback after seeing the faces of his enemy, much younger than he had imagined, up close.

New Conservative Film Fest: “Big-time Conservative Donors” Fund “Moore Hates America” Film

Michael and them: Moore foes hold fest June 25, 2004 | Hollywood Reporter by Paul Bond Just as his “Fahrenheit 9/11” opens nationwide, several filmmakers are readying documentaries aimed at debunking Michael Moore, and a new film festival is being planned that will feature such works as well as other movies well to the right of Moore’s films. Scheduled Sept. 9-11 in Dallas, the American Film Renaissance, as the festival will be known, has just been announced by co-founder Jim Hubbard, who said it is bankrolled primarily by some “big-time conservative donors.”

If human nature is tribal, it?s time to expand the tribe

[ While I am somewhat skeptical of the more neurochemically reductionistic elements of Shermer’s theory and would prefer a more qualified identification of trade as a trust-generating “engine,” I am extremely sympathetic to the material on the evolution of cooperation and the moral imperative to “expand the tribe.” Thanks to Bill Bryant of Oklahomans for Global Solutions for forwarding this article. –BL ] June, 2004 | Science and Theology News by Michael Shermer In Rob Reiner?s 1992 film A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson?s character — the battle-hardened Marine Col. Nathan R. Jessup — is being cross-examined by Tom Cruise?s naive […]

Bin Laden Aimed To Link Plot to Israel

[ According to the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 appears to have been motivated in part by opposition to U.S. support for Israel against the Palestinians. In related news, the Commission also reports bin Laden links with Iran: In relation to Iran [a sponsor of anti-Israel group Hezbollah], commission investigators said intelligence “showed far greater potential for collaboration between Hezbollah and al Qaeda than many had previously thought.” (Washington Post, 25 June) –BL ] June 25, 2004 | The Forward [New York] by Marc Perelman In an interim staff report released last week, the presidential commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks shed […]

New hope for the U.N.

[ Cronkite reports on recent high-level talks at which ideas about U.N. reform are being floated — on setting up an effective system to respond to the need to protect human rights, on ways of dealing with anti-democratic members, on proportion representation, and even on Security Council reform. –BL ] 13 June 2004 | Denver Post by Walter Cronkite New life is being breathed into the United Nations. The organization that is the world’s best hope for a lasting peace seems to be relevant again, having been consigned to irrelevancy a year and a half ago by George Bush and much […]

Must-See “Daily Show” Bush Videos

by Brendan Lalor Comedy Central’s Daily Show with John Stewart has a number of seriously great Bush videos on its website, including the following: click Bush vs. Bush click Stephen Colbert Faces the Imaginable try these, including A-Boo Gareff They are damning and often funny.

Iraqi Insurgents: Domestic vs. Foreign

by Brendan Lalor The Bush Administration is quick to oversimplify insurgent elements in Iraq through demonizing its opposition with slogans such as “anti-democratic extremists,” “enemy insurgents,” and “terrorist killers.” These propagandistic tendencies of the Bush Administration make it all the more important for the American public to guard against such unsubtle and premature characterizations. The Asia Times has reported an apparently extensive network composed of mostly native Iraqis opposed to the occupation. These forces claim that they aim to expel the U.S. and set up a secular democracy. If correct, it would be a complete mischaracterization to lump such a […]

Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”: Part Documentary, Part Counterpropaganda?

by Brendan Lalor Christopher Hitchens has given Michael Moore a beating for his new film, Fahrenheit 9/11, often disingenuously — as when he points out that Moore complains that, on the one hand, Bush failed to send enough troops to Iraq, and, on the other hand, Bush should not have sent any troops. Isn’t Moore entitled to oppose sending troops at all, but then complain that if troops are being sent, Bush had better send enough? As David Edelstein properly argues, Fahrenheit 9/11 must be viewed in the context of the Iraq occupation and the torrent of misleading claims that […]

?Fahrenheit 9/11? ban? Ads for Moore?s movie could be stopped on July 30

24 June 2004 | The Hill by Alexander Bolton Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, ?Fahrenheit 9/11,? on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel. At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore?s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law. In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC?s agenda for today’s meeting, the agency?s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to […]

Court Overrules FCC’s Pro-Big Media Rules

Court rejects FCC ownership rules in historic victory! June 25, 2004 | On June 24, 2004, a federal appeals court overturned the FCC’s dramatic loosening of media ownership rules, handing the public a historic victory. The court’s ruling sends the FCC?s controversial rules — which relaxed the limits on newspaper, TV, and radio ownership — back to the drawing board. The decision is a tremendous victory for media diversity, localism, and for the general public, including the millions of citizens who have been writing, e-mailing and calling the FCC and Congress to protest the FCC’s caving in to Big […]

New Film: Privatization Prices Water Out of Reach of the World’s Poor

[ When Bolivia auctioned off the water system of Cochabamba, its third-largest city, “to U.S.-based Bechtel Corporation in 1999, residents experience water price hikes of 30-300%”… –BL ] The New Blue Gold June 23, 2004 | by Silja J.A. Talvi There are untold profits to be made from controlling the simplest and most vital ingredient of our survival: water. The only question, from a profit standpoint, is why it has taken this long. “You can’t do anything without water,” says Alan Snitow, co-producer and co-director of Thirst, a groundbreaking and provocative new film about the rush to privatize what the […]

Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War

24 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus just released a new study titled “PAYING THE PRICE: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War” that examines the costs of the war and occupation in terms of lives, the increased military budget demands and the stripping of the domestic budget. Among the report’s findings: Total number of coalition military deaths between the start of war and June 16, 2004: 952 (853 U.S.) Of those 952, the number killed after President George W. Bush declared “an end to combat operations” on May 1, 2003: 693 […]

Iraq?s ?Sovereign? Government to Have Little Control Over Oil Money

22 June 2004 | NewStandard News by Chris Shumway A last minute spending spree by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and language in the UN Security Council resolution setting the conditions for Iraqi sovereignty appear likely to limit the interim government’s ability to exercise meaningful control over the country’s oil revenues. According to documents posted on its own web site, the CPA?s little-known Program Review Board (PRB) has quietly committed billions of dollars in Iraq’s oil revenues to new contracts that critics say will enrich US and British corporations while limiting the amount of revenue Iraq’s new interim government […]

U.S. extends its own Iraq immunity

24 June 2004 | United Press International (UPI) Washington, DC — The U.S. government is bypassing the United Nations and is granting its own forces immunity from prosecution in Iraq after the June 30 handover of control. U.S. administrator Paul Bremer is expected to extend by at least six months an order that gives all foreign personnel in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority immunity from “local criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction and from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their parent states.”

The Economic Colonization of Iraq: Illegal and Immoral

[ I learned of this important paper through –BL ] Testimony to the World Tribunal on Iraq, International Forum on Globalization, New York, May 8, 2004 by Antonia Juhasz The Bush Administration is using the military invasion and occupation of Iraq to advance a corporate globalization agenda that is illegal under international law, has not been chosen by the Iraqi people and may ultimately prove to be even more devastating than twelve years of economic sanctions, two U.S.-led wars and one occupation. The Administration’s ultimate goal is to take the agenda to the entire region. In direct conflict with its […]

Otto Reich on the U.S.’s Intentions Toward Venezuela and Haiti

[ Otto Reich, Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs since 2002, is a far-right wing propagandist and former Reagan appointee. He supported the Contras, and was ambassador to Venezuela, in which, more recently he probably helped orchestrate the Bush Administration’s 2002 coup attempt. Reich smears the popular, democratically elected Chavez (Venezuela) and Aristide (Haiti). They both oppose the Bush Administration’s hegemonic policy in Latin America. –BL ] US wants Chavez out The departing US envoy to Latin America and the Caribbean said the Bush administration would like to see the removal of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. 19 […]

Iraqi Resistance: ‘The liberation of Baghdad is not far away’

[ In this important yet questionable article, members of the Iraqi resistance tell the Asia Times of their plans to expel the American forces and set up a secular democracy of their own design. –BL ] 25 June 2004 | Asia Times by Alix de la Grange Editor’s note: Coordinated attacks and skirmishes in several Iraqi cities on Thursday killed at least 66 people and wounded more than 250. Forty-four people were killed in a series of car bomb blasts in the northern city of Mosul and 216 wounded. Fighting in al-Anbar province, where there were clashes in Fallujah and Ramadi, […]

George Bush Sr. Against Regime Change in Iraq in 1991

Below is an excerpt from "Why We Didn’t Remove Saddam" by George Bush, Sr. and Brent Scowcroft, Time (2 March 1998): While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and […]

Fox News Spins 9/11 Commission Report

June 22, 2004 | Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting The Bush administration’s long-running attempts to link Iraq and Al Qaeda were dealt a serious blow when the September 11 commission’s June 16 interim report indicated that there did not appear to be a “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and Osama bin Laden, and that there was no evidence that Iraq was involved in the September 11 attacks. But if you were watching the Fox News Channel, you saw something very different, as the conservative cable network eagerly defended the Bush administration and criticized the rest of the media for mishandling the […]

AP Sues for Access to Bush Guard Records

[ The AP is still on the Bush Texas Air National Guard story: The White House has yet to respond to a request by the AP in April asking the president to sign a written waiver of his right to keep records of his military service confidential…. When the government did not produce the documents, AP appealed to the Pentagon, saying that by law, the microfilm copy should have been produced within 20 days. –BL ] 22 June 2004 | Associated Press by PETE YOST WASHINGTON – The Associated Press sued the Pentagon and the Air Force on Tuesday, seeking access […]

U.S. Explains Limits of Iraq’s Fictional Sovereignty

[ Michael Moore was right: the Iraq war was based on a fiction. And now it’s all the more clear that it’s being followed by fictional sovereignty! Could it be that only a “sovereign” nation can enter into binding oil contracts and mass-privatization deals that commit Iraq to exporting its wealth? If so, this fiction is an important fiction. –BL ] Iraq ministers told only US can impose martial law by Nicolas Pelham in Baghdad 22 June 2004 | Financial Times The US-led occupation authority in Baghdad has warned Iraq’s interim government not to carry out its threat of declaring martial […]

No sex please — we’re Japanese

3 June 2004 | USA Today by Paul Wiseman To an astonishing degree, the sexes are going their opposite ways in Japan. Young women are revolting against the traditional role of obedient housewife, opting instead to live at home and shop and socialize with girlfriends. Startled men are retreating into solitary ways. Check-ins at the country’s famed ‘love hotels’ are even falling. As birthrates slip, a social crisis looms.

Supreme Court Extends Police Powers and Sides with HMOs Against Patients

22 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! Police Given OK to Stop & Ask ID From Anyone The Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 ruling, decided yesterday that police can now stop anyone on the street and demand that they identify themselves as long as the identification is not self-incriminating. The Washington Post reports the ruling overturns one?s right to remain silent and allows for the prosecution of anyone who refuses to identify themselves to a police officer. Supreme Court Bars Patients From Suing HMOs The Supreme Court also issued a unanimous ruling yesterday barring health care patients from being able […]

Homophobic Military Discharges 770 Under ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell?

21 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! A new study by the Defense Manpower Data Center has found the military discharged 770 people last year because they were gay under the Pentagon’s ?don’t ask, don’t tell policy?. The majority of the discharged were enlisted personnel. This comes at a time [when] the military is issuing stop orders to prevent thousands of soldiers from retiring or returning home from Iraq. Hundreds of the discharged were specialists including 88 linguists, seven of whom spoke Arabic; 39 specialists who worked on nuclear, chemical and biological warfare were dismissed as were 90 nuclear power engineers.

National Lawyers Guild: Bush Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes

21 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! The National Lawyers Guild has called for President Bush to be prosecuted for war crimes for approving or for failing to stop the torture of detainees. The Guild also charged that the Bush administration has illegally tried to justify the use of torture by claiming the president has the right to disregard existing laws. In related news, more than 400 legal scholars signed a letter last week to Congress urging them to consider impeaching President Bush.

The Terrorist Ashcroft Is Ignoring: A White Supremacist Terrorist

Noonday in the Shade 22 June 2004 | New York Times by PAUL KRUGMAN In April 2003, John Ashcroft’s Justice Department disrupted what appears to have been a horrifying terrorist plot. In the small town of Noonday, Tex., F.B.I. agents discovered a weapons cache containing fully automatic machine guns, remote-controlled explosive devices disguised as briefcases, 60 pipe bombs and a chemical weapon — a cyanide bomb — big enough to kill everyone in a 30,000-square-foot building. Strangely, though, the attorney general didn’t call a press conference to announce the discovery of the weapons cache, or the arrest of William Krar, […]

Flurry of Suicide Attempts at Guantanamo Came After General In Charge of Iraq Prisons Took Charge

Flurry of Suicide Attempts at Guantanamo Came After New General Took Charge 22 June 2004 | Associated Press WASHINGTON — Three months after a get-tough general took command of the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, prisoners began a flurry of suicide attempts, according to military records. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller took over as commander at Guantanamo in November 2002 after interrogators criticized his predecessor for being too solicitous for the detainees’ welfare. Between January and March 2003, 14 prisoners at Guantanamo tried to kill themselves, according to Pentagon figures. That’s more than 40 percent of the 34 suicide attempts […]

U.S. to Give ‘Legal’ Custody of Saddam to Iraqis

[ reader David Donahoe points out a few ironies in the following piece: The death penalty in Iraq was suspended during the U.S. occupation? The U.S. is “turning over” Saddam “to the Iraqis” in much the way it is turning over the country to them: legally, but not physically. –BL ] Jun 22, 2004 | Reuters by Alistair Lyon BAGHDAD – The United States plans to turn over legal, but not physical, custody of Saddam Hussein and some other prisoners to the Iraqi interim government soon after it takes over on June 30, a senior official said on Tuesday.

U.S. Revises Up 2003 Terrorism Deaths to 625

[ Following up a story printed here, the Bush Administration has had to admit its estimation of its anti-terror successes were way off. Thanks to David Donahoe for forwarding this article. NPR’s coverage is brief, but worth a listen, too: Terrorism was at a 20-year high during 2003, rather than a 34-year low! –BL ] Jun 22, 2004 | Reuters WASHINGTON – The Bush administration on Tuesday will say terrorism killed 625 people in 2003, more than double the 307 deaths it cited in a faulty report used to argue it is winning the war on terrorism, a U.S. official said. […]

U.S. Said to Overstate Value of Guant?namo Detainees

21 June 2004 | (after June 2004) A New York Times report on Guantanamo finds "that government and military officials have repeatedly exaggerated both the danger the detainees posed and the intelligence they have provided," and that "contrary to the repeated assertions of senior administration officials, none of the detainees… rank as leaders or senior operatives of Al Qaeda."

Reagan’s WMD Connection to Saddam Hussein

June 18, 2004 | Future of Freedom Foundation by Jacob G. Hornberger Given all the indignant neoconservative “outrage” over the financial misdeeds arising from the UN’s socialist oil-for-food program during the 1990s, when the UN embargo was killing untold numbers of Iraqi children, one would think that there would be an equal amount of outrage over a much more disgraceful scandal — the U.S. delivery of weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein during the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

U.S. Forces Raid House, Leave Dead Son For Family To Find

[ “I don’t go near the Americans anymore, because I’m afraid they will kill me,” says Ali, an 11-year-old Iraqi child whose family had celebrated the U.S. capture of Saddam. –BL ] Shooting death angers Iraqi family: US tactics in raid raise concerns June 21, 2004 | Boston Globe by Thanassis Cambanis BAGHDAD — American soldiers stormed into Sajid Kadhum Bouri al-Bawi’s house three hours after midnight on May 17, breaking two doors and rousing the dozen children who live there. An hour later, family members recalled, the soldiers led a hooded man from the house and told the family they […]

Lingering Racism in the Voting System: Disenfranchised Nonwhites

[ This story follows up an earlier one printed here. Palast’s BBC News Night piece from February of 2001 (about the Florida 2000 election debacle) is truly still well worth a watch! Underlining below is mine. –BL ] The Sour Smell of Spoiled Ballots 20 June 2004 | San Francisco Chronicle by Greg Palast In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted. “Spoiled votes” is the technical term. The pile of ballots left to rot has a distinctly dark hue: About 1 million of them — half of the rejected ballots — were cast by […]

Clean Elections Mean Power to the People

The Patriot Amendment June 17, 2004 | by Molly Ivins AUSTIN, Texas — No sooner do we win a long struggle to clean up politics and restore democracy in this country than we find the whole thing under attack, and we have to go out and re-fight the same battle all over again. Good thing we’re not easily discouraged. This is what’s happening in Arizona, where the successful Clean Elections law is now under attack by the big special interests and national conservatives with ties that run from Tom DeLay (surprise!) to Bush’s fund-raising machine.

Bush on the Couch: Psychoanalysis of a Mad Man

[ Although Laura Miller complains that Justin Frank’s new book, Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President is sometimes simplistic, others uneven, she finds in it some insights, excerpted below. Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding the original article. The underlining below is mine. –BL ] Three new psychological portraits of George W. Bush paint him as a control freak driven by rage, fear and an almost murderous Oedipal competition with his father. And that’s before we get to Mom. excerpted from 16 June 2004 | by Laura Miller … What emerges is the image of a […]

CIA vs. the Pentagon

[ Following up another story here, author Thomas Powers explains what he takes to be the CIA’s fighting back against the Pentagon. For instance, why would the Pentagon hawks’ man (Chalabi) be discredited by a CIA raid of his headquarters just prior to Brahimi’s announcement of the new Prime Minister (Allawi, the CIA’s man)? Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding this article. –BL ] “A temporary coup” Author Thomas Powers says the White House’s corruption of intelligence has caused the greatest foreign policy catastrophe in modern U.S. history — and sparked a civil war with the nation’s intel agencies. 14 June […]

“America’s blankness”: A professor explains why so many people around the world hate us and what a post-Bush foreign policy might look like

[ Holmes explains why Iran and Syria might now be less afraid of the U.S., what the neo-conservatives ignore in Machiavelli, and more … Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding this article. Any underlining below is mine. –BL ] Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a speech given in Tysons Corner, Va., on May 27 to several hundred U.S. intelligence analysts from various agencies at their request. 17 June 2004 | by Stephen Holmes Anti-Americanism has a long and complex history. But most observers agree that the Bush administration’s bellicose and unilateralist foreign policy has greatly enflamed smoldering animosities […]

Bush’s Clintonian calibrations on al-Qaida

It Depends What the Meaning of “Relationship” Is June 17, 2004 | Slate by Fred Kaplan Talking to reporters after his Cabinet meeting this morning, President Bush disputed the 9/11 commission’s conclusion that no “collaborative relationship” existed between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. “There was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda,” Bush insisted. Then the president drew a distinction: The administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. For example, Iraqi intelligence agents met with bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda in Sudan. Let’s […]

Iraq: how history’s lessons were ignored

[ Robert Fisk draws out uncanny parallels between the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the early 20th century British invasion of the same. Thanks to Popi and Tom Natsoulas for forwarding this article. –BL ] 17 June 2004 | The Independent by Robert Fisk They came as liberators but were met by fierce resistance outside Baghdad. Humiliating treatment of prisoners and heavy-handed action in Najaf and Fallujah further alienated the local population. A planned hand-over of power proved unworkable. Britain’s 1917 occupation of Iraq holds uncanny parallels with today – and if we want to know what will happen […]

Today’s Civilian Deaths & the Use of Force After the “Transfer of Sovereignty”

[ That’s right. Bad intelligence … Again. Even the Voice of America News (June 20) reports no sign of any insurgents in the house flattened by the bombing, although there are at least 20 deceased civilians. The VOA article continues with the regular story of bad intelligence: “U.S. General Mark Kimmitt said U.S. forces had intelligence that members of militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s terrorist network were in the house at the time of the attack Saturday.”   What will these typical screw-ups mean after the alleged transfer of sovereignty? From the piece: If [Iraqi ministers] gave the go-ahead and there […]

Shell Oil Company Chairman Enrages Others in Industry

[ From the article: [A] gulf was opening between more progressive oil companies such as Shell, which invests in alternative energy sources including wind and solar power, and ExxonMobil, the biggest and most influential producer, particularly in the US. In June 2002 ExxonMobil’s chairman, Lee Raymond, said: “We in ExxonMobil do not believe that the science required to establish this linkage between fossil fuels and warming has been demonstrated.” –BL ] Oil chief: my fears for planet: Shell boss’s ‘confession’ shocks industry June 17, 2004 | The Guardian by David Adam, science correspondent The head of one of the world’s biggest […]

Bush told he is playing into Bin Laden’s hands

[ Underlining below is mine. –BL ] Al-Qaida may ‘reward’ American president with strike aimed at keeping him in office, senior intelligence man says June 19, 2004 | The Guardian by Julian Borger in Washington A senior US intelligence official is about to publish a bitter condemnation of America’s counter-terrorism policy, arguing that the west is losing the war against al-Qaida and that an “avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked” war in Iraq has played into Osama bin Laden’s hands. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, due out next month, dismisses two of the most frequent boasts of the […]

U.S. Arranging More Prison Abuse in Haiti?

[ This important story follows up earlier ones on Terry Stewart, who helped get Abu Ghraib up and running, and on the U.S.-supported coup against democratically elected Haitian president, Aristide. –BL ] Haiti and Abu Ghraib: The US is to “clean up” Haiti’s prisons — just like it did Iraq’s 17 June 2004 | by Dominique Esser and Kim Ives A U.S. prison consultant sent last year to “reform” Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, now world infamous for the torture U.S. soldiers there inflicted on Iraqis, is doing the same job now in Haiti. Terry Stewart is the former director of […]

Spying in America: How the Pentagon is Overcoming Privacy Laws to Spy At Home

June 15th, 2004 | DemocracyNow! In the 1970s, army intelligence agents were caught spying on antiwar protesters and Congress passed the Privacy Act, which requires officials seeking information to disclose who they are and what they want the information for. Now, a provision buried in an intelligence appropriations bill moving through Congress would exempt Pentagon agencies from the Privacy Act, vastly expanding their ability to conduct domestic spy operations. But recent events show how domestic military intelligence gathering can lead to a government assault on free speech. In February, Army intelligence officers visited the University of Texas law school days […]

Bush’s Mission Accomplished: Client State Installed

Blood of Victory 18 June 2004 | Moscow Times by Chris Floyd Surely it is now time for all the Bush-bashers and war critics — on both left and right — to swallow their pride, put aside their partisanship, and admit the stone-cold truth: The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a rousing success. For despite many setbacks and dark days, it cannot be denied that George W. Bush has accomplished exactly what he set out to do in launching his aggression: the installation — through “a heavy dose of fear and violence,” as one U.S. commander eloquently put […]

“The president has said we need to get to the bottom of this scandal. But how can we get to the bottom of it when there is stonewalling at the top?”

Republicans defeat effort to subpoena Justice documents on torture 17 June 2004 | Knight Ridder Newspapers by SUMANA CHATTERJEE WASHINGTON – (KRT) – Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday defeated a Democratic-sponsored effort to subpoena documents on torture and interrogation practices from the Justice Department. [“23 documents, including an Aug. 1, 2002, memo that argued that the president wasn’t bound by U.S. and international prohibitions against torture. Attorney General John Ashcroft refused last week to surrender the memo to the committee.” –BL] The 10 to 9 vote reflected the mounting partisan rancor over the abuse of Iraqi detainees […]

Bush Allies Vote for Contract to Corporate Tax Dodger

17 June 2004 | As reported in an earlier Daily Mislead,1 the Bush administration awarded a $10 billion Department of Homeland Security contract to Accenture, a company that based its headquarters in Bermuda to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The move defied the President’s promise to make sure everyone is “paying their fair share.”2 As if the Administration’s actions weren’t enough, yesterday the White House’s Congressional allies defeated legislation that would have stopped the contract.

The Persistent Lie: Saddam and Al Qaeda Are Linked

by Brendan Lalor A report by 9/11 Commission staff states that “‘no credible evidence’ has emerged that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 strikes.” Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have a different tack. While stopping short of claiming Saddam was behind the attacks, Cheney claimed again on Monday evidence of a Saddam-Osama link. Interestingly, Bush once admitted the Administration’s inability to establish the link. It was during a rare, January, 2003 press conference. This is from the White House transcript: [Adam Boulton, Sky News (London):] One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link […]

Alternative Radio Sources

by Brendan Lalor In a recent column, Jim Hightower listed a series of progressive, alternative sources of news on the radio, web, and elsewhere. Here are a few of the radio sources: Amy Goodman’s sassy Democracy Now Working Assets Radio with Laura Flanders New Dimensions Latino USA Counterspin RadioNation ACORN Radio Alternative Radio with David Barsamian Media Matters with Bob McChesney For the entire list and article, see his Lowdown.

Reporters in chains: Under Homeland Security orders, journalists from England, Sweden, Holland and other friendly countries are being detained at U.S. airports, strip-searched and deported

[ Does the Administration want to exercise dissent-control by means of obstructing journalists? This is scary, given that foreign journalists have sometimes been the only ones to really cover important stories — for instance, the British press did a much better job covering the 2000 Florida election debacle than did the U.S. corporate media. –BL ] 15 June 2004 | by Robert Schlesinger The Department of Homeland Security has started enforcing an obscure provision in immigration law requiring foreign journalists to seek special visas before entering the United States, even though their nonreporting countrymen can enter without any visa at […]

Silent witnesses: 20 million civilians lost to the world

The innocent are the first casualties of war. Yesterday the UN admitted that it is powerless to help, reports Declan Walsh 16 June 2004 | The Independent There are three actors in every Third World conflict. Each is armed with a weapon of survival. The soldier, usually unpaid and dressed in rags, has his gun. The politician, who stands behind him, has his voice. The civilian – who endures the brunt of misery, illness and death – has only her legs. They are only good for running. In most cases they are not fast enough. Scruple-free governments, rag-tag rebel groups […]

Prison Tactics A Longtime Dilemma For Israel: Nation Faced Issues Similar to Abu Ghraib

June 16, 2004 | Washington Post by Glenn Frankel NABLUS, West Bank — The accounts of physical abuse of Iraqis by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad sounded achingly familiar to Anan Labadeh. The casual beatings, the humiliations, the trophy photos taken by both male and female guards were experiences he said he underwent as a Palestinian security detainee at an Israeli military camp in March of last year. There was, he added, a significant difference: The Israelis have rules, he said, and their techniques for breaking down prisoners are far more sophisticated. “What the Israelis do is […]

Group promotes secession from U.S.: Plan calls for conservative Christians to form government in S.C.

Jun. 15, 2004 | The State [South Carolina] by PAUL WACHTER and CHRISTINA LEE KNAUSS A Texas group wants conservative Christians to move to South Carolina — 12,000 at a time — to form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States. Decrying a national tolerance of abortion and gay marriage, and the teaching of evolution, hopes to achieve a majority of like-minded Christians in the state by 2016, the planned year of secession.

FoxNews: “‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ Gets Standing Ovation”

[ What a shock to see this run by FoxNews. Thanks to the OKprogressiveAlliance group list for the forward. –BL ] June 15, 2004 | by Roger Friedman The crowd that gave Michael Moore’s controversial “Fahrenheit 9/11” documentary a standing ovation last night at the Ziegfeld Theater premiere certainly didn’t have to be encouraged to show their appreciation. From liberal radio host/writer Al Franken to actor/director Tim Robbins, Moore was in his element. But once “F9/11” gets to audiences beyond screenings, it won’t be dependent on celebrities for approbation. It turns out to be a really brilliant piece of work, […]

Defense Dept. Hid Ghost Detainees from Red Cross

Rumsfeld Issued an Order to Hide Detainee in Iraq June 17, 2004 | New York Times by ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER WASHINGTON, June 16 – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, acting at the request of George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, ordered military officials in Iraq last November to hold a man suspected of being a senior Iraqi terrorist at a high-level detention center there but not list him on the prison’s rolls, senior Pentagon and intelligence officials said Wednesday. This prisoner and other “ghost detainees” were hidden largely to prevent the International Committee of the Red […]

Coalition Forces Transfer WMD Parts from Kuwait to Southern Iraq

[ It’s not as though we hadn’t suspected the Administration might plant WMDs, given that its on-going futile search is/was destined to fail. This could get more interesting if other sources confirm the story. –BL ] U.S. Trucks Carrying Radioactive Materials Intercepted In Iraq-Kuwait Border 15 June 2004 | Tehran Times TEHRAN (MNA) -? The UAE-based daily Al-Khaleej reported on Monday that Kuwaiti tariff officials have intercepted a truck loaded with radioactive materials in the Iraq-Kuwait border. The daily quoted informed sources as saying that the radioactive control team from Kuwait’s Health Ministry discovered that one of the trucks belonging to […]

Cheney: Let me Repeat the Debunked Lie

Cheney Speaks In Orlando, Claims Ties Between Hussein And Al Qaida June 14, 2004 | Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. — Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Saddam Hussein had “long-established ties” with al Qaida, an assertion that has been repeatedly challenged by some policy experts and lawmakers. “He was a patron of terrorism,” Cheney of Hussein during a speech before The James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Florida. “He had long established ties with al Qaida.” Cheney offered no details backing up his claim of a link between Hussein and al Qaida.

U.S. jobless rate misses “hidden” unemployed

[ If you factor in workers who have not actively looked for work in the past four weeks, including “discouraged workers” who have given up altogether, [and] those who have given up looking for full-time jobs and have settled for part-time work instead you get an a figure significantly higher than the “official” unemployment rate. –BL ]June 14, 2004 | Reuters NEW YORK — Buried inside the official U.S. employment report each month is a little-known figure that gives a much less rosy picture of the labor market than the headlines. The government agency that produces the data also publishes an […]