FEBRUARY 28-26, 03 Archives

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The Sedition Act - Time to Act. Time to Arrest the Leaders of the Anti-War Movement February 28, 2003 by Michael Savage just hired by MSNBC 16 May, 1918 The U.S. Sedition Act United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, pp 553 ff. A portion of the amendment to Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917.SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....paulreveresociety.com

Veterans Organize Against War in Iraq February 28, 2003 Many U.S. military veterans are demonstrating against the Bush regime's rush to war against Iraq. Veterans for Peace were present at both the large J18 and massive F15 demonstrations. They are urging top U.S. military commanders to Remember Nuremberg and have demanded the resignation of U.S. Secretary of War, Rumsfeld. Likewise, the Vietnam Veterans Against War have made their case against another Gulf war. Read: entire feature [ Listen to an interview with anti-war vet ]  

George is right and the whole world is wrong February 28, 2003 By Bev Conover Online Journal Editor & Publisher Brother and sister traitors, loony radicals and conspiracy wackos, it's time to sit back and enjoy the Bush administration's "lovely" war on Iraq and stop dreaming about impeachment, a full investigation of 9/11 or putting corporate criminals behind bars. Don't you understand that "the adults are now in charge" and if we "kiddies" don't shape up and stop mouthing off, we will be harshly dealt with? Can you say "gulag" or "concentration camp?" How about "firing squad?" Really, we "usual suspects" must stop taking to the streets with our silliness in trying to stop a perfectly good war. Our antics really upset George W., the anointed one, and that is the same as upsetting God. And you all know what happens when you anger God. He smites you. onlinejournal.com

Veteran U.S. Diplomat Resigns Over Iraq February 28, 2003 ATHENS, Greece (AP) A veteran U.S. diplomat based in Greece has resigned to protest President Bush's ``fervent pursuit of war with Iraq.'' J. Brady Kiesling, who served as political officer at the Athens embassy, reportedly said in a resignation letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell that he left the diplomatic service because of his disagreement over the Bush administration's Iraq policy. ``Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson,'' Kiesling wrote, according to The New York Times. The U.S. Embassy in Athens confirmed Thursday that the career diplomat had recently resigned ``for personal reasons,'' and embassy officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the contents of the letter but could not provide a copy. Kiesling has been a diplomat for about 20 years and had postings in the Middle East, Armenia and Greece. guardian.co.uk

Buying a Coalition February 28, 2003 by William D. Hartung & Michelle Ciarrocca Just as his father did, George W. Bush is offering generous packages of aid and arms to nations that join his drive for war against Iraq. There is so much bargaining going on that arms analyst Ira Shorr has called the Administration's ad hoc alliance for war the "coalition of the wanting." According to former Secretary of State James Baker, winning support for the first Gulf War involved "cajoling, extracting, threatening and occasionally buying votes." This time there is far more buying and threatening than cajoling going on, and recruiting allies has been far more costly. Would-be allies are driving harder bargains because Gulf War II is a much shakier proposition. As John Chipman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies has observed, "Then it was straightforward. Eject Iraq from Kuwait. Now it's 'regime change,' and that's...hard for many to swallow." Bush officials are hoping that massive doses of US aid will make unpopular anti-Iraq positions go down more easily. The Administration is weighing proposals for nearly $30 billion worth of grants and subsidized loans for allies concerned about the political and economic side-effects of a new Gulf conflict. thenation.com

IPS Releases Report on U.S. Arm-twisting Over Iraq War February 28, 2003 Full report in .pdf format - Download free .pdf reader As U.S. officials intensify their arm-twisting offensive to gather support for a war on Iraq, the Institute for Policy Studies is releasing a new study today that examines the specific levers of U.S. military, economic, and political power. The study, entitled "Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Coerced?," looks at how this leverage applies to each current member of the UN Security Council. It also analyzes the power the U.S. government exerts over the broader group of countries that the Bush Administration has dubbed the "Coalition of the Willing." Although the Administration refuses to release a list of the members of this coalition, the authors compiled a list of 34 nations cited in press reports as supporters of the U.S. position on Iraq.
Major findings:
Although the Bush Administration claims that the anonymous "Coalition of the Willing" is the basis of genuine multilateralism, the report shows that most were recruited through coercion, bullying, and bribery.
The pursuit of access to U.S. export markets is a powerful lever for influence over many countries, including Chile and Costa Rica, both of which are close to concluding free trade deals with the United States; African nations that want to maintain U.S. trade preferences; and Mexico, which depends on the U.S. market for about 80 percent of its export sales.
The populations of the countries in the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" make up only about 10 percent of the world's population. Opponents of the U.S. position currently include the leading economies of four continents (Germany, Brazil, China, and South Africa).
President Bush could make or break the chances of Eastern European members of the "Coalition of the Willing" that are eager to become members of NATO. In order for these nations to join the military alliance, Bush must ask the Senate for approval.
     The authors of the 13-page study include: IPS UN and Middle East expert Phyllis Bennis, IPS Director John Cavanagh, and IPS Fellow Sarah Anderson. According to Bennis, "It's hardly a new phenomenon for the U.S. to use bribes and threats to get its way in the UN. What's new this time around is the breathtaking scale of those pressures -- because this time around, global public opinion has weighed in, and every government leaning Washington's way faces massive opposition at home." http://www.ips-dc.org/coalition.htm

New York City Against the People February 28, 2003 by ELLEN CANTAROW "I was maced in the left eye and face by a police officer at 53rd Street and Third Avenue. We were forced by the police to march into a cul-de-sac, and the weight of the people behind us pressed the crowd against the pen, whereupon a police officer sprayed me and several other people. Another police officer refused to allow me out of the pen to get medical assistance." -from a report by a 65-year-old woman to the New York Civil Liberties Union after February 15 "Severe restrictions were made even on First Avenue. Each block was surrounded by guardrails, with the exits and entrances guarded by officers. Protesters were not allowed to move from one block to the next, and were even held at the block above the one containing the rally stage, despite plenty of room. Exits were made easy, while entrances were nearly impossible." counterpunch.org

A bitter pill for Blair February 28, 2003 By Phillip Robertson A stunning parliamentary revolt against Prime Minister Tony Blair's pro-war policies means his political fate could hang on getting U.N. approval for an Iraq invasion. As several hundred antiwar protesters chanted outside the Houses of Parliament in London on a cold Wednesday night, a sitting British government suffered the largest parliamentary revolt in the past 100 years. After a tumultuous six-hour debate on whether Britain should follow the Bush administration to war, more than 120 members of Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party defected and voted for an antiwar amendment that described the case for war as "as yet unproven." The antiwar amendment lost, and a bland government motion that did not mention war passed, but the size of the revolt stunned observers here. The final vote in the House of Commons was 198 for and 393 against, with the Labour rebels including not just 30 to 40 hard-line antiwar members but many moderates. The result threw the ruling Labour Party into extreme disarray and sent shock waves throughout the British political system. The upcoming U.N. Security Council vote on whether to go to war, expected to take place within the next two weeks, now becomes critical for Blair. If the 15-member council does not approve an invasion, and Blair opts for war anyway, as expected, he would face a potentially catastrophic split within his own party. (British prime ministers do not need parliamentary approval to wage war.) salon.com

Israeli Shells Kill Innocence in Cold Blood February 28, 2003 By Adel Zaarab GAZA CITY "Where is my beloved son?" she screamed, her knees to weak to help her stand. They carried her on a wheelchair to give a final send-off to her son. Her tears started rolling down her cheeks as she saw her son lying in the morgue. She sat behind him, touched his forefront with her trembling hands and kissed him tenderly with everyone crying around her. The sepulchral silence was broken with a loud cry voiced by the martyr’s uncle, who called for avenging the killing of his innocent nephew. She is the mother of the 14-year-old Ahmad Abu Elwan, who was shot dead cold-bloodedly by Israeli gunfire on Tuesday, February 25, while playing in front of his houses in Tal al-Sultan district, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation troops fired a volley of artillery shells at the Palestinian houses in the region.“Suddenly, we heard deafening explosions, which shook the entire area. I got out from my house, which was completely destroyed by two shells,” said Mahmoud Abul Fadl, an eyewitness to the massacre. http://palestinechronicle.com

EMPIRE! Armed US Guards Lay Down Law for Iraqi Exiles February 28, 2003 The first meeting of the Iraqi opposition in the heart of Iraqi Kurdistan was overshadowed yesterday by the presence of heavily armed Americans. The occasion was meant to be a momentous one for the combined Iraqi opposition factions launching a democratic future for the post-Saddam era. However, the Americans dominated the meeting, loudly demonstrating their views on the process of nation building. US special forces are known to have entered the country covertly but those who were waving their weapons yesterday were members of the Diplomatic Security Service, according to tags on their body armour. "Stop filming and friggin' listen to me," one of them shouted...earthside.com

COUP 2K February 28, 2003 It was the Republicans who first bandied the term "coup d'etat" to describe the 2000 presidential election. Since then, many have turned the tables and labeled Bush's victory a coup. But how much of this is merely political rhetoric? John Dee writes that much of what happened matches historical examples of CIA election rigging and overthrows...and a respected coup "manual" authored by a one-time advisor to President Reagan. lumpen.com

Support for Bush's re-election falls below 50 percent President February 28, 2003 CNN Washington Bureau  WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The percentage of registered voters who say they would support President Bush in 2004 fell below 50 percent for the first time, according to a new CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll, which finds more Americans concerned about the economy. Two-thirds of those who responded to the poll, released Thursday, describe current economic conditions as poor, a 10-point increase since December. Optimism about the future of the economy also dropped 10 points during that time. cnn.com

Sept 11 Suspect Moussaoui Wants to Torture Ashcroft February 28, 2003 (Reuters) Accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui said he wants to torture U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, court documents showed on Wednesday. Moussaoui, who is not an attorney but is representing himself, made the comment in a filing to the court complaining about closed-door hearings that were held in relation to his case on Jan. 30. In the handwritten filing, Moussaoui accused Ashcroft of trying to "kill" him through the media since the trial proceedings began in 2001. "You make secret hearing so you can leak (sic) you want and hide the parody of justice. The world must know that you are a hard (sic) of scavenger. "Ashcroft must be sent to Alexandria jail so I can torture him. After all torture is now part of the American way of life," wrote Moussaoui, who is being held in Alexandria, Virginia. reuters.com

“There is no debate... There is nothing” Senator Byrd laments Democrats’ silence on Iraq war February 28, 2003 By Bill Vann Rarely do the public utterances of American bourgeois politicians rise above the level of lies and platitudes. Earlier this month, however, the octogenarian Democrat from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, took the floor of the US Senate and gave a speech that merits consideration. Byrd, the Senate’s senior member, stated an obvious truth, though no doubt a painful one for him. The political institution and party to which he has devoted a political career spanning half a century are utterly venal and bankrupt. “To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences,” Byrd began. “On this February day, as the nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war. Yet, this chamber is, for the most part, silent—ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.” It is an extraordinary situation that is barely remarked upon by media pundits and political analysts. Washington is about to launch an unprovoked war of aggression that is opposed by broad layers of the American population, yet the institution that is constitutionally empowered to decide upon war and the party that constitutes the official opposition have nothing to say. wsws.org

A victory for government by stealth: US congressional arm abandons suit against Cheney February 28, 2003 by Joseph Kay The General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress, decided earlier this month to abandon its legal efforts to force US Vice President Dick Cheney to turn over information relating to the development of the Bush administration’s energy policy. The decision amounts to a self-abdication of congressional oversight on the part of the GAO and Congress as a whole, and marks a major step in the Bush administration’s drive to arrogate sweeping and unconstitutional powers to the executive branch of the federal government. The GAO filed suit after Cheney and the White House refused to release information about meetings of Cheney’s Energy Task Force with representatives and lobbyists of major energy corporations. These meetings took place during the formulation of the administration’s energy policy in the early part of 2001. The policy recommendations, eventually made in May of that year, consisted largely of a wish list of Enron and other energy giants, with which the administration had very close ties. gooff.com

Budget Glitch Shortchanges AmeriCorps Enrollment May Be Cut, Reversing Bush Pledge February 28, 2003 By Dana Milbank A Bush administration bookkeeping decision has left a funding shortfall for the AmeriCorps national service program that could force enrollment cuts of as much as 50 percent -- instead of the 50 percent increase President Bush had promised. The president embraced AmeriCorps, a Clinton-era program, after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and has made it a central part of his "compassionate conservative" agenda. During his State of the Union address last year, he called for AmeriCorps enrollment to grow to 75,000 from 50,000. washingtonpost.com

Judicial Jury Tampering: Why The innocent Are Convicted February 28, 2003 Ladies & gentlemen: In the past 12 years, 114 men have been released from death rows nationwide because relatively new DNA testing proved they could not have committed the crimes they were convicted of by a jury of their peers. Not only were they convicted of capital crimes they didn't commit, but the same juries recommended those 114 men be executed in the subsequent sentencing proceedings. That should send chills up your spine, if you have any empathy for those men at all. We now have a monstrosity called the War on Drugs that has done nothing to reduce the availability of illegal drugs on the street, while our individual liberties as American citizens under the Constitution have been outrageously violated in a vain attempt to reduce that supply. It isn't working now, and it will never work, and the same idiots who now admit that Prohibition was a mistake, will still insist the War on Drugs isn't. They need a lobotomy to clear their thinking. An even more recent case involved Ed Rosenthal, another medical Marijuana advocate, who obtained a license to grow Marijuana for medicinal purposes from the City of Oakland, California, after California voters approved Marijuana for that use. Rosenthal was not allowed by the federal judge hearing the case to present any defense whatsoever regarding California's law allowing the use of Marijuana for medical purposes, or to allow the jurors to hear that he had received such license from the City of Oakland to produce it for that purpose. As a result, the jury convicted him, and he now awaits sentencing to a federal prison. Upon hearing of these facts withheld from them after the trial, the jurors who convicted Rosenthal were outraged at the judge, but it was too late. It seems like it is always too late nowadays. In point of fact, these jurors are being manipulated into voting for convictions based upon what the judge wants, or rather, demands, as an outcome, and that is a blatant violation of the judges' duty to remain impartial. libertyforum.org

Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week February 28, 2003 (Reuters) The number of Americans seeking initial jobless benefits rose to the highest level in more than two months, the government said on Thursday, underscoring the sluggishness in the labor market. The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims, a guide to the job market and the pace of layoffs, rose for the second straight week, rising to 417,000 for the week ended Feb. 22 from a revised 406,000 the week before and its highest since 438,000 in the week ended Dec. 14, 2002. dailynews.att.net

Vets To Top US Military Commanders: REMEMBER NUREMBERG February 27, 2003 Veterans For Peace has sent an open letter to fifteen generals and admirals in the top ranks of the US Military advising them of their possible liabilities, under international law, to criminal prosecution for being part of a pre-emptive war against Iraq. Veterans For Peace, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, is an organization of men and women who have served in peacetime and in most of the wars of the last century, with 92 chapters nationwide. "It is clear that the planned massive attack on Iraq is not based upon self-defense. Iraq has not attacked the US nor does Iraq constitute an immediate and specific threat to US national security. We are not apologists for Saddam Hussein but we believe there are ways to deal with his regime without the resort to a war of aggression. Other countries and many Americans have suggested reasonable and safe alternatives. We members of VFP remember well our military service. We swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We were informed of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the conviction and punishment of soldiers for following illegal orders. We were taught that we must not follow an illegal order. US military leadership must not only know and teach the obligations of international law but must respect and follow them." veteransforpeace.org

Australian legal experts declare an invasion of Iraq a war crime February 27, 2003 By James Conachy Forty-three Australian experts in international law and human rights legislation have issued a declaration that an invasion of Iraq will be an open breach of international law and a crime against humanity, even if it takes place with the authorisation of the UN Security Council. The statement concisely argues that any Australian participation in a war on Iraq—as part of the Bush administration’s “coalition of the willing”—will make the government of Prime Minister John Howard and Australian military personnel liable for prosecution in the International Criminal Court. wsws.org

The Reign Of Terror Has Begun
February 27, 2003 Fear among the Iraqi people must be enormous at this moment. Terror is at their doorsteps; terror from an America ready for war, ready to punish them for the sins of a president they never elected. Some 200,000 U.S. troops, equipped with the most expensive killing machines money can buy, are already in the region and the inexorable process of mobilization continues. As so many signs now confirm, the issue is no longer whether war will be launched, but when. And Iraqis wonder what horrors will ensue once George W. Bush issues his decision. How many tons of bombs will rain down on Iraq this time? In the last war against Iraq Americans flew 110,000 aerial sorties, one every thirty seconds, and dropped 88,000 tons of explosives -- equivalent to seven Hiroshimas. jihadunspun.com

Impeach Bush January 27, 2003 Bob Fitrakis The Columbus Free Press is launching its own Office of Total Counter-Information Awareness. In the last few months, we’ve accumulated enough information to warrant the impeachment of President George Bush. First, let’s recall Bush’s strange relationship with that bizarre little company in Lansing, Michigan, known as Bioport. The company, despite failing various FDA inspections and being accused of bad record-keeping, holds the only federal contract for producing the anthrax vaccine. Bush has rewarded Bioport with favors such as ongoing military protection, and within weeks of 9/11 granted them a contract that tripled the price per vaccine. Now, add into the mix that the Strangelovian CIA-connected Battelle and Britain’s top secret Porten Down labs are partners with Bioport. Owners and investors in Bioport include former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff William Crowe and Fuad El-Hibri. Public records and foreign press reports have linked El-Hibri to the selling of anthrax to Saudi Arabia after the Pentagon refused to. He’s also a business associated of the bin Laden family. A real Congressional investigation of Bush’s relationships with the bin Laden family, El-Hibri and the related drug bank BCCI would easily lead to the President’s impeachment. freepress.org

NOTES FROM BEYOND THE PALE February 27, 2003 By R. B. Ham You all certainly remember the "Bush Knew" controversy from last year, when Rupert Murdoch's New York Post ran that headline in page length lettering on their front page. Think about that. Murdoch is a neo-con autocratic thug whom many Aussies believe actually runs their Government and the Post is a neo-con rag. So why would the New York Post allow a writer to run with that story? Any number of writers at supposedly "liberal" newspapers would be more likely suspects - and even they would have a hard time getting it by the editor. Consider the far right slant of this newspaper that openly vilifies opponents of Bush as traitors and so blatantly displays their biased ignorance towards foreign countries opposed to the impending Slaughter in Iraq. But the New York Post gives one of their own reporters the OK to run a story that could possibly lead to the downfall and disgrace of the Government they favour? Huh? Only one explanation of course - they were supposed to run it. A controlled leak. Atwater Strategy 101 : release some damaging info that you can immediately counter and, in this case, call in a big gun like Vice President Dick Cheney to thunder, "Beyond the pale!"Thus ending any real look at THE REAL BAD SHIT that it is now, it seems officially, "Beyond the pale!" You'll hear that phrase used in desperation more and more as the truth slowly emerges. The main reason for this desperate defensiveness is because of the implications of treachery at the highest levels. After the Bush Knew story hit the airwaves, the Bush Media damage control team went into full throttle. Karl Rove even called in First Lady Laura Bush to do an interview with CNN's Judy Woodruff, Poppy Bush's favorite blonde nodder, that was a full fledged surreal experience. I was amazed at the willingness of the Rove team to sink to any depths to "own the message". It was sadly terrifying. members.shaw.ca

Firepower ‘Massive Ordnance Air Burst’ Bomb Set to Go if War Begins February 26, 2003 By John McWethy The Bush administration plans to intensify airstrikes in the southern and northern no-fly zones whether Iraq is shooting at U.S. planes or not, sources tell ABCNEWS. When and if the United States does go to war, military sources say the United States is preparing a monster new weapon to be used during the first nights. It's called MOAB, short for "massive ordnance air burst" bomb. It is a modern, bigger version of the 15,000-pound "Daisy Cutter" used in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and Afghanistan. Sources say MOAB — still experimental — is a 21,000-pound bomb that will be pushed out the back of a C-130 transport and guided by satellite. abcnews.go.com

Ari Gets Laughed Out of the White House Briefing Room February 26 2003 By Buzz Flash The White House press corps finally laughed at the absurdity of Ari Fleischer's lies. A reporter asked about a French report that says Bush is offering a bundle of concessions (and I think she actually said 'buying votes') to Mexico and Colombia, granting worker amnesty and so on. Ari tap-danced. Then she (the reporter) started to press the issue by saying "they (the French) are quoting two US State Dept. Diplomats that Bush intends to give work permits to Colombia and Mexico." WOW. WOW.... Ari just drew himself up with imperious indignation and said something like "you're implying that the President is buying the votes of other nations and that's just not a consideration" or words to that effect. And guess what happened? The whole press corps, normally sheep, broke out in laughter... sweet, derisive laughter. They kept on laughing as Ari turned on his heels and strode out. Sheesh. Click on the video. After it buffers, play from about 28 minutes forward for context, 30 minutes forward to watch Press laugh at Ari's BIG FAT GOP LIE. http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/edrive/iraq022503_whpb.rm

A Trial Balloon? - "Five to Ten Times Worse Than the Patriot Act" Secret Bush Legislation Sent to Cheney, Hastert, Deepens Assault on Constitution Patriot II February 26 2003 by Michael C. Ruppert With more than twenty U.S. cities having passed resolutions openly opposing the multiple civil liberties violations in the 2001 Patriot Act, and as the state of New Mexico debates legislation that would encourage police agencies to avoid violations of the First Amendment, the recent leak of a secret Bush administration bill that would further erode civil liberties has provoked a bizarre tale of denials and "non responses" by the administration. Thus far the saga of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 - commonly known as Patriot II - suggests that the leak of the proposed legislation was possibly a "trial balloon" or "tester" to gauge both public and congressional reaction to a bill that, if passed, would grant the federal government drastic new powers in a continuing erosion of the Bill of Rights. fromthewilderness.com



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