FEBRUARY 7-1, 04 Archives

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Twaddlespeak! TENETS OF NONSENSE BY GEORGE! February 7, 2004 By: Ted Lang You would think that anyone as distinguished as CIA Director George Tenet, speaking to what is increasingly morphing into a crisis, would leave even the most critical and accomplished analyst hanging on each and every brilliant word uttered. Thankfully, the New York Times, in a February 5th posting, as well as some other sites, provided America with his recitation at a news conference at Georgetown, which was originally recorded by e-Media. A response to America was indeed in order for the quickly sinking Bush administration in an election year that is beginning to get away from them. And what better venue than this?  There was no swearing in of the witness and cross-examination was both cordial and casual.  No evidence was presented, and no penalty for perjury was utilized to ensure truth.  What was offered as a “press conference” was nothing more than a pep rally usually reserved for new spook recruits. thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush’s Iraq commission and the “intelligence failure” fraud February 7, 2004 By Barry Grey With the collapse of the edifice of lies used to justify the war in Iraq, the entire US political establishment has rallied around a new lie concocted to conceal the old ones—namely, the assertion that an “intelligence failure” is to blame for the false pre-war claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. President Bush on Friday named the members of his hand-picked—yet, somehow, “independent”—commission to look into this problem. Every one of the seven members of the panel is a trusted defender of US imperialism and the American ruling elite. The appointment of retired federal judge Laurence Silberman as co-chairman, in particular, exposes the utterly fraudulent character of the investigation (i.e., whitewash) that the commission will conduct. wsws.org

Bush Iraq Intelligence Panel Criticized February 7, 2004 By KEN GUGGENHEIM (AP) Democrats say President Bush's appointment of a bipartisan commission to examine intelligence on Iraq's weapons falls short of their demands for an independent probe of why prewar claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs now appear to have been wrong. theledger.com

Bush's approval rating down sharply February 7, 2004 AP) More people say they would definitely vote against President Bush, whose public support has slid to 47 percent. President Bush's public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest, an Associated Press poll found. And for the first time, more voters in this poll's two years of tracking the question said they would definitely vote against Bush than said they would definitely vote for him. miami.com

The day Cheney was rocked to the core February 7, 2004 By Jim Lobe If United States Vice President Dick Cheney was hoping that the cold, crisp air of Davos and his private audience with Pope John Paul II late last month would revive his spirits, as well as  his standing in the polls, he must be deeply disappointed. Since returning home, he has faced a seemingly unrelenting succession of disclosures and attacks that appear to get worse with each passing day. What the albatross was to the ancient mariner, Cheney is fast becoming to George W Bush's re-election chances. atimes.com

Bush plan for community colleges: training ground for low-wage jobs February 7, 2004 By Charles Bogel One day after his January 20 State of the Union address, President Bush made an appearance at the Perrysburg Township campus of Owens Community College, near Toledo, Ohio. Addressing an invitation-only audience, Bush pushed his plan for community colleges to become more focused on job training, offering the example of Owens Community College as a model for other two-year institutions to emulate. If Bush’s marching orders gain acceptance and other community colleges follow Owens’ lead, many working class students will have even less hope of a finding a good job and a rewarding future. wsws.org

Writing to Congress may be final victim of bioterror attacks February 7, 2004 By JESSE J. HOLLAND (AP) Somewhere in America, a classroom of children is likely busy scribbling letters to Congress, perhaps asking for a flag that flew over the Capitol for their school or legislation outlawing beets at dinnertime. Or an elderly woman may be pleading to her congresswoman to get a local post office renamed after one of her heroes, or to get help with a Social Security dispute. These could be the ultimate victims of this week's ricin attack on the Senate, the second time in history -- both in the past 28 months -- that the U.S. Capitol mail has shut down because of a letter laced with poisonous white powder. news-star.com

There’s Just No Pleasing Some People February 6, 2004 By: Kerry Tomasi Judging by the irate reaction to my recent ‘What Would Jesus Do’ essay, I obviously must have struck a nerve among some of the right wingers. What has me puzzled, though, is what kind of nerve has been struck? It’s odd. You’d think a letter encouraging people to investigate, through Bible study, what Jesus might actually think of our current state of affairs would be overwhelmingly endorsed by the fundamentalist Christian community. At the very least you’d think they’d be neutral or indifferent. But instead it’s – “Let’s shoot the messenger!” thepeoplesvoice.org

Ground Zero February 6, 2004 By Chris Floyd After shooting up the day-care center, the killer explained: "I heard the guy who runs this place might attack me. I needed answers: Did he have a gun, a knife -- or nothing?" A man in Lawrence, Kansas walks into a day-care center. He has a gun in his pocket but nobody sees it. He goes up to the second floor, where the preschool kids are having their afternoon snack of cookies and juice. He pulls out the gun and shoots a little boy in the head, leaving his face a mass of bone-flecked goo. Then he fires into the chest of the girl in the next chair; she dies still clutching the stuffed rabbit she brings with her every day. Another boy is hit while running for the door. The man is using special bullets, tipped with depleted uranium; the shot explodes the boy's shoulder in a spray of red mist and sends his gangly body hurtling down the concrete stairwell. tmtmetropolis.ru

How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age February 6, 2004 New research on the Great Ocean conveyor belt and climatology show How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age. A report in The Independent claims new research also suggests Britain is likely to be plunged into an ice age within our lifetime by global warming. Some reports claim Clima te Collapse is The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare. Current models of climate change assume a gradual process, but some geoscientists say Sudden Climate Change is the historical norm. While there is a vigorous debate in scientific circles over whether global warming matters, Tony Blair's chief scientist has launched a withering attack on President George Bush for failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more serious than terrorism. While Bush dithers on climate change for the benefit of corporations, New England states confront Bush with climate change plans. / indymedia.org

Chomsky: "Another Four Years Of The Same Policies Could Be Extremely Dangerous For The Country And The World" February 6, 2004 Watch 128k streamWatch 256k stream REPORTER: Mr. Chomsky, I want to ask you two brief questions. One is, in your view, what is the risk of four more years of Bush, both inside the United States and for international systems, what the impact will be. And secondly, do you think that Kofi Annan should cede to U.S. pressure and send U.N. personnel back to Iraq, and does he have any room to say no? NOAM CHOMSKY: It's very hard to predict the weather, and predicting human fate is difficult. But there is a fair possibility, a possibility beyond what I think any rational person would accept, that another four years of the same policies, could be extremely dangerous for the country, and the world, and could cause, maybe, irreparable harm. democracynow.org

Did Bush drop out of the National Guard to avoid drug testing? February 6, 2004 By Eric Boehlert The young pilot walked away from his commitment in 1972 -- the same year the U.S. military implemented random drug tests. One of the persistent riddles surrounding President Bush's disappearance from the Texas Air National Guard during 1972 and 1973 is the question of why he walked away. Bush was a fully trained pilot who had undergone a rigorous two-year flight training program that cost the Pentagon nearly $1 million. And he has told reporters how important it was to follow in his father's footsteps and to become a fighter pilot. Yet in April 1972, George W. Bush climbed out of a military cockpit for the last time. He still had two more years to serve, but Bush's own discharge papers suggest he never served for the Guard again. salon.com

US Soldier: "Sometimes it is a soldier’s duty to tell the truth, no matter what" February 6, 2004 By Jay Shaft "Sometime you have to weigh your duty to your government, and the duty to your fellow soldiers to protect them and keep them safe. I feel the duty to my fellow soldier out weighs any loyalty to my government. I do not see this as treason or betraying my command, especially in light of how badly the government has betrayed our troops at every level. iraqwar.ru

The Hypocrisy Of It All February 6, 2004 The US "pre-emptively" attacked Iraq because we "think" Iraq might have Weapons of Mass Destruction. The US has threatened Iraq with the largest bomb (22,000) ever used in the history of the world. Because Iraq defied the United Nations, the US makes war on Iraq in defiance of the United Nations. President Bush said we will liberate the Iraqi people, and they will rejoice in our arrival. The Iraqi people are resisting to the death. jihadunspun.com

The Torture Files: Iraqi Detainees Allege Mistreatment And Abuse February 6, 2004 A widower and the father of two young boys, Baha al-Maliki worked as a hotel receptionist in the Iraqi city of Basra until September 14 of last year. That day, British soldiers arrested him and seven other hotel workers, saying they had found a stash of weapons hidden in the hotel. His family learned nothing of his whereabouts until three days later, when British soldiers came to their door to tell them he was dead. When al-Maliki’s father retrieved his body from the hospital, according to Amnesty International’s Khaled Chibane, “it was severely bruised and covered in blood.” The cause of death listed on his death certificate, says Chibane, was asphyxiation, apparently from being hooded during his interrogation. “It was obvious that he had died,” Chibane says, “as a result of torture.” jihadunspun.com

Supporting the Troops - Bush Style February 6, 2004 By: W. David Jenkins III So what was the news today? How did the senior officials who dance a macabre soft shoe say we did? How did we really do? What was today's body count? Was it a remote-controlled "explosive device" or a round of RPGs or was it another mortar attack? How many flag-draped coffins will arrive tonight back here at home under the cover of darkness - far away from any cameras? enter.net

Largest City in America Passes Pro-Civil Liberties Resolution; New York City Becomes 250th to Join Call to Keep America Safe and Free February 6, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union today hailed passage by the New York City Council of a pro-civil liberties resolution urging a narrowing of some of the most egregious portions of the USA PATRIOT Act and affirming support for freedom in the post-9/11 era.  Today’s move by the City Council comes just a week after the Bush Administration threatened to veto a bill that offers modest changes to the PATRIOT Act to bring certain measures back in line with the Constitution. aclu.org

CIA denies claims that Iraq posed 'imminent' danger February 6, 2004 By Andrew Buncombe The director of the CIA, George Tenet, contradicted yesterday claims made, or implied, by the Bush administration that Iraq had posed an imminent danger to the West before the United States-led invasion last March. Intelligence reports had "never said there was an imminent threat", he said. independent.co.uk

'You say preemptive, I say preventive' February 6, 2004 By Peter Lee "What's the difference?" - George W. Bush Well, you dumb mutt, the difference between a pre-emptive war against an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and a preventive war against an inconvenient regime...is the difference between collecting your unearned pension and parading on the rubber chicken circuit for the rest of your life defending your abysmal record as the worst president in modern history...versus getting your clueless ass impeached and maybe hauled before a war crimes tribunal to boot. Believe me, George W. Bush and his advisers know the difference...which they are trying desperately to obscure. smirkingchimp.com

Administration OKs Drilling On Endangered Sea Turtles' Nesting Beach February 6, 2004 The Bush Administration has approved extensive gas drilling in a national park that is the main U.S. nesting beach for the most endangered sea turtle in the world. The National Park Service under President Bush has given the green light to "an aggressive drilling campaign" that could involve drilling 20 or more natural gas wells on Padre Island National Seashore in Texas. And it did so without formally consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as required by the Endangered Species Act. bushgreenwatch.org

February 5, 2004 President Bush's reluctant capitulation to pressure for an outside inquiry into Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction does nothing to restore his damaged credibility on the issue. The panel is too little, too late, and too much under the White House thumb. New polls show that support for the war is waning in the wake of respected former chief U.S. arms inspector David Kay's testimony last week before a Senate committee that Iraq had no menacing WMD when the administration sent young men and women into harm's way there last year. theday.com

There was no failure of intelligence February 5, 2004 Sidney Blumenthal US spies were ignored, or worse, if they failed to make the case for war The truth is that much of the intelligence community did not fail, but presented correct assessments and warnings, that were overridden and suppressed. On virtually every single important claim made by the Bush administration in its case for war, there was serious dissension. Discordant views - not from individual analysts but from several intelligence agencies as a whole - were kept from the public as momentum was built for a congressional vote on the war resolution. guardian.co.uk

CIA director defends intel officials' prewar efforts February 5, 2004 From staff and wire reports CIA Director George Tenet acknowledged serious intelligence misjudgments leading up to the war with Iraq on Thursday but defended his agency's overall performance. He also said the CIA never claimed Iraqi weapons were an imminent threat — an argument the administration used as a major justification for the war. usatoday.com

Halliburton faces bribes inquiry February 5, 2004 David Teather Criminal investigators in the US have opened an inquiry into allegations that Halliburton was involved in $180m in bribes paid to Nigerian officials during the late 1990s, when Vice-president Dick Cheney was company chief. The financial regulator, the securities and exchange commission, has also launched an inquiry. The investigations add to the pressure on Halliburton after months of scrutiny over its links to the White House and the way it has won contracts in Iraq, as well as allegations of overcharging the US army for work carried out. guardian.co.uk

Cheney's Staff Focus of Probe February 5, 2004 By Richard Sale Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said. insightmag.com

Bush Budget Cuts a Variety of Programs February 5, 2004 By EDMUND L. ANDREWS The White House on Tuesday released a list of 128 government programs that it plans to cut back or eliminate, including money for drug treatment centers and secondary school counselors and modernization of the air traffic system. The list highlights the effect of President Bush's budget on a variety of popular programs in education, health, housing and even law enforcement. nytimes.com

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Shows No Sign of Slowing February 5, 2004 (Reuters) The U.S. death toll in Iraq is showing no sign of slowing, with attacks on American troops by insurgents becoming more sporadic but often more lethal, analysts said on Tuesday. Despite proclamations by commanders about progress against the resistance -- Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno said the insurgents had been ``brought to their knees'' -- analysts said there was little reason to believe U.S. casualties will decline any time soon during this U.S. presidential election year. nytimes.com

Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows February 5, 2004 Times Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia traveled as an official guest of Vice President Dick Cheney on a small government jet that served as Air Force Two when the pair came here last month to hunt ducks. The revelation cast further doubts about whether Scalia can be an impartial judge in Cheney's upcoming case before the Supreme Court, legal ethics experts said. The hunting trip took place just weeks after the high court agreed to take up Cheney's bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy task force. latimes.com

Bush's missing year February 5, 2004 By Eric Boehlert In 1972, George W. Bush dropped out of his National Guard service and later lied about it. With the media finally paying attention, will he now come clean? In 1972, George W. Bush simply walked away from his pilot duties in the Texas Air National Guard. He skipped required weekend drill sessions for many months, probably for more than a year, and did not take a mandatory annual physical exam, which resulted in his being grounded. Nonetheless, Bush, the son of a well-connected Texas congressman, received an honorable discharge. If an Air National guardsman today vanished for a year, military attorneys say that guardsman would be transferred to active duty or, more likely, kicked out of the service, probably with a less-than-honorable discharge. They suggest the penalty would be especially swift if the absent-without-leave guardsman were a fully trained pilot, as Bush was. salon.com

“An invisible government” All News is Lies February 5, 2004 By John Laughland Sean McMeekin’s recently published biography of Willi Münzenberg, the man rightly dubbed in the subtitle “Moscow’s propaganda wizard in the West” is a useful addition to the small literature on the all-important subject of media manipulation. It, and the other books on Münzenberg and related subjects, enable us to understand how secret services and covert operations are used to control public access to information, and to influence public opinion for political purposes. sandersresearch.com

India finds pesticides in colas February 5, 2004 By Jyotsna Singh Indian MPs have upheld the findings of an environment group which reported that Coca-Cola and Pepsi drinks contained pesticide residues. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said last August that its investigations revealed the drinks contained harmful residues and posed a health risk. news.bbc.co.uk

Dozens Of Dead Americans Discovered In US Base In Iraq February 5, 2004 On week ago, the heroic Resistance attacked an American convoy on the road to al-Hillah, thinking that the number of American troop transport vehicles was small. But after dealing with the target and overcoming it, there immediately appeared new and larger vehicles. At first the Resistance fighters believed that they had fallen into a trap but with the help of the Almighty, they overcame one of the vehicles that was carrying munitions and it exploded on the whole rest of the convoy. The proud Iraqi fighters finished off the remaining enemy personnel as they scurried from the vehicles. But the matter did not end there. The Resistance fighters followed up on the results of their barrage on an American camp set up in a phosphate factory near al-Musayyib. And here comes something really new! Thanks to God they discovered dozens of dead American thugs who had been buried in graves that had not been completely covered. They were left naked so that there would be no sign or insignia on them to indicate that they were American thugs. All that we ask is that the US press be informed of this so that they might go to the place and check it out for themselves. jihadunspun.com

The kaleidoscopic arguments of Bush and Blair February 5, 2004 The arguments for attacking Iraq change colour so frequently, they look like a rainbow President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, the main protagonists behind the illegal act of butchery in Iraq which shocked world public opinion, are forced to call for independent inquiries into the intelligence which they presented as fact, an action which proves that they made a grave mistake in not listening to the UNO. Ten thousand civilians are dead, sixteen thousand are mutilated for life and countless others are homeless, jobless or destitute. The civilian infrastructures were deliberately chosen as military targets and were attack with such savagery that today, many basic and essential services are not functioning, which is creating more innocent human victims. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have a lot to answer for. They flagrantly disrespected international law, they turned their back on the UNO, which they were bound to consult, they disregarded the UN Charter and their armed forces broke the Geneva Convention, not once, but systematically. iraqwar.ru

Smoke And Mirrors: The Civilian Claims Process In Iraq February 5, 2004 Rob Eshelman As the US military convoy crested over the bridge in Baghdad's al Adahmiya neighborhood, Kasim Husain steered his white Toyota sedan to the side of the road. The final Humvee had just passed when the military convoy came to an abrupt stop. Soldiers exited the rear vehicle and, without warning, opened fire. Bullets smashed through the windows of Kasim's car killing his cousin, Ali, instantly with a bullet slug to the head. Kasim's 20-year old son, Akeel, ran from the vehicle and was cut down with two shots to the stomach. As Kasim cradled Akeel's head in his arms by the roadside, the dying young man asked his father to take care of his wife, who he had just married. electroniciraq.net

Hypocrisy and right-wing politics fuel furor over Super Bowl episode February 5, 2004 By David Walsh The baring of pop singer Janet Jackson’s breast during the halftime show at Sunday’s Super Bowl football game has become the occasion for a vast and hypocritical outpouring of official moral outrage in the US. It has given rise to demands for further censoring the television airwaves and provided yet another opportunity for whipping up the Christian fundamentalist “base” of the Republican Party. wsws.org

Washington conceals US casualties in Iraq February 4, 2004 By David Walsh The Bush administration is deliberately concealing from the American people the number and condition of US military personnel who have been wounded in Iraq. The efforts by those few politicians and media figures who have pursued the issue make this clear. Estimates on the number of US soldiers, sailors and Marines medically evacuated from Iraq by the end of 2003 because of battlefield wounds, illness or other reasons range from 11,000 to 22,000, a staggering figure by any standard. Thousands of these young men and women have been physically or psychologically damaged for life, in turn affecting the lives of tens of thousands of family members and others. And the war in Iraq is less than one year old. wsws.org

Whitewash! Bush WMD Intelligence Probe Designed to Hide, Not Reveal Truth February 4, 2004 By Rob Kall Just the way the Bush administration is titling the investigation:  "independent commission to investigate pre-war US intelligence" tells us that it is being set up to further hide the real problem, which was not at all about the failure of intelligence sources. We already know that the administration was warned amply by many sources that the WMD threat information was unreliable. We already know that Cheney and other Neocons set up their own (oxymoronic) "intelligence" operation within the pentagon. We already know that they chose to ignore usual procedure for acquiring, transmitting and processing intelligence information, instead, going with filtered and selected only information that reinforced their views and goals-- that Saddam was an immediate danger, that he had massive quantities off WMDs, that Saddam was working with Al Qaeda. opednews.com

Kerry calls on Bush to settle questions on military record February 4, 2004 By Patrick Healy Democratic presidential front-runner John F. Kerry, who has turned his decorated Vietnam War service into a theme of his campaign, said yesterday that President Bush and the US military should settle questions -- raised recently by Kerry allies -- about whether Bush completed his military service requirement in the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970s. boston.com

US firms announce deeper job cuts in January February 4, 2004 (AFP) American employers swung a heavier jobs axe in January, announcing more than 100,000 cuts for the first time in three months, a closely watched survey showed. Companies planned 117,556 cuts in January, traditionally a tough month for the labor market, up 26 percent from December, said the survey conducted for outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. It was the biggest job-cutting figure since October. story.news.yahoo.com

Bush Budget Cuts Environmental Funding by 7 Pct February 4, 2004 By Chris Baltimore The Bush administration on Monday proposed a 2005 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency which is down more than 7 percent from levels Congress enacted in 2004, slashing funds for clean water projects by about $500 million. yahoo.com

US budget deficit to hit half a trillion dollars February 4, 2004 By Nick Beams The announcement by the Bush administration that it plans a budget deficit of $521 billion for the 2004 fiscal year—a record in dollar terms—is certain to bring further warnings of the dangers to the world financial system posed by the escalating US debt. Last month the International Monetary Fund published a report stating that there were “significant risks” for the American economy and the rest of the world from growing US budget deficits. Significantly its warnings were echoed in a paper co-authored by former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin which was presented to a meeting of the American Economic Association in early January. wsws.org

How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age... February 3, 2004 by Thom Hartmann While global warming is being officially ignored by the political arm of the Bush administration, and Al Gore's recent conference on the topic during one of the coldest days of recent years provided joke fodder for conservative talk show hosts, the citizens of Europe and the Pentagon are taking a new look at the greatest danger such climate change could produce for the northern hemisphere - a sudden shift into a new ice age. What they're finding is not at all comforting. thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush accused of undermining investigation February 3, 2004 Suzanne Goldenberg President George Bush, repeatedly challenged on his prewar certainties about Saddam Hussein's arsenal, yesterday confirmed an outside investigation into intelligence failures on Iraq. But the promise of an independent, bipartisan commission came under immediate attack, with critics accusing the White House of trying to undermine the inquiry from the start. guardian.co.uk

Bush's $2.4 trillion budget taking hits from all sides February 3, 2004 (AP) President Bush's $2.4 trillion election-year budget is taking broadsides from Republicans for spending too much, from Democrats for embracing the wrong priorities and from anti-deficit groups for masking red ink. Treasury Secretary John Snow and White House budget chief Joshua Bolten were to have kicked off the administration's explanation of the Fiscal 2005 budget before Senate committees Tuesday. Those hearings were postponed because of an investigation into the discovery of a suspicious, white powdery substance in a Senate office building. picayuneitem.com

Halliburton in $16M food probe Halliburton in $16M food probe Halliburton in $16M food probe Halliburton in $16M food probe February 3, 2004 (Reuters) Report: Contractor allegedly overcharged U.S. military for food-service work. Halliburton Co. allegedly overcharged more than $16 million for meals at a U.S. military base in Kuwait during the first seven months of last year, according to a published report Monday, citing Pentagon investigators auditing the company's work. money.cnn.com

Abuse of Iraqi prisoners common, Marine says February 3, 2004 By Rick Rogers A former Marine guard testified yesterday that it was common practice in Iraq to kick and punch prisoners who didn't cooperate – and even some who did. Although guards beat and choked Hatab and although he died in their custody, Col. William Gallo, the investigating officer, said he had not seen evidence to substantiate charges of negligent homicide against two Marines in the case: Maj. Clarke Paulus and Lance Cpl. Christian Hernandez. signonsandiego.com

Bush pushes plan for space weapons Proposes boost for missile shield $2.4 trillion budget outlined February 3, 2004 REUTERS President George W. Bush is planning to put the first weapons in space despite broad international opposition, budget papers sent yesterday to the American Congress showed. http://www.thestar.ca

Poisoning for profit: February 3, 2004 By E. Galen The second part of Deceit and Denial examines pollution by the chemical industry, which during the second half of the twentieth century exploded on the industrial scene. In the 1940s and 1950s, the chemical industry promoted petrochemical products, particularly plastics, as essential to modern American society. org/articles / first part

TSA=Terrorism Subjugating Americans SECURITY OVER FREEDOM January 2, 2004 By: Ted Lang Let’s start with a logical approach.  If you were president, wouldn’t you be most desirous of protecting the lives of American citizens, both in the air on airliners and those working in skyscrapers as well?  Wouldn’t you first seek the most common denominator as concerns all those flights in order to implement an effective security policy?  And wouldn’t the common denominator be the flight crews themselves?  Wouldn’t you focus on precisely the same key target that the terrorists would focus on; namely, the cockpit crews? thepeoplesvoice.org

Ricin Find Stops Most Senate Business ebruary 2, 2004 (AP) A white powder found in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office tested Tuesday as an "active" form of the deadly poison ricin, forcing cancellation of most Senate business in the second such scare from a lethal toxin to hit the capital. Sen. Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader, likened the events to the 2001 incident in which his office received letters containing potentially deadly anthrax. "Terrorists acts, criminal attacks of this kind, will not stop the work of the Senate or the Congress," Daschle said at a news briefing. customwire.ap.org

Iraq intelligence efforts led by Cheney magnified errors, officials sayebruary 2, 2004 (KRT) What went wrong with intelligence on Iraq will never be known unless the inquiry proposed by President Bush examines secret intelligence efforts led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon hawks, current and former U.S officials said Monday. sunherald.com

Preventing the Prevention of Genocide February 2, 2004 Ritt Goldstein Just as everyone was discussing ways to prevent genocide, it was revealed that the United States was lobbying against the International Criminal Court -- there to counter genocide. STOCKHOLM, Jan 30 (IPS) - The first intergovernmental conference on genocide to be held since 1948 ended this week in Stockholm with political fireworks within the conference hall marking its finish. Before representatives from 55 nations, former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans said U.S. officials had been using the conference to lobby against the International Criminal Court (ICC), the very body created to try crimes against humanity like genocide. The United States has withdrawn from the Rome Treaty of 1998 that created the ICC. ipsnews.net

Betrayal In The Ranks February 2, 2004 denverpost.com Thousands of women have been sexually assaulted in the United States military. Thousands more have been abused by their military husbands or boyfriends. And then they are victimized again. This time, the women are betrayed by the military itself. They are discouraged from reporting the crimes. Pressured to go easy on their attackers. Denied protection. Frustrated by a justice system that readily shields offenders from criminal punishment. The women suffer for it. Some cannot talk about what happened. They were killed by men whose violence was allowed to escalate. Other victims struggle with anger over a trusted system that betrayed them. denverpost.com

How drone went from solid proof to a red herring February 2, 2004 Washington Post The information was so startling that CIA director George Tenet, accompanied by Vice President Dick Cheney, trooped up to Capitol Hill to brief the four top Senate and House leaders the day after Labor Day 2002. The administration was gearing up to present its case against Iraq at the United Nations, and lawmakers were eager for any evidence that would prove Saddam Hussein was a grave threat. In the briefing, Tenet and Cheney presented what one participant described as a "smoking gun": New intelligence showed that Iraq had developed unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, that could deliver chemical or biological agents. In addition, Iraq had sought software that would allow it to produce sophisticated mapping of the eastern US cities. boston.com

Is George W. a "Dry Drunk"? February 2, 2004 By Katherine van Wormer Katherine van Wormer, Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa, is co-author of Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (2002). Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes. It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush's speeches that I began to wonder. First there were the terms--"crusade" and "infinite justice" that were later withdrawn. Next came "evildoers," "axis of evil," and "regime change," terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media. hnn.us/articles / More Evidence that Bush Is a "Dry Drunk"? hnn.us/articles

More than 100 dead in Iraq suicide blast February 2, 2004 Arbil: More than 100 people were reported killed or wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday in this northern Kurdish city, after US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz flew into Baghdad. sify.com

A scandal greater than Watergate February 2, 2004 By ERIC MARGOLIS "We were all wrong," White House chief weapons hunter and longtime war booster David Kay admitted last week. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as the U.S. and Britain had long alleged. Iraq's nuclear weapons, death rays, vans of death, drones of death, mobile germ labs, poison gas factories, hidden weapons depots, long-range missiles, links to al-Qaida - all were bogus. The only thing real is Iraq's oil. canoe.ca

U.S.: Despite Releases, Children Still Held at Guantanamo February 2, 2004 (HRW) The United States released three children from detention at Guantanamo Bay today. Human Rights Watch welcomed the release, but cautioned that other children are still being detained at the U.S. naval base in violation of international standards. hrw.org

Odd Jobs Why the unemployment rate is really higher than it looks February 2, 2004 By Daniel Gross "People are finding work," President Bush proclaimed yesterday in New Hampshire. "There's an excitement in our economy." Evidently, President Bush failed to read the first paragraph of the most recent Employment Situation Summary, which showed that the mammoth U.S. economy added a paltry 1,000 payroll jobs in December slate.msn.com

Karzai Says Civilians Died in U.S. Attack February 2, 2004 By STEPHEN GRAHAM KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The Afghan president on Saturday said a U.S. air strike this month killed 10 civilians, including women and children, contradicting American military reports that claimed the casualties were Taliban militants. guardian.co.uk

Iraq probe said to be based on JFK panel February 2, 2004 By Deb Riechmann Results unlikely before election President Bush, under mounting political pressure, will sign an executive order to establish an investigation of US intelligence failures in Iraq, modeled on the inquiry into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a senior White House official confirmed yesterday. boston.com

Diversion & Delay: When In Trouble, Blame the CIA February 2, 2004 by Jim Lobe Badly wounded by the total collapse of its pre-war contentions that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, the administration of President George W. Bush has embarked on a strategy of diversion and delay. It hopes to divert attention from the role played by senior administration officials in influencing and exaggerating the intelligence assessments of the Iraqi threat in the run-up to the war by focusing debate instead on flaws in the intelligence and how it can be improved in the future. commondreams.org

"Defense" Spending Out of Control February 2, 2004 By Mick Youther Bush squanders billions on Star Wars and for corporate profit, but can’t supply our troops with the basic equipment they need Unfortunately, our elected representatives consistently ignored President Eisenhower’s 1961 warning about the military-industrial complex acquiring too much influence; so by the time the Cold War ended, it was too late. The influence of this unholy alliance has grown steadily, but since George W. Bush was “elected”, it no longer needs to influence the government—it is the government. Defense spending is out of control, and I’m not just talking about overpriced hammers and toilet seats.  “A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.” interventionmag.com

Death Toll In Irbil Bombings Rising As More US Soldiers Killed February 2, 2004 Kurdish officials have said casualties were still being counted from Sunday’s attack when two bombers detonated explosives at the offices of two rival Kurdish parties in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. US officials said at least 56 people were killed and more than 235 were wounded. Kurdistan Democratic Party official Mohammed Munif inferred the toll was much higher. "These figures are estimates but I believe about 60 people were killed at the PUK and about 80 at the KDP. There are a tremendous number of injured" he said. Meanwhile, a US soldier died on Saturday from wounds sustained in a roadside bomb attack west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad last week, the American military said on Sunday. A military statement said the US soldier, who was attached to Task Force "All American", was injured last Tuesday in a bomb attack. Elsewhere, another American soldier was killed and 12 wounded in a rocket attack Sunday on an Army base in central Iraq, the U.S. military said. The rocket hit a logistics support camp in Balad, some 80 kilometers south of Tikrit. Two of the injured soldiers were in serious condition. jihadunspun.com

"Who will speak for our military dead, the civilian dead, the fatherless, the motherless, the childless, the armless, the legless" 

Smirkin’ n Shirkin’ NOT HIS FAULT! February 1, 2004 By: Ted Lang Things are really livening up over at the ole District of Criminals!  Our president, Karl Rove, and his cabinet of unelected PNAC Israeli ministers, have lurched into accelerated damage control mode!  In fact, caught up in the rallying, protective surge for figurehead President George W. Bush, the United States Congress is fumbling and stumbling to save the smoldering wreckage of their Honorable Numero Uno as well!  It is indeed humorous to see this congressional bunch skidding on their fannies down Rove’s slippery slope! On the heels of irrefutable evidence that President George W. Bush lied in both of his constitutionally-mandated State of the Union addresses concerning the imminent need to attack the economically and militarily-strapped Third World dictatorship of Iraq, the Bush administration is doing a most admirable job of spin-doctoring. thepeoplesvoice.org

With Friends Like Us - Bush's Desolate Imperium February 1, 2004 By BERNARD CHAZELLE Ah, the ease with which George W. Bush attracts superlatives! Helen Thomas calls him "the worst president ever." A kinder, gentler Jonathan Chait ranks him "among the worst presidents in US history." No such restraint from Paul Berman, who brands him "the worst president the US has ever had." Nobel Laureate George Akerlof rates his government as the "worst ever." Even Bushie du jour, Christopher Hitchens, calls the man "unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things." Only Fidel Castro, it would appear, has had kind words for our 43rd President. "Hopefully, he is not as stupid as he seems, nor as Mafia-like as his predecessors were." counterpunch.org

US officials knew in May Iraq possessed no WMD February 1, 2004 Peter Beaumont, Gaby Hinsliff and Paul Harris Blair comes under pressure as Americans admit it was widely known that Saddam had no chemical arsenal. Senior American officials concluded at the beginning of last May that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, The Observer has learnt. Intelligence sources, policy makers and weapons inspectors familiar with the details of the hunt for WMD told The Observer it was widely known that Iraq had no WMD within three weeks of Baghdad falling, despite the assertions of senior Bush administration figures and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. guardian.co.uk

Bush faces record deficit February 1, 2004 Mark Tran The US budget deficit is expected to swell to $521bn (£276.3bn) this year, shattering previous records, when the White House presents its budget next week, US officials have said. The new figure exceeds this week's Congressional Budget Office deficit projection of $477bn and the administration's own $475bn estimate last summer. The estimated shortfall for this year would be the biggest ever in dollar terms. guardian.co.uk

White House Holding Notes Taken by 9/11 Commission Panel May Subpoena Its Summaries of Bush Briefings February 1, 2004 By Dan Eggen The White House, already embroiled in a public fight over the deadline for an independent commission's investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is refusing to give the panel notes on presidential briefing papers taken by some of its own members, officials said this week. washingtonpost.com

This is how Bush supports our troops  February 1, 2004 by Kenneth Norris By cutting benefits and health care for those putting their lives on the line in Iraq Do you support our troops? If so, prepare to be outraged that our commander in chief does not. The Bush Administration's 2004 budget proposed gutting Veterans Administration (VA) services, including health care funding. Proposed cuts included: denying at least 360,000 veterans access to health care; $250 annual premiums; increased pharmacy co-payments; a 30 percent increased primary care co-payments; and increased waiting time for a first medical appointment. usavanguard.com

Total surveillance becoming reality February 1, 2004 By Bruce Schneier Last week the Supreme Court let stand the Justice Department's right to secretly arrest noncitizen residents. Combined with the government's power to designate foreign prisoners of war as "enemy combatants" in order to ignore international treaties regulating their incarceration, and their power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or access to an attorney, the United States is looking more and more like a police state. zdnet.com.com

Bush accused of favoring wealthy February 1, 2004 George W. Bush's State of the Union address showed how truly out of touch he is with the average American. He thinks that tax cuts, tax deductions and tax-deferred accounts are the answer to everything. How can people making low wages afford to pay for insurance in order to eventually get the tax deduction? What good are medical savings accounts to people who have no money to put aside in savings? The average savings that members of Bush's cabinet are expected to receive this year from the capital gains and dividend tax cuts is $42,000. In comparison, the median income of American households in 2001 was $42,228. goerie.com

Arab-Americans switch: Bush to Kucinich February 1, 2004 WorldNetDaily.com Prominent group that backed president in 2000 says they were 'stung'. Complaining it was betrayed, a key Arab-American group that endorsed George W. Bush in the 2000 election says it will back Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic nomination and stand behind that party's eventual nominee. worldnetdaily.com

Intelligence Probe Would Be Risky for Bush February 1, 2004 TERENCE HUNT Associated Press A full-blown investigation of Iraq intelligence failures would pose election-year risks for President Bush. No one could be certain where it would lead, who it would touch or what it would uncover. But resisting an investigation has hazards, too, because that would give Democratic presidential rivals an opening to keep the issue alive and question what the White House might be hiding. miami.com

Security Impact of Rapid Climate Change February 1, 2004 A total shutdown of the [Gulf Stream current] might lead to a big chill like the “Younger Dryas,” [a 1,300-year ice age that occurred 13,000 years ago] causing an era like the “Little Ice Age,” a time of hard winters, violent storms, and droughts. For planning purposes, it makes sense to focus on a midrange case of abrupt change. A century of cold, dry, windy weather across the Northern Hemisphere that suddenly came on 8,200 years ago fits the bill – its severity fell between that of the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The event is thought to have been triggered by a conveyor collapse after a time of rising temperatures not unlike today’s global warming. Suppose it recurred, beginning in 2010. Here are some of the things that might happen by 2020: sftt.org

Bush's immigration proposal keeps industry in cheap labor February 1, 2004 By RICARDO SANCHEZ On Jan. 7, President Bush outlined his proposal for immigration reform. What some say is a pre-election bid to attract Latino voters is more accurately another effort to curry favor with industries that rely on a steady stream of cheap foreign labor. seattlepi.nwsource.com

The Black Budget Report: An Investigation into the CIA’s ‘Black Budget’ and the Second Manhattan Project February 1, 2004 Michael E. Salla, PhD This report examines the existence of a CIA ‘black budget’ and an extensive network of ‘deep black projects’ that it funds. The report identifies the legal framework established by the US Congress for the creation of a CIA ‘black budget’ from the appropriations earmarked for other federal agencies that are siphoned through the CIA as the sole conduit of black budget funds. The report investigates the legal challenges to the constitutionality of the CIA’s black budget; how the CIA uses its legal authority to extract appropriations from government agencies such as HUD; how the CIA launders non-appropriated money through other federal agencies; and the efforts the CIA goes to prevent these financial transfers from being exposed. scoop.co.nz

Republican sees Bush as 'fat cat in a suit' February 1, 2004 I would like to commend Bill Shipp for his Jan. 21 column concerning our president. I am a longtime Republican, not for status or show, but because I truly believe in Republican principles. This is why George W. Bush has begun to offend me so greatly. He has corrupted the meaning of Republicanism. We are supposed to stand for small government, not to mention the Constitution. I have never seen an office so willing to defile the Constitution or impose on people's lives and rights as this one. This Patriot Act is dangerous and invasive to all our citizens and is against the very freedoms we are supposed to be fighting for. This president is nothing but a fat cat in a suit, pretending to be a good ol' boy and laughing all the way to the bank with his corporate buddies. onlineathens.com

Manufacturing Public Opinion February 1, 2004 The autonomy to seek and overtly preach the truth characterizes the ideals that shape the American nation. Americans ought to capitalize on their unalienable right of freedom of speech. However, American citizens relinquish their right to formulate opinions. Instead, the American media assumes the role of dictating the stance taken on complex issues. After the catastrophe of 9-11, and the subsequent “war on terrorism,” the media’s ability to sway public opinion has proven detrimental to American Muslims. iraqwar.ru

Bush is worst president in nation's history February 1, 2004 Don Selman President Bush is a fool and a charlatan to waste taxpayers' money on war in Iraq and trips to outer space. We need money for the elderly. We need lower taxes. The Iraq war was a grudge to avenge his father's threats from Saddam Hussein. Bush has become a war monger. He should never be elected to office again. His stand on immigrants is nothing more than an attempt to get more votes. Bush is the worst president ever in office. Our deficit is worse now than it ever was. Job and business losses are at their lowest. Don't re-elect Bush. Don Selman DeMotte nwitimes.com

The Girls Next Door February 1, 2004 By PETER LANDESMAN The house at 1212 1/2 West Front Street in Plainfield, N.J., is a conventional midcentury home with slate-gray siding, white trim and Victorian lines. When I stood in front of it on a breezy day in October, I could hear the cries of children from the playground of an elementary school around the corner. American flags fluttered from porches and windows. The neighborhood is a leafy, middle-class Anytown. The house is set back off the street, near two convenience stores and a gift shop. On the door of Superior Supermarket was pasted a sign issued by the Plainfield police: ''Safe neighborhoods save lives.'' The store's manager, who refused to tell me his name, said he never noticed anything unusual about the house, and never heard anything. nytimes.com



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