DECEMBER 6-1, 03 Archives

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US pushes through tough IAEA resolution targeting Iran December 6, 2003 By Peter Symonds After lengthy and bitter wrangling, the US administration last week forced its European counterparts to accept an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution on Iran’s nuclear industry that provides the framework for tough punitive measures against Tehran. During the week-long negotiations, Washington demanded that the UN Security Council be asked to consider action against Iran for its alleged breaches of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. US officials flatly rejected two European drafts of the IAEA resolution as being too soft and insisted that “a trigger” for further measures be included.

Disappointing US jobs figures drive dollar to new low December 6, 2003 David Teather in New York The American economy added 57,000 jobs during November but that figure was far fewer than expected, adding to fears that the upturn is failing to translate into significant employment growth. The jobless rate in the US fell from 6% to 5.9%, the lowest it has been since March. November was the fourth consecutive month of employment gains. Economists, though, had been forecasting the creation of 150,000 jobs. The disappointing figures sent the dollar to a new low against the euro. The single European currency was worth $1.2144, up from $1.2066. The pound also gained, up to $1.7251, from $1.7193 To sustain the recovery, economists reckon that between 200,000 and 300,000 new jobs need to be created every month.

Surprise! Bush, the fake moderate, lies again about the economy December 6, 2003 By Jackson Thoreau Those glowing economic reports are election propaganda For months, we've been hearing from Bush that the economy is turning around, that Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are creating jobs, that the recession was all the fault of Clinton and then Sept. 11, 2001. It's campaign 2004 time, time for Bush to act like a moderate. It's time for Bush to feed us some more horse manure. It's time for me to upchuck.

U.S. takes aim at cheaper drugs December 6, 2003 LUKE ERIC PETERSON Forget about the liquor cabinet. It might be time to slap a lock on the medicine cabinet. Recently the U.S. Congress voted to approve a subsidy program that will help its senior citizens cope with rising prescription drug bills. But Congress refused to go down the road traveled by most other Western governments: using price caps to rein in spiraling drug costs. The bill, which President George Bush will sign into law Monday, forbids the government from using its purchasing power to negotiate better prices with the pharmaceutical industry. It also requires a study to be undertaken of price controls used in other countries that may hinder the profitability of U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies.

"Americans are being scammed" December 6, 2003 - former 9-11 Commissioner Max Cleland on CNN's Newsnight, Nov. 13, 2003 Referring to the Bush Administration's efforts to obstruct the 9-11 Commission's access to critical documents, former 9-11 Commissioner Max Cleland called them "disgusting" and "a scam." "Americans are being scammed," Cleland declared on CNN. President Bush has been trying to prevent a full investigation of 9-11 for two years now. Only due to the courage of the 9-11 family members has an official investigation begun, which is still being thwarted by the Bush Administration's refusal to release critical documents. The 9-11 Commission is a bi-partisan Commission created by Democrats and Republicans in Congress to investigate the unprecedented intelligence and air defense failures of 9-11. Bush's obstruction of this commission is an outrage and a scandal. Demand the truth! Get involved today in the 9-11 Truth movement!

Global Eye -- Blood Kin December 6, 2003 Chris Floyd Imagine these banner headlines, circa, say, 1998: President's Brother in Biz With Red Chinese! President's Brother Beds Prostitutes as Corporate Perk! President's Brother Hip-Deep in War Profiteering: The More Blood His White House Sibling Spills, the Fatter the Family Coffers! oo-boy! There would've been a hot time in the old media town with all that, eh? Wall-to-wall coverage, 24/7, Fox News frothing, Washington Post pounding, tabloids screaming -- "Oval Evil: Reds, Beds and Milking the Dead!" Earnest clucking in the halls of Congress: "We must get to the bottom of these unsavory connections." But of course, that was another millennium. In our new, more enlightened age, we humbly accept -- even celebrate -- the special privileges accorded to the great ones among us. And so, with a couple of honorable exceptions, the big-time American media lay a nice soft comfy quilt of silence over last month's revelations about presidential brother Neil Bush connections."

75 Tons Of Depleted Uranium Polluting Iraq Report December 6, 2003 by WASHINGTON ( -- U.S. forces unleashed at least 75 tons of toxic depleted uranium on Iraq during the war, reports the Christian Science Monitor. An unnamed U.S. Central Command spokesman disclosed to the Monitor last week that coalition forces fired 300,000 bullets coated with armored-piercing depleted uranium (DU) during the war. "The normal combat mix for these 30-mm rounds is five DU bullets to 1 -- a mix that would have left about 75 tons of DU in Iraq," wrote correspondent Scott Peterson. Peterson measured four sites around Baghdad struck with depleted uranium munitions and found high levels of radioactive contamination, but few warnings to this effect issued among the populace at large.

Rigging Iraq's Elections December 6, 2003 Ever since Bush was unable to unearth a single weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, he has shifted propaganda gears and talked more about how U.S. troops are installing democracy in Iraq. But the truth of the matter is, Bush doesn't want any old democracy in Iraq. He only wants a so-called democracy if he can pick the head of the new government. That's why he's resisting the call from Iraq's leading Shiite cleric to hold popular elections in June. The Bush Administration fears that a direct election would bring a Shiite to power whom Washington might not be able to push around. That leader could align with Iran, or renationalize industries, or order the U.S. troops out. And Bush wants none of that.

Electronic votes touch off doubts December 6, 2003 By SCOTT SHEPARD The Atlanta Journal-Constitution WASHINGTON -- Election officials and computer scientists are increasingly concerned that touch-screen electronic voting machines like the ones used in Georgia may be inaccurate and even susceptible to sabotage. Among some Democrats, there is deep distrust developing about the devices, particularly since a top executive in the voting machine industry is a major fund-raiser for President Bush.

EPA's Mercury Proposal: More Toxic Pollution for a Longer Time December 6, 2003 Earlier this week NRDC and other environmental groups leaked a draft Environmental Protection Agency proposal that would weaken and delay efforts to clean up mercury emissions from America's coal-fired power plants. Those 1,100 facilities are the largest unregulated industrial sources of mercury contamination in the country. The 50 tons they spew into the air every year amount to roughly 40 percent of total U.S. industrial mercury emissions.

Man Of Peace - Child Of Light December 6, 2003 By Judith Moriarty It was February 2, 2001, and I had been invited to travel to Portland, Maine, to attend the sentencing of 77 year old peace activist Philip Berrigan. Philip did not deny that he and other demonstrators broke through a fence at a Maryland Air National Guard base and damaged two A-10 Thunderbolts. Berrigan said that the A-10 aircraft use armor-piercing ammunition that contains depleted uranium which he believes is the source of Gulf War Syndrome and the cause of numerous deaths and deformities of adults and children in Iraq and in our soldiers. He told the judge, of comparable age, "I was acting according to my conscience and the precepts of non-violent principles and laws". Berrigan was sentenced along with Susan Crane, 57, to a year in Federal Prison. Would that he had been an Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, etc., criminal; or had been involved in the billions of the Savings and Loans heist (Neil Bush-Silvarado) he'd have been a free man.

Teacher sues over limits on history curriculum December 6, 2003 A seventh-grade social studies teacher in Presque Isle who said he was barred from teaching about non-Christian civilizations has sued his school district, claiming it violated his First Amendment right of free expression. Gary Cole of Washburn, a teacher at Skyway Middle School, sued School Administrative District 1 in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Cole alleged that complaints by "a small group of fundamentalist Christian individuals" led to the creation of a curriculum "which never mentions religions other than Christianity and never teaches the history of civilizations other than Christian civilizations."

Secretary of Defense Aims to Privatize the U.S. Military December 5, 2003 by James Ridgeway WASHINGTON, D.C.—If Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has his way, the vaunted U.S. military of the future will be transformed into what amounts to corporate-owned units. The daffy secretary calls his plan "outsourcing." The intention, he claims, is to put the lid on money going into expanding of the army so it can be diverted to new technologies such as Rummy's favorite hobby, fighting wars from space. Rumsfeld has already outsourced much of the logistics and supply functions of the military to private firms, especially to Cheney's old employer Halliburton. There are now 90-odd companies competing to provide private soldiers from places like Fiji and Nepal to work as machine-gun-toting guards in Iraq.

Interview with anti-U.S. Iraqi cell December 5, 2003 By P. MITCHELL PROTHERO "It was then I realized that they had come as occupiers and not as liberators," he says. "And my colleagues and I then voted to fight. So we began to meet and plan. We met with others and have tried to buy weapons. None of us are afraid to die, but it is hard. We are just men, workers, not soldiers." While he says many American soldiers have offended him and his men, Abu Mujhid acknowledges some have been polite. Behavior, he says, has saved some of their lives. "There have been some that say 'hello' or 'peace be unto you' in Arabic to me," he says. "They give our children sweets and do their jobs with respect. One of these men I even see as my friend. So we were conducting an operation, about to shoot at a Humvee one night when I realized it was the nice soldier. I told my man not to shoot him. "But others treat us like dogs. I saw one put his boot on the head of an old man lying on the ground (during a raid.) Even Saddam would not have done such a thing."

1,700 U.S. soldiers quit Iraq December 5, 2003 PARIS, (Kyodo via COMTEX) One thousand and seven hundred U.S. soldiers have deserted their posts in Iraq, with many of them failing to return to military duty after getting permission to go back to the United States, according to the French weekly magazine Le Canard Enchaine. The magazine, known for its satires and exposes, said the French intelligence agency obtained the information from what it described an "American colleague." Citing a senior French official posted in Washington, the magazine also said that 7,000 U.S. soldiers have left Iraq allegedly due to psychological troubles and other illnesses. Some 2,200 others sustained serious injuries including the loss of limbs, it said.

Alarming rise in suicides among US troops in Iraq December 5, 2003 By Jeff Riley One grim indicator of the sinking morale of US occupation forces in Iraq is the alarming number of suicides among American soldiers. The deaths of at least 17 US troops in Iraq—15 Army personnel and two Marines—have been confirmed as suicides over the past seven months, according to a recent Associated Press review of Army casualty reports. Nearly all of the suicides have occurred since May 1, when the Bush administration declared an end to major combat operations. This number represents more than 10 percent of non-combat deaths there. According to one estimate, US troops in Iraq are committing suicide at three times the usual rate. Dozens of other deaths are currently under investigation, and the real number of suicides could be significantly higher. Over 500 soldiers have recently been evacuated from Iraq for mental health reasons. The Army has sent a team of mental health specialists to Iraq to assess what is perceived as a growing problem of both depression and suicide.

US fires Guantanamo defence team December 5, 2003 James Meek A team of military lawyers recruited to defend alleged terrorists held by the US at Guantanamo Bay was dismissed by the Pentagon after some of its members rebelled against the unfair way the trials have been designed, the Guardian has learned. Some members of the new legal defence team remain deeply unhappy with the trials - known as "military commissions" - believing them to be slanted towards the prosecution and an affront to modern US military justice. "The first day, when they were being briefed on the dos and don'ts, at least a couple said: 'You can't impose these restrictions on us because we can't properly represent our clients.' "When the group decided they weren't going to go along, they were relieved. They reported in the morning and got fired that afternoon."

Bush Ministry of Disinformation Editor Gets "Freedom" Medal December 5, 2003 There are two departments in the Bush Ministry of Disinformation: one for plebian lowbrows who don't like the read - the Fox News Channel - and another for effete reactionary highbrows who enjoy newspaper ink on their fingers - the Wall Street Journal, or more appropriately the War Street Journal since the rag has repeatedly called for mass murder in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. It was no big surprise when Bush awarded former War Street Journal editor and now editor emeritus Robert Bartley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which should, for the sake of accuracy, be renamed the Dictator Medal of Mindfuck, since that's what Bartley, a far rightwing ideologue, has done to the American people, or those who read the War Street Journal.

Dems want inquiry into reports of Medicare bribe December 5, 2003 By William M. Welch and Andrea Stone USA TODAY WASHINGTON — Democrats and a legal watchdog group have asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate allegations that Republicans offered a House member $100,000 in contributions for his son's election campaign if he would vote for a Medicare prescription drug benefit passed by Congress last month.

Israeli Soldier Describes Brutalizing Palestinians December 5, 2003 Palestine OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - A former Israeli soldier who served three years in the Gaza Strip has described Israeli treatment of Palestinian civilians as befitting 'animals, criminals, and thieves'. Furer describes several types of 'sadistic' behaviors by Israeli soldiers including beating Palestinians and then taking souvenir pictures with them. "I remember how we humiliated a dwarf who came to the checkpoint every day on his wagon. They forced him to have his picture taken on the horse, hit him and degraded for a good half hour." Among the accounts narrated by Furer are stories of soldiers having souvenir pictures with Palestinians they had beaten up, soldiers urinating on the head of a Palestinian because the man had the nerve to smile at a soldier and how one soldier, nicknamed Dado, forced a Palestinian to stand on four legs and bark like a dog.

Government By Illusion Of Normalcy December 5, 2003 By Stan Moore The highest-level participants in the U.S. Government, of both political parties, are not stupid. They know the depth and breadth of the massive problems facing our nation and our civilization. And, rather than solve these systemic problems, they are instead implementing a policy of illusions of normalcy, security, and prosperity so that the wealthy ruling elite can siphon and skim the most personal wealth from the economy until the sh*t hits the fan. Then, it will be every man for himself, with the wealthy having rigged the national security forces to protect their own physical interests and security while the "Big Collapse" of industrial civilization thins out the masses of the "common people".

Profits and Layoffs December 5, 2003 By A. Gary Shilling The jobless recovery, much in the news lately, is a scary notion. That's why optimists seize upon any shred of evidence that employment is coming back, such as the small downtick in unemployment claims in mid-November. And we keep hearing that U.S. unemployment really isn't so bad after all--just 6.1%, versus three percentage points higher in Europe. So there's nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. Layoffs are a key concern. And that will have baleful consequences for investors who are betting on better times.

NEOCON IMPERIALISM OR APOCALYPSE NOW? Part one December 5, 2003  By  B. A. Livingstone "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. - Samuel Adams. This document is an attempt to call attention to the geopolitical realities that are the embodiment of the current Bush administrations foreign policy and its apocalyptic consequences for the Middle East and the world.

Truth is, we’re terrorized because we’re hated December 5, 2003 By ROBERT BOWMAN, retired lieutenant colonel and a frequent lecturer on national security issues. You said that we are a target because we stand for democracy, freedom and human rights in the world. Nonsense! We are the target of terrorists because, in much of the world, our government stands for dictatorship, bondage and human exploitation. We are the target of terrorists because we are hated. And we are hated because our government has done hateful things. In how many countries have agents of our government deposed popularly elected leaders and replaced them with puppet military dictators who were willing to sell out their own people to American multinational corporations?

Is the President a Pathological Liar? Bush’s unhealthy relationship with reality December 5, 2003 by David CornIt Conservative radio talk-show host Michael Medved was trying to bait me, to push me into saying something so out of whack about the commander in chief that I would destroy my own credibility before the audience of his nationally syndicated show. It was a ruse I’ve become quite familiar with in recent weeks, since I published a book demurely titled The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception. In scores of media interviews, right-wing hosts have pressed me to pronounce Bush the all-time biggest SOB-of-a-liar in the White House and essentially accuse him of being a psycho. I have resisted the invitations, choosing to stick to my just-the-facts case that Bush has misled the public on a host of issues — the war in Iraq, his tax cuts, global warming, Social Security, his own past and more.

Take the Deal, Ralph! December 5, 2003 Here’s the bottom line reality: if Ralph Nader runs as a Green Party candidate for President or as an Independent candidate (which is apparently a recent consideration of his.), Nader’s candidacy will, in large part, be a tool of the RNC Campaign to Re-elect Bush. Nader may run as an Independent, by the way, because some members of the Green Party (although not all) believe that Ralph has drunk the water:

In Bhopal, the Poison Still Flows December 5, 2003 By Pierre Prakash La Liberation Nineteen years after the pollution episode, contamination continues to kill people in India. It’s a ghost factory where time seems to have been stopped short nineteen years ago. Up to now, nothing has been cleaned up at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal India where the greatest industrial catastrophe of all time took place. Tank E-610, the source of the gas leak that killed 3,000 people in a single night and has killed another 10,000 victims since then, is still there in the grass, as an additional provocation. Set in the vegetation, the gigantic maze of vats and pipes has never been dismantled. The spun glass and polystyrene that insulated the pipes fall in tatters. The vats, still full of toxic products, leak onto the ground. In some places, the obviously noxious effluents take the visitor by the throat.

Shut Up, Don't Think, Don't Learn From Others or You're Fired December 5, 2003 By Starr Kelso Michael Edmondson worked for the same company in the tiny one company town of Elk City, Idaho for 22 years.  He worked his way up from laborer to supervisor.  Along the way he lost his left thumb in a work accident and later injured his lungs in a fire at work. On his last work evaluation he received all “very good” marks from his plant manager.  A public meeting was posted on the company bulletin board encouraging all to attend a meeting to “Save Elk City.”  He went to the meeting.  He did not speak up at the meeting or express any opinions to fellow employees at work or otherwise on the issues discussed.  Within days of Michael’s attending the meeting a decision to fire him was made by the company’s general manager. The lone dissent on Idaho’s Court warned that “allowing employers to terminate employment based on an individual’s association and speech regarding public issues . . .invites employers to squelch the association, speech and debate so necessary to our system of government.”  As Idaho’s largest daily paper, The Idaho Statesman, concisely stated in its editorial, “Supreme Court speaks: Shut up and get to work.”

Our Railroads: A Classic Example of How Greed is Destroying our Economy and the Incomes of Working Americans December 5, 2003 By Chuck Kelly *Matthew Rose, CEO of Burlington Northern, made $5,024,285 in 2002. *Richard Davidson, CEO of Union Pacific, made $16,278,789 in 2002. Undoubtedly, they cite their outstanding management skills as justification for such high incomes. These skills would include cutting labor and equipment costs to the bare bones—to the point where both people and machines are stretched to their breaking points. Employees not only experience more stressful working conditions, they also find that their vulnerability to future layoffs prevents them from pressing for higher wages—even enough to keep up with inflation. In today’s economy, it seems that only low-level employees must make the sacrifices necessary for corporate profits.

Bush and Blair are in Trouble December 5, 2003 John Pilger Shortly before the disastrous Bush visit to Britain, Tony Blair was at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. It was an unusual glimpse of a state killer whose effete respectability has gone. His perfunctory nod to "the glorious dead" came from a face bleak with guilt. As William Howard Russell of the Times wrote of another prime minister responsible for the carnage in the Crimea, "He carries himself like one with blood on his hands." Having shown his studied respect to the Queen, whose prerogative allowed him to commit his crime in Iraq, Blair hurried away. "Sneak home and pray you'll never know," wrote Siegfried Sassoon in 1917, "The hell where youth and laughter go."

Looting the Future December 5, 2003 By PAUL KRUGMAN In the early months of the Bush administration, one often heard that "the grown-ups are back in charge." But if being a grown-up means planning for the future — in fact, if it means anything beyond marital fidelity — then this is the least grown-up administration in American history. It governs like there's no tomorrow. Nothing in our national experience prepared us for the spectacle of a government launching a war, increasing farm subsidies and establishing an expensive new Medicare entitlement — and not only failing to come up with a plan to pay for all this spending in the face of budget deficits, but cutting taxes at the same time.

U.S. OK'd ' dirty war' in Argentina December 5, 2003 BY DANIEL A. GRECH (Miami Herald) BUENOS AIRES New evidence suggests that Henry Kissinger gave the Argentine military 'a green light' in its 1970s-80s campaign against leftists. At the height of the Argentine military junta's bloody ''dirty war'' against leftists in the 1970s, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told the Argentine foreign minister that ''we would like you to succeed,'' a newly declassified U.S. document reveals. The transcript of the meeting between Kissinger and Navy Adm. César Augusto Guzzetti in New York on Oct. 7, 1976, is the first documentary evidence that the Gerald Ford administration approved of the junta's harsh tactics, which led to the deaths or ''disappearance'' of some 30,000 people from 1975 to 1983.

William and Sue Kamstra and sons. He lost a $43,000-a-year job, forcing them to live at the mission.


A New Kind Of Poverty December 4, 2003 Anna Quindlin THERE’S A NEW kind of homelessness in the city, and a new kind of hunger, and a new kind of need and humiliation, but it has managed to stay invisible. “What we’re seeing are many more working families on the brink of eviction,” says Mary Brosnahan, who runs the Coalition for the Homeless. “They fall behind on the rent, and that’s it, they’re on the street.” Adds Julia Erickson, the executive director of City Harvest, which distributes food to soup kitchens and food pantries, “Look at the Rescue Mission on Lafayette Street. They used to feed single men, often substance abusers, homeless. Now you go in and there are bike messengers, clerks, deli workers, dishwashers, people who work on cleaning crews. Soup kitchens have been buying booster seats and highchairs. You never used to see young kids at soup kitchens.”

US Exports $20 million in Shackles, Electro-Shock Technology Expanding Global Trade, Supplies States US Condemned for Torture December 4, 2003 (Washington, DC) A new Amnesty International report charges that in 2002, the Bush Administration violated the spirit of its own export policy and approved the sale of equipment implicated in torture to Yemen, Jordan, Morocco and Thailand, despite the countries' documented use of such weapons to punish, mistreat and inflict torture on prisoners. The US is also alleged to have handed suspects in the 'war on terror' to the same countries. The total value of US exports of electro-shock weapons was $14.7 million in 2002 and exports of restraints totaled $4.4 million in the same period. The Commerce and State Departments approved these sales, permitting 45 countries to purchase electro-shock technology, including 19 that had been cited for the use of such weapons to inflict torture since 1990.

US soldiers’ families, veterans go to Iraq to oppose war December 4, 2003 By Bill Vann A delegation of family members of US soldiers and military veterans arrived in Baghdad Sunday on a two-week tour. Most have voiced opposition to the US occupation, while some said they wanted to see for themselves the real effects of the Bush administration’s policies in the country and the conditions facing both US soldiers and the Iraqi people. The group is led by Fernando Suarez de Solar, a Mexican citizen who lives in Escondido, California, near San Diego. His 20-year-old son Jesus Alberto was among the first Marines to die in the US invasion last March. The young man lost his life to an unexploded US cluster bomb. In the wake of his son’s death, Suarez, 48, has become a vocal opponent of US policy in Iraq,

Lorain County couple raise money to buy flak jacket for son in Iraq December 4, 2003 (AP) Henrietta Township - A couple helped raise $1,500 to buy the military's best bulletproof vest to send their soldier son in Iraq because the government has not been able to get the vests to all troops. Charles and Marilyn Zvosechz didn't want their 32-year-old son to wait. Army Sgt. David Zvosechz is stationed at the Baghdad Airport. The flak jacket, The Interceptor, has ceramic plates that can stop assault rifle rounds and can shield a soldier from shrapnel, according to the Pentagon. Older-model vests can protect against shrapnel and other low-speed projectiles, but not high-velocity rifle rounds.

Washington warns five countries over weapons of mass destruction December 4, 2003 (DPA) A high-ranking U S official has directly warned five countries that pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will bring ''adverse consequences'' including seizures of illicit materials. ''Rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba, whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to US interests, will learn that their covert programmes will not escape either detection or consequences,'' said John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security yesterday. ''While we will pursue diplomatic solutions whenever possible, the United States and its allies are also willing to deploy more robust

Army has denied rape victim counseling, says mom December 4, 2003 (AP) TACOMA -- A Stryker brigade soldier from Fort Lewis who said she was raped in Kuwait has told her mother that the Army has isolated her from her unit and denied her counseling and other support, including a visit from a chaplain. She was sent to Camp Udairi in Kuwait with the Stryker brigade last month to prepare for assignment in Iraq. Wharton said her daughter, a four-year veteran who joined the Army at 19, told her she was near the camp showers late Friday or early Saturday when a masked man with "an American voice" hit her in the back of the head. When she regained consciousness, she said, she was gagged and bound with cord, then was hit in the head and face again and blacked out a second time, her mother said. After she awakened a second time, she'd realized she'd been raped, Wharton said. She said she was still bleeding from the attack Tuesday, her mother said. "Something has to change, and I understand that something like this can happen, but I'd expect it from the enemy," Wharton told The AP.

The Entangling American Alliance With Israel: More of the American Right Catches On December 4, 2003 by Mark Dankof for Al Bawaba The American Neo-Conservative War Party, in firm control of both major political parties in the United States, is getting increasingly and obviously more desperate. The transparent desperation comes in the wake of plummeting opinion polls about Mr. Bush’s preemptive war in Iraq. This in turn is related to brewing public discontent over provably false pre-war intelligence estimates, skyrocketing war bills, a steady stream of young American deaths in what is demonstrably now an urban guerrilla war in Baghdad, the ongoing public exposure of the crooked character of no-bid contract awards and accompanying war profiteering by the President’s friends in entrenched places like Halliburton Oil and Bechtel, and insane suggestions by key Administration advisors that an expansion of the preemptive war doctrine may soon include Syria and Iran.

Israel Approves Construction Of More Homes At Settlements December 4, 2003 By John Ward Anderson JERUSALEM -- The government of Israel has approved the construction of more than 1,720 new houses in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this year, according to critics of the settlements who say they undercut a U.S.-backed peace plan that mandates a freeze on settlement expansion. The planned building is in addition to at least 1,000 homes and other infrastructure projects under construction in the West Bank, which Israel is also encircling with a massive fence complex, according to groups and officials that monitor settlement activity. Two weeks ago, Israeli soldiers began expanding the boundary of Beitar Ilit, a community of more than 20,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews about five miles southwest of Jerusalem. Beitar Ilit is one of the fastest-growing settlements in the West Bank; it added 2,900 residents last year.

Fresh-Water Sources Under Threat December 4, 2003 By Oliver Moore Supplies of fresh water in Canada are under increasing strain as glaciers recede in some places to levels not seen for as many as 10 millenniums, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Canadians have historically been among the highest users of water in the world, a habit that many ascribe to the enormous masses of fresh water the country possesses. But the latest research by Statscan suggests that these bountiful resources are under threat.

"the inexplicable half hour dawdle of our Commander in Chief at a primary school after hearing the nation was under deadly attack"


9/11 IN NEVERNEVERLAND Widow's Bush Treason Suit Vanishes in Blink of Media Eye December 3, 2003 by W. David Kubiak Think you're already amazed, alarmed or appalled enough by the state of US journalism today? Chew on this a while and think again. Grieving New Hampshire widow who lost her man on 9/11 refuses the government's million dollar hush money payoff, studies the facts of the day for nearly two years, and comes to believe the White House "intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen" to launch a so-called "War on Terrorism" for personal and political gain. She retains a prominent lawyer, a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, who served with distinction under both Democrats and Republicans and was once a strong candidate for the governor's seat. The attorney files a 62-page complaint in federal district court (including 40 pages of prima facie evidence)

Human Rights Testimonies from Iraq December 3, 2003 #1 - Testimony of an Iraqi Minor Detained and Mistreated by US Forces "At 2:30am, US troops came to our house, and ordered our entire family outside. They ransacked the house. They took our money and a gold wedding necklace belonging to my mother. My father, cousin, older brother, and I were tied and taken away. We were not told why we were being taken. The first day, our hands were still tied behind our back with the plastic ties. Because of this, we were unable to drink any water. My brother asked for some water. The guard gagged him and began beating him around his mouth until blood started flowing from his mouth. My brother screamed in pain. We were beaten in the neck, back, and behind." [The boy demonstrated how and where he was beaten. He indicated that his buttocks were held apart and he was kicked in the anus]. It is because of this beating that my father is now suffering from a heart condition. I was released wearing only my underwear and forced to walk back to my home in broad daylight. I was humiliated. Also, everyone thought from my dress that I had been caught stealing. I was also badly sunburned from my time in detention without shade. The officers told me upon my release, Don't tell anyone about what happened here, or we'll come pick you up again.

A terrorist nation called the United States of America December 3, 2003 By PAUL CAMPOS This is the story of a man who was taken into legal custody under false pretenses and thrown immediately into solitary confinement. He was held in a tiny cell, illuminated for 24 hours a day, which he never left except to be interrogated. Guards would hammer on the cell door every half hour around the clock, to keep him awake. After a month of this, he couldn't walk any more. He wasn't allowed to talk without being punished; he could not shower or shave; he had no access to any reading material, a lawyer, or anyone in the outside world. After two months, the government that seized him decided that he wasn't guilty of the crime they had suspected he had committed. But they kept him in solitary confinement for another five months anyway. The government's lawyers did everything in their considerable power to keep the prisoner from getting a hearing. Indeed, they did their best to obscure that the prisoner even existed: His name didn't appear on any list of arrested or detained persons, so his family assumed he had been made to "disappear," as people do sometimes under totalitarian regimes.

Massacre in Samarra: US lies and self-delusion December 3, 2003 By David Walsh The US military’s initial account of Sunday’s firefight in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, uncritically relayed to the American people by a servile media, has proven to be a tissue of lies. It turns out that the “major victory” over the Iraqi resistance consisted of American forces blasting away indiscriminately in Samarra’s city center, killing innocent men, women and children, damaging property and buildings—including a mosque and a kindergarten—and further enraging the local population. The Samarra incident in its various aspects—the battle itself, the military’s claims, the media’s role—is a microcosm of the US occupation of Iraq.

IRAQ: Is the US empire invincible? December 2, 2003 BY DOUG LORIMER Seven months ago, when the US army rolled into Baghdad, the US war machine seemed invincible. The US rulers seemed to be in reach of realising their goal of conquering Iraq and using it as a secure base from which to establish imperial domination throughout the oil-rich Persian Gulf region. However, Iraq has begun to turn into a nightmare for Washington. Instead of being a stepping stone on the road to a “new American century” of unchallengeable US global domination, Iraq has become a military quagmire, bogging the US army down in a bloody and unwinnable guerrilla war.

Noam Chomsky, Interview: December 3, 2003 "Of course, it was all about Iraq's resources' They didn't decide to invade Eastern Congo where there's much worse massacres going on. Of course it was Iraq's energy resources. It's not even a question. Iraq's one of the major oil producers in the world. It has the second largest reserves and it's right in the heart of the Gulf's oil producing region, which US intelligence predicts is going to be two thirds of world resources in coming years. The invasion of Iraq had a number of motives, and one was to illustrate the new National Security Strategy, which declares that the United States will control the world permanently by force if necessary and will eliminate any potential challenge to that domination. It is called pre-emptive war."

The Year Democracy Ended December 3, 2003 By Bob Fitrakis - As the year ends, 2003 will be remembered by future historians as the year the pretense of democracy in the United States ended. Since the 1940s, conservatives have accepted the assumption of economist Joseph Schumpeter that democracy in a mass society existed of little more than the following: the adult population could vote; the votes were fairly counted; and the masses could choose between elites from one of two parties. With the most recent revelations about the 2000 Bush coup in Florida disclosed in the shocking stolen Diebold memos, the Bush family has signaled that an authoritarian right-wing dynasty is the future course for American politics.

Who Tried To Bribe Rep. Smith? Stop protecting him, Congressman December 3, 2003 By Timothy Noah On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, [Rep.] Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat.

Reaction of Sen. Patrick Leahy to the Administration's Retreat from Mercury Reductions December 3, 2003 "Once again the Bush Administration is catering to industry wishes, letting big polluters off the hook at the expense of the public's health. Never before have the big polluters had this kind of clout in any previous White House, and they are cashing in, big time. The Administration claims this reversal will give power plants more flexibility to reduce mercury pollution faster, but it really gives them the flexibility to ignore the dangerous health effects of mercury and the new technologies now available to control it. Downwind states like Vermont will continue to get reap more mercury pollution for decades to come while corporate polluters soak up more profits. We know who the biggest polluters are when it comes to mercury emissions, and the Administration is preparing to let every one of them off the hook."

'Bush Is Dangerous, Incompetent, Flakey' Latham Defends Bush Comments December 3, 2003 New Labor Leader Mark Latham today sought to justify calling US President George W Bush incompetent and dangerous, saying in a democracy he had the right to use forceful language. Mr Latham described Mr Bush earlier this year as the most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory and a flaky and dangerous US president. He said he made the comments in relation to the United States-led war in Iraq because he believed the policies were wrong.

County processed more than 4,000 filings for foreclosures December 3, 2003 By Jeffrey Cohan Pittsburgh Post-Gazette An Allegheny County record will be broken this morning, but it's no cause for celebration. The 9 a.m. sheriff's sale will culminate the busiest year on record for mortgage foreclosures and tax-lien sales. For the first time ever, the sheriff's office has processed more than 4,000 filings from creditors who want to seize real estate from debtors. Already, creditors have filed more than 400 properties for the January sale, setting a pace that could push the county above the 5,000 mark in 2004. "Where is it going to stop?" said Marty Madigan, who has the grim task of managing the monthly auctions of property for the sheriff's office. In fact, this year's record of 4,337 is more than three times the total from any year in the 1980s.

Bloodiest month in Iraq leaves 105 troops dead December 2, 2003 By Reeves & Cornwell The bloodiest month since the United States led the invasion and occupation of Iraq has come to a deadly close after insurgents killed 14 people from five nations in a weekend of apparently carefully calculated attacks. Days after President George Bush slipped briefly into the country on Thanksgiving, his opponents responded by killing civilian contract workers, military intelligence agents, diplomats and soldiers. Last night, the Americans claimed they had killed 54 Iraqis.

It's an around-the-clock fight to save lives at Iraq combat hospital December 2, 2003 By Theola Labbe BAGHDAD, Iraq Since the largest U.S. Army hospital in Iraq opened its doors on April 10, nearly all U.S. casualties have passed through its first-floor emergency room. Some come already dead. Some arrive with one arm instead of two, a shattered leg or a face wiped away by an explosion. Assaults on U.S. troops have reached as high as 45 a day. The number of soldiers treated for serious combat injuries is not publicly disclosed. Instead, the hospital releases statistics on patient admissions — a total of 1,659 U.S. soldiers through Oct. 30. The combined number of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi patients admitted per month has increased since September, and this month was expected to reach about 400, White said. The worst that Maj. Michael Hilliard, 33, an emergency physician, saw back home in San Antonio were car-crash and gunshot victims. Here, he estimates he has treated the broken bodies of more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers. "The injuries are horrific," he said. "They are beyond anything that you see in a textbook, and they are the worst that I have ever seen."

CNN And Fox Lied About Sammara Massacre December 2, 2003 Moshe Ben Gurion Tel Aviv, Israel I do not understand how the American news media is lying over and over again. Yesterday, Reuters correspondent interviewed locals in Sammara Iraq, who said that the Americans came and massacred civilians in the streets. This was 'expected' by the frustrated American military, since the Iraqi freedom fighters (whom the Americans conveniently call 'terrorists'), killed seven Spanish spies and two Japanese spies the day before. Later, CNN came with a new fabricated story about killing 54 Fidayeen Iraqi soldiers. CNN exaggeration continue unabated in describing the 'black uniforms' of the Iraqis, in order to create the impression that the Americans killed a real fighters and not just massacred civilians in the middle of the streets as Reuters reported. The American commander (self proclaimed hero), continued his fables by describing how an American tank blew up a building with all the 54 black dressed 'terrorists' inside. REAL AMERICAN HERO! This totally contradicted CNN previous report that a whole caravan was attacked from different directions, AND NOT from just one building! Al Jazeera exposed the Pentagon lies as a simple military bloodbath of civilians ('Mai Lay' all over again):

Thousands In Iran Bay For US Blood December 2, 2003 TEHRAN More than 10,000 Iranian revolutionary militia chanted "Death to America" outside the former US embassy in Tehran on Sunday, wishing defeat in Iraq on the "Great Satan." "The region will only see peace and calm when the occupiers get out," Yahya Rahim Safavi, head of both the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Bassij militia, told the crowd of men and women who had been bussed to the city centre compound. "We hope that the US is dealt a humiliating defeat in Iraq, so the US warmonger administration won't get re-elected to send US children to the Iraqi quagmire," he added. "The attack on Islam has begun, but the future of Islam is to spread peace and security throughout the world," Safavi said.

Freedom Requires Intelligence December 2, 2003 By Norman D. Livergood "If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson Throughout history, the amount of freedom that humans enjoyed has been roughly correlated with their intelligence. At present, unthinking, uninformed Americans (now a large percentage, unfortunately) are suffering from just the kind of fascistic plutocracy to which their level of intelligence entitles them. They are rapidly losing their freedom because they have allowed their intelligence to decrease to the point of suicidal ignorance.

Rumsfeld wins 'Foot in Mouth' award December 2, 2003 A bizarre comment by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction has been awarded the "Foot in Mouth" prize by Britain's Plain English Campaign. Mr Rumsfeld, renowned for his uncompromising tough talking, received the prize for the most baffling comment by a public figure. "Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know," Rumsfeld told a press briefing. "We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. "But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."

What we owe to NAFTA December 2, 2003 By Pat Buchanan Around Oct. 6, 38-year-old auto mechanic Jeff Cook decided to treat his wife and two daughters to dinner at Chi-Chi's in Beaver Valley Mall outside Pittsburgh. Within three weeks, Cook, suffering from acute liver failure, was fighting for his life. To save him, surgeons had a new liver flown in. They failed. Jeff Cook became, writes Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times, "the first person to die in what federal health officials say is the biggest food-borne outbreak of hepatitis A in the United States." As cases were being reported in locations hundreds of miles apart, the root of the outbreak was not some employee at the Beaver Valley Chi-Chi's who failed to wash his hands. The cause turns out to be green onions, trucked into the United States – from Mexico. 

Global Eye -- Naked Gun December 2, 2003 By Chris Floyd Don't kid yourself -- and don't let them kid you. When they come at you with that pious sugar, telling you how they're going to protect you, secure you, keep you free, you better run and check the back door – because that's where their goons will be breaking in. Last week, the U.S. Congress approved an expansion of FBI powers that will allow Attorney General John Ashcroft's federal police to arbitrarily seize records from a range of private businesses without bothering a judge or grand jury with any silly-billy nonsense about evidence or even suspicion of criminal intent. All Ashcroft's boys have to do is say, "Boo! Terrorism!" and they can take whatever they want.

Army soldier reports rape at camp in Kuwait December 2, 2003 (AP) TACOMA, Wash. A soldier reported she was raped at a desert post in Kuwait where her unit was preparing for its mission in Iraq, a military official said Sunday. Female soldiers said they were exercising caution in the camp after dark. There are about 310 women in the brigade of about 5,000 soldiers. "It's sad. You can't trust your own people," said Staff Sgt. Theresa Spicer, a supply sergeant with the brigade headquarters.

A Coward Goes to Baghdad December 1, 2001 by Doug Basham Forget "The eagle has landed." On Thursday, the turkey landed - on many Americans dinner plates, and on the runway of the airport formerly known as Saddam Hussein International. The stupidity of conservatives never ceases to amaze me, as well as that of the media (and the majority of the American people, come to think of it). And to MY way of thinking, no-one has got this trip right yet. Thus far, the focus has been on the secrecy surrounding the trip, the choice of Fox News to accompany the president, (which pretty much sums up his credibility level when he chooses the television equivalent of the National Enquirer to assist him in his chicanery). The focus has also been on whether or not it was a wise decision for the president to make (what? Like wisdom has been a staple of this administration thus far?)

Toll on U.S. troops in Iraq grows as wounded rolls approach 10,000 The Orlando Sentinel (KRT) - Nearly 10,000 U.S. troops have been killed, wounded, injured or become ill enough to require evacuation from Iraq since the war began, the equivalent of almost one Army division, according to the Pentagon.

U.S. abandons democratic values in Iraq By TOM BRODBECK Winnipeg Sun U.S. President George W. Bush and his advisors are going to have to come up with a new story pretty fast on why they invaded Iraq. Because what's left of their only remaining rationale for killing thousands of Iraqis and maiming thousands more is crumbling so fast, it's going to be unrecognizable by the New Year.

Only dictators ban television news By HELEN THOMAS HEARST NEWSPAPERS WASHINGTON -- The raid by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi officials on an Arab television network bureau in Baghdad and the ban on its broadcasts hardly fits my idea of how to spread democracy in the Middle East. Isn't that the first thing dictators do -- shut down broadcast outlets and newspapers? For those in power, tolerating a free press is difficult, even in a democracy. As a foreign occupier in Iraq, we are proving it is intolerable. The terrible irony here is that we pride ourselves on offering a model to the rest of the world on how to design -- and live by -- our constitutional freedoms.

Iraq's Shiites Insist on Democracy. Washington Cringes By ALEX BERENSON FOR seven months, the United States has tried to finesse two crucial questions about the future of Iraq: How much control will the country's Shiite majority have over the drafting of a constitution? And how Islamic will that constitution be? The answers could determine whether Iraq becomes a multiparty democracy, an Islamic theocracy, or even slides into civil war. Last week, those questions took on a new urgency. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most important Shiite religious leader in Iraq and probably the most powerful local leader of any kind, said he opposed the American plan to turn over power to an Iraqi government next year without direct elections.

US military adopts “no-holds barred” tactics against Iraqi resistance By James Conachy The Bush administration’s response to the escalating struggle against the occupation has been to direct the US military to use whatever means it has at its disposal to root out and crush the Iraqi resistance. Major General Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, which is policing cities such as Fallujah in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, told journalists on November 18 that commanders had, up until last month, been “a little bit reluctant” to use helicopter gunships, anti-tank aircraft and precision-guided bombs against suspected resistance in civilian areas. “Now,” he declared, “there’s no-holds barred on what we used.

Dozens killed in Samarra carnage US occupation authorities in Iraq have raised the Samarra carnage toll to 54. An unnamed military spokesman on Monday did not specify if those killed were resistance fighters or civilians. Earlier, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bill MacDonald claimed  that 46 people had been killed when troops fought off multiple attacks on military convoys on Sunday. But local residents said US troops killed innocent bystanders when they opened fire on anything that moved around midday.

The Soldiers At My Front Door by John Dear But I was surprised the following morning to hear 75 soldiers singing, shouting and screaming as they jogged down Main Street, passed our St. Joseph’s church, back and forth around town for an hour. It was 6 a.m., and they woke me up with their war slogans, chants like “Kill! Kill! Kill!” and “Swing your guns from left to right; we can kill those guys all night.” Their chants were disturbing, but this is war. They have to psyche themselves up for the kill. They have to believe that flying off to some tiny, remote desert town in Iraq where they will march in front of someone’s house and kill poor young Iraqis has some greater meaning besides cold-blooded murder.

'Bush's Operation Clean Sweep: World War IV in 2004' December 1, 2003 By John Stanton Even though Bush II will lose the popular vote in the US presidential election of 2004, his electoral college victory seems assured. With Republican party governors firmly in charge of Florida, California, Texas and New York, and supported by a whopping Bush campaign war chest approaching $200 million, dubious electronic voting schemes courtesy of Diebold, Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors (, it seems certain that Bush will make it back to the Oval Office through the back door that is the Electoral College. And if not the Electoral College then by benefit of a rebel attack on US soil which kills thousands of Americans and leads to the suspension of the US Constitution.

The Invisible Recovery December 1, 2003 By Steve Perry For months now the front pages of daily papers across the country have heralded sporadic sightings of a fresh economic upturn. But for most working Americans, any return to prosperity is barely a rumor at present. While it's true that the economy has stopped shedding jobs for the moment (after losing a net 2 to 3 million of them in the first two and a half years of the Bush administration), the turnaround is so far a fairly paltry one in which a limited number of new jobs mostly involve menial work for low pay. Meanwhile the specter of crushing debt--both national and household--looms ever larger.

Snowballing debt awaits tomorrow's taxpayers December 1, 2003 By Ronald Brownstein In just the last few months, Congress, at Bush's request, has doled out $87 billion to rebuild and secure Iraq and Afghanistan; approved a $401-billion defense appropriation bill, the largest ever; completed a $1-trillion tax cut on top of the $1.35-trillion reduction the president won in 2001; and approved a Medicare prescription drug benefit that will cost at least $400 billion over the next decade, probably more. If the energy bill is revived next year, add to the list at least another $26 billion in tax cuts for energy companies.

Court Says Redistricting Unconstitutional December 1, 2003 AP DENVER Colorado Supreme Court Rules Republicans' Redistricting Unconstitutional; May Impact 2004 Races. In a decision that has national implications, the Colorado Supreme Court threw out the state's new congressional districts Monday saying the GOP-led Legislature redrew the maps in violation of the state constitution.

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