JANUARY 31-25, 04 Archives

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Soldiers, Families Oppose Bush Casualties Mount Post Saddam January 31, 2004 by Kerry Taylor President Bush's war in Iraq faces growing opposition from those who are on the front lines: soldiers, their families and veterans, including high-ranking officers. A bipartisan poll published by Business Week in December showed approval for the president at a mere 36 percent among soldiers, their families and veterans. war-times.org

Record Number to Run Out of Unemployment Benefits January 31, 2004 By Kirstin Downey A record-high 375,000 jobless workers will exhaust their unemployment insurance this month and an estimated 2 million workers will find themselves in the same predicament during the first half of the year, according to an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. washingtonpost.com

Bush Seeking Big Increase in Missile Defense January 31, 2004 By Jeremy Pelofsky The Bush administration will ask Congress to boost spending on missile defense by $1.2 billion next year and nearly double funding to modernize the Army in the $401.7 billion U.S. military budget for 2005, according to Pentagon documents released on Friday. The defense plan is part of a proposed $2.3 trillion federal budget President Bush will send to lawmakers on Monday. It calls for a 7 percent increase in defense spending over the current level of $375 billion. reuters.com

Minnesota to launch drug website January 31, 2004 By Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff  State to offer residents information on buying products from Canada. Minnesota plans to launch a website today offering its residents information on how to order prescription drugs from Canada, making it the first state to take concrete action in defiance of the federal government. The plan represents an escalation of the confrontation over drug costs between the federal government and the more than two dozen states that in one form or another have expressed desires to import cheaper drugs from Canada. boston.com

New York Times calls for exclusion of Kucinich and Sharpton from debates January 31, 2004 By Kate Randall In a January 28 editorial, (“Defrosting the Primaries”), the New York Times called for candidates Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton to be excluded from future debates in the contest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The Times writes: “Representative Dennis Kucinich has every right to keep campaigning despite his minuscule vote tallies, but he should not be allowed to take up time in future candidate debates. wsws.org

Castro accuses Bush of plotting with exiles to kill him January 31, 2004 By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press HAVANA — Cuban President Fidel Castro accused President Bush on Friday of plotting with Miami exiles to kill him as part of his administration's hardening policies against the communist island. His comments came at the end of a 51/2-hour speech that began Thursday night and continued into early Friday at the close of a conference bringing together activists across the region who oppose the Free Trade Area of the Americas. "We know that Mr. Bush has committed himself to the mafia ... to assassinate me," the Cuban president said, using the term commonly employed here to describe anti-Castro Cuban Americans. naplesnews.com

Monsanto's chapati patent raises Indian ire January 31, 2004 Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi. Monsanto, the world's largest genetically modified seed company, has been awarded patents on the wheat used for making chapati - the flat bread staple of northern India. The patents give the US multinational exclusive ownership over Nap Hal, a strain of wheat whose gene sequence makes it particularly suited to producing crisp breads. Another patent, filed in Europe, gives Monsanto rights over the use of Nap Hal wheat to make chapatis, which consist of flour, water and salt. Environmentalists say Nap Hal's qualities are the result of generations of farmers in India who spent years crossbreeding crops and collective, not corporate, efforts should be recognised. Monsanto, activists claim, is simply out to make "monopoly profits" from food on which millions depend. "It is theft of the results of the work in cultivation made by Indian farmers," said Dr Christoph Then, Greenpeace's patent expert after a meeting with the European Commission in Delhi. guardian.co.uk

'The Americans Are Treating Us Like Animals' US Misrepresenting Casualty Counts And Beating Sheikhs In Ramadi January 30, 2004 By Dahr Jamail Yesterday in Khaldiya, 60 miles west of Baghdad, a powerful roadside bomb exploded killing US soldiers. Iraqi civilians were killed by US soldiers' gunfire during the aftermath. However, questions about the conflicting numbers as to the number of dead US soldiers and Iraqi civilians remain. In a CENTCOM press release for the incident, the US Military claims that three task force "All American" soldiers were killed in the blast by the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), and one Iraqi killed. The press release also states that one soldier and several Iraqis were wounded. Witnesses at the scene today told a very different story, as did personnel at the Ramadi Hospital where the civilian Iraqi casualties were taken. Mohammed (last name withheld), a 25 year old Iraqi man who lives near the scene, said, "I saw 12 US soldiers killed. Body parts were everywhere. There were also at least 5 injured." rense.com

Bush's War Lie is a Historical Tragedy for America and Iraq January 30, 2004 By: Dave Chandler Let us 'remember' ... Less than one year ago, George W. Bush knew the truth: Iraq posed no weapons of mass destruction threat. He knew because that is what the United Nations weapons inspectors were telling him and the whole world. Yet Bush clung to what he knew was a lie. He was not mislead by American intelligence -- he decided to use the lie and start a war. Since the beginning of the year, there have been momentous developments in the tale about why George Bush ordered the unprovoked attack, invasion, and occupation of Iraq. These days may be remembered as the point when the American people started to come to the realization that when Bush was confronted with the decision to choose war or peace -- he, and he alone, by virtue of his office -- betrayed the republic on what is the gravest action a nation can take, to make war. thepeoplesvoice.org

Illegals rise 15% since Bush plan January 30, 2004 WorldNetDaily.com Border Patrol seeing increase in attempts at busiest crossing. Confirming the worst fears of those who oppose President Bush's plans to change immigration laws, U.S. Border Patrol officials report a 15 percent increase in the use of fraudulent documents at the world's busiest land border crossing. worldnetdaily.com

Bush Declines to Back Call for Iraq Probe January 30, 2004 By TERENCE HUNT, AP President Bush said Friday "I want to know the facts" about any intelligence failures concerning Saddam Hussein's alleged cache of forbidden weapons but he declined to endorse calls for an independent investigation. The issue of an independent commission has blossomed into an election-year problem for the president, with Democrats and Republicans alike supporting the idea. Former chief weapons inspector David Kay has concluded that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, which Bush had cited as a rationale for going to war against Iraq. story.news.yahoo.com

Justice Warns Against Civil Rights Apathy January 30, 2004 By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that people concerned about losing freedom to government anti-terrorism efforts should speak out. The Supreme Court is taking up several terror-related cases this spring, including challenges to the government detention of terror suspects without legal rights. Ginsburg, speaking to a group of women's rights lawyers, was asked if people's rights were in danger. "On important issues, like the balance between liberty and security, if the public doesn't care, then the security side is going to overweigh the other," she said. That would change, Ginsburg said, "if people come forward and say we are proud to live in the USA, a land that has been more free, and we want to keep it that way." yahoo.com

Bill calls for paper record of all votes January 30, 2004 AUGUSTA Touch-screen voting machines will be in every Maine precinct in two years, and people who worry about the potential for fraud are pushing for a law to ban machines that don't keep a voter-verified paper trail. Legislation proposed by Rep. Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, would require that both voters and municipalities get a paper record of all votes. pressherald.com

Russia planning maneuvers of its nuclear forces next month January 30, 2004 VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV MOSCOW (AP) Russia's nuclear forces reportedly are preparing their largest maneuvers in two decades, an exercise involving the test-firing of missiles and flights by dozens of bombers in a massive simulation of an all-out nuclear war. President Vladimir Putin is expected to personally oversee the maneuvers, which are apparently aimed at demonstrating the revival of the nation's military might and come ahead of Russian elections in March. sfgate.com

Error in Terror “HONEST MISTAKES? January 29, 2004 By: Ted Lang Well who’d have thunk it?  The invasion of Iraq was just an honest mistake – kinda like a homeowner of a real old house putting a penny in an antique, screw-in fuse socket and then watching his house catch fire and burn to the ground from the resultant electrical overload.  Oh well, simple error in judgment!  Any family members trapped in the blaze?  Only one?  Too bad!  Hey, an honest mistake is an honest mistake!  No one planned on killing anyone.  Can you see such an argument justifying dismissal in an ordinary criminal or civil court? thepeoplesvoice.org

'War based on the big lie' January 29, 2004 WILLIAM T. PHILLIPS As far as lessening the threat of terrorism, the war in Iraq will accomplish precisely the opposite. There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein aided any terrorism organizations against the U.S. The war has markedly increased hatred against the United States, not only in the Muslim world, but even throughout Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. We have provided Al Qaeda and other radical groups millions of new sympathizers and certainly thousands of zealots motivated enough to become suicide bombers against us. Shortly after 9-11, Wolfowitz, Perle and their ilk began asserting that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and the only way to get rid of them was by going to war. Even the White House and State Department showed satellite photos of supposed WMD sites. Of course, if they had any true evidence, they would have informed the inspectors where the weapons were but none were found. So America went to war based on the big lie. pe-online.com

We were all wrong, says ex-weapons inspector January 29, 2004 Simon Jeffery The former head of the US weapons inspection teams in Iraq has said "we were almost all wrong" in believing before the war that Saddam Hussein had chemical or biological arms. David Kay, who last week resigned from the Iraq Survey Group, told a Senate hearing yesterday that failures had become too apparent in the US's intelligence-gathering capabilities. "Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here," he said. guardian.co.uk

Why We'll Pay a Price for Bush's Fibs About Iraq's WMD January 29, 2004 By P. M. Carpenter TV-mag journalist Diane Sawyer recently asked the president why, in the prewar stage, he portrayed Iraqi weapons as an imminent threat to U.S. security when intelligence reports, replete with cautionary tones and caveats, more often referred to potentialities. The president answered, “So what's the difference?” Those were astonishing words, even for famously indifferent George W. Bush. Impossible to know is if he let them escape out of peerless arrogance or mere ignorance; yet, using his own standard of critical analysis, what difference does it make? The frightening reality is this: Either a want in character or deficiency of intellect has produced a president capable of dragging the nation to unparalleled heights of international loathing, all the while he was without a clue or a care. hnn.us

Thirteen American Soldiers Court Martialled January 29, 2004 AFP Adultery, assault, drunkenness, kidnapping, stealing computers, abusing prisoners and attempting to flee to Syria are some of the offences US soldiers have been charged with in court martial cases since Americans landed in Iraq. At least 13 soldiers have gone up for court martial hearings in Iraq since May 1, the official end of major combat in the strife-torn country, according to an official army list obtained by AFP. jihadunspun.com

Afghan Weapons Cache Blast Kills 7 GIs January 29, 2004 KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Seven U.S. soldiers were killed and three injured in an explosion Thursday, U.S. Central Command said. One American soldier was missing. An Afghan interpreter also was injured in the 3 p.m. explosion near the city of Ghazni, 60 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul. The soldiers had been working around a weapons cache when the blast happened, Centcom said in a statement. pnews.myway.com

Bush to eliminate nuclear plant standards Plan to let contractors devise new rules January 29, 2004 By NANCY ZUCKERBROD Associated Press WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is moving to replace government safety standards at federal nuclear facilities with requirements written by contractors -- after Congress directed it to start fining the contractors for violations. Long-established government minimum standards at the more than two dozen nuclear weapons plants and research labs around the nation would become unenforceable guidelines under the Energy Department proposal. chron.com

Truth catching up to Bush January 29, 2004 HAROON SIDDIQUI Regardless of who emerges as the Democratic presidential nominee, the race has already served its greater democratic purpose: It has blown away George W. Bush's wartime aura of patriotic infallibility. Not only Howard Dean, the passionate truth-teller about Iraq, but Senator John Kerry, Gen. Wesley Clark and others have found their voices to question almost all aspects of Bush's post-Sept. 11 performance. thestar.com

New Hampshire vote shows widespread antiwar, anti-Bush sentiment January 29, 2004 By Patrick Martin The record turnout in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and the dismal fifth-place showing of Senator Joseph Lieberman, the only candidate to identify himself with the Bush administration’s war in Iraq, demonstrate the deep-seated antiwar sentiment among wide layers of the American population. wsws.org

What Just One Company Can Do To the World January 29, 2004 Sanjay Suri Just one oil company has thrown three times as much carbon dioxide into the air as the current annual emissions from fossil fuels, a new study by Friends of the Earth claims. (IPS) Just one oil company has thrown three times as much carbon dioxide into the air as the current annual emissions from fossil fuels, a new study by Friends of the Earth claims. ipsnews.net

Ashcroft: Bush would veto bill scaling back Patriot Act January 29, 2004 CURT ANDERSON The Bush administration issued a veto threat Thursday against legislation introduced in Congress that would scale back key parts of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act. In a letter to Senate leaders, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the changes contemplated by the Security and Freedom Ensured Act, or SAFE, would "undermine our ongoing campaign to detect and prevent catastrophic terrorist attacks." If the bill reaches President Bush's desk in its current form, Ashcroft said, "the president's senior advisers will recommend that it be vetoed." The threat comes a week after Bush, in his State of the Union address, called for Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act before it expires in 2005. www.sfgate.com

Let's be Explicit and Clear: George McGovern Was Right About the Vietnam War -- And He's Right About the Iraq War January 29, 2004 A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW "Let me say that one thing that Richard Pearle and Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have in common is that none of them have ever been near a combat scene. They're perfectly willing to send younger people -- other people's sons -- into war. They're very generous with that blood of the young men and women that they throw into combat so casually. But they've protected their blood and their limbs by never serving near a battlefield. That's true of the President. It's true of the Vice President. It's true of Pearle and Wolfowitz -- that whole crowd of neo-conservatives that have the ear of the President." -- Former Senator George McGovern and 1972 Democratic Candidate for President buzzflash.com

9/11 Commission Says It Needs More Time January 29, 2004 By PHILIP SHENON WASHINGTON January 28, 2004 The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Tuesday that it was seeking an extension of its deadline to complete the investigation until at least July, raising the prospect of a public fight with the White House and a final report delivered in the heat of the presidential campaign. The White House and Republican Congressional leaders have said they see no need to extend the congressionally mandated deadline, now set for May 27, and a spokesman for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said Tuesday that Mr. Hastert would oppose any legislation to grant the extension? nytimes.com 11-year-old boy among eight killed in Israeli tank raid on Gaza City January 29, 2004 By Sa'id Ghazali and Justin Huggler At least eight Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid into Gaza City yesterday - among them an 11-year-old boy, according to Palestinian doctors. Witnesses identified two of the dead, in addition to the 11-year-old, as civilians. independent.co.uk

Protester=Criminal? January 28, 2004 by Matthew Rothschild In many places across George Bush's America, you may be losing your ability to exercise your lawful First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. Increasingly, some police departments, the FBI, and the Secret Service are engaging in the criminalization--or, at the very least, the marginalization--of dissent. "We have not seen such a crackdown on First Amendment activities since the Vietnam War," says Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This crackdown took a violent turn in late November at the Miami protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas and at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland last April. In both cases, the police used astonishing force to break up protests. But even when the police do not engage in violence, they sometimes blatantly interfere with the right to dissent by preemptively arresting people on specious grounds. progressive.org

Political Repression in the Belly of the Beast January 28, 2004 While some segments of U.S. society like rightwing fundamentalists are being given the right to proselytize in national parks, other citizens are finding their civil rights being curtailed. Some activists in the States have been denied the right to travel and, of course, the recent police state installed in Miami during the FTAA demonstrations denied citizens the right to free assembly and protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The top cop behind the Miami outrage was police chief John Timoney, who also created similar zones of constitutional abuse during the Republican National Convention in 2000. One of the activists arrested there is still facing charges brought by Timoney. indymedia.org

Working and Poor in the USA January 28, 2004 by Beth Shulman IF or generations, Americans shared a tacit understanding that if you worked hard, you could earn a livable income and provide basic security for yourself and your family. That promise has been broken. More than 30 million Americans--one in four workers--are stuck in low-wage jobs that do not provide the basics for a decent life. thenation.com

UNITED STATES: Dock workers to stop work to protest Iraq war January 28, 2004 Shane Bentley At its January 15 membership meeting, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 voted to hold a stop-work meeting on March 20 to shut down San Francisco Bay docks in solidarity with protest marches taking place that day against the US occupation of Iraq. The dockers' union branch is using a contract provision that allows for a monthly stop-work meeting to conduct its solidarity action. Local 10 is trying to organise all US West Coast ports to take the same action. greenleft.org.au

The First Lie January 28, 2004 John C. Bonifaz attorney While all of the Democratic presidential candidates (except Sen. Joseph Lieberman) criticize President George W. Bush for his unilateral recklessness in starting a war against Iraq, they are missing a larger point: The invasion was not just reckless. It was unconstitutional. It is time to set the record straight. The United States Congress never voted for the Iraq war. Rather, Congress voted for a resolution in October 2002 which unlawfully transferred to the president the decision-making power of whether to launch a first-strike invasion of Iraq. The United States Constitution vests the awesome power of deciding whether to send the nation into war solely in the United States Congress. tompaine.com

UN warns over Israeli demolitions January 28, 2004 By James Rodgers BBC Gaza correspondent The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees is warning that it may not be able to cope with the number of people made homeless by Israeli army demolitions. The head of the organisation, Peter Hansen - on a visit to the southern Gaza Strip - condemned Israel's policy of demolishing houses as a hugely disproportionate military response. news.bbc.co.uk

Give You Liberty or Give You Death January 28, 2004 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. "The people of Iraq are free," said President Bush in his State of the Union speech. A few days later, a terrible problem presented itself. It seems that the best-selling popular music in Iraq heralds the resistance and condemns the occupation. Here's a sample lyric: "America has come and occupied Baghdad. The army and people have weapons and ammunition. Let's go fight and call out the name of God." CD shops around the country admit, when pressed, that this music is far more popular than the American and Arabic tunes that the US occupation forces stations to play. The US may call it terrorist music, but its message is enormously popular. lewrockwell.com

America: An empire to rival Rome? January 28, 2004 In a new six-part series entitled Age of Empire, the BBC's Jonathan Marcus sets out on a journey to examine America's place in the modern world. "America has no empire to extend or utopia to establish. We wish for others only what we wish for ourselves - safety from violence, the rewards of liberty, and the hope for a better life." So declared President George Bush in the traditional graduation address at the US Military academy at West Point in June 2002. But despite his insistence that the US has no imperial ambitions, the word "empire" is increasingly used by academics and pundits alike when talking about America's role in the world. news.bbc.co.uk

America's War for Global Domination January 28, 2004 by Michel Chossudovsky We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history. The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001). The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors. globalresearch.ca

Connected Iraq War Opponent a "Suicide" by DCDave January 28, 2004 Picture of Gus Weiss Gus W. Weiss, 72, adviser to four presidents on top secret policy matters, died violently in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003, but his death was not reported by The Washington Post until December 7, 2003, in the obitiuary section at the bottom of page C12. His home town newspaper, The Nashville Tennessean, was only a week late in reporting his death, but at that late date all they could say was, "The circumstances surrounding his death could not be confirmed last night." thebird.org

UN overwhelmed by Palestinian homeless demands January 28, 2004 GAZA CITY (AFP) The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees says his organisation is unable to keep pace with the demand for housing from families made homeless by the Israeli army's demolitions in the Gaza Strip Peter Hansen, commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), told AFP in an interview here Wednesday that his organisation did not have the funds to provide adequate shelter to refugees after the destruction of some 1,400 houses in Gaza. news.yahoo.com

Is That All There Is? January 28, 2004 By Sam Smith IF things keep going the way they are, the Democrats will nominate for president a man who was wrong on the Iraq war, wrong on the Bush tax cuts, wrong on the Bush education disaster, and wrong on the Patriot Act. And despite intimations of immutability by the media, all this has happened many, if not most, Democrats being unaware of the aforementioned. In short, the Democrats are preparing to nominate someone who agreed with George Bush on many of the major issues of the day and has only lately discovered that this may not have been such a good idea. scoop.co.nz

Second Amendment Foundation Says Spokane's 'Zero Tolerance Equals Zero Common Sense' January 28, 2004 BELLEVUE, Wash., /U.S. Newswire/ The Spokane School District's "zero tolerance policy" on weapons that left three boys suspended for bringing tiny 2-inch-long "action figure toy guns" to school reflects zero common sense on the part of school administrators, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) said today. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the school district, and especially Bemiss Elementary Principal Lorna Spear, "should be kept after school for this foolishness." "I get the feeling that when Spear was in school, she skipped class the day they covered the lesson on common sense," Gottlieb stated. "Zero tolerance policies are excuses that allow bureaucrats to escape making reasonable decisions on their own. "It doesn't take any brains at all for a rational adult to determine that a 2-inch-long toy gun is not a threat to anyone," he continued. "Then, again, writing an inflexible zero tolerance policy evidently doesn't take any brains, either. "Instead of an education, these kids got the inquisition," he concluded. "Principal Spear and Spokane school administrators need to stand in the corner until they grow up." usnewswire.com

Record Number of Unemployed Going Without Aid Due to Ending of Federal Unemployment Benefits Program January 28, 2004 usnewswire The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will hold a conference call briefing on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 3:00 p.m. (ET) to release a study showing that the number of jobless workers who are exhausting their regular unemployment benefits and receiving no further unemployment assistance - and thus are getting neither a paycheck nor unemployment benefits - is hitting a record level in January. The study shows that the number of such unemployed workers aid is expected to remain at record levels at least through the first half of 2004. Nearly two million unemployed workers are expected to be in this situation over the January -- June period. releases.usnewswire.com

Damn Hippie Liberal Trees BushCo wants you to know: Caring about the environment is for pinko terrorist idiots January 28, 2004 By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist As if 600-year-old redwoods give a damn for your politics. As if struggling salmon care a whit for the Catholic Church's sneering homophobic stance on gay marriage. Like Alaskan elk think your viewpoints on war are far too lopsided to hold sway in the national dialogue. There are typical GOP evils and there are warmongering BushCo flying monkeys and there is Dick Cheney's pallid sneer as he slaughters a small mountain of birds for blood sport, and then there is perhaps the most vile and destructive notion the GOP has succeeded in foisting upon the numbed nation to date: that caring about Mother Nature makes you, yet again, a "goddamn hippie liberal." sfgate.com

Iraq Bombings Kills 6 U.S. Soldiers January 28, 2004 By HAMZA HENDAWI BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The United Nations agreed Tuesday to send a team to Iraq to help break the impasse over electing a new government as the deaths of six more American soldiers in roadside bombings underscored concerns about security in the volatile nation. A bomb that exploded south of Baghdad killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded three others Tuesday night, hours after another bombing west of the capital killed three U.S. paratroopers and wounded one, the military said. In addition, two employees of Cable News Network died in a shooting south of Baghdad. guardian.co.uk

Iraq war unjustified says human rights group January 28, 2004 Ewen MacAskill The US and British governments cannot justify the Iraq war on humanitarian grounds, according to the annual report of Human Rights Watch published yesterday. Kenneth Roth, executive director of the human rights organisation, said at the launch of its 407-page report in London: "The Bush administration cannot justify the war in Iraq as a humanitarian intervention, and neither can Tony Blair. guardian.co.uk

Water, sickness, and a brewing Storm January 28, 2004 Dahr Jamail “I think the American’s came here because they want something, not just because they love the Iraqi people. If they really came to help, then they should leave quickly. Now we are waiting for the next 6 months. The longer we wait, the more we see their promises are not being kept.” He takes a sip of chai, thinks for a moment, and says, “No occupation ever makes things good for the people. All the people in the world must know the American’s are here just to help Mr. Bush win this next election. The same people who benefited under Saddam are benefiting more now. And the same people who suffered under Saddam, are suffering even more now.” electroniciraq.net

Iraqi whispers mull repeat of 1920s revolt over Western occupation January 28, 2004 Knight Ridder BAGHDAD, Iraq - Whispers of "revolution" are growing louder in Baghdad this month at teahouses, public protests and tribal meetings as Iraqis point to the past as an omen for the future. Iraqis remember 1920 as one of the most glorious moments in modern history, one followed by nearly eight decades of tumult. The bloody rebellion against British rule that year is memorialized in schoolbooks, monuments and mass-produced tapestries that hang in living rooms. Now, many say there's an uncanny similarity with today: unpopular foreign occupiers, unelected governing bodies and unhappy residents eager for self-determination. The result could be another bloody uprising. realcities.com

Bush 'stole' the presidential election: Cherie January 28, 2004 LONDON In a forthright view that is likely to embarrass her husband, Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, is reported to have observed that George W Bush "stole" the US presidential election from Al Gore. Cherie Blair still believed that Bush had stolen the White House from Gore," author Philip Stephens wrote in his book "Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader. " Although Tony Blair was pragmatic about Bush's victory, Mrs Blair was far less sanguine about the Supreme Court decision that gave him the keys to the White House. timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Will Vice President Cheney be indicted—and will the US media report it? January 28, 2004 By Patrick Martin A French investigation into $180 million in bribes paid by oil companies to government officials in Nigeria threatens to implicate US Vice President Richard Cheney, according to reports in the French and British press. The conservative French daily newspaper Le Figaro wrote last month that “the Paris court contemplates an eventual indictment of the present United States’ vice president, Richard Cheney, in his capacity as former CEO of Halliburton.” wsws.org

US denies 'imminent' threat warning January 28, 2004 AFP Correspondents in Washington THE White House today denied it ever warned that Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent" threat to the United States. It is already smarting from the failure so far to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "I think some in the media have chosento use the word 'imminent'. Those were not words we used. We used 'grave and gathering' threat," spokesman Scott McClellan said. But if US President George W. Bush never called Saddam's Iraq an "imminent threat" in so many words, he said it was "urgent"."immediate" to Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. theaustralian.news.com

Kay Testimony Impeaches Bush January 28, 2004 By Robert Scheer Can we now talk impeachment? The rueful admission by the chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction or the means to create them raises the prospect that the Bush administration is complicit in the greatest scandal in U.S. history. Yet, we hear no calls for a broad-ranging investigation of the type that led to the discovery of Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress. alternet.org

Bush Backs Away From His Claims About Iraq Arms January 28, 2004 By DAVID E. SANGER President Bush declined Tuesday to repeat his claims that evidence that Saddam Hussein had illicit weapons would eventually be found in Iraq, but he insisted that the war was nonetheless justified because Mr. Hussein posed "a grave and gathering threat to America and the world." nytimes.com

The conservatives are outraged -- about Bush January 28, 2004 By Michelle Goldberg At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, foot soldiers of the right rail against the big-government, free-spending ways of the White House. Razor-tongued right-wing darling Michelle Malkin stood before a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday and denounced George Bush's new immigration policy. Her voice oozing contempt, she described Bush as "Clintonian" for claiming to oppose amnesty in his State of the Union speech. She held up an orange sign with Bush's words, "I oppose amnesty," written on it. Then she ripped it up and roared, "What part of amnesty doesn't he understand?" salon.com

John Kerry voters intent on beating Bush January 28, 2004 By Mike Mokrzycki, Associated Press CONCORD, N.H. -- John Kerry scored big among New Hampshire Democratic primary voters most concerned about beating President George W. Bush in November, while Howard Dean edged out Kerry among those angry with the Bush administration and most opposed to the war in Iraq, an Associated Press exit poll found. boston.com

ACLU Files Complaint with United Nations in Geneva Seeking Justice for Immigrants Detained and Deported after 9/11 January 28, 2004 GENEVA/NEW YORK In its first-ever official submission to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the American Civil Liberties Union today presented an official complaint to the United Nations on behalf of immigrants imprisoned and deported from the United States after 9/11. aclu.org

Cartoonist calls Condi Rice 'murderer' – again This time 'Boondocks' creator levels charge on national TV January 28, 2004 By Paul Sperry WASHINGTON – He did it again, but this time on national TV. Aaron McGruder, a black syndicated cartoonist who's getting his own prime-time TV series on Fox, called National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "a murderer" for her role in the Iraq war. He made the remark as a guest on the nationally syndicated TV show www.abftv.com> "America's Black Forum," hosted by syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Juan Williams. worldnetdaily.com

A surprise in a Wal-Mart shirt January. 28, 2004 by Underground Panther in the Sky A couple of years ago sometime, I bought a workout shirt from Wal-Mart. Mom was getting something there and I decided to go because I needed a new shirt to sweat up at the gym and I had nothing better to do. I decided to take up the armholes in a rather cool manner and alter the design by installing "panels" in the pits to hide parts that need not be showing. Well, I laid the shirt on the table. I started to cut where I needed to cut. As I cut my shirt, I hit something hard in the fabric, embedded in it. It was a little less than about a quarter inch big. It made a faint noise as the scissors banged into it. I put down my scissors, picked at the fabric and found a computer-type chip. unknownnews.net

Klayman says Castro has biochemical weapons in CubaJanuary 28, 2004 By BRENT KALLESTAD Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Larry Klayman stepped up his call Tuesday to forcibly remove Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whom he described as "a master terrorist" and a primary threat to U.S. security. heraldtribune.com

Leaked News Network Memos: Election 2004 to be stolen again; Media to interview actors posing as troops on how great the war was... January 27, 2004 TBR News There are two major and very serious problems looming on the horizon for us. The first is the coming vote in November and the strong probability that there will be a reprise of the Florida mess. Our sources, Beltway rumor and other indicators, are very clear that vote stealing via badly flawed “electronic voting” is in train now. This has the fingerprints of Rove all over it but there is always plausible deniability, as in the Wilson “leak” case. The NYT has been pounding on this and it is also a favorite theme of anti-Bush internet sites. If the White House rams this national “Electronic Voting” program through, it could lead to another stolen election and that could lead to revolt inside both the Congress and the public…We have also learned that it is being “suggested” that all GI absentee votes be “directed” towards a Bush election. propagandamatrix.com

Stop Bush's Energy Bill January 27, 2004 By Robert Redford Over the next few weeks, President Bush and his congressional allies will try once again to ram their disastrous energy bill through the U.S. Senate. They fell only two votes short in November and they've vowed to make passage of the bill their top priority now that Congress has returned from recess. This bill may be the worst piece of legislation you and I will see in our lifetimes. It would pick your pocket, despoil your natural heritage, endanger your family's health and smother your hope for a more secure energy future. We ignore this bill at our own peril. Let me tell you our simple plan for thwarting this shameless attack on our environment and pocketbooks. If millions of Americans each took one minute to protest this bill, it would cause every senator who is tempted to vote for it to think twice about doing so. Send this message-http://www.savebiogems.org/redford.asp/ Tell your senators to defeat the Bush-Cheney energy bill-http://www.savebiogems.org/takeaction.asp?src=RR0401

American Ali Baba: George W. Bush and the Stealing of America January 27, 2004 By Manuel Valenzuela Iraqis have a slang term for those whom they believe guilty of thievery and chicanery, those people who steal, lie, cheat and are endowed with low levels of scruples. This term, Ali Baba. To the Iraqis, our nation and our occupying army are Ali Baba’s, plunderers of resources and usurpers of foreign lands. George W. Bush is seen as the greatest Ali Baba of them all, a thief and a liar, enriching his friends, cronies and contributors through the privatization of most of Iraq’s economy, businesses and government institutions, laying waste to a proud nation and ruining the lives of millions of its citizens. Colonizing and occupying Iraq under the façade of bringing freedom and instilling democracy, Bush is fooling nobody in Iraq. scoop.co.nz

U.S. Threatened with Iraq War Crimes Trial January 27, 2004 Some Iraqis say the U.S. military committed war crimes, including the bombing of a Baghdad market. Iraqi civilians are reportedly intending to bring charges in Belgium against U.S. General Tommy Franks for war crimes, possibly further straining ties with Washington after Brussels’ opposition to the war in Iraq. Ten Iraqi civilians are planning to press war crimes charges against U.S. General Tommy Franks, the commander of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the American newspaper the Washington Times reported. The Iraqis, eyewitnesses and victims of U.S. atrocities, hold coalition forces responsible for numerous crimes, including failing to prevent looting, firing on an ambulance, shooting and injuring Iraqi civilians, causing the deaths of scores of people by bombing a Baghdad marketplace and killing at least ten passengers driving in a civilian bus near the town of Hillah. According to the report, Brussels-based human rights lawyer Jan Fermon, who intends to represent the Iraqis, said the complaint against Franks and other U.S. military officials would be filed in a Belgian court in about two weeks. dw-world.de

US abuses human rights in Iraq, useless compensation system January 27, 2004 Chris Spannos According to a new report, the US military in Iraq is arrogant and cruel when dealing with Iraqis seeking compensation for wrongful death, injuries and property destruction. The report, authored by Iraq Occupation Watch and The National Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Iraq (NADHRI), slams US military practice in Iraq since March 1, 2003 and charges that the US compensation system in Iraq is useless. electroniciraq.net

U.S. Is Violating Accord on POWs January 27, 2004 By Leon Friedman professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School. On Jan. 9, the Defense Department announced that Saddam Hussein - often described by the administration as a vicious supporter of al-Qaida - would be granted prisoner of war status. Under the Geneva Convention, he is therefore entitled to humane treatment; he is not required to supply information to his captors beyond his name, rank and serial number; he is entitled to visits by international humanitarian organizations (such as the Red Cross); and he must be "repatriated" after the war is over. At the same time, Washington continues to insist that the low-level Taliban troops and foreign fighters captured in Afghanistan, who fought against the Northern Alliance to defend their regime, are "enemy combatants" and not prisoners of war. newsday.com

CONSPIRACY OR COINCIDENCE? January 27, 2004 Is it a conspiracy or a coincidence? There is a long and tangled history between the Bush family and the elite of Saudi Arabia. It begins in the 1970's in Houston, Texas, when George W. Bush was just starting out in his family's two businesses of politics and oil. The powerful - and very rich - Bin Laden family helped fund his first venture into oil. The cozy friendship continued for decades. After a terrorist attack at a barracks in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 Americans, the bin Laden family received a multi-billion dollar contract to re-build. And incredibly, George Bush Sr. was in a business meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington on the morning of September 11th with one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers. Below is a timeline that details the relationship between the Bin Laden and Bush families that culminates in the tragic events of September 11th. cbc.ca

Part of Patriot Act Ruled Unconstitutional January 27, 2004 By LINDA DEUTSCH LOS ANGELES (AP)--A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations. The ruling marks the first court decision to declare a part of the post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project. In a ruling handed down late Friday and made available Monday, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins said the ban on providing ``expert advice or assistance'' is impermissibly vague, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. rockymounttelegram.com

Couple lose their home over $120 debt January 27, 2004 By Michael Kolber COPPEROPOLIS -- A retired couple's dispute with their homeowners association has spiraled out of control in this Calaveras County community -- and now they have lost their home less than a year after failing to pay $120 in annual dues. Anita Radcliff, who owns the home with her husband, Thomas, said she had little hope of winning back the house, which the association's collection firm sold at a foreclosure auction in December for $70,000. "One of the unfortunate things about people is when you get a little power, it goes to their heads," said Anita Radcliff, 61. "The homeowners association has a lot of power." sacbee.com

U.N. Inspector David Kay resigned after nine fruitless months. 

The Evidence Mounts! ANOTHER BUSH DEFECTOR! January 26, 2004 By: Ted Lang The lies, fraud and misrepresentations on the part of the Bush administration in usurping presidential authority, supported by Congress’ “war powers” carte blanche authority allowing President George W. Bush to declare war on any nation of his choosing for any reason, is beginning to come home to roost! On the heels of the revelations made public by Bush’s former Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O’Neill, confirming the activities of the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, this secret cabal of Bush advisors that no one in America voted for has been exposed as a reality.  And of course, the Bush apologists on talk radio and at FOXNews have hastened to damage control mode, as has the Bush administration, and have denigrated O’Neill and his statements as merely those of a former disgruntled employee who had been fired. thepeoplesvoice.org

1,700 U.S. soldiers quit Iraq January 26, 2004 PARIS 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. highmarkfunds.stockpoint.com

Female GIs reporting rapes by U.S. soldiers Women say response lacking within military, some even threatened January 26, 2004 MILES MOFFEIT AND AMY HERDYFemale troops serving in Iraq are reporting an insidious enemy in their own camps: fellow American soldiers who sexually assault them.At least 37 female service members have sought sexual-trauma counseling and other assistance from civilian rape-crisis organizations after returning from war duty in Iraq, Kuwait and other overseas stations, women's assistance and advocacy organizations say."We have significant concerns about the military's response to sexual assault in the combat zone," said Christine Hansen, executive director of the Connecticut-based Miles Foundation, which says it has assisted 31 women.The women, ranging from enlisted soldiers to officers, have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults. charlotte.com

US plans for a new Iraqi regime in disarray January 26, 2004 By Mike Head In his State of the Union address last week, President George W. Bush insisted that the resistance to the US-led occupation of Iraq “will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in freedom... Month by month, Iraqis are assuming more responsibility for their own security and their own future.” The reality is that events in Iraq are rapidly lurching out of control for the Bush administration and its discredited Iraqi Governing Council (IGC). The past several days have seen a deepening of the insurgent attacks on US troops and Iraqi collaborators, accompanied by renewed calls by rival Shiite mullahs for the rejection of the US plan to instal an unelected government on July 1. wsws.org

America losing world's trust January 26, 2004 By David Sanger in Washington The blunt conclusion by David Kay, the chief US arms inspector in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein "got rid" of his unconventional weapons long before the Iraq invasion last year underscores what has become clear to intelligence experts in recent months: President George Bush moved against a country that posed a smaller risk than North Korea, Libya and Iran, or even one of America's allies, Pakistan. smh.com.au

Bush's Military Record Reveals Grounding and Absence for Two Full Years January 26, 2004 by Robert A. Rogers (USAF - Ret) "I think that people need to be held responsible for the actions they take in life." – George W. Bush - 1. Pilot George W. Bush did not simply "give up flying" with two years left to fly, as has been reported. Instead, Bush was suspended and grounded, very possibly as a direct or indirect result of substance abuse.  2. The crucial evidence – a Flight Inquiry Board – that would reveal the true reasons for Bush's suspension, as well as the punishment that was recommended, is missing from the records released so far. If no such Board was convened, this raises further questions of extraordinary favoritism.  3. Contrary to Bush's emphatic statements and several published reports, Bush never actually reported in person for the last two years of his service – in direct violation of two separate written orders. Moreover, the lack of punishment for this misconduct represents the crowning achievement of a military career distinguished only by favoritism. This in-depth investigation and analysis of Bush's apparent misconduct over the last two years of his six year obligation suggests that Bush did not fulfill all of his military obligations to the Texas Air National Guard and to his country, contrary to his repeated assertions. informationclearinghouse.info

Bush's State of the Union Address Left Republicans and Many Americans Disappointed Jan 26, 2004 By Edward W. Miller Our President’s “State of the Union” address to Congress on the 20th of January, left Republicans and many Americans disappointed, and provided the Democrats with plenty of ammunition for their on going campaign for the Whitehouse. Acknowledging his firm belief in Hermann Goering’s thesis, that a lie repeated often enough will become accepted, Bush defiantly repeated his canard that Saddam had been “developing weapons of mass destruction”. On January 16th, Bush’s special weapons inspector, David Kay, with no acknowledgment to the press, quietly left Iraq for his Christmas Holiday after telling the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, that “ He Doesn’t want to go back” Kay’s expensive team of 1400 weapons experts also quietly exited out the back door after spending well over $600 million of taxpayer’s money to find nothing. aljazeerah.info

Financial titans supporting Bush January 26, 2004 Ben White NEW YORK - One unseasonably cool evening in late October, a group of Wall Street bankers waited aboard a ferry in New York Harbor for the short trip to Ellis Island and a thank-you event for major backers of President Bush's re-election campaign. Ordinarily, the bankers - unaccustomed to waiting for anything - might be annoyed. But on this night they were placid, even though Charlie Black, a top adviser to the campaign, was running late. The Bush administration had given the bankers almost everything they ever dreamed of: a reduction in dividend and capital-gains taxes, a phase-out of the estate tax, an overall reduction in income taxes. So they waited patiently, eager to do whatever they could to ensure the president's re-election. azcentral.com

The US is now in the hands of a group of extremists January 26, 2004 George Soros Fundamentalism has spawned an ideology of American supremacy The invasion of Iraq was the first practical application of the pernicious Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action, and it elicited an allergic reaction worldwide - not because anyone had a good word to say about Saddam Hussein, but because we insisted on invading Iraq unilaterally without any clear evidence that he had anything to do with September 11 or that he possessed weapons of mass destruction. The gap in perceptions between America and the rest of the world has never been wider. Abroad, America is seen as abusing the dominant position it occupies; opinion at home has been led to believe that Saddam posed a clear and present danger to national security. Only in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion are people becoming aware they have been misled. guardian.co.uk

Stockholm conference seeks ways to prevent genocide, mass killings January 26, 2004 STOCKHOLM A conference on ways to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass killings opens in Stockholm on Monday with delegations from around 60 countries and several international bodies, organizers said. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to be among the delegates, as are some 10 heads of state or government, including from countries with experience of mass killings, like Bosnia-Hercegovina, Armenia and Rwanda. Host Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson will be the only western European leader at the three-day “Preventing Genocide” conference, the fourth and final one in a “Stockholm International Forum” series initiated by Persson in 2000. manilatimes.net

"Why do we, the American people, accept the lies told to US by a president that has devised a fraudulent strategy costing tens of thousands of lives..."

The Lie’s the Limit? WHERE DOES IT END? January 25, 2004 By: Ted Lang Those Americans not dumbed-down by media propaganda are already more than up to speed regarding the extracurricular activities of the Bush administration and the lies told by President George W. Bush to engineer an unnecessary war against a defenseless Third World dictatorship.  If human rights are an issue, where was America relative to the cause for world justice as regards Rwanda? The denizens of talk radio and FAUXNews justify the unjust war by the interventionist question: Aren’t the Iraqi people better off without Saddam?  Frankly, I cannot answer that question – I simply don’t have enough information on the matter.  Neither does anyone else in Amerika.  To be certain, the media hasn’t shed enough light on the matter.  In fact, the media is still in arrears as regards information on TWA 800, JFK, RFK, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 9-11, Halliburton, Bechtel, Enron, and on and on.  So how could anyone in this nation of propagandized news know what’s going on anywhere at anytime? thepeoplesvoice.org

The Bush Plan for America: The Rise of an American National Security State January 25, 2004 By Jennifer Van Bergen My dictionary defines fascism as a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. Americans may not realize it yet, but the United States under Bush is already more than three-quarters of the way down the road to fascism.[1] This is no conspiracy theory, no leftist complaint, no bleeding-heart sentiment. The facts are all there, but Americans do not yet see this ominous truth. vancouver.indymedia.org

Corporate profits grow but wages stall January 25, 2004 Charles Stein Corporate profits are at a record high. Wages are growing at the slowest pace in a decade. It sounds like a diabolical Republican plot. A single word explains much of the profit explosion: productivity. Companies have found a way to produce more with fewer people. Using a variety of tools - layoffs, new technology, the outsourcing of jobs... azcentral.com

10 days, 4,600 jobs lost January 25, 2004 By John Hogan First it was Greenville's Electrolux, with 2,700 lost jobs. West Michigan barely had a week to catch its breath before the next blow: 1,900 positions cut Friday at Meijer's 158 stores. And as soon as this week, Steelcase Inc. is expected to announce a major restructuring. No one is expecting the news to be good. mlive.com



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