JUNE 21-14, 03 Archives

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Tax cuts chosen over fiscal responsibility June 21, 2003 Ballooning deficit just ignored Nobody is paying any attention to the budget deficit. Last month the House Budget Committee's Democrats forecast a deficit of nearly $500 billion. Last week the Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit would balloon to a record $400 billion-plus. But when Mitch Daniels left as director of the Office of Management and Budget two weeks ago to run for governor of Indiana, he said the government is "fiscally in fine shape." Good grief! During his 29-month tenure, he turned a $5.6 trillion, 10-year budget surplus into a $4 trillion deficit. If this is good fiscal policy, thank heavens Daniels is gone. charlotte.com

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: Bush’s “big lie” and the crisis of American imperialism June 21, 2003 By the editorial board More than two months after the US occupation of Baghdad, and three months after the onset of the American invasion, the Bush administration has been unable to produce any evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. It is increasingly obvious that the entire basis on which the White House and the American media “sold” the war was a lie. In the months leading up to the war, Bush warned repeatedly that unless the United States invaded Iraq and “disarmed Saddam Hussein,” the Iraqi leader would supply terrorists with chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons to use against the American people. He cited this allegedly imminent threat as the reason for rejecting international law and unleashing the US war machine against a half-starved, impoverished country that has been under economic blockade for more than a decade. That these claims have proven to be lies hardly comes as a surprise. Even before the conquest of Iraq, the US charges were widely rejected around the world. No government in Europe or the Middle East regarded Iraq as a serious military threat. The UN weapons inspectors had been unable to locate any WMD after months of highly intrusive inspections. Tens of millions of people—the supposed targets of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction—marched in the streets of cities on every continent to denounce the US decision to launch an unprovoked war of aggression. wsws.org

911 Victims Families Accuse White House Of Cover Up Jun
e 21, 2003 For family members of those who died on Sept. 11, last week brought a rare chance to meet face-to-face with a man who's become a symbol of their dissatisfaction -- FBI director Robert Mueller. Family advocates want to know why the government -- and specifically the Bush administration -- has been so reluctant to find answers to any of the obvious questions about what went wrong that day, why so little has been fixed, and why virtually nobody has accepted any responsibility for the glaring failures. jihadunspun.com

American military bans BBC crew from Guantanamo Bay for talking to inmates June 21, 2003 Vikram Dodd in Guantanamo Bay The US military clashed with British journalists yesterday at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay after inmates shouted to a BBC Panorama team who had been invited to tour the maximum security camp. As the journalists walked through camp four, detainees shouted that they wanted to tell their story and the US soldiers immediately halted the tour, ordering everyone out. guardian.co.uk

Bush and Blair accused of war crimes June 20, 2001 Belgium has said it has received lawsuits against Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush under a controversial war crimes law granting its courts universal jurisdiction. It has forwarded the cases, alleging violations of international law during the war in Iraq, to the defendants' home countries, making their chances of ever coming to a court very slim. Britain immediately said it would discard the Belgian lawsuit and take no further action on it. Belgium has been harshly criticised, especially by the US, for the law, which empowers its courts to try foreigners for serious war and human rights crimes no matter where they were committed. itv.com

Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack' June 20, 2003 By Robert Fox British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme. Iran has been constructing a nuclear civil power programme for some years. It is due to start generating significant amounts of electricity for the national power grid in two years. thisislondon.com

Luck of the Irish And the French and Canadians and Germans and so on, Wouldn't it be better to live abroad? June 20, 2001 By Alan Bisport There will come a time, when and if George W. Bush wins the 2004 election, that many first-rate Americans will give serious thought to emigrating from the country of their birth, this place formerly known as the land of the free. If you haven't at least given some fleeting thought to this possibility already, then you aren't paying attention to what's going on here. You are, shall we say, living in a fool's idea of paradise. This has never been more apparent to me than now, after a 10-day visit to Ireland, a grand, beautiful country with a civilized, healthy democracy and a free -- and freely skeptical -- press. Returning to these shores, I'm convinced that America is in the grip of a monstrous delusion, one that bears no resemblance to the rest of the world's reality. The passive acceptance of corruption and lies that is the foundation of this current house of cards strikes me as a collective version of the go-along-to-get-along mentality that rules families victimized by abuse and addiction. It is easier -- and less dangerous in the short run -- to look the other way, to let the likes of Ashcroft, Delay, Scalia and Rove redefine the meaning of the Constitution, to let Rice and Fleischer and Cheney corrupt even the language we use to communicate. But a house of cards is just that, something that will in the long run collapse into nothingness. thomasmc.com

Karimov the boiler meets Bush the Texacutioner.

photos: Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive June 19, 2003 Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death. The US condemned this repression for many years. But since September 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region. thememoryhole.org

Another Broken Bush Promise June 19, 2003 President Bush says he doesn't want us to revise history. So here's his history, verbatim. On February 26, 2003, he made the following promise to the Iraqi people: If we must use force, the United States and our coalition stand ready to help the citizens of a liberated Iraq. We will deliver medicine to the sick, and we are now moving into place nearly 3 million emergency rations to feed the hungry. Flash forward to mid-June. Here's what we know from Nicholas Kristof's in-country report from the village of Qurna, three months after coalition forces liberated the town: "electricity and water services still haven't fully resumed, factories and schools remain closed, banditry rules, and people are even hungrier than before." The report from Basra General Hospital is even worse, Kristol says:
There is no functioning health ministry to procure drugs, water shortages have led to cholera as families drink from rivers that are also sewers, and Unicef calculates that 7.7 percent of Iraqi children under 5, almost twice the rate before the war, now suffer from acute malnutrition. iraqwarreader.com

Suffer not the children
June 19, 2003 If the American people needed evidence that the war in Iraq and its associated tragedies are not over, it arrived in a front-page picture Saturday in The Blade and many other U.S. newspapers. The Associated Press photograph caught an emotional moment: a Toledo soldier being consoled in his grief by a buddy after military doctors allegedly refused to treat three Iraqi children with painfully serious burns from some sort of explosive device. The soldier, Sgt. David Borell, of Toledo’s 323rd Military Police Company, later wrote home an e-mail with his personal thoughts on the incident, specifically his feeling that the children had been unjustifiably denied medical treatment. The Blade printed the story, which stirred U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur to request an investigation by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Such an investigation is warranted because the incident, if true, flies in the face of numerous stories from the war zone telling of humanitarian acts by U.S. troops under hostile circumstances. toledoblade.com

A triumph of ignorance or manipulation? June 19, 2003 by Pat Murphy Night owls who take in Jay Leno’s "Tonight Show" won’t be surprised by a poll revealing startling ignorance about the war in Iraq. Leno’s occasional street-people feature, "Jaywalking," pops simple questions on seemingly uninformed young adults. Answers are sadly indicative of profound ignorance. After looking at a photo of the Alamo, for example, one Jaywalking guest said it is "King Tut’s tomb." A photo of the iconic World War II flag-raising on Iwo Jima was seen as "landing on the moon" to another. A humiliating moment involved a college student planning a teaching career--she didn’t know how many dimes are in a dollar. So what’s the connection to a poll? mtexpress.com

What Is Happening In America? June 19, 2003 By Eliot Weinberger In the Western democracies in the last fifty years, we have grown accustomed to governments whose policies on specific issues may be good or bad, but which essentially institute incremental changes to the status quo. The major exceptions have been Thatcher and Reagan, but even their programs of dismantling systems of social welfare seem, in retrospect, mild compared to what is happening in the United States under George Bush-- or more exactly, the ruling junta that tells Bush what to do and say. It is unquestionably the most radical government in modern American history, one whose ideology and actions have become so pervasive, and are so unquestionably mirrored by the mass media here, that the population seems to have forgotten what "normal" is. George Bush is the first unelected President of the United States, installed by a right-wing Supreme Court in a kind of judicial coup d'etat. He is the first to actively subvert one of the pillars of American democracy: rense.com

Iraqis alarmed over reports of male American soldiers frisking women June 19, 2003 BORZOU DARAGAHI U.S. security concerns have clashed with Iraq's traditional culture in a potentially volatile flap over American men frisking Iraqi women. The practice is not widespread, and the Americans say they use it only as a last resort. But tales of such incidents — and television footage of a male American soldier patting down a chador-clad Iraqi woman — have sparked outrage in Iraq. The issue is being talked about throughout the country — in homes and cafes and during sermons by religious readers at Friday prayers. "There's no doubt that unrelated men even touching Muslim women is not allowed in our religion," said Sheikh Muhammad Mahmoud al-Samarayee, a cleric at Baghdad's Imam al-Adham seminary. "If they really want to respect the Muslim people, they have to use women soldiers to search women." ap.theindependent.com

(A)n (E)gotistical (I)nstitution, June 19, 2003 by Ralph Nader The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has a problem. It is loaded with corporate money, full of rich fellowships for Washington, D.C. influence peddlers, masquerading as conservatives, who wallow in plush offices figuring out how to assure that big corporations rule the United States and the rest of the world. During the past 22 years, the AEI, their nearby corporate patrons, their allied trade associations and corporate "think-tanks" have, in effect, taken over the executive branch, the Congress and promoted the judgeships of right-wing corporate lawyers demanding another salary increase. The Clinton administration hardly slowed their stride. In fact one high official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told me that they loved the Clinton government. Why not, under Clinton they got corporate-managed trade called NAFTA and WTO, laws furthering media, telecommunications, agribusiness, banking, brokerage and insurance industry concentration, weak to nonexistent regulation, a chronic softness on corporate crimes against pensioners and small investors, and a pathetically indifferent consumer and labor policy -- to name a few surrenders. guerrillanews.com

The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney June 19, 2003 By Greg Palast Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman? According to those quoted on National Public Radio, McKinney’s “a loose cannon” (media expert) who “the people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted” (politician) by, and she is also “loony” and “dangerous” (senator from her own party). Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, “McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.” The New York Times’ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: “Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.” That’s loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinney’s “practically accused the President of murder!” Problem is, McKinney never said it. That’s right. The “quote” from McKinney is a complete fabrication. A whopper, a fabulous fib, a fake, a flim-flam. Just freakin’ made up. alternet.org

AMERICA THE SCARY June 19, 2003 By Richard Reeves LONDON "America the Scary Bends Democracy; Not the country we thought we knew," was the headline last Monday over the editorial column of the American-friendly Financial Times. The editorial itself was mostly concerned with the post-Sept. 11 imprisonment of hundreds of illegal aliens for months without benefit of counsel or publicity, saying: "Many people find the recent behavior of the United States frightening -- and they are not all French. ... Most countries have chosen to adjust the balance between liberty and security since Sept. 11. But in America the adjustment has gone beyond mere tinkering, to the point where fundamental values may be jeopardized." news.yahoo.com

Shouldn't Dick Cheney Be Impeached? June 18, 2003 by Scott Thompson and Michele Steinberg After dropping more than 28,000 bombs on Iraq, the United States has now begun the business of rebuilding the country.... The companies that land the biggest contracts to do the work will cash in big-time.—CBS-News "60 Minutes," April 27, 2003 "Cheney is vulnerable ... for the same reason his henchman, Perle, is vulnerable—for doing things that are against the law. He could be out of there on impeachment," commented Lyndon LaRouche, during an April 4 interview with Ambrose Lane, of Pacifica Radio's Washington, D.C. affiliate, WPFW. "These guys could be broken with the support of the Congress. The generals could be free to say what the truth is about Rumsfeld, and he would be out of there. So, if our institutions were functioning, if the Democratic Party were functioning as a legitimate opposition, we wouldn't have this problem much longer. But if the Democratic Party capitulates, the way the so-called democratic parties of Germany capitulated to the Hitler appointment by Chancellor Hindenburg, then we could be soon in deep trouble. It could be the end of our civilization," stressed the Democratic Presidential pre-candidate. larouchepub.com

A Supreme Act Of Treason June 18, 2003 Harry Goslin The USA Patriot Act is a legislative paradox. Like every other piece of legislation emanating from Washington it is blatantly unconstitutional. Yet, it is also unique. Unlike other pieces of legislation which typically assault our liberties one at a time, the Patriot Act completely shreds the Bill of Rights.Our Founders would have never even debated such a proposition; they probably would have reached for their guns. The Patriot Act has survived so long because of the persistent myth surrounding the "supremacy" of federal law. Article VI of the Constitution includes the so-called "supremacy clause," which states: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land." All judges, legislators, and executive officials, at the State and federal levels, are bound by "Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution." This apparent confirmation of the supreme power of federal law is actually tempered by the letter and intent of the Constitution. prisonplanet.com

The Ministry of "Truth" June 18, 2003 By Mick Youther In George Orwell's 1984, control the news and revise history was the function of the Ministry of Truth; in George Bush's Administration, literary history has become political reality. In George Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984, a single organization, the Ministry of Truth, controlled the dissemination of all news and information. A recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has brought the United States one step closer to having a similar system. By a vote of 3-2, the FCC changed its rules, allowing the media giants to control even more of what we see, hear, and read. Almost no one thinks this is a good idea -- except the media giants and a slim majority of FCC commissioners who have been wined and dined to the tune of millions of dollars by the very corporations they are supposed to be regulating.
• “Judging from our record, public opposition is nearly unanimous, from ultra-conservatives to ultra-liberals and virtually everyone in between. We have received about three-quarters of a million comments from the public in opposition to relaxing our ownership rules -- a new record -- and only a handful in support.”
--Jonathan Adelstein, FCC Commissioner
• “In the hearing today, there was mention of some 750,000 comments that the commission received on this and Commissioner Copps said that 99.9 percent of those were opposed to it.” --Terence Smith, media correspondent
• “Seldom have I seen a regulatory agency cave in so completely to the big economic interests. That's exactly what happened today with the FCC rules.” --Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D) ND interventionmag.com

Who’s listening to this All-American jerk? June 18, 2003 I was flipping around the radio dial one afternoon when I heard a familiar voice. The last time I heard that voice was to the accompaniment of a leering grin and towels snapping in a locker room. "Gotcha!" the voice had been saying. Snap! "Gotcha good, didn't I, queer?" Snap! "That'll teach you to mess with Mike." Mike was the terror of my high school locker room. Snapping towels at young boys' private parts. Getting freshmen in a headlock and rubbing their faces in his armpits. Calling all the boys "queers!" and "wimps!" He was a class act then. Now he's the voice of America. ". . . another thing these limousine liberals who are perverting America want you to believe," he was telling his talk radio audience. I remember Mike. I remember the time he dropped trou at the senior prom. I remember when he told the principal he was a "*#(@#)$ queer." I remember teachers shaking their heads and wondering what would become of him. ". . . the only thing that'll save this country is to take all the liberal perverts and drop trou right in their faces. That'll teach 'em to mess with ol' Mike." gazettenet.com

Statement of Senator Jeffords, Second Anniversary of Decision to Leave the GOP June 18, 2003 National Press Club "Two years ago, I was big news. I got to know many of you for the first time. I was followed in airports and recognized on the street. Network news people, who until then couldn't identify me as a Senator in a police line-up, were now calling my home number. Subsequent events put me back in my place: September 11th, two wars, the space shuttle disaster and a worsening economy took back the nation's attention - as they should have done. Yet the reasons for my switch, while apparent to me then, have become painfully clear to me now. The events of the past two years have only heightened my concern over the President's veer to the right, and the poisoning of our democratic process of government." sumeria.net

COG stands for surprising assault on democracy June 18, 2003 Phyllis Schlafly Print media and television channels have been reporting for months about America's responsibility to bring democracy to Iraq and other faraway nations that have no experience with self-government. So why are some of the same people now trying to abolish the most democratic feature of our constitutional republic, namely, the right of the people to elect the U.S. House of Representatives? An elite group of former Clinton advisers and former public officials from both major political parties gathered recently at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., to announce their proposal to convert the House of Representatives from an elected body to an appointed body in the event of a national emergency. I'm not making this up. This crowd has set Sept. 11, 2003, as its target date to pass a constitutional amendment to accomplish this goal. townhall.com

How An Earlier "Patriot Act" Law Brought Down A President June 17, 2003 by Thom Hartmann Many Americans are suggesting that the Patriot Act (and its proposed "improvements" in Patriot II) is totally new in the experience of America and may spell the end of both democracy and the Bill of Rights. History, however, shows another view, which offers us both warnings and hope. Although you won't learn much about it from reading the "Republican histories" of the Founders being published and promoted in the corporate media these days, the most notorious stain on the presidency of John Adams began in 1798 with the passage of a series of laws startlingly similar to the Patriot Act. thepeoplesvoice.org

U.S. Soldiers Strip Baghdadis Clean Of Their Savings June 17, 2003 BAGHDAD, "I was carrying750 , 000Iraqi dinars (one dollar equals some 1300 dinars) inside a plastic bag. I was on my way to a friend of mine to buy a second-hand small car to use it in transferring the products of my farmland to the customers. But U.S. soldiers spotted me and frisked me," Hussein Abdul Gabar, an Iraqi breadwinner and owner of a farmland, told IslamOnline.net correspondent. "Once his eyes spotted the cash, one U.S. soldier extracted them and ordered me to leave the place…But when I complained and told him that this was my money, he told me bluntly: 'Go away," pointing his gun at me, he said. They, in fact, are not hesitant about killing anyone under the pretext that he was a Baathist or a loyalist to (toppled Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein," he added. He went on: "It was breaking my heart to see the soldier sharing my money with his fellowmen who were waiting for him in a nearby tank, with their faces creased into broad smiles."  iraqwar.ru

Wellstone Witness Sees Flash Of Light Near Tail Of Plane June 17, 2003 The WSWS received numerous letters on the editorial statement,"The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?" posted on October 29, 2002. This commentary raised a series of questions about the details of the plane crash in which Wellstone, his wife, daughter and five others died. It analyzed the political circumstances in which this tragedy took place and stated that any serious investigation into Wellstone's death should include the possibility that he was targeted for political assassination. Below we reprint a selection of letters commenting on Wellstone's death. Additional letters, either attacking the suggestion that Wellstone's death could have been murder, or raising questions about our political attitude towards the liberal Democratic senator, will be published next week with appropriate replies from the WSWS. libertyforum.org

Is a conspiracy to kill Wellstone unravelling? June 17, 2003 by Minn. Star Tribune Something WAS fishy about the Wellstone crash. Minn. Star Tribune reports the Wellstone family is hiring lawyers for to represent them in a wider investigation of the crash. Publicly they have not said why they are dissatisfied with the current probe. But irregularities have appeared. I cannot produce the story here which appeared in the Star Tribune, regarding the Wellstone family decision to hire lawyers. I heard it quoted on C-Span's Washington Journal. libertyforum.org

THE LIES OF OUR LEADERS June 17, 2003 By John Kaminsk Americans believe it's no longer important to tell the truth. President Bush and virtually the entire American power structure lied to the whole world when they said Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that were an imminent threat to the safety of the so-called free world. Now beyond any doubt, these assertions have since been exposed as falsehoods. Still, few Americans really give a damn, and business goes on, in the foreshadow of a massive worldwide economic collapse, as usual. rumormillnews.com

Fibbing It Up at Fox June 17, 2003 by Dale Steinreich Flat out lies should be confronted ~ Bill O'Reilly; Fox News Channel; May 22, 2003 Since the Iraq conflict began on March 20, Fox News has been on a mission to legitimize it.  One problem for Fox's protracted apologia is that despite promises of evidence of current weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by the Bush Administration, the evidence has been ambiguous at best.  Unfortunately for the network, I’ve been keeping a scratch diary of their reports since the war began. Keep in mind that in the first three weeks of March, before the bombs started officially dropping, Fox was spreading all sorts of Pentagon propaganda.  Iraq had "drones" that it could quickly dispatch to major U.S. metropolitan areas to spread biological agents.  Saddam was handing out chemical weapons to the Republican guard to use against coalition troops in a last-ditch red-zone ring around Baghdad.  Given what we now know about Iraq, these reports seem to be laughable fantasies, but they were effective in securing public backing for the war.  The following is a short chronicle of lies, propagation of lies, exaggerations, distortions, spin, and conjecture presented as fact. lewrockwell.com

BBC World Poll Shows Many Are Hostile to Bush, U.S. Policies June 17, 2003 More than half of those questioned in an 11-nation public opinion poll for the British Broadcasting Corp. said they have an unfavorable opinion of U.S. President George W. Bush. The poll, which sought the views of more than 11,000 people in Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Russia, South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K., revealed that 57 percent have an unfavorable attitude toward Bush. Respondents in Indonesia and Jordan rated the U.S. a bigger danger to world peace than al-Qaeda, and those interviewed in Jordan, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea and Brazil said the U.S. poses a bigger threat than Iran, which the U.S. State Department has labeled a rogue state. bloomberg.com

It's Time For Them To Go June 17, 2003 By Sheila Samples The scary thing about Bush is that he makes destruction and its collateral damage look so innocent -- so, well -- Godly.  Unimpeded by empathy, he is able to combine an obsession for violence with a romantic and religious view of the happiness that only violence will bring. It is time.  It's time for George W. Bush -- the clandestine skull and bonesman who loves to operate in the shadows -- and his crazed gang of motley warmongers to go.  It's time for this hysterical and sustained madness to stop.  How many skulls and bones of the innocent are going to have to pile up before the American people shake free of the evil spell cast across this land?  How many bodies will it take before we stand up and shout "Enough!" at the top of our lungs? informationclearinghouse.info

Unexploded cluster bombs blanket Iraqi cities June 17, 2003 By Jeremy Johnson New evidence emerged this month of the widespread use by US and British forces of deadly cluster bombs in densely populated areas of Iraq. On June 1, the London-based Observer newspaper published a map produced by the US/UK military-run Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC), based in Kuwait, showing the location of unexploded bombs and land mines throughout the devastated country. [The map can be accessed at landmines2.pdf / wsws.org

The New Right Wing Agenda June 16, 2001 by Steven E. Miller But there’s more than that going on. In the past, capitalism was optimistic and assumed that it would keep expanding, which provided the basis for a “corporate liberalism” that saw everyone in the world as a potential consumer and/or laborer – and therefore having some potential worth. But the new reactionaries see the future as much more of a zero-sum game. Partly, this is an expression of their incredible greed and corruption – their incessant efforts to rip off wealth for themselves and their narrow sets of cronies. In any case, the result is that most of Africa, large swaths of Latin America and Asia, and significant parts of the domestic US population have been simply written off. commondreams.org

Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror June 16, 2003 By Laura Blumenfeld Five days before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser unlocked the steel door to his office, an intelligence vault secured by an electronic keypad, a combination lock and an alarm. He sat down and turned to his inbox. "Things were dicey," said Rand Beers, recalling the stack of classified reports about plots to shoot, bomb, burn and poison Americans. He stared at the color-coded threats for five minutes. Then he called his wife: I'm quitting. Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know? "The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out." washingtonpost.com

Bush's 'economic stimulus' means tax giveaways, lost jobs June 16, 2003 David Lazarus There was an interesting exchange in Congress the other day as Republicans and Democrats squabbled over extending child tax credits to low- income families. The recent $350 billion tax cut engineered by the Republicans left millions of poor people out in the cold. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, said his side would back expansion of the child tax credit only if Democrats swallow yet another round of tax breaks for wealthier Americans. "If they want the child tax credit," he told reporters in Washington, "they ought to be able to have it in a package that actually gives tax relief, creates jobs and helps the economy grow." OK, time out. Let's look at the scoreboard. President Bush has cut taxes three times since unpacking his bags in the White House. That translates to a $1.3 trillion giveaway in 2001, a $96 billion handout in 2002 and the $350 billion here-you-go that takes effect next month. We're talking nearly $1.75 trillion in tax cuts during the past three years, with the benefits overwhelmingly favoring the richest taxpayers. And the total could be much higher if, as expected, many temporary cuts are made permanent. So what have we got to show for it? -- Since March 2001, the U.S. private sector has lost 3.1 million jobs, or 2.8 percent of the total, according to government figures. That's the largest percentage decline since the Great Depression. -- Half of the Federal Reserve's 12 regional districts are experiencing "sluggish, subpar or subdued economic growth," according to a Fed report released last week. -- The government is on track for a record $400 billion deficit this year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That's about 4 percent of gross domestic product, as opposed to a surplus of 1.3 percent in 2001. sfgate.com

Rumsfeld Rages At Belgium Over War Crimes Trials June 16, 2003 By Stephen Castle in Brussels Tensions between Europe and America burst into the open again yesterday when the US threatened to boycott Nato meetings and froze spending on the organisation's new headquarters in Brussels in protest against Belgian war crimes cases against Americans. At a Nato meeting in Brussels, Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, launched a ferocious attack on Belgium, whose controversial human rights laws give its courts power to try foreigners for war crimes even if they were committed abroad. With those indicted including General Tommy Franks, the commander of US forces in Iraq, Mr Rumsfeld accused Belgium, which opposed the American-led war, of turning its legal system into "a platform for divisive, politicised lawsuits against its Nato allies". He added: "It would obviously not be easy for US officials or potentially coalition officials, civilian or military, to come to Belgium for meetings. Certainly until this matter is resolved we will have to oppose any further spending for construction for a new Nato headquarters here in Brussels." rense.com

Bush didn’t ‘hype’ intelligence; he lied June 16, 2003 Regarding your June 8 story “Bush administration officials say intelligence on Iraq wasn’t hyped”, I would like to point out to your readers a few facts (among many) that the Associated Press reporter left out of his story. On Sept. 7, 2002, Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair ap- peared before television cameras at Camp David and announced a new International Atomic Energy Agency report that stated that Iraq was “six months away” from building a nuclear weapon. The troubling fact is that there was no “new report” from the IAEA. This was far worse than “hyping” intelligence. This was our president lying to the American people. This is an impeachable offense. cantonrep.com

Many Misinformed About Iraq, Sept. 11 Attacks June 16, 2003 By Frank Davies Knight Ridder News Service A third of the American public believes U.S. forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a recent poll. And 22 percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons. Before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. But such weapons have not been found in Iraq, and were never used. Most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. None of them were Iraqis. These results startled the pollsters who conducted and analyzed the surveys. "It's a striking finding," said Steve Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which asked the weapons questions during a May 14-18 poll of 1,256 respondents. He added, "Given the intensive news coverage and high levels of public attention, this level of misinformation suggests some Americans may be avoiding having an experience of cognitive dissonance." That is, having their beliefs conflict with the facts. Kull added that the poll's data showed that the mistaken belief that weapons of mass destruction had been found "is substantially greater among those who favored the war." sltrib.com

Clear Channel Is A Subsidiary Of Bush, Inc June 16, 2003 For a visual rendering of the Clear Channel-Bush web, view the chart at Take Back the Media takebackthemedia.com "Rally for America," the supposedly politically neutral, homegrown events that started sprouting up in cities across the nation earlier this year, drew thousands of flag-waving, Dixie-Chick-hating folks who favor President Bush's war with Iraq. The rallies also drew their fair share of criticism. Though sponsored by local radio stations, those stations share a common owner: the Texas-based Clear Channel Worldwide, Inc., a media giant with a nationwide network of 1,240 radio stations - and a clear line to Bush. Numerous media outlets have raised questions about "Rally for America": Was it appropriate for a major media company to sponsor - and then cover - "patriotic" support-the-troops rallies? Of course not, but what do ethics matter when friends are involved? It's no coincidence that Clear Channel executives Tom Hicks and L. Lowry Mays have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Bush's gubernatorial and presidential campaign coffers. Or that Clear Channel gave $119,370 in "soft money" to Republicans in 2001-2002, this on top of the $82,850 it gave in 2000. (Democrats, meanwhile, got $25,000 in soft money in that same three-year period.) Or that Clear Channel stations have been known to pull radio ads criticizing Republicans. rense.com

Belgian "Boycott Bush" Campaign Closes U.S. Oil Stations June 16, 2003  Brussels, (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) Belgium spearheaded an international anti-U.S. boycott campaign to condemn the U.S. illegal war on Iraq and the ongoing occupation of the war-scarred country, while U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld hit out on June 13 at the anti-war country over a law allowing lawsuits against foreigners for war crimes. Boycott actions closed Esso and Texaco petrol stations in most Belgian provinces. At an Esso petrol station in Gent a carpet of dead bodies, armed U.S. marines and U.S. President George W. Bush, illustrated the link between thousands of innocent victims, the important Iraqi oilfields and the gasoline sold by U.S. oil-multinationals Esso and Texaco, islam-online.net

Thought Crimes Since 9-11 the question asked frequently is, "Why do they hate us?" June 16, 2003 As the occupation of Iraq starts to gather its own momentum and the search for weapons of mass destruction loses all sense of direction, it also becomes an obvious example of why "they" hate the United States or, more specifically, our foreign policy. We attacked because the Bush administration sold us on the idea that the Iraqis had a stockpile of weapons that presented an immediate threat to national and world security. Not only have we failed to find WMDs, but it appears that the Bush Administration knew all along of the slim possibility of finding any in Iraq. The administration withheld this information as it pressed its case for war. What does that mean to the American people? At best, the administration obscured the truth for its own convenience. At worst, it can be said that the administration lied to Americans, the United Nations and anyone else who was listening to justify an attack on a nation that proved all but defenseless. Can you blame people for hating us? sltrib.com

U.S. Forces “Slaughter” Iraqis At Dawn: Eyewitness June 15, 2003 Hossam al-Sayed, IOL Chief Correspondent RAWAH, Iraq ,  (IslamOnline.net) -  American troops "slaughtered" more than one hundred Iraqi civilians, most of them killed while asleep, at the early hours of Friday, June 13, eyewitnesses told IslamOnline.net. The U.S. forces deliberately opened fire from tanks and helicopter gunships at the houses of Iraqi civilians in Rawah, 400 kilometer to the north-west of Baghdad, killing tens of people, they charged. The town residents rushed  out of their homes which came under heavy American bombardment. Some of them emerged with their light arms and battled the occupation forces, killing and injuring an unspecified number of American troops, eyewitnesses told IOL correspondent. "The bodies of 12 of your boys were found tied with ropes, each with a bullet in the head. The Americans detained them and immediately executed them in this horrible way," charged Abu Saadoun, one of the town tribal leaders. "Now we have to avenge not only the occupation of our country but also the slaughtering of our boys. We will open the gates of hell on the Americans," he pledged in exclusive statements to IOL. islamonline.net

US voted out of human rights body in symbolic rebuke Jun 15, 2003 NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE In a symbolic rebuke to the Bush administration, the member nations of the Organization of American States (OAS) have for the first time voted to exclude the US from representation on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, considered the most prestigious human rights monitoring body in the Western Hemisphere. The decision came at the end of the three-day annual assembly of the OAS, held this year in Santiago, Chile, and attended by Secretary of State Colin Powell. taipeitimes.com

Draft Gore Supporters Pledge Half a Million to Gore Candidacy June 14, 2001 Contact: Monica Friedlander of Draft Gore 2004, 510-601-5757 or draftgore@draftgore.com OAKLAND, Calif., June 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Grassroots supporters of former Vice President Al Gore have pledged that should Gore accept a people's draft or otherwise decide to run for president in 2004, they would contribute a total of almost half a million dollars to his campaign. More than 1,000 individual supporters from across the country have pledged, committing to contributions ranging from $5 to $2,000 each. "These pledges were not obtained through a public appeal, nor from wealthy party donors," explained Draft Gore 2004 chair Monica Friedlander. "Every pledge has come from people who joined our movement or who otherwise believe a Gore candidacy is desperately needed at this critical juncture in history. Some of these people are retired, some are unemployed. They are willing to make a big sacrifice to have Gore as their nominee in 2004." For more information, see http://www.draftgore.com. / usnewswire.com

Jobless at 20 year high Most unemployment claims since 1983 June 15, 2003 In an ongoing sign of the weak economy, the number of Americans getting unemployment benefits hit the highest level in more than 20 years during the last week of May. The ranks of the unemployed rose to 3.8 million, the highest since early April 1983, from 3.68 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said. Initial jobless claims fell in the latest week by 17,000 to 430,000, still above the 400,000 mark that indicates a weak labor market. New claims have been above 400,000 for 16 weeks in a row. nydailynews.com

France Chides Washington Over 'My Way' World View June 15, 2003 By Tim Hepher PARIS (Reuters) - France's defense minister took a double swipe at the United States on Saturday, accusing her counterpart Donald Rumsfeld of American supremacism and U.S. industry of waging "economic war" on Europe. Michele Alliot-Marie's remarks, in a newspaper interview, were the bluntest criticism of Washington by a French official since presidents Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush skirted around their differences on Iraq at a summit two weeks ago. "The American Defense Secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) believes the United States is the only military, economic and financial power in the world. We do not share this vision," Alliot-Marie told Le Monde newspaper in the interview published on Saturday. reuters.com

Gilded Cage: Wackenhut’s Free Market in Human Misery One of the hottest stock market plays of the 1990s was the investment in hotels without doorknobs: privately operated prisons. And the hottest of the hot was a Florida-based outfit, Wackenhut Corporation, which promised states it would warehouse our human refuse at bargain prices. In 1999, I thought it worth a closer look. That year, New Mexico rancher Ralph Garcia, his business ruined by drought, sought to make ends meet by signing on as a guard at Wackenhut’s prison at Santa Rosa, New Mexico, run under contract to the state. For $7.95 an hour, Garcia watched over medium-security inmates. Among the "medium security" prisoners were multiple murderers, members of a homicidal neo- Nazi cult and the Mexican Mafia gang. Although he had yet to complete his short training course, Garcia was left alone in a cell block with sixty unlocked prisoners. guerrillanews.com

CIA shuffling sparks more Iraq doubts June 15, 2003 The CIA has reassigned two senior officials who oversaw its analysis on Iraq and the deposed government's alleged banned weapons, a move that a CIA spokesman said was routine but that others portrayed as an "exile." The officials served in senior positions in which they were deeply involved in assembling and assessing the intelligence on Iraq's alleged stocks of chemical and biological arms. U.S. search teams have yet to find conclusive evidence that Iraq had such weapons in the months before the war -- an assertion that was the Bush administration's principal justification for the March invasion. bayarea.com

Weapons of Mass Deception June 15, 2003 Not surprisingly the Bush regime's many claims about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction appear to be baseless. Even U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz admits the WMD pitch was just a convenient excuse for the invasion. However, Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the face of conflicting information, continues to standby the "evidence" of alleged Iraqi WMDs he presented to the UN Security Council last winter. Ironically, the U.S. has put up roadblocks against UN actions on such weapons, even as it tried making its case against Iraq. Interestingly, some observers are speculating that the present lack of discovery of the phantom Iraqi WMDs could be a ruse!. http://indymedia.org/

Goodbye, Erin Brockovich, as class actions end June 15, 2003 Ed Vulliamy It was the kind of legal action that made a heroine out of beauty-queen-turned-crusader Erin Brockovich, pitting the little people against the might of corporate America. But now the US Congress is set to hand business chiefs the greatest gift since the advent of the Bush administration: an end to so-called 'class action' suits. guardian.co.uk

Republican Ehrlich Eases Liability For Big Chicken Firms Md. Drops Policy on Manure Runoff in Bay June 15, 2003 By Anita Huslin Maryland Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced yesterday that the state would abandon rules that hold such poultry giants as Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms Inc. accountable for pollution caused by chicken waste flushing into the Chesapeake Bay. Reversing an effort by the previous administration to force the companies to deal with the ecological damage that comes from their industry, Ehrlich said he would look for voluntary measures or economic incentives to stanch the flow of millions of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous into the bay and the rivers and streams that feed it. washingtonpost.com

Ted Rall: 'They impeach murderers, don't they? June 14, 2003 By Ted Rall, TedRall.com NEW YORK--George W. Bush told us that Iraq and Al Qaeda were working together. They weren't. He repeatedly implied that Iraq had had something to do with 9/11. It hadn't. He claimed to have proof that Saddam Hussein possessed banned weapons of mass destruction. He didn't. As our allies watched in horror and disgust, Bush conned us into a one-sided war of aggression that killed and maimed thousands of innocent people, destroyed billions of dollars in Iraqi infrastructure, cost tens of billions of dollars, cost the lives of American soldiers, and transformed our international image as the world's shining beacon of freedom into that of a marauding police state. Presidents Nixon and Clinton rightly faced impeachment for comparatively trivial offenses; if we hope to restore our nation's honor, George W. Bush too must face a president's gravest political sanction. smirkingchimp.com

Winning Hearts and Minds With Rifle Butts June 14, 2003 By Thomas W. Chittum “Hundreds of U.S. troops moved in hard and fast through the area, centered on the town of Duluiyah 30 miles north of Baghdad. With helicopters whirring overhead and tanks offering cover, they kicked down doors and pulled out residents, looking for snipers who had harassed them for weeks from the shelter of thick woods.” One Iraqi who got in the way of this noble imperial juggernaut said this: “"My brother was beaten, hit in the face and was killed," he said, adding that U.S. troops took away medicine his family was bringing for a cousin who had suffered a heart attack "and smashed it under their feet."” prisonplanet.com

'It Was an Outrage, An Obscenity' June 14, 2003 Robert Fisk It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car. Two missiles from an American jet killed them all — by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be 'liberated' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this 'collateral damage'? sumeria.net

Belgium Sticks by War Crimes Law Despite U.S. Anger June 14, 2003 By Bart Crols and John Chalmers BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium stuck by its controversial war crimes law on Friday despite demands for radical change by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The law, which empowers Belgian courts to try foreigners for serious human rights crimes no matter where they were committed, has been criticized by several countries but most vociferously by Washington. Rumsfeld on Thursday vowed to freeze spending on NATO's new headquarters in Brussels unless the law was revoked. reuters.com



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