JULY 31-24, 03 Archives

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US Nobel laureate slams Bush government as "worst" in American history July 31, 2003 Berlin, IRNA American Nobel Prize laureate for Economics George A. Akerlof lashed out at the government of US President George W. Bush, calling it the "worst ever" in American history, the online site of the weekly Der Spiegel magazine reported Tuesday. "I think this is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. It has engaged in extradordinarily irresponsible policies not only in foreign policy and economics but also in social and environmental policy," said the 2001 Nobel Prize  laureate who teaches economics at the University of California in Berkeley. "This is not normal government policy. Now is the time for (American) people to engage in civil disobedience. I think it's time to protest - as much as possible," the 61-year-old scholar added. irna.ir

"They're treating us like cattle" July 31, 2003 By Marc Semo Libération: The curfew had just begun, at 11 p.m., as it has for the past three months in the Iraqi capital, and Nudir was late, but he was only a few hundred meters from his villa in the Zeyouna district when an American patrol blocked the BMW where he and two friends happened to be.  Polite, but firm, the GIs stretched them out on the hood.  They searched the vehicle.  In the glove compartment they had a revolver for self-defense, as many Iraqis do.  The Americans handcuffed them at once.  "They made us get into an armored troop transport, and there they began to beat us up," said the young engineer, who, after spending the night at a collection center stuffed into a wire-mesh cage with 350 other suspects, finally ended up at the airport prison, "Camp Cropper," which consists of tarps surrounded by barbed wire under a blistering sun.  There he spent sixteen days. That was at the end of May.  He was registered as "enemy prisoner of war" number 8,122. informationclearinghouse.info

Pentagon scheme for a futures market in terror July 31, 2003 By Barry Grey The latest revelation of depravity at the highest levels of the Bush administration—the exposure of a Pentagon plan to establish a futures market in terrorist attacks, assassinations and military strikes—is yet one more demonstration of the criminal character of the forces that wield power in America. Under the scheme, dubbed Policy Analysis Market, or PAM, the Defense Department planned to launch a futures market in which wealthy and anonymous insiders would bet on the likelihood of such occurrences as the assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the overthrow of the Jordanian monarchy, or a North Korean missile strike. Those whose speculative investments panned out—in the form of terrorist violence and war—would stand to reap a handsome return. wsws.org

Ex-Diplomat Joseph Wilson: Bush May Start Another War in 2004 To Win The Election July 31, 2003 Listen to: Segment || Show / Watch 128k stream / Watch 256k stream Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson predicts the situation in Iraq will deteriorate so much over the next year Bush may resort to start another war in order to win the 2004 election. Wilson is the retired diplomat who visited Niger in a CIA-sponsored trip last year during which he determined the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal was bogus. His conclusion was ignored by the Bush White House. Retired U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson is accusing the White House of orchestrating a smear attack against him and his wife. Wilson gained headlines earlier this month when he revealed that he had personally traveled to Niger in 2002 in a CIA-financed trip to investigate any nuclear link between the African nation and Iraq. Wilson set off a firestorm of debate when he told the media, the White House and CIA were both warned in 2002 of his findings. democracynow.org

The Theft of Your Vote Is Just a Chip Away July 31, 2003 By Thom Hartmann Are computerized voting machines a wide-open back door to massive voting fraud? The discussion has moved from the Internet to CNN, to UK newspapers, and the pages of The New York Times. People are cautiously beginning to connect the dots, and the picture that seems to be emerging is troubling. "A defective computer chip in the county's optical scanner misread ballots Tuesday night and incorrectly tallied a landslide victory for Republicans," announced the Associated Press in a story on Nov. 7, just a few days after the 2002 election. The story added, "Democrats actually won by wide margins." Republicans would have carried the day had not poll workers become suspicious when the computerized vote-reading machines said the Republican candidate was trouncing his incumbent Democratic opponent in the race for County Commissioner. The poll workers were close enough to the electorate – they were part of the electorate – to know their county overwhelmingly favored the Democratic incumbent. A quick hand recount of the optical-scan ballots showed that the Democrat had indeed won, even though the computerized ballot-scanning machine kept giving the race to the Republican. The poll workers brought the discrepancy to the attention of the County Clerk, who notified the voting machine company. opednews.com

9-11 Commission Covers Up Bush Family Ties to WTC July 31, 2003 by CONSPIRACY PLANET The fix is in. The 9-11 Coverup Commission tries to rewrite history --protecting those responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, and thereby opening the door to a never-ending Phoney War on Terrorism. The 9-11 Cover-Up Commission is comprised of third level Bushonian Shills, mostly lawyers as well as former bureaucrats and politicians, who know the "conclusions" they are expected to deliver. conspiracyplanet.com

US troops 'manhandle' reporter July 31, 2003 A JAPANESE reporter was manhandled and briefly detained by US troops in Baghdad after filming their weekend raid on a house in search for ousted president Saddam Hussein, Japanese press reports said. Kazutaka Sato, 47, was held in an arm-lock, thrown to the ground and kicked by several US soldiers Sunday when he was filming the bodies of Iraqis being removed from a car which was shot up in the raid, the reports said. Bush, the rainforest and a gas pipeline to enrich his friends. news.com

Plan would enrich Bush corporate campaign contributors July 31, 2003 By Andrew Gumbel President George Bush is seeking funds for a controversial project to drive gas pipelines from pristine rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon to the coast. The plan will enrich some of Mr Bush's closest corporate campaign contributors while risking the destruction of rainforest, threatening its indigenous peoples and endangering rare species on the coast. Among the beneficiaries would be two Texas energy companies with close ties to the White House, Hunt Oil and Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Vice-President Dick Cheney's old company, Haliburton, which is rebuilding Iraq's oil infrastructure. independent.co.uk

ACLU Files First-Ever Challenge to USA PATRIOT Act Citing Radical Expansion of FBI Powers July 31, 2003 The ACLU files the first legal challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act, taking aim at a section of the controversial law that vastly expands the power of FBI agents to secretly obtain records and personal belongings of innocent people in the United States, including citizens and permanent residents. "Ordinary Americans should not have to worry that the FBI is rifling through their medical records, seizing their personal papers, or forcing charities and advocacy groups to divulge membership lists," said Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU and the lead attorney in the lawsuit. "We know from our clients that the FBI is once again targeting ethnic, religious, and political minority communities disproportionately," she added. "Investing the FBI with unchecked authority to monitor the activities of innocent people is an invitation to abuse, a waste of resources, and is certainly not making any of us any safer." aclu.org

Right Wing Traitors and Saboteurs July 30, 2003 By Rob Kall OpEdNews.Com Ann Coulter says we progressives and liberals on the left are traitors. That started things off and now, in the right wing blogs and forums they're all saying it. But there's another way to look at treachery, traitors and selling out your country. The people who try to silence dissent, and people who disagree are violating one of the most prized rights of this country. The people who spew hate, who label different thinkers as traitors, are the real traitors to this country's principles of freedom. The people who support corporations over people are selling out humanity, not just national traitors, because they support rights and protections for inhuman corporations, these people are traitors to humanity. thepeoplesvoice.org

The American violence against the people of Iraq has noticeably escalated, and is even starting to take on the qualities of a frenzy: July 30, 2003 The most dramatic incident has been the massacre in Mansur. American troops, supposedly on a search for Saddam, attacked the neighborhood of Mansur in Baghdad. Mansur had already been the victim of American attempts to kill Saddam, as an American bomb on a building in which Saddam was supposed to be killed 16 Iraqi civilians in April. In the newest incident, the Americans opened fire on vehicles and killed as many as 11, including two children (other sources say five were killed, or perhaps three). A witness said (or here): "The Americans didn't try to help the civilians they had shot, not once. They let the car burn and left the bodies where they lay, even the children. It was we who had to take them to the hospitals." This was another operation of Task Force 20, responsible for the deaths at the Syrian border and the attack on Saddam's sons. xymphora.blogspot.com

US Troops In Iraq 'Are Terrorist Magnet' July 30, 2003 (Agencies) The commander of US ground forces in Iraq today said that his soldiers had become a "magnet" for foreign terrorists who wanted to strike at America. Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said the sophistication of the guerilla attacks, which Washington customarily blames on the former regime's loyalists, had increased over the last month. "We have to understand that we have a multiple-faceted conflict going on here in Iraq. We've got terrorist activity, we've got former regime leadership, we have criminals, and we have some hired assassins that are attacking our soldiers on a daily basis," he told CNN. rense.com

A Pattern Of Deception July 30, 2003 Walter Williams Did President Bush lie to the American people in his State of the Union Message when he said: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"? Technically, no, because "the statement that he made was indeed accurate,'' said National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on July 13. "The British government did say that." Rice speaks the literal truth, just as her boss does, to distort what is meaningful. Outright lying is not the administration's modus operandi; willful deception is. tompaine.com

The Buck Never Stops Cheney Chicanery July 30, 2003 By RAY McGOVERN When Vice President Dick Cheney comes out of seclusion to brand critics "irresponsible," you know the administration is in trouble. Cheney was enlisted to do so in the spring of 2002 amid reports that warning given to President Bush before 9/11 should have prompted preventive action. Cheney branded such commentary "irresponsible," and critics in the press and elsewhere were duly intimidated. It will be interesting to see what happens this time. counterpunch.org

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T BELIEVE THE NEW JOBLESS STATS July 30, 2003 By JOHN CRUDELE ON Friday the government will report the latest employment figures for the nation. And while I won't - because I can't - predict whether the numbers will continue to show a miserable job market, you can count on one thing: The data will be misleading. Here are some reasons why, good or bad, the U.S. Labor Department's 8:30 a.m. announcement will be as credible as the fortune you get in those Chinese cookies. * The government missed a whopping 440,000 jobs that were lost last year. Why should this year's figures be any more accurate? nypost.com

Microsoft plans largest lay-off of full-time employees in company history July 30, 2003 By Jeff Nachtigal When Eric Poore began working as a customer service representative for Microsoft’s technical call-routing center in 1997, he was told his advancement opportunities were endless. Two years into his Microsoft career Poore’s hard work paid off with a promotion to Outlook Technical Router, where he managed technical questions about Microsoft’s email program. But less than a year later, the position was outsourced – a handy euphemism for being sent to India or elsewhere to cut labor costs - and he was demoted back to his original customer service job. washtech.org

Senate rejects tough measure on gas mileage Instead, it approves proposal favored by auto industry July 30, 2003 By Julie Hirschfeld Davis Pushing to finish a sweeping energy bill this week, the Senate rejected yesterday a proposal that would have forced automakers to meet higher fuel economy standards, bowing to concerns that it could hurt U.S. auto manufacturers and their workers, and make automobiles less safe. By a vote of 65-32, the Senate rejected an amendment by Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois that would have required carmakers to drastically increase - to 40 miles per gallon from 27.5 - the average fuel economy of their vehicles by 2015. Instead, it endorsed, by a 66-30 vote, an alternative preferred by the automobile industry that would give the Transportation Department the authority to write new fuel standards. sunspot.net

Bush rejects Saudi request to release classified 9-11 report July 30, 2003 WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush refused Tuesday to release classified portions of a congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks, saying parts of the 850-page document must be kept secret to safeguard ongoing investigations and the broader war on terror. http://www.stltoday.com

Bush attack on overtime pay passes House July 29, 2003 By Joanne Laurier On July 10 the House of Representatives voted 213-210 for a measure, proposed by the Bush administration, that represents an historic attack on the 40-hour week and gives employers the power to extract overtime without compensation. The measure would overhaul rules for overtime pay adversely affecting millions of working people. The House passed regulatory changes first proposed March 31 by the Department of Labor (DOL) that could make millions of white-collar employees ineligible for overtime pay. By revamping standards for the classification of salaried workers, employers will be able to transfer millions of hourly workers to salaried status, thereby exempting them from being legally eligible for overtime pay. If the Bush plan becomes law, it would initiate the most far-reaching restructuring of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) since its adoption in 1938. wsws.org

Understanding the Difference Between a Think Tank and a Right Wing Policy Promotion Think Tank July 29, 2003 by Rob Kall OpEdNews.COM I'm sure that when Pithecanthropus encountered Zinjanthropus the next stage in the primate evolutionary sequence, pithecantrhopus used the same weapons he always had when Zinjanthropus came along with new weapons. And when Neanderthals faced Cro Magnon men, I'm sure that they kept using their same weapons. And we know the results. They became extinct. And now we have Democrats and progressives faced with far right wingers with new weapons, and we have to ask ourselves, "Will we become extinct? " Or can we lift ourselves up the evolutionary scale and face the far right with weapons of equal or greater power. The right wing weapons are the Neocon think tanks. And don't fool yourself to think that these think tanks are just places where people explore policy and do research. That's a Democratic or progressive think tank-- a conventional think tank. That's a regular bomb, not a nuclear bomb. They may look the same on the outside, but they function very differently and the outcome is very different. opednews.com

Bush Snubs Black Americans Yet Again July 29, 2003 By Jeff Koopersmith Veiled bigotry is alive and well at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue "Since the days of Warren G. Harding, presidents have met at the White House with leaders of the NAACP. Not President Bush -- at least not yet." This was the Associated Press lead on July 27th when the President of United States made it known he was just too busy to speak to the nation's oldest and most respected group of black political leaders. As a matter of fact, President George W. Bush has never met or received officially the country's oldest civil rights group leaders -- or with representatives of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. What's his message? Simple: "The majority of black Americans did not vote for me -- why should I waste my time?" americanpolitics.com

US warned it faces 'third Gulf war' in Iraq July 29, 2003 By Charles Clover in Baghdad Five US soldiers were killed over the weekend and another died on  Monday in a spate of attacks by Iraqi militants, as a new study warned that the US may soon find itself in the midst of "a third Gulf war against the Iraqi people".On Saturday, three soldiers were killed in a grenade attack while guarding a children's hospital in the city of Baquba and a fourth was killed in an attack on a convoy west of Baghdad. On Sunday, the fifth was killed by a grenade attack south of Baghdad near the city of Hilla. One US soldier was killed on Monday and four were wounded when a military convoy was attacked in Baghdad, while a further death was reported in southern Iraq after a road accident. news.ft.com

US troops turn botched Saddam raid into a massacre July 29, 2003 By Robert Fisk in Baghdad Obsessed with capturing Saddam Hussein, American soldiers turned a botched raid on a house in the Mansur district of Baghdad yesterday into a bloodbath, opening fire on scores of Iraqi civilians in a crowded street and killing up to 11, including two children, their mother and crippled father. At least one civilian car caught fire, cremating its occupants. The vehicle carrying the two children and their mother and father was riddled by bullets as it approached a razor-wired checkpoint outside the house. Amid the fury generated among the largely middle-class residents of Mansur - by ghastly coincidence, the killings were scarcely 40 metres from the houses in which 16 civilians died when the Americans tried to kill Saddam towards the end of the war in April - whatever political advantages were gained by the killing of Saddam's sons have been squandered. A doctor at the Yarmouk hospital, which received four of the dead, turned on me angrily last night, shouting: "If an American came to my emergency room, maybe I would kill him." Two civilians, both believed to have been driving with their families, were brought to the Yarmouk, one with abdominal wounds and the other with "his brain outside of his head", according to another doctor. At the scene of the killings, there was pandemonium. While US troops were loading the bullet-shattered cars on trucks - and trying to stop cameramen filming the carnage - crowds screamed abuse at them. One American soldier a few feet from me climbed into the seat of his Humvee, threw his helmet on the floor of the vehicle and shouted: "Shit! Shit!" informationclearinghouse.info

Hey Mom and Dad, July 29, 2003 Brett Hunt, a 2nd lieutenant, 11th Signal Brigade Things are fine here. It is soooooooooooo hot and nasty, but what are you going to do? It is just getting worse every day. I think I may have lice or fleas or something. Our living conditions are just so difficult to keep clean and maintain it all. I washed my one blanket and my cot, but I do not have any hot water (well the water is hot but you know what I mean, like hot in a washing machine to kill the buggies in the clothes stuff). It has not been bad today, but I wake up with all of these tiny red bites. My hair is long and does not itch, but I think something is still going on. I am using all of your bug stuff, but I think they are stronger than what we have in the States. The mosquitoes laugh at me when I put OFF on. You have to put on the straight DEET and hope you will not have cancer in a year. We have been hit 18 of the last 19 days. I feel like I am at Da Nang or Phu Bai. It just sucks. Luckily, "only" about 45 people have been hurt. Yeah, a lot, but considering how many they lob in here, that is not too bad. It is wearing on me along with the constant oppressive heat, no sleep, no food (yeah, they shut off our food resupply without any warning, things are getting slim, we are fine but it is not a good feeling to have so little spare food and water) and spending every night and day now trying to dodge mortars. More than half a month under siege and luckily we are all still safe. They have frozen all redeployments, so no one is going anywhere anytime soon, and our Congress goes on vacation July 25 so nothing is going to happen until mid fall. Not what we all want to hear out here. We are under siege out here, without supplies, without a mission and we can only roll the dice so many times and not get our (expletive) shot. More and more body bags and amputees will be coming home. azcentral.com

Huge deficit in states drags down US economy July 29, 2003 (Xinhuanet) Having already stripped the US economic growth, the budget crises in many US states are now beginning to drag down the national economy, prolonging the weak, jobless US economic recovery. The states in the United States have gradually cut between 20 billion to 40 billion dollars from their spending over the past two years and billions more in cutbacks are coming in the new fiscal year started on July 1 because of huge state deficit, the New York Times reported Monday. In California alone, a tentative budget deal will presumably require the state to rid itself of at least 8 billion US dollars in current spending, with the cuts likely to fall most heavily on education and aid to the poor, the paper said. xinhuanet.com

Al Jazeera Says U.S. Forces Arrest Two Employees July 29, 2003 DOHA (Reuters) The Arabic television network Al Jazeera said on Sunday U.S. forces had arrested their correspondent and driver in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul while they filmed an attack on American troops. "They were filming a civilian Iraqi car shooting at American forces in Mosul. So the Americans arrested the driver and the correspondent," an Al Jazeera official told Reuters, but said he had no further information. news.yahoo.com

Who Made George W. Bush Our King?
July 28, 2003 Nat Hentoff He Can Designate Any of Us an Enemy Combatant. Some of the most glorious illuminations of the Bill of Rights in American history have been contained in Supreme Court dissents by, among others, Louis Brandeis, William Brennan, Hugo Black, and Thurgood Marshall. Equal to those was the stinging dissent by judge Diana Gribbon Motz when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (8 to 4) gave George W. Bush a fearsome power that can be found nowhere in the Constitution—the sole authority to imprison an American citizen indefinitely without charges or access to a lawyer. This case is now on appeal to the Supreme Court, which will determine whether this president—or his successors until the end of the war on terrorism—can subvert the Bill of Rights to the peril of all of us. villagevoice.com

Bush Should Cry Uncle and Release Saudi Info July 28, 2003 By Allan P. Duncan "We will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists, every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence. We will starve the terrorists of funding." President George W. Bush, September 24, 2001 Tough words from Bush less than two weeks after the most devastating attack in American history. Over time though, they have become the words of a paper tiger when it comes to actually dealing with those who were clearly involved in financing the attacks on 9-11. With the release of the Congressional Joint Inquiry Report on 9-11, the Bush Administration forced the redaction of 28 pages from the report on the role of Saudi Arabia and another unnamed country ( Pakistan is my guess), in financing Bin Laden. Their reasoning is that it would compromise our national security for the information to be made public. opednews.com

Republicans losing support of retired veterans July 28, 2003 President Bush and his Republican Party are facing a political backlash from an unlikely group - retired veterans. Normally Republican, many retired veterans are mad that Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress are blocking remedies to two problems with health and pension benefits. They say they feel particularly betrayed by Bush, who appealed to them in his 2000 campaign, and who vowed on the eve of his inauguration that "promises made to our veterans will be promises kept." "He pats us on the back with his speeches and stabs us in the back with his actions," said Charles A. Carter of Shawnee, Okla., a retired Navy senior chief petty officer. "I will vote non-Republican in a heart beat if it continues as is." "I feel betrayed," said Raymond C. Oden Jr., a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant now living in Abilene, Texas. Many veterans say they will not vote for Bush or any Republican in 2004 and are considering voting for a Democrat for the first time. miami.com

Graham talks of possible Bush impeachment July 28, 2003 Sen. Bob Graham says if President Bush were held to the same standards as former President Clinton, he would be impeached. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, the Democratic presidential nomination hopeful said the Bush Administration deceived Americans in the months leading up to the war against Iraq. He also accused officials of operating under a veil of secrecy and said they lied about the post-war costs and commitments, the Financial Times reported. "What is the standard of impeachment?" he asked. "Clearly if the standard is now what the House of Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the actions of this president are much more serious in terms of dereliction of duty." washtimes.com

Growing prison population is growing problem for cash-strapped states July 28, 2003 America's prison population grew again in 2002 despite a declining crime rate, costing the federal government and states an estimated $40 billion a year at a time of rampant budget shortfalls. The inmate population in 2002 of more than 2.1 million represented a 2.6 percent increase over 2001, according to a report released Sunday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Preliminary FBI statistics showed a 0.2 percent drop in overall crime during the same span. Experts say mandatory sentences, especially for nonviolent drug offenders, are a major reason inmate populations have risen for 30 years. About one of every 143 U.S. residents was in the federal, state or local custody at year's end. signonsandiego.com

10 U.S. Soldiers Killed, Injured In Iraq In 24 Hours BAGHDAD, July 28, 2003 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - Five U.S. soldiers were killed and five others wounded in two separate incidents in south and northeast of the Iraqi capital, during the last 24 hours. islamonline.net

U.S. Soldiers Reportedly Escape From Iraq July 28, 2003 BAGHDAD U.S. soldiers in Iraq are escaping from Iraq under the guise of Kurdish citizens, wearing the famous Iraqi and Arab al-Dashdasha (loose headdress) which has become mush sought-after recently, Iraqis told IslamOnline.net "We were surprised at the very beginning to see a lot of U.S. soldiers buying al-Dashdasha, but it came to our knowledge that they used it as a camouflage to make their escape to Gulf states". Aidany further claimed that U.S. soldiers were also seen buying Kurdish costumes to make their way to Turkey through northern Iraq. Abdul Amir al-Hasnawi, a truck driver, alleged he helped two U.S. soldiers escape to Kuwait. "Two Black U.S. soldiers arrived in Basra through a Christian go-between from Baghdad, who used to work as a translator with the Americans. They were in jeans and I smuggled them to Kuwait in return for $450 each," Hasnawi told IOL. "The go-between told me that the two soldiers did not to be gunned down in Iraq without a cause," he added. turks.us

Concentration Camps in Okanagon County? July 28, 2003 Okanogan County Commissioner Dave Schulz says he's convinced his county is a designated home for a ``concentration camp'' in case of civil unrest. Schulz says he has copies of documents, although he hasn't been able to confirm the rumor. Rumors of planned U.S. detention facilities appear on dozens of Web sites. Schulz says he thinks the plan has been written in the event of a national emergency where martial law is necessary, and hopes it never becomes necessary. kxly.com

A MEAN AND NASTY TRICK July 27, 2003 The US Government claiming humanitarian concerns, has started dropping food packets on Afghanistan. But in the meantime, the US has also stopped all other humanitarian aid into Afghanistan, even to the point of bombing the Red Cross food warehouse twice! This makes the air dropped food packets the ONLY food source reaching the starving civilians in Afghanistan and amounts to less than 10% of the food which was able to reach them before the war. And here is where it gets nasty. Those American food packets bear more than a passing resemblance to the unexploded cluster munitions. Now, just for a moment imaging you are an Afghani child. You are starving. You don't read English. You certainly have no more control over whoever attacked the World Trade Towers than Americans citizens had over the CIA when it killed 80 innocent people with a car bomb in Beirut in 1985. All the previous sources of food have been blockaded or bombed. You see a bright yellow hand-sized object in front of you, printed with a strange and unreadable language, and you know such packages usually contain food. Then you lose your hand, possibly your eyes, possibly even your life. Joke's on you, courtesy the US Government. whatreallyhappened.com / hrw.org

Experts at US Conference on Global Warming Say Bush's Position ‘Ludicrous' July 27, 2003 by Scott Sonner International experts at a gathering of more than 1,000 scientists studying climate change and the future of mankind say the threat of global warming is real and getting worse. One leading researcher at the weeklong conference said it was “ludicrous” that the Bush administration has refused to acknowledge the increasing dangers of greenhouse gases. commondreams.org

Outrage as toxic ghost fleet sets sail for Britain July 27, 2003 A controversial plan to break up US warships in Hartlepool could spell environmental disaster. Mark Townsend reports Their hulks are streaked with rust and they carry a toxic cargo regarded as an environmental disaster in the making. Yet a flotilla of condemned US warships, dubbed the 'ghost fleet', is soon to head for Britain. Permission has been secretly granted for the derelict vessels to be towed 4,000 miles to Teesside, where they and their contents will be broken up and buried. They hold hundreds of tonnes of asbestos and some of the most poisonous chemicals known to man. It promises to be a fraught voyage: the convoy of 13 vessels must risk ferocious Atlantic storms, and also the world's busiest shipping zone - the English Channel. guardian.co.uk

Where are those jobs, Mr. President? July 27, 2003 By JACK IRBY Everyday, it becomes worse. Reading the latest statistics on the loss of jobs in this country is like reading a Stephen King novel — you soon become ''scared and frightened''. The ever-present question lingers in your mind: ''Will I be the next one to lose my job?'' The president in his State of the Union Address in January 2002 said, ''When America works, America prospers, so my economic security plan can be summed up in one word: jobs.'' Recently, he promised his new tax-cut plan would create 1.4 million new jobs. My question is ''Where are all those jobs?'' tennessean.com

Four U.S. soldiers charged with abusing POWs July 27, 2003 The U.S. military has charged four U.S. soldiers of abusing prisoners at a U.S.-run prisoner of war camp in Iraq, a U.S. military official said Saturday. The soldiers were accused of punching, kicking and breaking bones of Iraqi prisoners at Camp Bucca. cbc.ca

MURDER is the correct word July 27, 2003 This page appears here merely to let others in the world know that there are human beings who are appalled by the descent into barbarism by the U.S. Government and the uncivilized response of its media and a majority of its citizens. Where are the voices to protest this behavior? Why do we hear nothing from the so-called "Christian" churches and their leadership? Please, tell me again why we are in their country in the first place. Do our political leaders think they are exempt from consequences of their actions? They have sons and grandsons too. Horrors beget horrors. bigeye.com

Trouble mounts for Bush as lethal Iraqi resistance claims more lives July 27, 2003 By Rupert Cornwell Just how organized is the resistance, and who is doing the organizing, is not clear. But yesterday's grenade attack which killed three US troops outside a children's hospital north of Baghdad and injured four others has banished the hope that the death of Saddam Hussein's two sons would halt the de facto guerrilla war against the American forces occupying Iraq. independent.co.uk

Billionaire challenges case for war July 27, 2003 (Reuters) Billionaire philanthropist George Soros is running full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers challenging the honesty of the Bush administration's case for waging war in Iraq. The ads in The New York Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Houston Chronicle, are titled, "When the nation goes to war, the people deserve the truth." A dozen statements made by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld making the case for war are reprinted and described as either exaggerated or false. mirror.co.uk

SWAT handcuffs Granny to bed for seven hours July 27, 2003 On the afternoon of July 1, 2003, Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler's Baltimore, Maryland home was invaded by about 60 heavily armed men. These men handcuffed Mrs. Wheeler, 72, a mother of six, for almost seven hours while they ransacked her home. No one knows exactly what these men were looking for because the search warrant has been sealed by the issuing judge. What we do know is that the Baltimore Police were looking for Mrs. Wheeler's 61-year-old husband Lovell "Artie" Wheeler, a machinist and vocal anti-war activist and immigration opponent. In the days following the arrest and seizure of the couple's assets, including the cash that Mrs. Wheeler depends upon to buy food and pay her basic bills, law enforcement was left struggling to come up with charges appropriate to the aggressiveness of their actions. groups.yahoo.com

GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq Listen to: Segment || Show / Watch 128k stream / Watch 256k stream Republican attorneys claim that it isn’t the Bush administration who is guilty of misleading the country but the Democrats for running an anti-Bush TV spot. Only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station. Attorneys for the Republican Party are warning TV stations not to air a new commercial by the Democratic National Committee that charges President Bush misled the country in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. The video shows Bush saying, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." democracynow.org

The Techno-Voting Nightmare; Digital Vote Corruption-- First California-- then the 2004 Elections July 26, 2003 by Rob Kall rob@opednews.com Imagine that a rogue programmer gets access to a few networks of computers in the California special gubernatorial election. The programmer manipulates the software to count wrong, making sure that Darrell Issa or whoever is running on the Republican ticket gets 10% more votes than the voters really gave him. This software "fix" will do it's work then delete itself. The program can be made to randomize the bogus numbers so they are a little different percentage at each voting location. Now imagine that this is not some independently acting rogue programmer. What if he works for the company and the company is currying favor for or selling power to the candidate or even to unidentified backers-- like some of the wealthy oil people who have funded attack ads for George Bush in the past. This is no far-fetched scenario. There are a lot of us who believe it has already happened. Webs/opednews.com

Ugly Americans in Paris July 26, 2003 by William D. Hartung & Michelle Ciarrocca The conventional wisdom at this year's Paris Air Show was that Donald Rumsfeld's temper tantrum and Russia's shaky financial status were going to take all the fun out of the world's largest arms bazaar and aerospace exhibition, held each June at historic Le Bourget airport in Paris's gritty northern industrial suburbs. Since Rumsfeld had refused to send US combat aircraft to Paris to "punish" the French for not supporting Washington in Gulf War II tens of thousands watched French pilots dominate the air over Le Bourget at a show whose theme seemed to be "we can do business just fine without America, thank you very much." This point was underscored by the largest deal announced at the show, a blockbuster purchase by UAE airlines of twenty-one massive Airbus 380A airliners--one of the most lucrative single airline deals ever made. The United States may have won the war for regime change in Iraq, but US companies are in danger of losing the peace, in large part due to backlash against the Rumsfeld/Perle/Wolfowitz brand of Ugly Americanism. thenation.com

Ex-CIA Agent on Cheney Iraq Speech: "Longest Statement of Disinformation" Ever Fed U.S. Public July 26,2003 Listen to: Segment || Show / Watch 128k stream / Watch 256k stream Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday attempted to restate the administration's case for war at a speech at the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Yesterday, Vice President Dick Cheney attempted to restate the administration's case for war at a speech at the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute. He repeatedly cited an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that warned Saddam Hussein was seeking to develop nuclear weapons. "Those charged with the security of this nation could not read such an assessment and pretend that it did not exist. Ignoring such information, or trying to wish it away, would be irresponsible in the extreme," Cheney said. "And our President did not ignore that information--he faced it. He sought to eliminate the threat by peaceful, diplomatic means and, when all else failed, he acted forcefully to remove the danger." Former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman responded on Democracy Now! by describing Cheney's speech as the "longest statement of disinformation that I think the American government has distributed to the American people." Goodman went on to say, "For Dick Cheney to recite those charges we all know now not to be true adds to the terrible politicization of intelligence that's created a scandal in the intelligence community unlike anything I ever saw in my 24 years in the C.I.A. that includes the period of Vietnam, the period of the intelligence failure on the Soviet Union, and the incredibly contentious disputes over arms control." Cheney did not discuss his role in the Iraq-Niger uranium scandal or the reports that he personally went to CIA headquarters to pressure the Agency on Iraq intelligence. democracynow.org

Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism July 26, 2003 Bernard Weiner If my email is any indication, a goodly number of folks wonder if they're living in America in 2003 or Germany in 1933. All this emphasis on nationalism, the militarization of society, identifying The Leader as the nation, a constant state of fear and anxiety heightened by the authorities, repressive laws that shred constitutional guarantees of due process, wars of aggression launched on weaker nations, the desire to assume global hegemony, the merging of corporate and governmental interests, vast mass-media propaganda campaigns, a populace that tends to believe the slogans and lies it's fed without asking too many questions, a timid opposition that barely contests the administration's reckless adventurism abroad and police-state policies at home, sumeria.net

Woman Banned From Bookstore For Bush Joke July 26,2003 Singer-songwriter Julia Rose doesn't like President George W. Bush's legs. She's been banned from a Borders Books and Music store in Virginia for commenting on the president's physique. Rose was performing at the Fredericksburg Borders, when she told the crowd the president has, "chicken legs." She said he needs to pump some iron. The line drew a laugh, but not from Borders' management. She's been banned from that store. theneworleanschannel.com

Watching BushCo Crumble Ratings slipping, economy tanking, lies spiraling, credibility shot. Try not to cheer July 26, 2003 By Mark Morford This is what happens when it's all a house of cards. This is what happens when you build your entire presidency on an intricate network of aww-shucks glibness and bad hair and cronyism and corporate fellatio and warmongering and sham enemies and economy-gutting policies and endless blank-eyed smirks that tell the world, every single day, whelp, sure 'nuff, the U.S. is full of it. Shrub's ratings have dropped below 50 percent for the first (and probably not the last) time since they surged hugely right after 9/11 and he was hoisted in front of a wary America and puffed out his chest and pretended like he could find Afghanistan on a map and promised he would bomb every damn country on the planet that didn't have a McDonald's or an Exxon or a secret U.S. chemical-weapons deal. sfgate.com

Does Hitler's Ghost Live In Israel? July 26,2003 By Sam Hamod Yesterday, a 4 year old Palestinian boy was killed at an Israeli checkpoint, simply because he was riding  in a truck when an Israeli soldier opened fire with a machine gun. The soldier also wounded two little girls. An Israeli government spokesperson said it has no apology and “after an investigation” that nothing was done wrong! informationclearinghouse.info

Bush lied about his arrest, a reporter says July 26,2003 By Jake Tapper In the media's breakfast room, Wayne Slater, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, confirmed an account, first mentioned in the New Republic, that in the fall of 1998 Bush had lied to him about whether he'd ever been arrested after 1968. In the midst of Bush's gubernatorial reelection effort, Slater reported that while in college, Bush had been arrested for stealing a Christmas wreath from a New Haven, Conn., hotel. Cornering Bush in the press room of the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, after a press conference, Slater pressed Bush on his arrest record. "I asked him if he'd ever been arrested after 1968," when the wreath incident took place, Slater recalled. "And he said, 'No.'" salon.com

Furious Saudis reject US 9/11 claims July 26, 2003 The Saudi Arabian government has furiously denied involvement in the September 11 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, after a US report speculated on Saudi connections to two of the 19 hijackers. "The idea that the Saudi government funded, organised or even knew about September 11 is malicious and blatantly false," the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said in a sharply-worded statement released yesterday. guardian.co.uk

Tragedy of one Iraqi family shows how easy civilian lives are lost in Iraq fighting July 26, 2003 By Hamza Hendawi BAYJI, Iraq – In just a few seconds, an attack by U.S. forces killed Faheema Jassim Khalaf's mother and two sisters, tore apart her right leg below the knee and shattered her ankle.Khalaf is too weak to talk for long, but what she was able to whisper as she lay on the floor of her home's living room on a recent day painted a disturbing picture of how easily lives are lost in an Iraq embroiled in conflict more than three months after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein.The death of civilians is common in any conflict, and Iraq has not been an exception. But the Bayji killings underline the daily perils faced by ordinary Iraqis, even since the end of major combat on May 1, as they try to rebuild their lives. signonsandiego.com

The Amazing Stories of Condoleezza Rice July 26,2003 COMMENTARY Condoleezza Rice is the nation’s top national security official. After September 11th, she claimed that the White House had no prior knowledge that Al Qaeda was planning to hijack planes in a terrorist attack. That assertion was proven false. In the months before the Iraq War, Rice repeatedly reassured the public that the U.S. was seeking a peaceful resolution, and that war was not a foregone conclusion. However, it now appears that at the same time she was saying this, she was telling senior State Department officials that the decision to go to war had already been made – well before diplomatic efforts to diffuse the situation even began. Most recently, it appears that she has given three separate, incongruent stories about her role in the massive intelligence breakdown that led to the White House making false statements about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities. It appears that Rice has either been misleading the public about her role in that fiasco, or alternately, has been grossly negligent in not reading the government’s most important intelligence documents. buzzflash.com

Trafficking Ring Reported Near Baghdad July 26, 2003 (NFTF.org) The summary of a new Human Rights Watch report includes testimony from an abducted girl who says she witnessed negotiations for the sale of captive children: They brought in people they wanted to sell us to. They would bring men, they would look at us, and then bargain, negotiate a price. One was a fat woman wearing a veil, and another time two men came. They bargained and negotiated the prices, they would talk and laugh but not let us know, the [buyers] would ask how much, and then [the captors] would wink their eyes and say "don't talk now, in front of them" … Then they would talk to us, saying "don't worry, we'll make you happy, we'll give you a happy life, don't worry, don't cry" … I think they wanted us to be dancers or something like that, they told us that. Ibtisam [the female captor], she dances, and she tried to teach me to dance. I didn't want to, and I didn't look at her when she danced. Fifteen-year-old Muna B (not her real name) told Human Rights Watch researchers that she and her two sisters were kidnapped off a neighborhood street at gunpoint by four men in a taxicab around May 11. The girls were blindfolded and held in a house outside Baghdad along with seven other children, three girls ages 15 to 10 and four boys ages 11 to around 5 years old. All the children were beaten and Muna's sixteen-year-old sister was gang-raped. yellowtimes.org

Odai HusseinThe killing of Hussein’s sons: the Nuremberg precedent and the criminalization of the US ruling elite July 25, 2003 By David Walsh Both the means by which Hussein’s sons were liquidated and the manner in which the killings were greeted by the American government and media speak volumes about the nature of the US intervention in Iraq and the character of the American political establishment. On the plane of morality, there exist no fundamental differences between the personnel of the Hussein regime and the Bush administration. The latter operates in every sphere with unashamed lawlessness and violence. If there is a difference in the degree of brutality against its own citizens, the “restraint” exercised by the Bush forces is a matter of circumstance rather than moral superiority over the killers and torturers of the ousted Iraqi regime. wsws.org

Release of Hussein son’s photos: Washington exposes its own barbarism July 25, 2003 By Barry Grey The world was subjected to a gruesome and barbaric spectacle on Thursday when the Bush administration released photographs of the mutilated corpses of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Uday and Qusay, ambushed and killed by American forces on July 22. The American cable news networks wasted no time in displaying blowups of the bloody heads and torsos of the dead men and beaming the images into homes across the US and around the world. US government spokesmen and media commentators could barely conceal their glee at the sight of the shattered bodies, and their satisfaction over inflicting the pictures on a global audience. wsws.org

Call It What It Really Is: Sick A Nation of Assassins July 25, 2003 By DOUGLAS VALENTINE What do you call it when George W. Bush, without provocation and based on false pretenses, sends an army to invade a foreign nation; and then, without any attempt to negotiate a surrender, effect an arrest, or put this nation's leaders on trial and present evidence of their crimes, instead puts multimillion dollar bounties on their heads, relies on collaborators and spies to track them down, and then corners them and blows them away in their homes, in their own country? http://www.counterpunch.org/

The last moments of Saddam's grandson July 25, 2003 Guardian 14-year-old may have fought on after anti-tank rockets killed the adults. Saddam Hussein's 14-year-old grandson, Mustafa, may have been the last to die in Tuesday's four-hour siege on a house in Mosul, and kept shooting even after Qusay and Uday Hussein, his father and uncle, had been killed, US military officials said yesterday. According to a detailed account of the assault on the house given by Lt General Ricardo Sanchez in Baghdad, a volley of 10 anti-tank missiles near the end of the siege "wound up killing three of the adults" in the house. But when US troops made their third and final assault on the building, a sole survivor kept firing until he was shot dead. US officials believe that the last defender was a teenage boy, identified as Mustafa Hussein, who was known to be travelling with his father. informationclearinghouse.info

Amid Allied jubilation, a child lies in agony, clothes soaked in blood July 25, 2003 belfasttelegraph They lay in lines, the car salesman who'd just lost his eye but whose feet were still dribbling blood, the motorcyclist who was shot by American troops near the Rashid Hotel, the 50-year-old female civil servant, her long dark hair spread over the towel she was lying on, her face, breasts, thighs, arms and feet pock-marked with shrapnel from an American cluster bomb. For the civilians of Baghdad, this is the real, immoral face of war, the direct result of America's clever little "probing missions" into Baghdad. It looks very neat on television, the American marines on the banks of the Tigris, the oh-so-funny visit to the presidential palace, the videotape of Saddam Hussein's golden loo. But the innocent are bleeding and screaming with pain to bring us our exciting television pictures and to provide Messrs Bush and Blair with their boastful talk of victory. I watched two-and-a-half-year-old Ali Najour lying in agony on the bed, his clothes soaked with blood, a tube through his nose, until a relative walked up to me. "I want to talk to you," he shouted, his voice rising in fury. "Why do you British want to kill this little boy? Why do you even want to look at him? You did this – you did it!" belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Hopkins Team Says Voting Software Has "Stunning Flaws" July 25, 2003 Baltimore A team of computer security researchers at Johns Hopkins University says there are serious problems with the software that runs some electronic voting machines. The technical director of the university's Information Security Institute, Aviel Rubin, tells The New York Times that the software from Diebold Election Systems has "stunning flaws" that could allow poll workers to secretly alter electronic ballots. The researchers also determined that "smart cards" used by voters to operate the machines can be cheaply reproduced -- allowing someone to vote more than once. A Diebold spokesman says the company won't comment until it sees the full report. But he says that the researchers were apparently testing an older version of the software. insidebaltimore.com

E-voting flaws risk ballot fraud Scientists warn of big security holes in version of software July 25, 2003  Some versions of electronic voting software could allow for ballot fraud on a massive scale, computer security researchers reported Thursday. The researchers made their claim based on an analysis of computer code that was purportedly taken from one of the country’s top suppliers of voting equipment. But the supplier, Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, said it believed the software was “outdated and never was used in an actual election.” msnbc.com

Warning of toxic aftermath from uranium munitions July 24, 2003 By ANTHONY CARDINALE The American use of depleted uranium munitions in both Persian Gulf wars has unleashed a toxic disaster that will eclipse the Agent Orange tragedy of the Vietnam War, a former top Army official said Monday evening. "They didn't tell anybody what they were doing. He said they found that uranium dust is so fine that it acts like a gas, seeping through the tiny pores of protective masks. Uranium munitions were also used during the recent war in Iraq, he added. You lose nearly 40 percent of the round in uranium dust. It contaminates air, water and soil for all eternity." "The United States used 375 tons in Gulf War I," Rokke said. "My orders were to take care of U.S. casualties and vehicles" that had been hit by "friendly fire.' "Myself and my team members started to get sick almost immediately. It started with respiratory problems, then rashes." Recalling a wounded friend who suffered tumors where uranium shrapnel had been left in his body, he said the authorities found "no compelling evidence" of a connection and refused to authorize removal of the shrapnel or special treatment. In his own case, Rokke added, his body has six times the amount of uranium that usually requires medical care but has received no help or advice from the government. "The technology of war is out of control," Rokke concluded. "We don't have the ability to clean it up (or) treat it. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report says over 221,000 of our sons and daughters are on permanent disability and over 10,000 dead - one-third of our Gulf War I force. And they're coming back sick right now." informationclearinghouse.info

The Integrity and Dignity of the White House Became a Scum Pond of Betrayals and Gutter Smears Under Bush July 24, 2003 BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, one of the smartest and most forthright senators BuzzFlash has met, is accusing the White House of trying to smear him as untrustworthy. What is their goal? Removing him from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Why are the thugs in the White House upset with Durbin? Because he told the truth about the uranium lie: the CIA had warned the White House that the Niger document was probably forged, but the White House went ahead and included it in Bush's speech anyway. (See: "Senator Accuses White House of Retaliation") buzzflash.com



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