DECEMBER 19-10, 02 Archives

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New ACLU Report Blasts Texas’ Scandal-Plagued Narcotics Task Forces, Calls for End to Bloated $200 Million Program December 19, 2002 AUSTIN, TX -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas today issued a report calling for an end to the state’s $200 million regional narcotics task force system, citing pervasive racial profiling and 24 major drug scandals since 1998.

Cities Say No to Federal Snooping December 19, 2002 By Julia Scheeres Fearing that the Patriot Act will curtail Americans' civil rights, municipalities across the country are passing resolutions to repudiate the legislation and protect their residents from abuse of authority by the federal government. On Tuesday, Oakland became the 20th municipality to pass a resolution barring its employees -- from police officer to librarian -- from collaborating with federal officials who may try to use their new power to investigate city residents. Rushed through Congress a month after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Patriot Act fundamentally changes Americans' legal rights. Among other things, the act allows the government to secretly monitor political groups, seize library records and tap phone and Internet connections. The federal government says the expanded powers are needed to prevent terrorist attacks; but critics say the legislation erodes freedoms protected by the Constitution. The Justice Department did not return calls for comment on this article. A rallying point behind the recent groundswell has been the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, run by Massachusetts activist Nancy Talanian. Her site includes a blueprint for communities that want to pass anti-Patriot Act resolutions, based on her successful lobbying efforts for such legislation in Northhampton, Massachusetts. The site has gotten over a million hits in the last six months, Talanian said.
Overview of Changes to Legal Rights
Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks:
  Freedom of Association — Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
  Freedom of Information — Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
  Freedom of Speech — Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
  Right to Legal Representation — Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
  Freedom from Unreasonable Searches — Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
  Right to a Speedy and Public Trial — Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
  Right to Liberty — Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.— The Associated Press
Coast to Coast, the Antiwar Marches On December 19, 2002 - From Harlem to Chicago to Denver to Hollywood, people in the US continue to march against the war. Residents of Los Angeles are also mobilizing in the face of a mental environment mixing messages between celebrity, the Federal Communications Commission, Palestine, big-budget propaganda, and peace activism. In Washington DC, the ladies of Code Pink visited the house of US Secretery of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to sing "War to the World" and other parody carols. In the world of academia, the University of Michigan recently joined the growing list of universities that have passed antiwar resolutions. Meanwhile, graduate faculty and students at the New School in New York City, together with faculty from other area schools, are calling for a teaching moratorium on the two days following the beginning of any US-led war on Iraq. The process of education about war continues, with teach-ins gathering steam, ranging from North Carolina to Wisconsin to Idaho.

Who are the refugees from the US? December 18, 2002 By the Editor The ominous changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act give effect to a refugee pact negotiated between Canada’s government and the Bush administration last summer and initialed in early December. The Orwellian name given this so called pact is the "Safe Third-Country Agreement.” It provides for the routine return of refugee claimants from Canada to America, and from America to Canada. It all sounds harmless enough, but what if Canada or America had made the “Safe Third-Country Agreement” with Russia during the cold war, a time when Russia also persecuted it’s people for seeking freedoms denied them in their own country. We would have sent thousands of Russian refugees back to a repressive system to face swift and draconian punishment. Last year, only a few hundred people who entered the US from Canada actually applied for refugee status, but thousands of American citizens have crossed the border into Canada in recent months following clampdowns ordered by attorney general, John Ashcroft.

Bush Administration Now More 'Out of Touch' Than Ever; Dec. 18, 2002 By Kostmayer: Embarrassing Defeat at U.N. Conference Rebukes Bush Policy WASHINGTON, /U.S. Newswire/ -- In one of the more embarrassing diplomatic defeats of the Bush presidency, the U.S. lost two different votes attempting to water-down an international population agreement on population. "At the just concluded on population and development in Thailand, the Bush administration has now proven that it is out of touch not just with America, but with the rest of the world as well on family planning," said Peter H. Kostmayer, president of Population Connection. "The administration is continuing to turn its back on women everywhere in order to curry favor with its right-wing supporters."

Bush drives on to war 18, December 2002 By Christopher Hitchens All things press towards the event. At some level in Washington - indeed at several levels - the essential decision has been taken that Saddam Hussein will soon be gone. If I had to bet, I'd say that Valentine's Day - my preferred date for the celebration - might be a little early but April Fool's Day is probably putting it too late. The enormous new American base in Qatar, which I visited a few weeks ago, is nearly ready, and a large chunk of US "Centcom" (Central Command) has been moved there from Florida. Thus, the reluctance of the Saudis to allow use of their facilities for an intervention - though it may yet be overcome - matters less.

New Tax Plan May Bring Shift In Burden Poor Could Pay A Bigger Share December 17, 2002 By Jonathan Weisman As the Bush administration draws up plans to simplify the tax system, it is also refining arguments for why it may be necessary to shift more of the tax load onto lower-income workers.

Poor Al Gore, he never could get presidential politics right. December 17, 2002 Just as the former vice president and 2000 Democratic nominee for the top job was starting to take some of the bold stands that might have inspired grassroots Democrats to consider him anew – criticizing the rush to war with Iraq, pointing an appropriate finger of blame for economic instability at Bush tax policies, and acknowledging that a single-payer national health care plan is needed – he decides NOT to run in 2004.

Bush to Repeal Rule Providing Unemployment Pay to Parents on Family Leave December 16, 2002 Despite his campaign promises proclaiming support for “family values,” Bush earlier this month announced his intention to repeal the Birth and Adoption Unemployment Compensation Rule which provides unemployment pay for workers on leave to care for a new child. Judith L. Lichtman, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families told the New York Times, “It’s just a slap in the face to working people…All this regulation did was, for the first time, give states the option to use” unemployment insurance to compensate parents on unpaid family leave. The Labor Department insists that the rule—approved by former President Bill Clinton in June 2000—must be repealed because it burdens states, already suffering low unemployment funds during the economic recession. However, to date no state has even exercised the option because many are amidst legislative efforts to implement the program. The repeal “reflects profound mistrust of states to make wise choices” in managing their unemployment pay programs, said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, according to the Associated Press.

Bush to California: Choke on this Dec. 16, 2002 | The White House has joined with the oil and auto industries to undermine the state's rigorous environmental regulations. In October, the Bush administration took time out from battling al-Qaida and other evildoers to file an amicus brief in federal court in Fresno, siding with automakers and dealers in a suit against a California regulation requiring car manufacturers to sell "zero-emissions vehicles." The administration has also been fighting for the extension of offshore oil drilling rights in California coastal waters near Santa Barbara. Never mind that such drilling is so unpopular with voters here that even state Republican politicians outdo themselves trying to prove how fervently they oppose it.

Bush Administration Tries To Bully Asian Nations BANGKOK, Thailand, Dec. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- "The Bush Administration is showing utter disdain for the principles of democracy and global diplomacy" at the Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference (FAPPC), said Valerie DeFillipo, senior director of Global Partners and International Initiatives, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Iraq's Aziz Brands Bush a 'Hypocrite'
December 16, 2002 Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz branded President Bush a hypocrite on Sunday for pursuing war and predicted there would be "a great amount" of American casualties should the United States invade his country. Appearing on the "Fox News Sunday" program, Aziz said Bush was "driving America to a hostile imperialist policy" that was dangerous both for the United States and the world. "He's a hypocrite because a true Christian would not be a war monger, would not push for the destruction of a country and its people," Aziz said.

Canada hides behind US to attack refugees 16 December 2002 By Guy Charron Canada’s Liberal government has introduced legislation aimed at drastically reducing the number of refugee claimants. Once Parliament accepts the changes, persons claiming refugee status on entering Canada from the US will, with few exceptions, immediately be returned south of the border. The pretext for this change is that the US is a “safe third country” and those wanting asylum should seek refugee status there. In 2001, 14,000 refugee claimants—or more than in one every three persons seeking asylum in Canada—did so on crossing into the country from the US. A further 7,000 persons applied for refugee status on entering Canada from the US in the first eight months of this year.

A media establishment in denial over hate speech-hate crime link December 16, 2002 — By Edward Olshaker We are truly living in an upside-down, Alice in Wonderland world when the polite and prudent Senator Tom Daschle is derided by Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz as having "lost a couple of screws" simply for noting the connection of hateful rhetoric to threats on him and his family, while Rush Limbaugh, the disseminator of the type of malicious bombast that incites death threats and hate crimes, is praised by Kurtz as mainstream and reasonable.

Gore stuns Americans by opting out of 2004 re-match with Bush December 16, 2002 By ROBERT RUSSO - Al Gore, who polled a half-million more votes than George W. Bush in the last presidential election, stunned his fellow Democrats and threw the 2004 campaign wide open Sunday by announcing he will not run again in two years.The decision came despite several weeks of prominent public appearances by Gore that smacked of a presidential campaign in everything but name. "I've decided that I will not be a candidate for president in 2004," Gore said during an appearance on the CBS program 60 Minutes. "I personally have the energy and drive and ambition to make another campaign, but I don't think that it's the right thing for me to do."

The secret disservice December 15, 2002 The US government has a new objective in its war on terrorism, an objective it calls "total information awareness". This is a very creepy expression, but it suits the creepy nature of the government's intention, which is to find out absolutely everything about absolutely everybody and store all the information on a "virtual centralised grand database" in the Pentagon. The idea is that, if you know everything about everyone and are able to analyse this knowledge correctly, you should then be able to identify potential terrorists and prevent them doing whatever it is they are about to do. The Orwellian nature of this scheme has not escaped notice in the US. The columnist William Safire, once a speechwriter for President Nixon and hardly a leftie, has called it "the supersnoop's dream", in which "every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every email you send or receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book" will go into the database. The New Yorker has warned that this could help to destroy "the last vestiges of individual and family privacy". There are doubtless many people who think that practically any sacrifice, even of fundamental civil liberties, is worth it if it helps to put an end to terrorist atrocities. But even they cannot feel reassured by the impenetrable "newspeak" that is used to describe every aspect of the new "Information Awareness Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense". The logo displayed on its website is already spooky enough - a mystic eye at the top of a pyramid, illuminating the globe. Beneath is a portentous slogan in Latin, "Scientia est Potentia" ("Knowledge is Power").

ACLU Blasts Bush Executive Order Allowing Discrimination in Workplace December 1
5, 2002 WASHINGTON - In response to President Bush's new executive order that imposes by White House fiat much of his plan for government-funded religion, the American Civil Liberties Union said the sure result of the move will be blatant discrimination by religious groups in how they hire and to whom they provide taxpayer-funded services.

Citing Free Speech Concerns, ACLU of MA Seeks FBI Records on Campus Surveillance Activities December 15, 2002 SPRINGFIELD, MA -- Citing concerns about free speech on campus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts today said that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details on government surveillance of college professors and students nationwide. "We are concerned that an FBI presence on college campuses could have a chilling effect on the free speech of students, professors and other university employees and we are seeking more information about the extent of this program both in Massachusetts and nationwide," said John Reinstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Florida Gov. Bush says he would fight proposed ban on boat docks meant to protect endangered manatees 12/15/02 FORT MYERS, Fla. The Associated Press -- Gov. Jeb Bush said he would fight a proposed ban on new boat docks in parts of Florida because the plan, meant to protect endangered manatees, would mean millions of dollars in economic losses. The federal regulations were proposed to settle a lawsuit by the Save the Manatee Club and other environmental groups alleging the government had failed to protect manatees. The rules can still be revised before they would go into effect in May. Bush told several hundred business and community leaders Friday that he would join a lawsuit if necessary to fight the proposed regulations.

U.S. DIRTY BOMBS Radioactive Gene-Busting Munitions Spiked with Plutonium December 14, 2002 By JOHN M. LaFORGE “Plutonium is a fuel that is toxic beyond human experience. It is demonstrably carcinogenic to animals in microgram quantities [one millionth of a gram]. The lung cancer risk is unknown to orders of magnitude. Present plutonium standards are certainly irrelevant.” -- Dr. Donald P. Geesaman, health physicist, formerly of Lawrence Livermore Lab.
      Toxic, radioactive uranium-238 -- so-called depleted uranium -- used in munitions, missiles and tank armor may be responsible for deadly health consequences among U.S. and allied troops and populations in bombed areas, and has probably caused permanent radioactive contamination of large parts of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and perhaps Afghanistan. Depleted uranium “penetrators” as they are called burn on impact and up to 70 percent of the DU is released (aerosolized) as toxic and radioactive dust that can be inhaled and ingested and later trapped in the lungs or kidneys.

The American Administration Is a Blood Thirsty Wild Animal Dec. 14, 2002 By Harold Pinter, London Daily Telegraph Earlier this year, I had a major operation for cancer. The operation and its after effects were something of a nightmare. I felt I was a man unable to swim bobbing about under water in a deep dark endless ocean. But I did not drown and I am very glad to be alive. However, I found that to emerge from a personal nightmare was to enter an infinitely more pervasive public nightmare - the nightmare of American hysteria, ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and belligerence; the most powerful nation the world has ever known effectively waging war against the rest of the world.

The ugly truth about Republican racial politics Dec. 14, 2002 By Joan Walsh The GOP needs to do a lot more than rebuke Trent Lott to make up for its legacy of pandering to white bigots and suppressing the black vote. I almost feel sorry for Trent Lott. Almost. How could the Senate Majority Leader have known that his words of praise for Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign -- "We voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had of followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years" -- could possibly cost him his job? After all, Lott's been saying the same sorts of things for decades now, and on the rare occasion that they even make news, he's always escaped the same way: Insisting he wasn't endorsing racism even as he praised racist institutions, from Thurmond's Dixiecrat Party to Bob Jones University to myriad pro-Confederacy groups the Mississippi right-winger has allied himself with his entire career.

Bush reshuffles economic officials: more CEOs and bankers 14 December 2002 By Patrick Martin After a year of dismal economic performance, in which American capitalism has been rocked by the biggest series of corporate scandals since the Great Depression, the Bush administration has replaced three leading officials responsible for economic policy. But the identity of the “new faces” only underscores the extraordinarily narrow social base of this government—yet another corporate CEO and two investment bankers, for a regime already top-heavy with former officials from Wall Street and the Fortune 500. The resignations of Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and chairman of the National Economic Council Lawrence Lindsey were announced by the White House on Friday, December 6, only minutes after the release of Labor Department figures showing a further jump in the unemployment rate to 6.0 percent.

The Railroad Barons Are Back - And This Time They'll Finish the Job December 13, 2002 By THOM HARTMANN The railroad barons first tried to infiltrate the halls of government in the early years after the Civil War. The efforts of these men, particularly Jay Gould, brought the Ulysses Grant administration into such disrepute, as a result of what were then called "the railroad bribery scandals," that Grant's own Republican party refused to renominate him for the third term he wanted and ran Rutherford B. Hayes instead. As the website says of Grant, "Looking to Congress for direction, he seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted 'a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms.'"

Global survey reveals growing economic hardship, opposition to US 13 December 2002 By David Walsh What the World Thinks in 2002—How Global Publics View: Their Lives, Their Countries, The World, America, the poll reveals growing worldwide economic hardship and political discontent. Eleven years after the dissolution of the USSR and the supposed final triumph of the profit system, the researchers report that “almost all national publics view the fortunes of the world as drifting downward.” What the World Thinks in 2002, the first publication in the Pew Global Attitudes Project, was compiled on the basis of 38,000 interviews carried out in 44 countries over a four-month period (July-October 2002). In November researchers conducted a special six-nation survey on attitudes toward a possible US war with Iraq. The survey appears to reflect, at least in part, the anxiety of those sections of the ruling elite concerned that the reckless policies pursued by the Bush administration are hardening global opposition to America and destabilizing long-established political relationships. Indeed the report’s first sentence notes pointedly that “discontent with the United States has grown around the world over the past two years [i.e., since the installation of George W. Bush].”

Lott: It gets worse Dec. 13, 2002 By Anthony York | Troubling new disclosures about the Senate's top Republican and his record on race relations raise questions about his fitness for office. President Bush rebuked incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Thursday for his racially divisive remarks last week, and disturbing new revelations about Lott's record on race relations and wavering support among fellow Republicans raised new questions on whether he could hold on to the most powerful post in Congress. A new report published by Time Magazine online detailed his efforts to block integration of his fraternity while he studied at the University of Mississippi. And in a 1984 interview that circulated widely yesterday, Lott expressed strong opposition to the national holiday that had been established to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King.

Calls for Peace on International Human Rights Day December 13, 2002 Marking International Human Rights Day, activists across the U.S. held demonstrations, vigils, civil disobedience actions, die-ins, and others events as part of a National Day of Protest Against the War. The nationwide event was called by United for Peace, a coalition of diverse groups working to stop the Bush regime's campaign to invade Iraq. Actions on December 10 included blockades of military recruiters in Washington DC and Austin, to die-ins in Ithaca, to occupations of federal buildings in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and Oakland, and various other actions throughout the country. In sum, over 100 persons were arrested nationwide for acts of civil disobedience.

Sweden Providing Political asylum for U.S. Officials Cowed by Bush 12/12/02 By:Dennis Hans - STOCKHOLM Intimidated bureaucrats regain their voice as protected guests of a genuinely democratic regime. — Blaine Williams hasn’t stopped grinning since he arrived in Sweden two weeks ago. Several times a day he’ll approach a complete stranger, offer a handshake and a smile, introduce himself as a former CIA analyst from America, and proceed to tell the bewildered Swede all the things he knows that directly contradict President George W. Bush’s declarations about Saddam Hussein’s intentions and capabilities. “Free at last!” Williams exclaimed to a reporter as he sat on his front porch and waved to new neighbors. “I was stuck in a totalitarian bureaucracy for 14 months. What a relief it is to say in public who I am and what I think.” Williams is the first of dozens of former U.S. government employees expected to take refuge in Sweden over the next several months, courtesy of a bold project of the new social democratic government.

Evil Is Succeeding  - 12/12/02 By: Norm. Walker While Bush (not a moron) has been President--evil is succeeding.
1. Unemployment has risen from 3.9% to 6.0%--this is evil.
2. 42 States will or expect to make Medicaid Cuts--this is evil.
3. 41.2 Million People in America Have NO Health Insurance--this is evil.
4. The number of Americans living in Poverty rises for first time in eight years--this is evil.
5. Overall economic growth at 1 percent, the lowest for any administration in 50 years--this is evil.
6. The value of Americans' stock holdings down $4.5 trillion and a 30 percent drop in the value of IRAs and 401(k) plans--this is evil.
7. A projected budget surplus of $5.6 trillion converted into a deficit of $400 billion--this is evil.
8. Bush Budget Will Spend the Entire Social Security Trust Fund Over Next Two Years--this is evil.
9. "Consumer Comfort" has dropped from +20 to -20 in one year--this is evil.
10. 49% of Americans Are "Dissatisfied With The Way Things Are Going in the United States at this time," up from 29%--proof this is evil.
11. Bush Budget Posted First Deficit Since 1997, Predicted Deficits Until 2005--this is evil.
12. 98% of Pension Funds expected to be Under-Funded--this is evil.
13. "Consumer Confidence" continues to drop--this is evil.
14. U.S. debt will have "Major International Consequences."--this is evil.
How much more proof do we need that Republican policies are evil?

White House steps over the line
12/12/02: Helen Thomas Seattle Post-Intelligencer  WASHINGTON -- President Bush's aides must stay awake at night thinking of new ways to intrude on the privacy of once-free Americans. These officials simply won't stop overreaching, will they? Whenever they come up with one of their big-brother schemes to invade every facet of our life, they package it as just another pain-free way to fight terrorism. First there was the infamous proposal that the Justice Department create a Terrorism Information and Prevention System in which delivery people, truck drivers and letter carriers as well as local gossips would spy on folks in the neighborhood and report to the FBI. This foolish plot had the ring of Nazi Germany in the '30s and '40s.

ACLU of WA Offers Free Legal Advice to Booksellers on Protecting Customers' Privacy December 12, 2002 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEATTLE -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington today said it is offering free legal advice to booksellers in the state who receive subpoenas or search warrants seeking disclosure of customer purchase records. The ACLU is making the offer in letters sent to booksellers statewide "The ACLU believes that the freedom to read necessarily includes the freedom to read privately," said Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington. "Customers cannot freely make decisions to read unpopular or controversial books if they fear that their choice of reading matter will be revealed without their consent to police, lawyers, and judges."

Bush to bypass Congress on U.S. grants to `faith-based' charities Dec. 12, 2002 - President Bush on Thursday will issue a sweeping executive order directing federal agencies to let religious charities compete for social-service grants and contracts, bypassing Congress on a sensitive church-state issue. With his "faith-based" initiative stalled in the Senate, Bush will push his agenda forward with the stroke of a pen

US seizes Iraqi UN documents to further war drive
12 December 2002 By Bill Vann The Bush administration’s seizure of the 12,000-page weapons declaration turned over by Iraq to the United Nations last Saturday is a measure of the Bush administration’s desperation to manufacture a pretext for war and launch an invasion within the coming weeks. In what amounted to an act of extortion, US diplomats entered the offices of the UN’s chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and took control of the documents only hours after they had arrived in New York City. Earlier, Blix had announced that UN personnel intended to review the documents before providing each member of the Security Council with a copy by the end of the week. wsw 

U.S. economy in Collapse while Russia-China-India Zooming
December 12, 2002 Up to 46 American states are facing the most severe economic crisis since World War II with many of them effectively bankrupt.  California alone, which constitutes one sixth of the U.S. economy, is facing a budget deficit of up to $25 billion.   The situation in the U.S. contrasts sharply with the economic diplomacy of Russia-China-India which is at an all time high with some of the most extraordinary and exciting developments for 100 years now underway. Citizen's Electoral Council 

Carter warns against 'catastrophic' war December 12, 2002 Former US president Jimmy Carter has warned of the potentially "catastrophic consequences" of a pre-emptive US war on Iraq. The comments came in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo. Mr Carter did not mention either country by name, but said: "For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventative war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences."

US may use nuclear weapons December 12, 2002 The White House has again warned Iraq and other countries
opposing the United States that it will use "overwhelming force" - including nuclear weapons.

Coercive Interrogation You Have No Right to Remain Silent December 11, 2002 by JOANNE MARINER Anyone who has ever watched a cop show knows that you have a right to remain silent in response to police questioning, and that if you knowingly waive that right, "anything you say can be used against you in a court of law." The Miranda warnings, named after the 1966 Supreme Court case that gave rise to them, are deeply embedded in both legal and popular culture. Given the warnings' established place in police procedures, TV cops and real-life police officers might be surprised to learn that the first Miranda right is not a right at all, at least according to the government. In a case argued before the Supreme Court last Wednesday, Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement explained that coercive interrogations in no way violate the rights of detainees. He claimed that the constitutional violation at issue in Miranda v. Arizona occurs only in court, if and when the prosecution tries to introduce a suspect's coerced statements as evidence. Put bluntly, you have no right to remain silent. What you have, instead, is a right not to be criminally prosecuted on the basis of your coerced statements. If the government is correct, then the language of the Miranda warnings is wrong.

RecommendedJudge Rebuffs Effort to Obtain Records on Cheney Task Force Dec. 11 By DAVID STOUT — In a case involving bedrock constitutional issues, a federal judge today threw out a lawsuit brought by an agency of Congress against Vice President Dick Cheney over the formulation of the administration's energy policy. Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court found that Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the General Accounting Office, did not have sufficient standing to sue the vice president. Mr. Walker had asked the judge to order the White House to reveal the identities of industry executives who helped the administration develop its energy policy last year.

Republicans can lie, Dems can't. Why?
December 11, 2002 By Richard Cohen I'm in Bill Clinton's head as he reads the morning papers. I arrive just as Clinton turns to the story saying that Elliott Abrams has been named the Bush administration's Middle East honcho. A blast of white heat engulfs me. "Can you believe that?" I hear him say. "Elliott Abrams. The same guy who twice lied to Congress. He pleaded guilty to withholding information from a Senate committee and then a House committee. The only reason he wasn't strung up for perjury is that he wasn't under oath - a distinction without much of a difference. "This guy could have taught me some lessons. He was asked if the Reagan administration had solicited a $10 million loan from the sultan of Brunei for the Nicaraguan Contras. He said the report was 'false.' Later, he said the answer was technically correct because the money hadn't yet arrived. It's all a matter of tense - a case of what you mean by 'is.' "The second lie was even more of a jaw-dropper. He denied that the Reagan administration was helping the Contras. I just looked up what he said. 'It's not our supply system.' But it was their supply system. And Congress had passed a law forbidding aid to the Contras. He broke the law. He lied about it. He got convicted, and then he got a presidential pardon from Pappa Bush.

Rightwing Radio Show Postpones Madison Teach-In
December 10, 2002 By Matthew Rothschild I've been doing these McCarthyism Watch updates for just about a year, and now here's one where I have a cameo. I and two other peace activists were supposed to address an anti-Iraq War teach-in at Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 3. About twenty students and a faculty adviser had planned the teach-in over the course of a month. They'd made up posters and leaflets and were all set to go with the teach-in. But the day before it was supposed to happen, a student involved with the Young Republicans went on a local rightwing radio program and complained that the teach-in was unbalanced. He and the host, Chris Kroc, drummed up enough negative calls and e-mails to the school administration-some referring to the school district as "subversive and anti-American," according to the Capital Times-that within a matter of hours, the school superintendent, Art Rainwater, postponed the teach-in.

Bush OKs Pensions That Worry Workers Dec. 10, 2002 "This is deregulation of pension plans and it is going to cost employees dearly, especially employees over 40 years of age." Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. (CBS) The Bush administration plans to propose new regulations Tuesday that would protect employers from age discrimination liability when a company converts its traditional retirement pension benefit to a different arrangement called a "cash balance plan." Such conversions typically mean less money for workers closer to retirement age. Currently there is a moratorium on government approval of conversions. But that would be lifted if the regulations are approved after a public comment period and an April meeting of the Internal Revenue Service. Cash balance plans usually consist of a percentage of pay earned by a worker plus interest that can be paid out as a lump sum if the worker leaves the company after working there for a certain period. Unlike a 401(k) plan, employees neither own the accounts or make investment decisions. Unlike a traditional pension plan, the worker isn't guaranteed annual benefits after retiring.

Poll Finds D.C. Voters Strongly Oppose Vouchers; Dec. 10, 2002 80 Percent Also Expect Private Voucher Schools to be Held Publicly Accountable ALEXANDRIA, Va., /U.S. Newswire/ -- More than three-fourths of voters in the District of Columbia say they oppose private school vouchers, and 80 percent say they would expect any private school that accepts taxpayer-funded vouchers to be held publicly accountable, according to a new National School Boards Association / Zogby International poll.

US: Republican Senate leader regrets end of Jim Crow segregation 10 December 2002 By Patrick Martin Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, expressed regret last week that Strom Thurmond did not win the presidency in 1948 when he was the candidate of the segregationist States Rights Party. Thurmond, then the governor of South Carolina, challenged incumbent Democrat Harry S. Truman on a program of Jim Crow racism and opposition to any concessions to the oppressed black population of the South. Lott made the segregationist remarks at a 100th birthday party for Thurmond, who is retiring from the Senate after 46 years. The affair was held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Lott noted that Mississippi was one of four states carried by Thurmond in 1948. “I want to say this about my state,” he declared. “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” Lott was neither joking nor speaking off the cuff when he lamented the defeat of Thurmond’s racist presidential campaign 52 years ago.

ACLU Sues Nebraska Police Over Intrusive Strip-Search of Teen December 10, 2002 LINCOLN, NE -- Saying that the strip-search of a teenage girl crossed the boundaries of common decency and lawful performance of police duties, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska today announced a federal lawsuit against city of Kearney and members of its police force. "The conduct of the Kearney Police went far beyond what the situation required or the law allows," said Tim Butz, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska. "All parents in this state should be angry at what happened to this young woman and shudder for her and their own daughters." According to the ACLU lawsuit, Liner was the only person subjected to an intrusive body cavity search. None of the adult family members present were given anything more than a pat-down outside of their clothing.

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