JANUARY 19-13, 2004 Archives

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The Case for Impeachment HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS January 19, 2004 By: Ted Lang The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4 -- It seems that everyone who reads that phrase, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” must know what it means, whether one experiences that expression for the first time, or whether it serves as a tired and worn out qualifier justifying the impeachment of a sitting president.  And it is doubtful that the average American even knows what impeachment means – they assume it means removal from office.  But look again at the precise wording offered in Article II of our Constitution; it clearly indicates that removal from office can occur only after both impeachment and conviction. thepeoplesvoice.org

The Cost of Israel to the American People January 17, 2004 by Richard Curtiss By now many Americans are aware that Israel, with a population of only 5.8 million people, is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, and that Israel’s aid plus U.S. aid to Egypt’s 65 million people for keeping the peace with Israel has, for many years, consumed more than half of the U.S. bi-lateral foreign aid budget world-wide. What few Americans understand however, is the steep price they pay in many other fields for the U.S.-Israeli relationship, which in turn is a product of the influence of Israel’s powerful U.S. lobby on American domestic politics and has nothing to do with U.S. strategic interests, U.S. national interests, or even with traditional American support for self-determination, human rights, and fair play overseas. alhewar.com

America's final wakeup call January 17, 2004 By Arianna Huffington Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's damning book may finally clue Americans in to the deadly consequences of being governed by a disengaged dolt in the hands of a fanatical cabal. Struggling to reconcile the ever-widening gulf between what the Bush administration claims to be true and what is actually true is getting harder by the day. Fortunately, Paul O'Neill has a timely, if disturbing, diagnosis, backed up by some 19,000 pages of lab results: The White House is being run by a band of out-and-out fanatics. salon.com

Damned lies and war loot January 17, 2004 By Mike Carlton More and more evidence is coming in. The jigsaw pieces are fitting into place. It is becoming appallingly clear that President George Bush is an arrant liar and - as Mark Latham correctly suggested - "the most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory". smh.com

U.S. still holds children at Guantanamo January 17, 2004 By Sue Pleming (Reuters) - The United States has held three child detainees at its military base in Guantanamo Bay for more than a year and the Pentagon says it has no plans to move or free them, despite international pressure."They have been in detention since the early part of last year without any direct contact with their families or knowledge about what is going to happen to them"Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch reuters.co.uk

Human rights groups: US may be guilty of “collective punishment” war crime in Iraq January 17, 2004 By Joanne Laurier US military forces in Iraq appear to be committing war crimes by detaining the relatives of suspected insurgents and demolishing their homes, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the international human rights organization. wsws.org

US$ plunge could lead to full-blown financial crisis January 17, 2004 By William Choong If confidence goes, lenders will pull loans and cause dollar to crash There are fears the American appetite for Japanese cars, Chinese clothing and Malaysian electronics could cause a global financial crisis sparked by a run on the US dollar. This has led to a massive current account deficit of more than US$500 billion (S$850 billion) - a far cry from 10 years ago, when the US enjoyed a trade surplus of US$82 billion. Its budget deficit could hit US$450 billion this year - another record, and a dramatic turnaround from 2001, when government coffers were in the black. This has led commentators to lament how America's twin deficits could grow into a 'full-blown, Third World-style financial crisis'. straitstimes.asia1.com

Are You Going To Get Mad? january 17, 2004 by Charley Reese It is now about as clear as it's going to get that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Secretary of State Colin Powell even contradicted himself (in his U.N. speech) by admitting recently that there is no evidence of any link between Saddam and al-Qaida. antiwar.com

Pentagon Withholds Cold War Medical Data January 17, 2004 By ROBERT GEHRKE (AP) - The Pentagon is continuing to withhold documents on Cold War chemical and biological weapons tests that used unsuspecting sailors as "human samplers" after telling Congress it had released all medically relevant information. apnews1.iwon.com

News Blackout January 17, 2004 The FCC was getting ready to loosen the rules limiting media concentration. A grassroots movement had sprung up to derail the plan. But you wouldn’t have learned much about the controversy from many news outlets owned by the big conglomerates that were eager to cash in.ajr.org

Israel answers to no one on nuclear weapons January 17, 2004 By CRAIG NELSON Jerusalem -- The White House celebrated news last month that Libya will dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and that Iran will permit snap inspections of its nuclear program. But the biggest nuclear power in the Middle East, the state that runs the most secretive WMD program in the world, has signaled no intention of disarming or even slowing down. ajc.com

Voting machine software questioned January 17, 2004 By STAFF REPORTS The state's Voting Systems and Procedures panel asked for more information Thursday about software changes made without state or federal certification by the maker of voting machines used in Alameda County and other jurisdictions. "All of the questions, particularly better understanding how and why these upgrades happened, still have not been fully answered," said Doug Stone, spokesman for Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. "We hope the information that we believe Diebold will provide to us will provide a more comprehensive and detailed answer." State officials in December revealed Diebold Election Systems had supplied uncertified software to all 17 California counties in which it has machines. Critics have noted Diebold CEO Walter O'Dell's ties to Republican fund-raising and are concerned the company's system is prone to illegal manipulation. oaklandtribune.com

Martin Luther King: Terrorist January 17, 2004 Geov Parrish On the stunning disparity between a nation that glorifies war and one that honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday Let’s not mince words. Were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. alive today, he would be at risk for being imprisoned indefinitely, without charges or access to legal counsel, as an “enemy combatant.” workingforchange.com

Israeli ambassador kicked out of Swedish museum after vandalizing art January 17, 2004 Israel's ambassador to Sweden was kicked out of Stockholm's Museum of National Antiquities after he destroyed an artwork featuring a picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber, the artists said. The incident, widely reported in the Swedish media, occurred at the opening on Friday of the "Making Differences" exhibit, part of an upcoming international conference on genocide hosted by the Swedish government and in which Israel is scheduled to participate. sg.news.yahoo.com

IRS to audit Nature Conservancy January 17, 2004 By Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway A team of IRS examiners will move into the global headquarters of the Nature Conservancy in Arlington to begin auditing the charity, the world's largest environmental organization. A letter sent to the Conservancy by the Internal Revenue Service last month indicates that the audit will be of uncommon scope for a charity. msnbc.msn.com

Bush's space plan opposed January 17, 2004 By Bob Kalish Is the Bush administration's push to send astronauts to the moon and Mars one small step for man or one giant step for the militarization of space? An international peace group based in Brunswick argues that the new policy outlined Wednesday by President Bush is motivated more by expansionist military thinking than a scientific quest to further humankind's knowledge about the universe. timesrecord.com

Schwarzenegger budget to slash health and education in California January 17, 2004 By Rafael Azul and Jerry Isaacs California’s Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, outlined a budget proposal January 9 that constitutes a massive assault on health, education and other social service programs upon which millions of people in the state rely. wsws.org

US sugar barons 'block global war on obesity' January 18, 2004 Jo Revill and Paul Harris Leading scientists accused the Bush administration last night of putting the interests of powerful American sugar barons ahead of the global fight against obesity. guardian.co.uk in New York

The Ugliest American January 17, 2004 By Mick Youther In three years, George W. Bush has managed to alienate most of the world. What will he do next? The U.S. has a serious problem with international relations. It is called the Bush Administration. Admittedly, it is hard to live up to the Jeffersonian ideal of “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,” but the Bush Administration can’t seem to get along with anyone—even our allies. interventionmag.com

Facing questions, Clark backs Army January 17, 2004 By Joanna Weiss school Retired General Wesley K. Clark sometimes downplays his Army background, and criticizes the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays. But there is one military institution he vigorously defends: the controversial academy once known as the US Army School of the Americas. boston.com

Overtime Pay For Millions of Americans in Peril January 16, 2004 by Katherine Stapp NEW YORK An electronic technician with the U.S. Navy, John Garrity has two young children and another on the way. He often works extra hours to help make ends meet, but worries that under new overtime pay rules proposed by the Labor Department, he will lose about six thousand dollars a year. "It's a pay cut and an attack on workers' rights," he said in an interview. "They're trying to roll the clock back. People fought and went to jail to have a 40-hour work week so they could spend more time with their families. The president just wants to pay back his corporate friends." commondreams.org

Factories suffer 41 months of layoffs January 16, 2004 By Sue Kirchhoff USA TODAY Manufacturers still aren't producing the one item the economy needs most: jobs. Despite recent sharp jumps in orders and shipments, factories shed 26,000 workers in December, the Labor Department said Friday. The December figures mark the 41st consecutive month of layoffs, and bring overall manufacturing job losses to 2.8 million since mid-2000. usatoday.com

Bush to Revive Social Security Tax Plan January 16, 2003 SCOTT LINDLAWPresident Bush will use next week's State of the Union address to try to revive a proposal that would allow younger workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in the stock market, aides say. His election-year agenda also calls for pressing Congress to make already-enacted tax cuts permanent, such as the elimination of inheritances taxes and reductions in capital gains taxes. tallahassee.com

The Unlocked Box How Bush is plundering Social Security to close the deficit January 16, 2004 By Daniel Gross The International Monetary Fund, which usually frets about runaway fiscal policies in developing countries, yesterday released a report that warned of the dangers to the global economy posed by the United States' lack of spending discipline, its reliance on foreign creditors, and its failure to plan adequately for future government liabilities. Earlier this week, even as he called for making the Bush tax cuts permanent, Treasury Secretary John Snow pooh-poohed the deficit problem and insisted the government has a plan to improve matters: slate.msn.com

Bush has to be stopped, say activists at Indian forum January 16, 2004 Mumbai Activists have declared war on US President George Bush on the eve of the top anti-globalisation gathering. The activists have vowed that the six-day World Social Forum taking place in Mumbai will denounce the US president on everything from the Iraq war to trade policies. Organisers of the forum, which was due to open today, yesterday said the annual get- together would provide a common ground for diverse movements that led protests against last year's invasion of Iraq. "Bush has to be stopped. His country's policies are creating devastation around the world, militarily and economically," said Chico Whitaker, who spearheaded the forum that was held between 2001 and 2003 in Brazil. thestar.co.za

Nightmare vision January 16, 2004 By David Cogswell Imagine for a moment that a group was absolutely relentless in its pursuit of power and was unrestrained when it came to seeking power and holding it. What if a group was totally dedicated to power as its ultimate goal, and all other values were secondary? What if such a group sought to gain control of the U.S. government, the seat of the greatest economic, military and political power in the world, and it would stop at nothing to achieve its goal? And what if, having taken control of the U.S. government, its plan would be to then parlay that power to military, economic and political domination of the world? onlinejournal.com

Blind Loyalty to an Empire of Greed: The Corruptions of Patriotism January 16, 2004 By GLEN T. MARTIN The United States administers a global empire. This used to be a secret. Through the 1990s, our government told us that we stood for democracy, freedom, and independence of nations worldwide (lying to us). But the majority of U.S. citizens refused to critically examine their government out of patriotism. Sheeplike, we acted in defiance of the founding fathers of our nation who distrusted the power of government, who realized that small acts of terrorism (which existed then as now) were nothing compared to the potential for tyranny from those who wield governmental powers. informationclearinghouse.info

Continuing slaughter of Iraqi civilians, police, and US soldiers January 16, 2004 Dahr Jamail Electronic Iraq Today on CBS television, Paul Bremer boasted, "In the last three or four weeks we've seen a rather dramatic reduction in the number of attacks on the coalition. They are down by about 50 percent," I read this quote to my friend Hamoudi here in Baghdad. He raises his eyebrows and says, "But attacks on helicopters has been up 100%. The resistance is finding it easier to attack the helicopters than the ground patrols. Attacks are not decreasing, they are changing. Doesn't Mr. Bremer see this?" electroniciraq.net

Gore blasts Bush space plan and says president neglects Earth January 16, 2004 By Nichola Groom, Reuters Former Vice President Al Gore scoffed at President Bush's plan to send astronauts to the moon and Mars and said Bush was a "moral coward" for ignoring global environmental threats. Speaking at an event sponsored by political advocacy groups MoveOn.org and Environment2004, Gore said Bush's record on the environment routinely puts the wishes of the coal, oil, utility, and mining industries ahead of public interests. "Instead of spending enormous sums of money on an unimaginative and retread effort to make a tiny portion of the moon habitable for a handful of people, we should focus instead on a massive effort to ensure that the Earth is habitable for future generations," Gore said to a cheering Manhattan crowd. enn.com

Gore Calls Bush a 'Moral Coward' Environmental Policies Decried as Driven by Campaign Funds January 16, 2004 By Eric Pianin Former vice president Al Gore called President Bush "a moral coward" yesterday for allegedly tailoring his policies on global warming and other environmental and energy matters to benefit his allies in the coal, oil and mining industries. In a stinging assessment of the president's environmental record, Gore criticized Bush for reneging on his 2000 campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas blamed by many scientists for Earth's rising temperature, and for launching a "totally meaningless" voluntary program after disavowing a 1997 international accord negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, that imposed mandatory emissions cuts. washingtonpost.com

Gore says Bush abandoned public on environment January 16, 2003 Associated Press Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday blasted President Bush as a "moral coward" who abandoned the public's environmental interests to accommodate his financial backers. Gore, in a speech before a full house at the Beacon Theater, said it sometimes appeared that "the Bush-Cheney administration is wholly owned by the coal, oil, utility and mining industries." billingsgazette.com

Cheney's grim vision: decades of war Vice president says Bush policy aimed at long-term world threat January 16, 2004 James Sterngold In a forceful preview of the Bush administration's expansionist military policies in this election year, Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday painted a grim picture of what he said was the growing threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack in the United States and warned that the battle, like the Cold War, could last generations. "Scattered in more than 50 nations, the al Qaeda network and other terrorist groups constitute an enemy unlike any other that we have ever faced, " he said. "And as our intelligence shows, the terrorists continue plotting to kill on an ever-larger scale, including here in the United States." Cheney provided no details, however, of the kinds of attacks he expected. "Instead of losing thousands of lives, we might lose tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives as the result of a single attack, or a set coordinated of attacks," Cheney said. sfgate.com

CBS REJECTS ANTI-BUSH SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL January 16, 2004 By Ira Teinowitz (AdAge.com) -- Viacom's CBS today rejected a request from liberal group MoveOn to air a 30-second anti-President Bush ad during the Super Bowl, saying the spot violated the network's policy against running issue advocacy advertising. The moveon ad / adage.com

Protesters at MLK grave demand: ‘Go home, Bush’ January 16, 2003 Associated Press ATLANTA Looking for election-year support from black voters in the South, President Bush was greeted at Martin Luther King's grave here Thursday by noisy demonstrators who chanted "Go home, Bush!" after receiving a warmer reception at a run-down church in New Orleans. As Bush placed a wreath on King's crypt, a low chorus of boos could be heard from across the street where an estimated 700 to 800 protesters beat drums and waved signs bearing slogans such as "War is not the answer" and "It's not a photo-op, George." billingsgazette.com

Rather than a noble journey into space, Bush desperately wants new ways to distract Americans from dwelling on his political disasters here on earth January 16, 2004 By John Greeley What a way to identify with a noble and uplifting tradition begun by JFK! What a way to turn our attention away from the chaos we have created in Afghanistan and the morass of Iraq. What a way to soften the impact of the now almost five hundred needless American deaths in that country since we invaded it, not to mention the huge casualty lists nor, heaven forbid, the civilian deaths! Let's go to Mars! interventionmag.com

Bush is from Mars when it comes to budget January 16, 2004 Last month, the Bush White House reportedly was searching for a "Kennedy Moment," announcement of some big, non-Iraq issue to define the reelection campaign. In fact, George W. Bush today will announce a "Bush Moment" -- taken from President George H.W. Bush. Fifteen years ago, the president's father proposed that the United States set up a base on the moon, then push on to Mars. palmbeachpost.com

9/11 director gave evidence to own inquiry January 16, 2004 By Shaun Waterman (UPI) The panel set up to investigate why the United States failed to prevent the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, faced angry questions Thursday after revelations that two of its own senior officials were so closely involved in the events under investigation that they have been interviewed as part of the inquiry. upi.com

2 Halliburton subcontractors killed in Iraq January 16, 2004 Houston Chronicle Two Halliburton Co. subcontractors were killed and one company employee was injured today, when their convoy was ambushed near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, company officials confirmed. chron.com

Venezuela Decriminalizes Drug Possession January 16, 2004 Today's neo-libertarians, if they truly believe what they claim to believe about freedom, really need to take a second look at Venezuela and it's president Hugo Chávez. The democratically-elected government of Venezuela has survived attempted coups - military, economic, and mediatic - and keeps moving forward with the most sweeping reforms and advances in democracy and human rights in the hemisphere today. The latest: a reform of the penal code that, while increasing penalties for drug traffickers like every other country, has just decriminalized possession. In sum, the drug addict or user no longer faces prison or penalty in Venezuela if he possesses small amounts of his drug of choice (specifically mentioned by the law are marijuana, hashish, cocaine and its derivatives, opium and its derivatives, and synthetic drugs). bigleftoutside.com

The O’Neill Factor THE REAL NO-SPIN ZONE! January 15, 2004 By: Ted Lang The truth stands alone and is founded in fact.  It is unemotional and vital in securing justice.  It would indeed be comforting if truth could always be found in an aura fostered by good intentions, compassion, understanding and tolerance.  But more often than we care to admit, the truth is usually exposed via jealousy, recrimination or base retaliation.  To the intellectually mature, the politically astute, and the worldly among us, this should never come as a surprise.  We should always prefer the truth over the manner and mode in which it is delivered to our doorstep. thepeoplesvoice.org

Arizona Prepares For Secession From US January 15, 2004 1. That when or if the President of the United States, the Congress of the United States or any other federal agent or agency declares the Constitution of the United States to be suspended or abolished, if the President or any other federal entity attempts to institute martial law or its equivalent without an official declaration in one or more of the states without the consent of that state or if any federal order attempts to make it unlawful for individual Americans to own firearms or to confiscate firearms, the State of Arizona, when joined by thirty-four of the other fifty states, declares as follows: that the states resume all state powers delegated by the Constitution of the United States and assume total sovereignty; that the states re-ratify and re-establish the present Constitution of the United States as the charter for the formation of a new federal government, to be followed by the election of a new Congress and President and the reorganization of a new judiciary, similarly following the precedent and procedures of the founding fathers; arizona.indymedia.org

New Hampshire House bill would defy provisions of Patriot Act January 15, 2004 By WARREN HASTINGS The federal anti-terrorism Patriot Act endangers traditional freedoms and should not be recognized by New Hampshire, supporters of proposed legislation said at a public hearing yesterday. In part, House Bill 1246 says: "The state of New Hampshire no longer recognizes the USA Patriot Act, including any subsequent rules, executive orders or judicial interpretations to have effect or to be binding on the state or residents of this state." sianews.com

Watching  the HORROR of the Patriot Act: How we Can  Make a Difference January 15, 2004 Norma Sherry Art often imitates life. The star of a recent episode of the TV series, ‘The Practice’(1/11/04,) was not James Spader or Sharon Stone, it was The US Patriot Act – and what a despicable role it was. If there is still a citizen unaware of the US Patriot Act and the soon to be Victory Act, and how the US Patriot Act has eroded seven of ten amendments in our Bill of Rights, this episode was a rude awakening. The show opened with a hysterical call to the lawyer’s offices by a young white male, pleading for a lawyer to come immediately to the hospital because his friend was being tortured by the police. Disbelief was soon replaced with fear as the young man held his phone towards the screams of his buddy. opednews.com

Children's Defense Fund Fears President's Space Plan Will Carry an Out-of-This-World Price Tag January 15, 2004 U.S. Newswire Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman today said that President Bush's space exploration program will likely cost the country much more than the Administration is willing to reveal and will divert critical resources away from important domestic priorities. "Today's speech by the President was an attempt to mask the enormous price tag on further space exploration," said Edelman. "When the President's father proposed similar goals back in 1989, the estimates were $400 billion. But even if the price tag today has been trimmed down, it is still too much. This is the wrong priority for America at a time when its children are facing so many challenges and our federal deficit is reaching record high levels." Edelman explained that instead of spending money to colonize the Moon, and travel to Mars and asteroids, a much smaller amount could be invested in some critical areas that would make a difference right now in the lives of children. "Eighty-one billion dollars phased in over five years would provide health insurance to all uninsured children in America, and $81 billion phased in over five years would give Head Start to every eligible pre-schooler who needs it." releases.usnewswire.com

Bush's Space Vision Thing January 15, 2004 Critics will no doubt accuse President Bush of fiscal folly for proposing a grandiose plan for space exploration at a time when the nation faces onerous deficits and insufficient money to meet costly obligations on planet Earth. The critics would be right that money is short and there are many more important things to do than put astronauts on the Moon or Mars. But Mr. Bush is a canny enough politician to avoid committing much money to his new space vision. He calls for only $1 billion in new financing for NASA over five years and a reallocation of the current five-year budget of $86 billion. The cost will of course explode later on, when NASA tries to actually carry out the program. What Mr. Bush has really done is promise the moon (literally) while leaving future presidents and Congresses to figure out how to pay the potentially large future bills while they cope with the severe revenue losses caused by Mr. Bush's reckless tax cuts. nytimes.com

NASA Ames Center looks at problem of drilling on Mars January 15, 2004 By Kristen Nelson Briggs said NASA has been working with Halliburton, Shell, Baker-Hughes and the Los Alamos National Laboratory to identify drilling technologies that might work on Mars. The first goal, he said, would be “to drill a hole down into the permafrost, maybe 100 meters as a trial of the technology; ultimately we want to go to several kilometers.” The earliest drilling opportunity would be 2007, and one of the problems will be power. A very power-efficient system might cut out cores a meter at a time, Briggs said, perhaps grinding away at material needed to get the core at a rate of one core a day for hundreds of days. petroleumnews.com

The Next War January 15, 2004 By Doug Ireland It’s a helluva New Year’s present: a new neocon manifesto which wants to put the United States on a course for war with three countries. Published the day before 2004 by Random House, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror bears the signature of two of Washington’s most influential ideologues. Richard Perle, known as the “Prince of Darkness”, helped put together the now-famous 1999 neocon manifesto (signed by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, among others) calling for war on Iraq. David Frum is Dubya’s former speechwriter, the man who coined “axis of evil” and put it in the president’s mouth. The book proposes harsh action against France(1) —- which Perle and Frum say should be treated as an "enemy"—and thunders that "We should force European governments to choose between Paris and Washington." thetruthseeker.co.uk

Who Rules America? January 15, 2004 The Alien Grip on Our News and Entertainment Media Must Be Broken There is no greater power in the world today than that wielded by the manipulators of public opinion in America. No king or pope of old, no conquering general or high priest ever disposed of a power even remotely approaching that of the few dozen men who control America's mass media of news and entertainment. Their power is not distant and impersonal; it reaches into every home in America, and it works its will during nearly every waking hour. It is the power that shapes and molds the mind of virtually every citizen, young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated. The mass media form for us our image of the world and then tell us what to think about that image. Essentially everything we know -- or think we know -- about events outside our own neighborhood or circle of acquaintances comes to us via our daily newspaper, our weekly news magazine, our radio, or our television. natvan.com

OPEC mulls move to euro for pricing crude oil January 15, 2004 By PATRICK BRETHOUR Calgary — OPEC is considering a move away from using the U.S. dollar — and to the euro — to set its price targets for crude oil, the highest-profile manifestation of the debilitating effect of depreciation on the greenback's standing as the currency of international commerce. globeandmail.com

Protests grow against US-led occupation of Iraq January 15, 2004 By Mike Head Amid a wave of protests against the US-led occupation of Iraq, the country’s most senior Shiite cleric has reiterated his opposition to the Bush administration’s plans to instal an unelected provisional government on July 1. Both these developments—mass demonstrations demanding jobs and food, and the objections of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani—point to deepening problems for Washington and its allies. wsws.org

The New York Times whitewashes Bush’s lies about Iraq January 15, 2004 By Patrick Martin An editorial published January 11 in the New York Times, the leading US daily newspaper, demonstrates the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of what passes for liberalism in contemporary America. It is a cover-up of the systematic lying employed by the Bush administration, the congressional Republicans and Democrats, and the American media to justify the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. wsws.org

US consumer debt reaches record levels January 15, 2004 By Joanne Laurier US consumer debt has reached staggering levels after more than doubling over the past 10 years. According to the most recent figures from the Federal Reserve Board, consumer debt hit $1.98 trillion in October 2003, up from $1.5 trillion three years ago. This figure, representing credit card and car loan debt, but excluding mortgages, translates into approximately $18,700 per US household. wsws.org

REAL CROOKS WALK, DONATE TO GOP January 15, 2004 By Bill Gallagher They kill and cause illnesses and suffering for millions of people. They do great harm to the water we drink and the air we breathe. They steal and plunder and routinely rob the American taxpayers. They shamelessly exploit the young and the poor, stripping them of their dignity and using human beings like cheap commodities. Their crimes are often unreported and, when they are caught, they rarely face serious consequences. Corporate criminals in the United States get away with murder, sometimes literally. When they steal from their shareholders or the public treasury, it seems the more outrageous the thievery, the more likely the culprits are to avoid prosecution. The crimes run the whole spectrum of violence and deception. Denials and cover-ups supported by armies of corporate lawyers form the shields of dishonor to protect the dirty deeds and evil-doers. niagarafallsreporter.com

U.S. Journalist Quits Pentagon Iraqi Media Project Calling it U.S. Propaganda January 15, 2004 We talk to a longtime TV producer about the massive problems he saw in the new U.S.-funded Iraqi Media Network, which he said became an "irrelevant mouthpiece for Coalition Provisional Authority propaganda, managed news and mediocre programs." democracynow.org

The Real National Security Threat: The Bush Economy January 15, 2004 By Ian Williams A lot of liberals accuse George Bush of cowardice. It's a preposterous accusation to level at a president who is running at least two staggeringly expensive wars at the same time, even as he threatens to take on more, not to mention planning an invasion of Mars and cutting taxes on all your rich friends. And all this in the face of the world's biggest ever trade and budget deficits. Now that takes cojones ... unless, of course, you think that the president keeps his brains in the same general area of his anatomy. alternet.org

BUSH: GO FETCH ME A BURGER January 15, 2004 By Graham Brough PRESIDENT Bush interrupted a White House meeting to tell his chief of staff to go and get some cheeseburgers, it was revealed last night. After waiting in vain for an earlier food order, Bush called in White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and said: "You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting us some cheeseburgers?" The story is one of further allegations about Bush's behaviour in the Oval office from former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's account. mirror.co.uk

Surreal moments serving a mythological president January 15, 2004 By Marian Wilkinson (Sydney Morning Herald) The weekend after September 11, George Bush's former Treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, sat in a leather armchair at Camp David, the presidential retreat, devouring a pile of intelligence documents on al-Qaeda handed out by the CIA boss, George Tenet. A two-day crisis meeting of Mr Bush's senior advisers had finally wound up. The President had gone to bed. Across the room, the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was singing hymns, accompanied on the piano by the Christian fundamentalist Attorney-General, John Ashcroft. Leafing through the CIA documents, Mr O'Neill was astonished to read plans for covert assassinations around the globe designed to remove opponents of the US Government. The plans had virtually no civilian checks and balances. "What I was thinking is, 'I hope the President really reads this carefully', Mr O'Neill said. "It's kind of his job. You can't forfeit this much responsibility to unelected individuals. But I knew he wouldn't." smh.com.au

US soldier suicides rising in Iraq January 15, 2004 Pentagon At least 21 United States troops have committed suicide in Iraq, a growing toll that represents one of every seven American "non-hostile" deaths since the war began last March, the Pentagon said. "Fighting this kind of war is clearly going to be stressful for some people," Assistant Defence Secretary for Health Affairs William Winkenwerder told reporters. He said the military was taking steps to prevent suicides, ascribed by one defence analyst to a perception among young soldiers that the US force in Iraq was spread thin and faced an endless task. jihadunspun.com

Kennedy: Iraq war a product marketed by Bush to win elections January 15, 2004 By Lolita C. Baldor (AP) The Iraq war was a ''political product'' marketed by the Bush administration to win elections, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said in a speech Wednesday. As a result, Kennedy said, Bush and the Republicans in Congress ''put the state of our nation at risk, and they do not deserve another term in the White House or in control of Congress.'' boston.com

Can PM appease Bush? January 15, 2004 By THOMAS WALKOM Some refer to George W. Bush as another Hitler. This is a gross exaggeration. He has constructed no death camps and only one concentration camp — at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. While it does seem, in Nuremberg terms, that Bush could be called a war criminal (invading other countries on the flimsiest of pretexts), he has not engaged in genocide. Nor, unlike Volkswagen supporter Hitler, does he promote the production of small, cheap cars. True, both came to power constitutionally (although under dubious circumstances and with the support of only a minority of voters). True, both masterfully used traumatic events at home (the 1933 Reichstag fire for Hitler; 9/11 for Bush) to make a frightened and resentful populace accept restrictions on civil liberties. thestar.com

Brazil Fines U.S. Pilot for Making Gesture January 15, 2004 By STAN LEHMAN SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - An American Airlines pilot was fined nearly $13,000 Wednesday on accusations he made an obscene gesture when being photographed at the airport as part of entry requirements for U.S. citizens, officials said. Brazil imposed the new rules that Americans be fingerprinted and photographed at entry points in response the similar rules in the United States for citizens of Brazil and other countries whose citizens need visas to enter. The pilot, Dale Robin Hersh, lifted his middle finger while undergoing the new security process at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport, said federal prosecutor Matheus Baraldi Magnani. Police accused the Miami-based pilot of showing contempt to authorities, a crime in Brazil, and escorted him to a nearby federal courthouse. lasvegassun.com

Ford: Holding America Hostage to Oil January 15, 2004 In the wake of an ominous and important new climate change study released in the scientific periodical "Nature", last week in Los Angeles, California human rights and environmental activists with Global Exchange and Rainforest Action Network daringly rappelled down a 32-story skyscraper near the LA Auto Show and unfurled a giant banner reading, “Ford: Holding America Hostage to Oil.” Ford Motor Company and other auto manufacturers are needlessly keeping the US dependent on oil by refusing to increase the fuel economy of their vehicles. “Our own automakers are holding us hostage to oil,” said Mike Brune, executive director of the environmental organization Rainforest Action Network. indymedia.org

Spanish prime minister: Bush acts like an emperor and Europeans don't like it January 15, 2004 By HARRY DUNPHY WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar was warmly welcomed at the White House Wednesday after saying in an interview that Europeans' perceptions of the United States as an empire explain President Bush's unpopularity there. "The combination of being a Republican, of being an emperor, a Texan and outspoken is really a bad mix," Aznar, one of Bush's staunchest allies on Iraq and other issues, said in an interview Wednesday in The Washington Post. "To be politically correct in Europe, people cannot digest the mix that is George Bush as I have described him. They are allergic to that," Aznar said. nj.com

Lieberman outraged by phony calls to undeclared voters January 15, 2004 By Kate McCann LITTLETON, N.H. - Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman said he hopes New Hampshire finds out who has been calling undeclared voters to tell them they cannot vote in the presidential primary. Lieberman said he was outraged and hopes the attorney general's investigation will catch the culprits and force them to pay the costs of calling all undeclared voters and telling them they can indeed vote in the Jan. 27 primary. "I don't know who's doing this, but it has to stop -- that amounts to voter suppression, voter intimidation." Lieberman said. "I went through this in Florida in 2000 and nobody wants New Hampshire to become the Florida of 2004." boston.com

Imagine what 15.5 billion or just 90 million dollars could do to solve the problems faced by humanity. He spends most of the American taxpayers money on projects that benefit a few closely connected corporations and military industrialists. The great fleecing continues and the bodies pile higher as the man chosen by god wages war, not on poverty and injustice, but on humanity and the earth itself.

Most want money spent on Earth January 14, 2004 By WILL LESTER Associated Press WASHINGTON -- President Bush's plan to build a space station on the moon and eventually send astronauts to Mars hasn't grabbed the public's imagination, an Associated Press poll suggests. More than half in the poll said it would be better to spend the money on domestic programs rather than on space research. chron.com

Bush to ask for 5% budget increase for Mars missions January 14, 2004 US President George W Bush will seek to boost NASA's budget by 5 per cent annually for the next three years to help pay for his plan to put a base on the moon and to mount a manned expedition to Mars later in the century, a senior administration official has said. The plan calls for establishing a permanent presence on the moon within two decades and to put astronauts on Mars sometime after 2030, the official said. Congressional negotiators have previously agreed to a budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of nearly USD 15.5 billion for fiscal 2004, which began last October 1. That's a USD 90 million boost over the previous year. deepikaglobal.com

BUSH 'ON PAR WITH GERMAN WAR PLAN' January 14, 2004 AMERICA'S war on terror was likened yesterday to Germany's strategy during two world wars. President Bush was warned that his campaign could drag the US into conflicts with countries that posed no real threat. The invasion of Iraq was an unnecessary part of America's "dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious" war on terror, said a report published by the US Army War College. It said the White House should focus on al-Qaeda. The report's author, Professor Jeffrey Record, said the anti-terrorism campaign is "strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate US military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security". mirror.co.uk

The big lie made clear January 14, 2004 The study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace stating that the Bush administration "systematically misrepresented" the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction doesn't break new ground but, combined with assertions by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill that the White House was plotting a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq before September 11, 2001, the picture of a White House spoiling for war and willing to misrepresent the truth to justify it is cast in even sharper relief. The administration intentionally misled the American people in embarking upon a strategy that has done perhaps irreparable harm to long-held American principles. berkshireeagle.com

The Awful Truth January 14, 2004 By PAUL KRUGMAN People are saying terrible things about George Bush. They say that his officials weren't sincere about pledges to balance the budget. They say that the planning for an invasion of Iraq began seven months before 9/11, that there was never any good evidence that Iraq was a threat and that the war actually undermined the fight against terrorism. But these irrational Bush haters are body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freaks who should go back where they came from: the executive offices of Alcoa, and the halls of the Army War College. nytimes.com

What, We Worry? Yes. January 14, 2004 By William H. Gross The United States is overextended, not just militarily but economically. We are trying to do too much, borrow too much, spend too much, and sooner or later we will have to suffer the consequences. We are a country in the beginning stages of what can best be described as hegemonic decay. washingtonpost.com

America accused of war crimes in Iraq January 14, 2004 The US military is committing war crimes by demolishing homes of suspected insurgents and arresting the relatives of Iraqi fugitives, a top human rights group said today. The military denied the charges by Human Rights Watch, saying it only destroyed homes that were being used to store weapons or as fighting positions and all Iraqis detained were suspected of taking part in attacks on coalition forces. theage.com

Paranoid Shift: One Mind Awakens January 14, 2004 By Michael Hasty Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power." sianews.com

Consumer appetite erodes quality of life for all January 14, 2004 By GreenBiz.com The world is consuming goods and services at an unsustainable pace, with serious consequences for the well-being of people and the planet, according to the Worldwatch Institute's annual report, State of the World 2004. enn.com

US beef exports 'to drop by 90% January 14, 2004 US beef exports will fall by 90% in 2004 after the discovery of the first case of mad cow disease, the US Department of Agriculture has said. Its forecast comes after virtually all foreign countries banned imports of US beef following the single outbreak of BSE in Washington state last month. The department also predicts a big fall for US cattle prices across the year. news.bbc.co

The Exploitation of the American Soldier, Part II of II: Of The Vietnam Example, Guinea Pigs and Systemic Abuse January 14, 2004 To fully understand the epidemic that is the exploitation of the American Soldier one need look no further than the 250,000 to 500,000 homeless veterans that on any given day wonder the streets of the United States. Up to half a million veterans, mostly those who fought in the terror-filled jungles of Vietnam, have been forgotten in time, left to fend for themselves lost among concrete jungles and steel-glass canyons. iraqwar.ru

Poll: Alternative News Gaining Influence January 14, 2004 (AP) People are shifting from traditional news sources such as newspapers and nightly network news for information about the presidential campaign, a poll found. Led by young adults' changing habits, the public is finding more of its information from such alternative sources as the Internet and even television shows like ``The Daily Show'' and ``Saturday Night Live.'' Young adults were leading the shift, with one-fifth considering the Internet a top source of campaign news for them, said the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, released Sunday. nytimes.com

W & aides broadcast media hate January 14, 2004 He didn't free the slaves. He didn't rid the world of Hitler. He didn't even - like his father - preside over the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Yet George W. Bush tells New Yorker writer Ken Auletta: "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." With stunners like that, no wonder he spends so little time with journalists. The President's eyebrow-raising assertion comes during some Oval Office chitchat after Auletta - writing about the testy relations between the Bush White House and the news media - sits in on an interview with a British newspaper reporter. In the latest New Yorker, Auletta reports that Bush and his minions have little use for the Fourth Estate. nydailynews.com

G.I.'s Fire on Family in Car, Killing 2, Witnesses Say January 14, 2004 By EDWARD WONG BAGHDAD, Iraq, American soldiers on Monday night killed an Iraqi man and a boy and wounded four others in a car that was driving behind their convoy. Witnesses said. The family's driver, a man whose first name was Haider, was killed, as was a 10-year-old boy named Mustafa in the seat beside the driver, said family members, a neighbor and a police officer. Mustafa's mother and two of his siblings and his aunt were injured and taken to local hospitals. "You want to know the truth?" said Lt. Muhammad Ali, an Iraqi policeman who was driving away from Al Kindi Hospital with several colleagues after taking one of the women there. "I'll tell you the truth. The Americans did this. I know after this conversation they will fire me from my job, but that's what happened." nytimes.com

t r u t h o u t Poll
Final Results of the TO Straw Poll. Our Readers have spoken.
Kucinich 44.5%
Dean 32.4%
Clark 14.6%
Kerry 3.6%
Edwards 2.4%
Sharpton 0.9%
Gephardt 0.7%
Braun 0.6%
Lieberman 0.3%

Total votes: 23804

Remember the recent CNN liars poll in which Kucinich scored 0.3% popularity and Dean had 40%? January 13, 2004 Editor Well take a look at how different the poll numbers are on this survey taken on the Truthout web site! Notice that Lieberman holds the 0.3% position that CNN tried to pin on Kucinich. Truthout

How Low Can The Right Wing Media Go? January 13, 2004 By Rob Kall Far right wingers don't want facts, don't want unbiased news. They want bullshit that feeds into their existing, deformed beliefs. They want snide, smarmy reporting that supports their biased, partisan perspectives. They Want Fox and Limbaugh and his copycats. Watching Fox, lying, despicable, dishonest propaganda channel today,  I had to turn it off. opednews.com



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