Monthly Archives: July 2004

97 posts

Millions in U.S. property lost in Iraq, report says; Halliburton claims figures only ‘projections’

July 27, 2004 | Bloomberg News Halliburton Co. has lost $18.6 million of government property in Iraq, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture, government auditors claim. The auditors couldn’t account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton’s KBR unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general. Halliburton is providing services to U.S. troops under a contract that has generated $3.2 billion in revenue so far.

Haitians March to Support Aristide

29 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! keywords: Haiti, Aristide In Haiti, thousands of supporters of ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide marched yesterday calling for Aristide’s return to power. The democratically elected president was ousted in Februrary in a U.S-backed coup. Protesters marched by the US embassy carrying coffins reading USA and Gerard Latortue, the name of the unelected interim prime minister. Meanwhile police found the body of a former pro-Aristide legislator Jocelyn Saint Louis, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.


from the Oxfam newsletter (29 July 2004): keyword: CAFTA Thanks to all of you who took action on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Nearly 8,000 eCommunity members emailed their representatives and let them know that this agreement will worsen poverty and inequality in Central America. Unable to galvanize support for CAFTA in Congress, the Bush administration has delayed the vote on this bill until after the November elections. While this is a great victory for the Oxfam America eCommunity and the Make Trade Fair campaign, we must remain vigilant to ensure that this version of CAFTA never gets […]

Florida Reveals It Lost Electronic Voting Records

28 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! Keywords: electronic, voting, machines In election news, The New York Times is reporting that almost all of the electronic voting records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost. The touch screen voting machines were used for the 2002 gubernatorial race. All of the data disappeared after two computer crashes last year making it impossible for an audit or recount. The loss was discovered by the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition which claims the loss of data highlights the problem with electronic voting. An attorney with the group said “This […]

Corporate America throws Democrats a $50 million party

28 July 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Patrick Martin The Democratic National Convention underway in Boston will be the most expensive political spectacle ever staged in the history of the United States—at least until next month, when an even more lavish commercial advertisement will be staged in New York City for the Republican Party. Both events are being bankrolled by giant corporations, which are making use of the conventions as a form of legalized bribery of favored politicians. Under federal election laws, the Democrats and Republicans each receive $15 million in taxpayer funds to pay the costs of […]

While the Dutch Administration Stepped Down in Shame, the Clinton Administration “Saw No Evil”

Bystanders to Mass Murder 21 April 2002 | Washington Post by Samantha Power Last week, for the first time in history, a Western government resigned because it was a bystander to genocide. On Tuesday the popular Dutch prime minister, Wim Kok, and his cabinet stepped down in response to a 7,600-page report that faulted the Dutch government and army for sending a flimsy posse of some 400 Dutch peacekeepers on an “ill-conceived and virtually impossible” mission to protect Bosnian Muslims in the U.N. safe area of Srebrenica.

U.S.-linked Iraqi Leaders Plan to Curtail Critical Expression/Speech

Iraq sets up committee to impose restrictions on news reporting July 27 2004 | Financial Times by Nicolas Pelham in Baghdad Iyad Allawi, Iraq’s prime minister, has established a media committee to impose restrictions on print and broadcast media, a government official announced yesterday. The step underlines an aggressive new attitude towards press freedoms, in spite of US efforts to nurture independent media. Ibrahim Janabi, appointed to head the new Higher Media Commission, told the FT the restrictions – known as “red lines” – had yet to be finalised, but would include unwarranted criticism of the prime minister. He singled […]

Longshore Union President: Homeland Security Regulations “Not Being Followed”

[ The real security needs of the American people are not being properly funded. Then again, Bush never intended to do “everything we can to protect the homeland,” as David Corn documented in his “Homeland Insecurity” piece for The Nation (4 Sept 2003). –BL ] At Ports, Cargo Backlog Raises Security Questions excerpted from 27 July 2004 | New York Times by John M. Broder LOS ANGELES, July 26 – Severe cargo congestion and labor shortages at American seaports are creating long delays in delivering goods and potential threats to national security, dockworkers and security experts say. The problems are particularly […]

The Importance of Understanding bin Laden: “He claims the right of resistance”

[ Petersen’s piece below contains a piecing-together of bin Laden’s argument against the U.S., and justification for violence against U.S. civilians. On the one hand, post-9/11 blind rage, or overgeneralized hatred, may still prevent many Americans from considering such arguments. On the other hand, in light of the increasing popularity of bin Ladenesque arguments among Middle Easterners and others, it’s not clear there is any path to lasting peace other than by means of some degree of mutual understanding. Notes: some of bin Laden’s Fatwahs referenced below can be found on the site. The underlining below is mine. –BL ] […]

Manipulating US elections is not an Al-Qaeda goal

July 26, 2004 | Daily Star [Middle East] by Shibley Telhami The warning by the US Department of Homeland Security that Al-Qaeda may be preparing to disrupt the presidential election has been sounded with little assessment of the terrorist organization’s aims. Some have questioned the extent to which the Bush administration may be using such warnings for political reasons, but few have challenged the notion that Al-Qaeda seeks to replicate its Madrid attack on the eve of the Spanish election for the presumed goal of defeating President George W. Bush. In fact, while Al-Qaeda is constantly trying to prepare massive […]

Do U.S. Catholics Know What Their Bishops Think About Bush’s CAFTA?

by Brendan Lalor In a recent statement outlining “criteria for judging the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed concern over the Bush-brokered U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which includes “the United States, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.” CAFTA is a trade agreement especially beneficial to large corporations, modeled on the North American Free Trade Agreement, binding Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, which has been criticized for draining well-paying jobs from the U.S., destroying Mexican corn and rice farmers’ livelihoods, failing to provide adequate protections for the environment, and more. The […]

Reality TV hits home in Baghdad

July 27, 2004 | Christian Science Monitor by Annia Ciezadlo BAGHDAD – The scene: a humble clay house on one of Baghdad’s meanest streets. A knock at the door. When the man of the house answers, he is astonished. “We have presents for you!” warbles Shaima Emad Zubair, a young siren with tangerine lipstick. Batting her blue-mascaraed eyes, she pokes her microphone his way. Behind her, several boys unload a washing machine, refrigerator, TV, sofa set, and more from the back of a truck as a camera crew films. “This is a big surprise,” says Ahmed Hassan Kadhim, standing in […]

Sudan Says U.S. Using Darfur to Topple Government

[ While Khartoum’s denials of evil-doing are doubtless disingenuous, it is unfortunate that Bush’s foreign policy record has paved the way for Sudan’s semi-plausible, cynical argument regarding the motives behind pressure from the U.S. Thanks to David Donahoe for forwarding this article. –BL ] Jul 27, 2004 | Reuters by Tsegaye Tadesse ADDIS ABABA – Washington is using the Darfur crisis as a pretext to topple the Sudanese government, Khartoum’s envoy to the African Union (AU) said on Tuesday. Ousman Alsaid also told reporters Western military intervention in its remote western region would risk splitting Africa’s largest country and unsettling its […]

More Waste in the Military Industrial Complex: U.S. Air Force Makes $2.6 bn “Mistake” in Favor of Lockheed Martin, Inc.

Air Force Faulted on 50-Plane Purchase: Transport Craft Fail Key Readiness Tests 24 July 2004 | Washington Post [page A-1] by R. Jeffrey Smith The Air Force spent $2.6 billion to buy 50 transport planes that do not meet the military’s requirements, preventing squadrons based in six states from being fully prepared for their missions in the Middle East and elsewhere, the office of the Defense Department’s inspector general disclosed yesterday.

What liberal infidels will never understand about the president: The Church of Bush

[ This article presents a representative sample of the pattern of selective memory that characterizes Bush’s supporters — or perhaps more properly, selective perception. That is, I doubt many of his supporters even perceive his falsehoods as false, or his meanness as mean. And if unperceived, of course they can’t be remembered. Because so many of his supporters are impervious to evidence, so convinced of his integrity and compassion, they ignore the gigantic mass of counter-evidence, or, where necessary, generate irrationally charitable interpretations of his actions. The work of George Lakoff printed here from time to time helps explain this […]


21 July 2004 | Scratch the surface of a black conservative group and you find a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy by Joshua Holland “Black Conservative to Rebut NAACP Leader’s Remarks in C-SPAN Interview,” read the press release from Project 21, an organization of conservative African-Americans. I had read in Reuters that Kweisi Mfume, president of the NAACP, had called groups like Project 21 “make-believe black organizations,” and a “collection of black hustlers” who have adopted a conservative agenda in return for “a few bucks a head.” So I tuned into C-SPAN with interest to hear what a leading voice in […]

Subway: Junk Food, Junk Economy

13 July 2004 | by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman The American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations are revered as pure fact by doctors and patients alike. But as is the case in most sects of the U.S. government, a public institution’s policies can also be heavily swayed by corporate dollars. As an example, AHA only endorses Bayer aspirin, and in return, Bayer “donates” $500,000 to AHA every year. Since 2002, Subway has also been riding the AHA bandwagon.. In exchange for $10 million in “donations” over the course of 5 years to AHA, Subway can proudly plaster the AHA’s […]

Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz: Bush is pressuring countries to stop producing life-saving drugs

Bush accused of pressuring countries to stop producing generic drugs 24 July 2004 | BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) by Fiona Fleck Geneva — The United States has come under fire for pressuring developing countries to give up their right to produce cheap, generic anti-AIDS medicines in return for bilateral trade agreements that strengthen protection of costlier, brand name drugs. Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz joined advocacy groups Oxfam and M?decins Sans Fronti?res this month in criticising Washington for bowing to industry pressure by pursuing a policy the groups say could prevent millions of AIDS patients in poor countries from […]

US report on prison abuse a ‘whitewash’

25 July 2004 | Agence France Press US newspapers The New York Times and The Washington Post have opened fire at the conclusions of a report by the US Army on abuses in prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the Times calling it a “whitewashing” to exonerate the high command. “A newly released report by the Army’s inspector general shows that Mr Rumsfeld’s team may be turning over stones, but it’s not looking under them,” the Times said in an editorial. “The authors of this 300-page whitewash say they found no ‘systemic’ problem – even though there were 94 documented […]

AP: Copies of Bush’s Destroyed Military Records Supposed to be on Record in Texas

Bush Withholds Key Records About National Guard 21 July 2004 | In February, President Bush told a national television audience that he would “absolutely”1 authorize the release of all records pertaining to his military service after questions had arisen about whether he fulfilled his duty. Days later, the White House claimed it released everything, with Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt telling Fox News the documents were “black and white proof that the president served in the National Guard.2 ” But, as Associated Press now reports, the White House has only released “partial documentation” and has refused to comply with […]

From Animal Abuse to Prisoner Abuse?

by Brendan Lalor Alexandra Dadlez brought to my attention a disconcerting possibility: might the infamous Iraqi prisoner abuser, Pfc. Lynndie England, have worked at the chicken processing plant recently exposed by PETA for abuse? Dadlez pointed out that according to one report, “Pfc. Lynndie R. England[,] married and divorced before she was 21, worked at a chicken-processing plant in West Virginia.” Dadlez calculates that work at the plant in question would have given her a commute of a little more than an hour from her hometown of Ft. Ashby, WV to Moorefield, WV, where the chicken plant is located. While […]

Sudan: New Darfur Documents — Ties Between Government and Janjaweed Militias Confirmed

July 20, 2004 | HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH New York — Sudan government documents incontrovertibly show that government officials directed recruitment, arming and other support to the ethnic militias known as the Janjaweed, Human Rights Watch said today. The government of Sudan has consistently denied recruiting and arming the Janjaweed militias, including during the recent visits of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Human Rights Watch said it had obtained confidential documents from the civilian administration in Darfur that implicate high-ranking government officials in a policy of militia support. ?It’s absurd to distinguish between the […]

Halliburton Iran Deals Under Fire

20 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! A grand jury has subpoened documents from Halliburton regarding the company’s dealings with Iran. The company, which was formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, set up a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands to skirt U.S. laws that bar companies from dealing with Iran. The grand jury is investigating whether Halliburton broke the U.S. laws on dealing with Iran. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, said the probe should address the role of the Republican vice president. Lautenberg said “The question must be asked: did this possible violation occur between 1995 and 2000 while Dick […]

Video shows chicken abuse: PETA secretly filmed kicking, stomping of birds

July 20, 2004 | Charleston Daily Mail from staff, wire reports An investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals videotaped chickens being kicked, stomped and thrown against a wall by workers at the Pilgrim’s Pride plant in Moorefield, a supplier for Kentucky Fried Chicken. The fast-food chain has been under pressure since last year over treatment of animals. Officials from Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, saw the video Monday. Kentucky Fried Chicken “will require that the employee or employees responsible will be terminated,” spokeswoman Bonnie Warchauer told The New York Times.

THE PRICE OF VALOR: We train our soldiers to kill for us. Afterward, they?re on their own

[ In the World War II era, United States Army lieutenant colonel S.L.A. Marshall discovered that “only about fifteen per cent of American riflemen in combat had fired at the enemy.” ?Fear of killing, rather than fear of being killed, was the most common cause of battle failure in the individual,? Marshall wrote. ?At the vital point, he becomes a conscientious objector.? Under his influence, the military undertook a ?Revised Program of Instruction,? aimed at desensitizing troops to killing other human beings. But what the military has not had to deal with are the effects of this training on its […]

Economic “Recovery” Leaves Tens of Millions Behind: Even in the Suburbs, Demand for Food Aid Surges as Families Face Hard Times

[ Foodbanks are reporting a phenomenon occurring at urban, rural and suburban food banks nationwide – a surge of first-time clients who never before considered themselves needy but suddenly, because of a layoff or other challenge, cannot pay their rent or living costs…. According to the Agriculture Department, 11 percent of U.S. families – encompassing 34.9 million people – are “food insecure,” meaning they lack the means to ensure themselves of healthy meals and are vulnerable to at least a mild form of chronic malnutrition. A U.S. Conference of Mayors survey of 25 cities found that demand at food banks […]

Enron e-mail a window on political money

18 July 2004 | ASSOCIATED PRESS by SUZANNE GAMBOA WASHINGTON — In only a few e-mails, Enron employees laid bare the reality of politics: the money trail from companies seeking favors from lawmakers with the power to grant them. The e-mails circulated among Enron officials in 2000 and 2001, before the collapse of the Houston energy company, are under review by the House ethics committee, which is considering whether to investigate the fund-raising activities of the No. 2 leader in the House, Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Enron officials map out in the e-mail how to get the most for their […]

“Terror” Arrests Bogus

U.S. links 35 arrests in Iowa to terror: But most defendants’ ties to violence appear doubtful 18 July 2004 | DesMoines Register by BERT DALMER Federal prosecutors say they built 35 terrorism-related cases in Iowa in the two years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But a Des Moines Sunday Register analysis of the cases found that most defendants had questionable links to violent extremism. Those defendants who could be identified by the newspaper were, in most cases, charged with fraud or theft and served just a few months in jail. The number of terrorism-related cases even took one […]

US media kills story that Iraqi PM executed 6 prisoners

excerpted from 19 July 2004 | Daily Times [Pakistan] By Khalid Hasan WASHINGTON: The US media has surprisingly failed to pick up the shocking disclosure by Sydney Morning Herald, Australia?s leading newspaper, that the Irqai Prime Minister Iyad Allawi personally executed six suspected insurgents in a Baghdad police station. The story by award-winning Australian journalist Paul McGeough said that the prisoners were handcuffed and blindfolded, lined up against a courtyard wall and shot by the Iraqi PM. Dr Allawi is alleged to have told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how […]

Iraqi target disputed

[ Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s approval of such bombings is only likely to exacerbate Iraqis’ fears about their new CIA-linked leader. –BL ] July 18, 2004 | Associated Press Baghdad, Iraq – A U-S airstrike authorized by Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has hit purported trenches and fighting positions in Fallujah. Those positions allegedly were used by foreign fighters linked to the al-Qaida network. But the nature of the target is in dispute. Residents say it was civilian, not military. Fourteen people were killed and body parts were strewn across the area. During a visit to Iraq, Deputy Secretary […]

US casualty rate high since handover: Long guerrilla war is feared in Iraq

excerpted from 19 July 2004 | Boston Globe by Bryan Bender Since the June 28 handover of power, the 160,000 coalition forces have averaged more than two deaths a day, among the highest rate of losses since the war began 15 months ago. By Saturday, 36 US soldiers had died this month, compared with 42 last month, according to a Globe analysis of official statistics. …. By Friday, more than 10,000 coalition soldiers had been wounded. In all, 893 Americans have died since the war began in March 2003, most of them in hostile action. “We are going to see […]

Now America accuses Iran of complicity in World Trade Center attack

[ According to the Sunday Herald (18 July 2004), an anonymous U.S. government official promised that ?If George Bush is re-elected there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran,? and that “military action would not be overt in changing Iran, but rather that the US would work to stir revolts in the country and hope to topple the current conservative religious leadership.” –BL ] 18 July 2004 | Telegraph [London] by Julian Coman in Washington Iran gave free passage to up to 10 of the September 11 hijackers just months before the 2001 attacks and offered to […]

Skelton sees burden of war in rural U.S.

[ From the piece: 47.8 percent of the soldiers and Marines killed in Afghanistan came from towns of fewer than 20,000 people. In Iraq, 43.2 percent of the American war dead were from those smaller communities. Nationally, 22.5 percent of the population lives in towns under 20,000 in population. Thanks to the Oklahoma Committee for Conscientious Objectors forwarding the article. –BL ] 8 July 2004 | Kansas City Star

‘Secret film shows Iraq prisoners sodomised’

16 July 2004 | The Independent by Charles Arthur Young male prisoners were filmed being sodomised by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to the journalist who first revealed the abuses there. Seymour Hersh, who reported on the torture of the prisoners in New Yorker magazine in May, told an audience in San Francisco that “it’s worse.” But he added that he would reveal the extent of the abuses: “I’m not done reporting on all this,” he told a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union. He said: “The boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, […]

Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq’s Reconstruction

Lobbyists, aides to senior officials and others encouraged invasion and now help firms pursue contracts. They see no conflict. 14 July 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Walter F. Roche Jr. and Ken Silverstein WASHINGTON — In the months and years leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they marched together in the vanguard of those who advocated war. As lobbyists, public relations counselors and confidential advisors to senior federal officials, they warned against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, praised exiled leader Ahmad Chalabi, and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a matter of national security and moral duty. […]

Republicans Cheat to Kill Sanders’ Amendment

Patriot Act Amendment Fails In House 9 July 2004 | Boston Globe by Susan Milligan WASHINGTON — House Republicans yesterday beat back what was shaping up as a successful attempt to rewrite a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act, by more than doubling the time usually alloted for a floor vote so that House leaders could persuade enough fellow Republicans to change their votes and the outcome. The reversal spared the White House a legislative defeat. As the official 15-minute voting period finished, the House appeared to have approved by a 213-206 vote an amendment that would have required […]

Give it back, George

9 July 2004 | by Greg Palast Bush and Republicans should give up ill-gotten Lay loot that bought the White House When the feds swoop down and cuff racketeers, they also load the vans with all the perp’s ill-gotten gains: stacks of cash, BMWs, whatever. Their associates have to cough up the goodies too: lady friends must give up their diamond rocks. Under the racketeering law, RICO, even before a verdict, anything bought with the proceeds of the crime goes into the public treasury. But there seems to be special treatment afforded those who loaded up on the ‘bennies’ […]

Report: Withholding Medicare Costs Legal

[ The story claims that the inspector general of Health and Human Services determined that the Bush Administration broke no laws in withholding information from Congress. First, there is no inspector general, but only an acting inspecting general (Dara Corrigan). The previous inspector was the Bush-appointed Janet Rehnquist (yes, daughter of William), who stepped down after the General Accounting Office determined that she undermined the independence of the office, showed poor judgment and created “an atmosphere of anxiety and distrust”…. The main job of the inspector general is to ferret out fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, the giant […]

“How did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war, and pro-American?”

Recovering a hijacked faith July 13, 2004 | Boston Globe by Jim Wallis MANY OF US feel that our faith has been stolen, and it’s time to take it back. A misrepresentation of Christianity has taken place. Many people around the world now think Christian faith stands for political commitments that are almost the opposite of its true meaning. How did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war, and pro-American? What has happened? How do we get back to a historic, biblical, and genuinely evangelical faith rescued from its contemporary distortions?

Bush Coordinating War on Terror With Election

8 July 2004 | In the months after the tragic attacks of 9/11, President Bush told the American people that he had “no ambition whatsoever to use [the War on Terror] as a political issue.”1 But according to a new report, the Bush Administration is now demanding that international allies coordinate the arrest of al Qaeda terrorists to coincide with key U.S. political events, so as to maximize political benefits for the President. According to the New Republic, top Pakistani intelligence officials have confirmed that the Bush Administration is demanding the Pakistani government find as many “high value” terrorist […]

Bush’s Baseball Ambassadors

July/August 2004 | Mother Jones DOLING OUT diplomatic posts is a time-honored way for presidents to repay political patrons. But by awarding ambassadorships to 19 Pioneers—supporters who raised at least $100,000 for his 2000 campaign—George W. Bush, a former co-owner of the Texas Rangers, has been in a league of his own. His choices include five big-league execs. Here, the baseball bunch. —Benjamin Leslie Pioneer Posting Service Personal Donations to GOP in 2000 Baseball Affiliation Diplomatic Distinctions George Argyros: Spain. 2001 – present. $123,000 Former owner of Seattle Mariners. No Spanish. Mercer Reynolds III: Switzerland 2001 – 2003. Called back […]

The CIA Did Not Drive the Administration to Iraq (Improved Version)

by Brendan Lalor Too many Americans are still looking for ways to justify defending George W. Bush and his Administration as good, honest leaders. These defenders of Bush seized upon Colin Powell’s pre-war “revelation” of Iraq’s “drone aircraft” as evidence backing the Administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S. That Administration claim was debunked in short order. These defenders of Bush seized upon every news story early in the U.S. occupation of Iraq announcing supposed evidence for WMDs — news stories often appearing in the supposedly “liberal” New York Times — as evidence that Bush was […]

New Documentary Documents Fox is a Propaganda Machine

“OutFoxed”: How Rupert Murdoch Is Destroying American Journalism by Don Hazen, AlterNet July 10, 2004 | As “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore’s powerful indictment of the Bush Administration, is influencing millions of Americans in the heartland, “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” a devastating new documentary that exposes Bush’s biggest cheerleader opens this week in New York and San Francisco and will be featured in thousands of house parties across the country, sponsored by on Sunday, July 18th. “Outfoxed” demonstrates in painful detail how one media empire, making full use of the public airwaves, can reject any semblance of […]

Enron in Context

[ The charges the U.S. government filed against Ken Lay “actually deal only with a small part of his ultimate culpability in the Enron scandal. He was at the head of a company that engaged in massive fraud, which included the looting of large sections of the population for private gain.” Further, in many ways, “The story of Enron is the story of American ruling class over the past several decades.” –BL ] The indictment of Kenneth Lay 13 July 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Joseph Kay Former Enron CEO and Chairman Kenneth Lay pleaded not guilty on July […]

Some “Classic” Michael Moore … Bashing the Democrats

Democrats, DOA (excerpted from Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men and other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation (ReganBooks, 2001) p209 He has signed a bill providing for federal funds to be distributed to “faith-based” charitable organizations. He has expanded the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty can be given to a total of sixty. He has signed a bill outlawing gay marriages and has taken out ads on Christian radio stations touting his opposition to any form of legal same-sex couplings. In a short span of time, he has been able to kick ten million […]

Under Bush, Industry Scores Against Environmentalists Again

Roadless Rules for Forests Set Aside: USDA Plans to Reverse Clinton Prohibitions July 13, 2004 | Washington Post [Page A01] by Juliet Eilperin The Bush administration said yesterday it plans to overturn a Clinton-era rule that made nearly 60 million acres of national forest off-limits to road-building and logging, setting aside one of the most sweeping land preservation measures in decades.

Bush again tries to link Saddam, al-Qaida

Jul. 12, 2004 | Knight Ridder Newspapers by William Douglas and Jonathan S. Landay WASHINGTON – President Bush continued to insist Monday that there was an operational link between former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida despite reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the commission that’s investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that there was no evidence that Saddam and Islamic terrorists collaborated to kill Americans.

Voting–Republican Style

Keywords: voting machines Jul 11, 2004 | Intervention Magazine We sell the voting machines, we program the voting machines, and we count the votes. You can trust us. We are the Republicans. By Mick Youther One thing we learned from the 2000 election is that our voting system is a mess. Have things gotten any better? The government seems to think that the answer to all our voting problems is paperless electronic voting machines, and it is using our tax dollars to entice states to buy these new machines. So far, things are not looking too good. ? ?[In Boone […]

Historic ruling on Israeli ‘occupation’

[ Meanwhile, John Kerry said: I am deeply disappointed by today’s International Court of Justice ruling related o Israel?s security fence. The fence is an important tool in Israel?s fight against errorism. It is not a matter for the ICJ. –BL ]10 July 2004 | Edinburgh Evening News DAN WALDMAN FOR the first time, an international court has ruled that land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war is occupied territory. The ruling was a boost for Palestinians, but Israel insists it won’t change its policy. Yesterday?s decision by the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands referred to […]

These Dogs Don’t Hunt: A Pentagon inspector?s defense of Halliburton is a textbook example of the cronyism of Bush’s so-called watchdogs

9 July 2004 | American Prospect by David J. Sirota and Judd Legum Fact: Halliburton has overcharged taxpayers for food, accepted kickbacks for oil subcontracts, and spent taxpayer money renting rooms at five-star resorts in Kuwait. But instead of expressing outrage the government’s top watchdog, Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz, last week parroted the company line, saying he believes Halliburton’s problems “are not out of line with the size and scope of their contracts.” He then accused the press of overemphasizing the connections between the company and its former CEO Dick Cheney, even though Vice President Cheney still collects hundreds […]

Trade Update, UNCTAD

22 June 2004 | AfricaFocus Washington, DC – The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held every four years, met in Brazil last week. Participants issued ringing statements in favor of South-South collaboration and the need for greater equity in the international trade arena. The meeting was virtually ignored by the press in the United States and other developed countries. Nevertheless, the conference was an indicator of greater international awareness, among almost all political currents, that the current bias against developing countries is both unfair and unsustainable. The conference closing coincided with a ruling from the World Trade […]

Homeland Security asks Justice Department what legal steps would be needed to postpone election

Exclusive: Election Day Worries 19 July 2004 | Newsweek The prospect that Al Qaeda might seek to disrupt the U.S. election was a major factor behind last week’s terror warning by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Ridge and other counterterrorism officials concede they have no intel about any specific plots. But the success of March’s Madrid railway bombings in influencing the Spanish elections as well as intercepted “chatter” among Qaeda operatives has led analysts to conclude “they want to interfere with the elections,” says one official. As a result, sources tell NEWSWEEK, Ridge’s department last week asked the Justice Department’s […] Goes Into Lower Gear for July

by Brendan Lalor I will be sending out smaller, often much less frequent batches of news during July and at least the first part of August. But before cutting back, I want to point out the “News Roundup” page on the website. That page lists a subset of my news sources. Notice that a number of the sources listed offer email subscriptions to digests of the news or updates about new articles. These are handy, and I encourage you to take advantage of them.

Two Arrested At Bush July 4 Speech For Anti-Bush T-Shirts

7 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! A Texas couple was charged with trespassing on the Fourth of July for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts at a speech given by the president in West Virginia. Although the couple, Nicole and Jeffrey Rank, had tickets to the event, security insisted they leave or stand in a designated protest zone. When they refused, police detained them. From the stage Bush said, “We’re thankful that this nation they created 228 years ago remains free and independent and the best hope for all mankind.”

2,100 People Wrongly on Florida?s Voting Purge List

[ This follows up an earlier story printed here. –BL ] 7 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Miami Herald has determined that at least 2,100 people — many of them African-American Democrats — are wrongly included on a list of felons who may not be able to vote in Florida in November. The Miami Herald reviewed the names on a state list of voters to be purged and found 2,100 of them had been granted clemency and therefore had the right to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union has announced it will sue the state to remove the names of any […]

Foreign detainees are few in Iraq

Foreign detainees are few in Iraq 5 July 2004 | USA TODAY by Peter Eisler and Tom Squitieri Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2% of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, a strong indication that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn insurgency. Since last August, coalition forces have detained 17,700 people in Iraq who were considered to be enemy fighters or security risks, and about 400 were foreign nationals, according to figures supplied last week by the U.S. military command handling detention operations in Iraq. Most of those detainees were freed after a […]

Iraqi: U.S. Soldiers Laughed at Drowning

6 July 2004 | Associated Press by HAMZA HENDAWI SAMARRA, Iraq – The 19-year-old Iraqi’s swimming skills were no match for the Tigris. “Marwan, save me!” Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun screamed to his cousin, himself struggling to stay afloat. The teenager drowned; his cousin made it to shore. “I could hear them laughing,” Marwan Fadel Hassoun said, recalling how U.S. soldiers pushed the young men into the river. “They were behaving like they were watching a comedy on stage.”

Caribbean Nations Split On Recognizing Haiti’s New Gov’t

6 July 2004 | DemocracyNow! At the annual meeting of Caricom in Grenada, five Caribbean countries have called on the Carribbean community to officially recognize the new U.S.-backed Haitian government which took over after President Jean-Betrand Aristide was overthrown in a coup. Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson has opposed allowing Haiti to retake its seat in the 15-nation Caricom. Last month the Caribbean leaders voted to have the Organization of American States investigate the circumstances of Aristide’s ouster.

Will Edwards Keep Kerry Honest on Trade?

[ Kerry, a proponent of “free trade” deals like NAFTA, has selected John Edwards as his running mate. Kerry only started to sound “tough on trade” — claiming trade deals must provide for strong enforcement of labor and environmental laws — after “fair trade” contenders like Dennis Kucinich pressured him during the fall Democratic candidate debates. Edwards’ toughness on the issue may be more sincere, given the way the textile and other industries in his home state of North Carolina have suffered under NAFTA. Here’s what this morning’s Washington Post says of Edwards on trade: Trade Says the United States […]

Midwest Theaters Ban ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’

Jul. 3, 2004 | Associated Press DECORAH, Iowa – The president of a company that owns movie theaters in Iowa and Nebraska is refusing to show director Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” R.L. Fridley, owner of Des Moines-based Fridley Theatres, says the controversial documentary incites terrorism.

The Potential Felon Match List of the Florida Division Of Elections: Check It For Yourself!

July, 2004 | People for the American Way On July 1, People For the American Way Foundation received from the Florida Division of Elections an electronic copy of a list of more than 47,000 registered Florida voters who the Division thinks may be ineligible to vote because of felony convictions. This list is now a public record available for inspection and copying by anyone as a result of the decision on July 1 by the Leon County Circuit Court in CNN v. Florida Department of State. The Supervisor of Elections in each Florida county has the list, and may use […]

So this is what they call the new, ‘free’ Iraq

[ From the article: Americans continue to hold Saddam – in Qatar, not in Iraq – and Americans ran the court in which Saddam appeared. American soldiers in plain clothes were the “civilians” in the court. American officials censored the tapes of the hearing, lied about the judge’s wish to record the sound of the trial, and marked the videotapes “cleared by US military”; three US officers later confiscated all the original tapes of the trial. Thanks are due to for this text. –BL ] In his last hours as US proconsul in Baghdad, Paul Bremer decided to tighten up […]

PBS News Reports More than 16,000 Wounded and Injured from Iraq War

by Brendan Lalor The June 18 episode of NOW with Bill Moyers contained a story the corporate media let drop. As Veterans for Common Sense explains, the Pentagon confirms more than 16,000 U.S. service members have been wounded or injured in the Iraq War. DoD failed to report 11,000 soldiers who were wounded or injured. The TV networks and newspapers failed to follow-up on this major scoop. As Steve Robinson of the National Gulf War Resource Center said, “They [the military] believe that by putting this information out, it’s somehow going to affect public opinion.” Donald Rumsfeld must believe that […]

Where Are the World’s Nuclear Weapons?

Encarta article, accessed 6 July 2004 by Tamim Ansary Recently someone asked me which countries have nuclear bombs, and how many they all have. I was surprised to realize I didn’t know. And yet I’ve spent most of my life actively worried about powerful states with big bombs. I was born three years after the nuclear bomb was first detonated and four years before the first thermonuclear bomb was perfected. By the time I could read, I already knew the world could end at any moment. People my age are aptly called boomers; the Armageddon Generation would fit too. We […]

Did one woman’s obsession take America to war?

She is a conspiracy theorist whose political conceits have consistently been proved wrong. So why were Bush and his aides so keen to swallow Laurie Mylroie’s theories on Saddam and terrorism? July 5, 2004 | The Guardian by Peter Bergen Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator – they knew that – but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it’s fair to ask: where did […]

C.I.A. Held Back Iraqi Arms Data, U.S. Officials Say

[ Apparently the CIA had been pushing the theory that the infamous aluminum tubes mentioned by Colin Powell before the UN Security Council were designed to be used in centrifuges for enriching uranium for bombs. While Colin Powell’s own team had told him the theory was rubbish, it may be that the CIA was a source of the more ideologically-driven view which found its way into his speech. –BL ] July 6, 2004 | New York Times by JAMES RISEN WASHINGTON, July 5 — The Central Intelligence Agency was told by relatives of Iraqi scientists before the war that Baghdad’s programs […]

Army Admits Invasion Plagued by Snafus

[ The article below reports on a study “by the Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group at Fort Leavenworth” the conclusions of which are “at odds with the public perception of a technologically superior invasion force that easily drove Hussein from power. In fact, as the authors point out in their battle-by-battle narrative, there were many precarious moments when U.S. units were critically short of fuel and ammunition, with little understanding of the forces arrayed against them.” –BL ] 3 July 2004 | San Francisco Chronicle [page A – 1] by David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times Fort Leavenworth, Kan. — American soldiers […]

Internet Security Expert: “To keep on using [Microsoft’s] IE is like playing the lottery”

Microsoft’s browser dominance at risk as experts warn of security holes 5 July 2004 | Independent [London] by Charles Arthur, Technology Editor Its curved blue “e” sits on almost every computer desktop in the world, but the global dominance of Microsoft’s web browser could soon be over following a stark security warning from a senior panel of internet experts who say it opens the door to online criminals. They are urging all users of Internet Explorer (IE) to stop using the browser because they say it is vulnerable to hackers and credit card fraudsters. The alert, from the US Computer […]

Fredrick Douglass’ Fourth of July Oration: “You May Rejoice, I Must Mourn”

July 2, 2004 | DemocracyNow! On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered one of his most powerful speeches against slavery in Rochester, NY…. While many in America hang flags, attend parades and watch fireworks, Independence Day is not a cause of celebration for all. For Native Americans, it is a bitter reminder of colonialism, which brought disease, violence, genocide and the destruction of their culture and way of life. [As] for African Americans, Independence Day did not extend to them. While white colonists were declaring their freedom from the Crown, that liberation was not shared with millions of Africans captured, […]

Warheads found in Iraq not chemical weapons, military says

[ The story alleging chemical weapons found in Iraq was a false alarm. Let’s hope Fox News gives this correction a treatment as prominent as it gave the alarm itself. –BL ] Jul 02, 2004 | AFP BAGHDAD – Multinational forces in Iraq said on Friday that more than a dozen missile warheads said to contain mustard gas or sarin have tested negative for chemical agents. Washington had announced the find by Polish troops on Thursday, which was later confirmed by Warsaw.

Thousands of Eligible Voters on Florida Purge List

[ Installments of the story of Florida’s racist, sly purging of the voter rolls are posted here periodically. –BL ] July 2, 2004 | NPR Thousands of eligible Florida voters are named on a list of suspected felons the state plans to remove from voter registration rolls ahead of November’s presidential election. A Florida judge ordered the state to release the list after news organizations sued for access to check its accuracy. Hear NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Miami Herald reporter Erika Bolstad. [ listen to piece ]