Monthly Archives: June 2004

137 posts

Tout Torture, Get Promoted: Defending cruelty can be a career booster in Bush’s administration

[ Bush appointed Jay S. Bybee — author of the infamous memo arguing that torture in the name of “necessity or self-defense” “would eliminate any criminal liability” — to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The memo appears to have been the “basis for the working group report on detainee interrogations presented to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld a year later.” –BL ] June 15, 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Robert Scheer What a revelation to learn that the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the infamous memo in effect defending torture is now a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals […]

Iran massing troops on Iraq border

15 June 2004 | United Press International Beirut, Lebanon, Jun. 15 (UPI) — Iran reportedly is readying troops to move into Iraq if U.S. troops pull out, leaving a security vacuum. The Saudi daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat, monitored in Beirut, reports Iran has massed four battalions at the border. Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted “reliable Iraqi sources” as saying, “Iran moved part of its regular military forces towards the Iraqi border in the southern sector at a time its military intelligence agents were operating inside Iraqi territory.”

New Evidence of Pentagon Approval of Torture to Be Publicized

Interrogation abuses were ‘approved at highest levels’ excerpted from 13 June 2004 | Telegraph by Julian Coman in Washington New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House. The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly. According to lawyers familiar with the Red Cross reports, they […]

U.S. Wants Immunity for Its Contractors in Iraq — Iraqis Resist

[ While conscientious objectors to the torture of prisoners in Iraq face serious jail time, Mother Jones (May/June 2004) reports that None of the civilian contractors named in the leaked Army report by General Antonio M. Taguba as being “either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses” of Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison has been charged with any crime by the Justice Department. By contrast, military courts have sentenced two Marines and one Army reservist to prison time, with six more service members facing court-martial for their involvement in the abuses. Legal ambiguities combined with a Justice Department that […]

More Lies from the Top on Halliburton’s No-Bid Iraq Contract

[ Cheney was unaware of Halliburton’s no-bid Iraq contract? Wrong. The deal was handled by standard “career procurement officers” rather than by political appointees? Wrong again. More lies from the top. Underlining below is mine. –BL ] Cheney’s office ‘briefed on Pentagon deal’ June 14 2004 | Financial Times by Joshua Chaffin in Washington Senior members of Vice-President Dick Cheney’s staff were briefed at least twice by the Pentagon on a controversial multibillion-dollar contract to oversee Iraq’s oil sector before it was awarded to his former company, Halliburton, early last year. The existence of the briefings, one of which included Mr […]

Errors Are Seen in Early Attacks on Iraqi Leaders

[ Although the military and the Administration refuse to count the civilians and combatants they have killed, and although the rest of the world has known for a long time about the 10,000-plus civilians killed by Bush’s bombs and bullets, now there is some acknowledgement of this from within the U.S. government. From the article: [T]he failures were an early warning sign about the thinness of American intelligence on Iraq and on Mr. Hussein’s inner circle…. “It was all just guesswork on where they were,” said a senior military officer…. [T]he report by Human Rights Watch concluded, “attacks on leadership […]

Fla. voting machines have recount flaw

June 12, 2004 | Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Touchscreen voting machines in 11 counties have a software flaw that could make manual recounts impossible in November’s presidential election, state officials said. A spokeswoman for the secretary of state called the problems “minor technical hiccups” that can be resolved, but critics allege voting officials wrongly certified a voting system they knew had a bug. The electronic voting machines are a response to Florida’s 2000 presidential election fiasco, where thousands of punchcard ballots were improperly marked. But the new machines have brought concerns that errors could go unchecked without paper records of […]

Under “Anti-Terror” Bush, Airport Security Cut!

Bad time to reduce air security June 13, 2004 | Denver Post With the heavy summer travel season upon us, this is an odd time to reduce the number of security screeners at the nation’s airports. Yet, that is precisely what airports and travelers face this summer. The anti-terrorism agency created by Congress after Sept. 11, 2001, has cut its workforce of passenger and baggage screeners from 60,000 to 45,000.

The Pinochet Principle: Bush Defends Torture in the Name of National Security

by Brendan Lalor Below is an excerpt from an interview with Center for Constitutional Rights attorney and president, Michael Ratner. Ratner’s comments provide excellent context for interpreting both John Ashcroft’s refusal to turn over to Congress an addendum to a memo detailing torture techniques deemed acceptable to the Administration and the shocking Bush doctrine that as Commander in Chief his powers are unchecked by the Constitution. Without Ashcroft’s appeal to executive privilege, this opponent of transparent government’s refusal apparently puts him in contempt of Congress. Ashcroft’s obfuscation notwithstanding, this week’s leaked memos “outline how lawyers for the administration determined U.S. […]

Defense bill to top $1 trillion

[ Hopefully, some Democrats will at least grow enough backbone to oppose the insanely high level of proposed military spending. –BL ] Congress backs budget heavy on future weapons 12 June 2004 | ASSOCIATED PRESS by Dan Morgan WASHINGTON – As Congress moves ahead with a huge new defense bill, lawmakers are making only modest changes in the Pentagon’s plans to spend well over $1 trillion in the next decade on an arsenal of futuristic planes, ships and weapons with little direct connection to the Iraq war or the global war on terrorism. House and Senate versions of the 2005 defense […]

Putting Corporations on the Couch

[ Joel Bakan’s The Corporation (Free Press) offers “a trait-by-trait match between the standard actions of corporations and the diagnostic criteria of a psychopath.” –BL ] June 11, 2004 | Dragonfly Review by Ted Nace In 1838, when a man named John Sanford assaulted the wife and children of a man named Dred Scott, Scott sought help from the courts. But Scott was black and Sanford was white. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney explained the difference with cold, pedantic clarity, writing that Scott and his family were “beings” rather than legal persons, since “they had no rights which the white […]

Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go

The 26 ex-diplomats and military leaders say his foreign policy has harmed national security; Several served under Republicans June 13, 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Ronald Brownstein WASHINGTON — A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America’s national security and should be defeated in November.

Egregious E-mail: The Secret Service comes calling after a St. Louisan pens a message wishing bin Laden would eliminate Bush

[ Been visited by the SS lately? From the article: [T]he agents told him they’d singled out his e-mail because he’d used the words “Bush” and “bin Laden” in the same sentence. It’s a fairly Orwellian explanation, hinting at a bevy of federal computers whose sole task is to scrutinize e-mail word placement. –BL ]June 9, 2004 | [St. Louis] by MALCOLM GAY

Another White House 9/11 Lie Exposed: Saudis in Flight Two Days After 9/11

TIA now verifies flight of Saudis The government has long denied that two days after the 9/11 attacks, the three were allowed to fly. June 9, 2004 | St. Petersburg Times by JEAN HELLER TAMPA – Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation’s air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left. The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to […]

State Dept. Rewrites Report Praising War On Terror

10 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! The State Department has been forced to correct major portions of its annual report on global terrorism that was released two months ago after major mistakes were cited. The original report concluded that the number of terrorist attacks in the world in 2003 had dropped to its lowest level in 34 years. Now the report will be rewritten and it may show that 2003 had more attacks than any year in the last two decades. Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California accused the administration of manipulating terrorism data so it could claim victory in the […]

Cooking Up Excuses With the Pentagon: How to torture alleged terrorists and get away with it

June 10, 2004 | Slate by Phillip Carter Whether giving advice to corporate executives or senior government officials, lawyers often walk a fine line between counseling their clients on how to follow the law to avoid prosecution and how to break the law in such a way as to frustrate and impede prosecution. Good lawyers know they can usually make any advice seem like the former, through the judicious inclusion of a few caveats, hypotheticals, and assumptions. However, no amount of caveating can save the latest Defense Department memorandum on the legality of torture (first reported by the Wall Street […]

Coke Benefiting From Child Labor in Sugar Cane Fields

June 10, 2004 | by Jim Lobe WASHINGTON – Coca-Cola and other large businesses are indirectly benefiting from the use of child labor in sugarcane fields in El Salvador, according to a new report released here Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which is calling on the company to take more responsibility to ensure that such abuses are halted. From 5,000 to 30,000 Salvadoran children, some as young as eight years old, are working in El Salvador’s sugarcane plantations where injuries, particularly severe cuts, are common, according to the report, ‘Turning a Blind Eye: Hazardous Labor in El Salvador’s […]

Ex-Marine Mobilizes 10,000 Observers To Palestine

10 June 2004 | OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – A former U.S. marine is mobilizing up to 10,000 Westerners to be dispatched to the occupied Palestinian territories in September to act as international observers and help bring peace with Israel. The P10K Force will “expose the truth about the conflict and document human rights violation”, Ken O’Keefe told a press conference in occupied East Jerusalem Wednesday, June 9, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). “It will effect a ceasefire from the militant Palestinian resistance that uses violence and call for Israel to honor the truce in order to assure security for its citizens,” […]

When Ignorance Isn?t Bliss

excerpted from June 8, 2004 | In These Times by David Sirota …. [I]n an effort to cut through the din this year, here are five congressional votes that everyone in America should know about. They come straight from the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up file, and capture how soundbite politics hide the troubling reality behind conservatives? bumper-sticker slogans. Pro-Defense: Facing increasing violence in Iraq, military commanders in Iraq asked Congress and the president to immediately fill shortages in protective body armor. Just four months after the president signed another massive tax cut for the wealthy, up to 51,000 troops were still not properly […]

Bush Policies Created Conditions Leading To Abu Ghraib Incidents, Human Rights Watch Says

10 June 2004 | UN Wire Human Rights Watch said yesterday that the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib was a near-inevitable consequence of the Bush administration’s rejection of international legal norms. The 38-page report, The Road to Abu Ghraib, says U.S. policies created the climate for the abuses in three ways:  by using the war on terror to circumvent international law and set up “offshore, off-limits” detention centers;  by employing coercive interrogation methods to elicit information from detainees;  and by ignoring reports of detainee mistreatment. “The horrors of Abu Ghraib were not simply the acts of individual soldiers,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.  “Abu Ghraib resulted from the decisions made […]

Can You Hear the Sucking Sound Coming from the Pentagon?

[ As the Pentagon budget grows, so does the waste: “employees have been reimbursed for tickets they didn’t purchase in the first place — reimbursed for tickets the government paid for” — to the tune of $8 million. And worse. –BL ] $100 Million Wasted: While Some Soldiers Paid Their Own Way, Thousands of Pentagon Airline Tickets Went Unused June 8, 2004 | by Lisa Stark and Michelle Stark W A S H I N G TO N — The Department of Defense spent at least $100 million for airline tickets it did not use, a new congressional report found, […]

Is the world’s oil running out fast?

[ From the BBC article below: “If the real figures were to come out there would be panic on the stock markets, in the end that would suit no one.” George Monbiot’s piece in the June 8 Guardian fills in important context: The world’s problem is as follows. We now consume six barrels of oil for every new barrel we discover. Major oil finds (of over 500m barrels) peaked in 1964. In 2000, there were 13 such discoveries, in 2001 six, in 2002 two and in 2003 none. Three major new projects will come onstream in 2007 and three in […]

Is the CIA Planning a Coup in the U.S.?

by Brendan Lalor Michael Rupert, of “From The Wilderness,” believes George Tenet to have resigned in order to be free “to give testimony in a legal case against a sitting President,” he revealed in a June 8 article. In fact, he argues, the CIA has been planning a coup for at least two years, and intends to “remov[e] or replac[e] the entire Bush regime prior to the Republican National Convention this August.” His theory features uncovered CIA agent Valerie Plame, Halliburton, the Saudi royal family, past-peak oil production, and more. Click here to see how Rupert makes his case.

New leaders in Iraq have deep ties to U.S.

[ Many Iraqis may be uncomfortable with the foreign, especially U.S., ties of the new, nonelected Iraqi government: Although about a third of the new government’s leaders spent most of their lives under Saddam Hussein’s rule, five of the six leading posts in the government are held by people who lived a significant part of their lives abroad, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. At least two cabinet members are U.S. citizens. In addition to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who was involved in a CIA-backed coup attempt against Saddam, at least seven others were members of exile groups financed […]

World Military Spending Surges But Hard to Sustain

[ According to the Reuters piece below, the richest 16 percent of the world’s countries’ military spending “is more than the foreign debt of all poor countries combined and 10 times what is spent on aid.” Thanks to David Donahoe for forwarding the article. –BL ] Jun 9, 2004 | Reuters by Stephen Brown STOCKHOLM – World military spending leapt 11 percent in 2003 due to a “massive increase” from the U.S. war on terror but the pace may slow down as Washington’s pre-emptive strike policy comes under pressure, says a leading think-tank. The United States accounted for almost half the […]

CNN asks Florida court for ineligible voters list

[ In case you have forgotten the basics of Florida’s racist purging of eligible voters from the voter list, check these earlier stories. From the article: “Florida’s 2000 felon purge program resulted in over 50,000 legal voters being disenfranchised,” said Leon County elections supervisor Ion Sancho. The issue is alive again. –BL ]May 28, 2004 | CNN Washington Bureau by Robert Yoon WASHINGTON — As Florida county election boards review a list of thousands of potentially ineligible voters — including some who may be felons — CNN is suing the state, claiming the public and media should also be able to […]

Bush Changing His Story on Prison Abuse Scandal

[ The piece below provides an overview of the new evidence pointing to Bush’s culpability in creating conditions that paved the way for torture of prisoners. As the Independent put it on 8 June: … [I]t was revealed yesterday … A classified report prepared just weeks before Mr Bush ordered his forces to invade Iraq concluded that no international law was more important than “obtaining intelligence vital to the protection of untold thousands of American citizens.” The report, a draft of which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, had been prepared by the staff of Donald Rumsfeld, the […]

Right Winger Sun Myung Moon Under the Radar

Moon Over Washington Why are some of the capital’s most influential power players hanging out with a bizarre Korean billionaire who claims to be the Messiah? 9 June 2004 | The Gadflyer by John Gorenfeld Should Americans be concerned that on March 23rd a bipartisan group of Congressmen attended a coronation at which a billionaire, pro-theocracy newspaper owner was declared to be the Messiah – with royal robes, a crown, the works? Or that this imperial ceremony took place not in a makeshift basement church or a backwoods campsite, but in a Senate office building?

Will U.S. Spend Hundreds of Thousands to Relocate Israelis from Gaza?

[ From the article: The 21 Gaza settlements are home to some 2,000 families, or about 7,000 people… Withdrawing from Gaza will cost some NIS 6.5 billion – NIS 4.5 billion [= between $1.44 billion and about $1 billion –BL] to compensate the settlers who are evacuated, plus another NIS 2 billion in security outlays, experts say…. American aid is expected to cover only half the costs. –BL ] Settlers to be compensated according to family, house size 8 June 2004 | Haaretz by Moti Bassok

What War Taught Eisenhower: D-Day and Beyond

War turned invasion’s overall commander into a pacifist excerpted from June 06, 2004 | International herald Tribune by John S.D. Eisenhower (son of Dwight D., 34th President of the U.S., commander of the Allied D-Day forces) The 60th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, on the day known in common parlance as D-Day, was once again an occasion to pause and contemplate its significance…. The experience of that 11-month campaign, plus Ike’s later service as the first military commander of NATO six years later, produced profound effects on him, changing some of his convictions and confirming others…. The most […]

Reagan Is Dead; Who Was He?

by Brendan Lalor Amidst all of the bipartisan jellybean anecdotes commemorating the recently deceased former President Ronald Reagan, it is easy to forget what his real legacy is. Reagan, like Bush II, was so ideologically oriented that he was willing to inflict massive suffering on defenseless civilians in the name of the mistaken cause of security against mostly make-believe foes. In Reagan’s case, the fight against communism “justified” such horrors as genocide in East Timor, mass slaughter of civilians and anti-democratic regime change in Nicaragua, and support for Islamic radicals in Afghanistan.

“Manifest Destiny” May Explain Bush’s Apparent Hypocrisy

by Brendan Lalor During a Bush interview for a D-Day edition of Dateline NBC, Tom Brokaw questioned Bush’s recent comparison of his Misadventure in Iraq with World War II. In response, Bush attempted to sustain the Big Lie that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a counter-response to the 9/11 attacks. Continuing to blur the Al Qaeda-Saddam Hussein distinction, Bush said: there were similarities to World War II… The similarities were when we were attacked in an unprovoked fashion in World War II and on September the 11, 2001. Unfortunately, more than a year of Bush Administration propaganda has many […]

Report: Wal-Mart growth often subsidized by taxpayers

[ This story supplements another recent story on the way in which tax payers subsidize the Wal-Mart Empire. –BL ] June 3, 2004 | Elizabethton Star by Thomas Wilson Wal-Mart Stores have enjoyed more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the United States, according to a new study released by a Washington, D.C.-based research group. Good Jobs First, a research group monitoring state and local job subsidies, found 244 cases in which Wal-Mart retail stores or the distribution centers that service them have received state or local economic development subsidies. The subsidies amounted to […]

Camilo Mejia Goes to Prison for His Stance Against the War in Iraq, While a Campaign to Free Camilo Begins

[ From the article: “What an incredible irony that we’re prosecuting soldiers in Iraq for violations of international law and we’re prosecuting a soldier here because he refused to do the same things,” said former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a member of Camilo’s defense team. This article follows up others printed here. Below the article is CodePink’s call for action. –BL ] June, 2004 | CodePink by Medea Benjamin* ?Where is the justice?? cried Maritza Castillo, whose 28-year-old son Camilo Mejia was found guilty of desertion on May 21 for refusing to return to Iraq. ?The American soldier who tortured Iraqi […]

Pattern Emerges of Sexual Assault Against Women Held by U.S. Forces

6 June 2004 | The NewStandard by Chris Shumway Well publicized images of US soldiers torturing and humiliating male Iraqi prisoners may be overshadowing evidence gathered by several human rights groups and Pentagon investigators indicating US military personnel have raped and sexually abused Iraqi women held at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention facilities. Amal Kadham Swadi, an Iraqi attorney representing women detainees, told The Guardian she believes that sexualized violence and abuse committed by US soldiers against female prisoners goes far beyond a few isolated cases. It’s “happening all across Iraq,” she said.

It Happened Here First: Exporting America’s Most Notorious Prison Officials to Abu Ghraib

[ The New York Times asks: Why did Attorney General John Ashcroft pick an executive of Management and Training [riddled with prisoner abuse and negligence accusations], Lane McCotter, to lead a mission to Iraq to restore its prisons only a month after the report was released in the spring of 2003, charging unconstitutional practices in the jail?…. It was Mr. McCotter, by his own account in, an industry online magazine, who selected Abu Ghraib to be the main American prison in Iraq and then directed its reconstruction after the major fighting ended. But DemocracyNow!’s got the best coverage. –BL ]June […]

Bush EPA: Animal Processing Industry to Be Shielded

[ The Bush EPA appears about ready to close a deal which would allow industry to gather data on its own harmfulness, again: this time, the deal is with the largest animal processors, who “generate about 575 billion pounds of animal manure a year,” “[t]oxic pollutants [which] have been linked to a wide range of respiratory problems, especially in children.” The deal will likely (1) increase the length of time before new standards go into effect, (2) place “a moratorium on doing anything for communities where these operations are,” and in the meantime, (3) shield these companies “from prosecution for […]

Bush Considers Hiring Private Criminal Defense Lawyer

by Brendan Lalor In a new column for FindLaw, John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon, assesses why George W. Bush is considering hiring private criminal defense lawyer James E. Sharp in connection with “the current grand jury investigation of the leak revealing the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA covert operative.” Dean calls this a “stunning and extraordinary development” because it suggests Bush “knows much more about this leak than he has stated publicly.” Due to Ken Starr’s “decimat[ion of] the attorney-client privilege for government lawyers and their clients” as part of his war on Clinton, Bush “has […]

U.S. Media Distorts Venezuela, Parrots Chalabi-like Sources, as it Did in Iraq

[ This important article uncovers the biases of the major U.S. (puppet) media, whose sources on Venezuela are often no more credible than Ahmed Chalabi. Incidentally, there’s a great corrective commentary in the Venezuelan press, “US intervention in Venezuela … no more blood, rape and other torture for oil.” –BL ] Media Falls Short on Iraq, Venezuela June 04, 2004 | Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services by Mark Weisbrot Last week the New York Times published an 1100-word note “From the Editors” criticizing its own reporting on the build-up to the Iraq war and the early stages of the occupation. On Sunday the […]

Admin. Officials Lied to Lawyers Defending Trustworthiness of Gov’t Before the Supreme Court

by Brendan Lalor (on a Boston Phoenix report) Last month, “the Supreme Court heard three cases concerning the rights of ‘enemy combatants’ being held at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, and in US Naval brigs off the American coast. One issue at stake in these cases is whether the government — specifically President Bush — should be trusted to handle prisoners in an appropriate manner,” Harvey Silverglate reminds us in the Boston Phoenix. Should the Bush Administration be trusted with the power to lock up “terror suspects” without charges or trial indefinitely? Yet, “government lawyers from the Justice Department?s Office of the […]

Israeli Military Policy: Attack Palestinian Families, Destroy Homes

[ These accounts of Israeli dehumanization of Palestinians suggest why most of the Arab world rightly consider the U.S. its enemy: the U.S. continues to provide anually more than $3 billion in military aid to Israel. According to a June 3 Associated Press report, “In the view of many American Muslims, the United States and Israel are so tight that Israel is practically the ’51st state’…. more Muslims [] see the United States and Israel the same way. They are equating American treatment of Iraqis with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.” –BL ] ‘They have no humanity. They didn’t even give us […]

Bush Appointees to CPB Play Politics With Public Broadcasting

1 June 2004 | by Chellie Pingree, Common Cause President It is deeply troubling to learn that public broadcasting has been subject to intense ideological pressure, as reported this week by The New Yorker. Public broadcasting should not find itself in the crosshairs of a partisan firing squad.  At a time when Americans are finding it more and more difficult to get past the clutter and partisanship on commercial TV and radio to find truthful sources of information about their government, this ideological pressure may gag one of the few sources of independent, substantive news and commentary that Americans […]

Delusion on a psychotic scale: In the face of all the evidence, the Iraq Survey Group is still searching for WMD

[ From the article: Amid all this mass clear-out of failures and lies, however, there is one mysterious omission. A secretive CIA-led intelligence body set up to look for stockpiles of Saddam’s secret weapons, the Iraq Survey Group, is still going strong. This is despite the resignation of its head, David Kay, last January, who said with admirable crispness: “We were all wrong.” Although I would be surprised if the ISG issues its final report next month, that’s what this Guardian report suggests will happen. –BL ] June 4, 2004 | The Guardian by David Leigh and David Pallister The dustbin […]

Woody Guthrie and Socialism in Oklahoma

[ From the OkieFunk blog: What the right-wing says is that Guthrie, who was born in Okemah, was a radical because he once wrote a column for The Daily Worker, a communist newspaper. What they fail to mention is Guthrie wrote for this paper in a historical period in which thousands upon thousands of farmers and workers in the United States considered themselves socialist. Yes, even in Oklahoma, there were countless … socialists from the state’s founding to World War II. At one point in our state history, a socialist candidate for governor received more than ten percent of the […]

Pre-9/11 Tipper Passed Two FBI Lie Detector Tests!

[ From the piece: More than a year before 9/11, a Pakistani-British man told the FBI an incredible tale: that he had been trained by bin Laden?s followers to hijack airplanes and was now in America to carry out an attack. The FBI questioned him for weeks, but then let him go home, and never followed up…. NBC News has learned that Khan passed not one but two FBI polygraphs…. Khan remains surprised that, to this day, the FBI, CIA and Scotland Yard have never asked for his help in identifying the street address of the Lahore safe house where […]

Sudan’s Best case scenario: 330,000 dead

[ There is a related Human Rights Watch video available online, “Darfur Destroyed.” –BL ] June 04, 2004 | “We estimate right now if we get relief in, we’ll lose a third of a million people, and if we don’t the death rates could be dramatically higher, approaching a million people.” That’s Andrew Natsios, the head of USAID, speaking at yesterday’s UN donor meeting on Darfur. Reliefweb has an assortment of other statements from the event, including a particularly clear and beautiful speech by the head of UNHCR. The practical upshot of the conference was an appeal for $236 million, […]

Seeing 9/11 In Light of 1962

by Brendan Lalor While I am not prepared to claim that the Bush Administration orchestrated 9/11 to provide the “Pearl Harbor” it needed to justify a number of its goals, such plans have been considered in times of less U.S. government corruption. InformationClearingHouse has publicized a declassified document showing that in 1962, the U.S. government’s Joint Chiefs of Staff considered justifying an invasion of Cuba by faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a ?Remember the Maine? incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. To […]

Bush Gives Contract to Tax Traitor/Campaign Donor

June 2, 2004 | President Bush has said he wants to ?make sure that the system is fair for those of us who do pay taxes? and that ?we want everybody paying their fair share.?1 But yesterday, the president went out of his way to lavish a massive government contract on a major campaign contributor,2 even though it specifically moved operations offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. According to news reports, the Bush administration yesterday gave a $10 billion contract3 for the Department of Homeland Security to Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting, which was a part of Andersen Worldwide with […]

Republican Leader Defends Torture

2 June 2004 | DemocracyNow! Trent Lott Defends U.S. Actions in Abu Ghraib Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi has defended some of the interrogation tactics used by the U.S. in Iraq that have been condemned by human rights groups around the world. During an interview with a Jackson Mississippi TV station, the former Senate Majority leader said there is “nothing wrong with holding a dog up there, unless the dog ate him.” Later when the news anchorman noted that a prisoner died at Abu Ghraib, apparently after a beating, Lott responded, “This is not Sunday school; this is interrogation; […]

Fahrenheit 9/11 to Debut in US!

by Brendan Lalor Michael Moore announced yesterday, We finally have a distributor in America! Actually, two of them! Lions Gate and IFC Films have agreed to aggressively distribute “Fahrenheit 9/11″ in theaters all across the country beginning on Friday, June 25th.” The trailer can be seen at

SD’s Herseth Looks Like Good News

by Brendan Lalor As the wires report today that “Democrat Stephanie Herseth was sworn in Thursday as South Dakota’s lone representative in the House,” many wonder just who this farm-stater is. According to John Nichols’ brief on her from August, 2002, she’s a 31-year-old Georgetown Law grad, scoring points as a modern-day prairie populist willing to take on corporate agribusiness and the lobbyists who push free trade schemes like NAFTA. Where some farm-state Democrats remain unquestioning backers of free trade schemes, Herseth bluntly calls for a new direction. ?Undeniably, NAFTA has had devastating effects on our state?s manufacturing and agriculture […]

Bush Campaign Seeks Help From Congregations

[ In the related story from the 1 July Washington Post by Alan Cooperman: The Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has sent a detailed plan of action to religious volunteers across the country…. The instruction sheet … lists 22 “duties” to be performed by specific dates. By July 31, for example, volunteers are to “send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney ’04 Headquarters or give [it] to a BC04 Field Rep” and “Talk to your Pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and Voter Registration Drive.” and, as the Associated Press reports (3 July), even the Southern Baptist Convention is perturbed: The […]

Bush Knew About Illicit Leak, and Did Nothing — Sources Say

[ CIA agent Valerie Plame was illegally “outed” — identified as an agent — by an unidentified member of the Bush Administration, presumably as retaliation against her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, who determined that “Bush Administration claims that Iraq had tried to obtain uranium from Niger [were] untrue.” This follows up other stories which appeared here. –BL ] Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative’s Name Jun 3, 2004 | Capitol Hill Blue by Staff and Wire Reports Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert […]

Enron Tapes: Market Manipulation & Bush Connections

[ More of the truth has been coming out about Bush’s nasty friends at Enron, who have contributed to Bush between $736,800 and $25 million. From the article: The tapes … confirm traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down…. Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win. “It’d be great. I’d love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy,” says one Enron worker. That didn’t happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices. “When this election comes Bush will f——g whack this s–t, man. […]

Bush Campaign Ads Riddled with Lies

Bush ads heavy on attack, light on fact, experts say June 01, 2004 | The Washington Post by Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei WASHINGTON — It was a typical week in the life of the Bush re-election machine. Last Monday in Little Rock, Ark., Vice President Dick Cheney said presumed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry “has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all” and said the senator from Massachusetts “promised to repeal most of the Bush tax cuts within his first 100 days in office.” Tuesday, President Bush’s campaign began airing an ad saying Kerry […]

The Puppet Regime in Baghdad and the Administration’s Rhetoric of “Sovereignty”

by Brendan Lalor Although U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell claims that after the June 30 “transfer of power,” “[t]he Iraqi people will … see that their destiny is in the hands of their own leaders,” George Gedda reports, The interim Iraqi government that takes power then, however, will be more caretaking than autonomous, unable to do basic functions such as make laws or control military forces. Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to former President Carter, says … No government can be fully sovereign while its country is “still being occupied by a foreign army, 140,000 men, subject to our […]

Dooh Nibor Economics

[ This commentary follows up another story, “Bush Plan Eyes Cuts for Schools, Veterans”. –BL ] 1 June 2004 | New York Times by PAUL KRUGMAN Last week The Washington Post got hold of an Office of Management and Budget memo that directed federal agencies to prepare for post-election cuts in programs that George Bush has been touting on the campaign trail. These include nutrition for women, infants and children; Head Start; and homeland security. The numbers match those on a computer printout leaked earlier this year — one that administration officials claimed did not reflect policy. Beyond the routine mendacity, […]

Oil Industry: Donate to Republicans; They Don’t Enforce Lease Limits

[ From the article: The lax enforcement coincides with the Bush administration’s push to open new public lands for oil and gas development. In March, bureau records showed 40 million acres of federal lands were under lease in the continental United States. That is 5.3 million more acres than when President Bush took office. Companies and individuals that dominate federal oil and gas leasing have been major financial supporters of Bush and the Republican Party. Since the 1999, the top 25 owners of federal oil and gas leases have directed 86 percent of their $8.2 million in political donations to […]

Chem Industry Lobbies Republicans to Keep Stalling On Security Measures

[ From the article: “Nearly three years later, the laws regulating chemical plants remain the same as before Sept. 11.” –BL ] Concerns rise over chemicals as targets June 1, 2004 | The Boston Globe by Charlie Savage WASHINGTON — Homeland Security watchdogs call them “prepositioned weapons of mass destruction” for terrorists: huge tanks of concentrated deadly gases that the chemical industry stores near densely populated areas and that railroads bring through cities en route to somewhere else. The United States harbors more than 100 chemical facilities where an accident would put more than a million people at risk, according to […]