default.html Issue 73
Table of Contents

Bear Lincoln Jailed in New Shooting Incident

by Nicholas Wilson Bear Lincoln, who was acquitted three years ago of murdering a deputy sheriff, surrendered to Mendocino County authorities Tuesday and was charged in new shooting incidents on the Round Valley Indian Reservation at Covelo. No one was injured

1999 Project Censored Awards

The most under-covered "censored" news stories for 1999 have a strong international flavor, with an emphasis on untold stories of Kosovo, foreign policy, and international corporate power abuse

Life Beyond Project Censored

by Don Hazen This process -- for the most part the sole recognition for independent journalism -- demeans our standards. We can do better

A Death Unpunished

by Stephen Leon The killing of Amadou Diallo, an African immigrant with no criminal record, sparked outrage in New York City and beyond, and on March 31, 1999, the four officers were indicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree reckless endangerment. On Dec. 16, the trial venue was changed to Albany -- a move heavily criticized as being unfair to the prosecution, who would have benefited from a jury familiar with the history of police-community relations in the Bronx

Verdict Demonstrates System Corruption

by Vickie Smith What was it that allowed this verdict to happen? The answer is that all the parts of a corrupt and racist criminal-justice system came together to protect its own. The change of venue, the inadequate prosecution, the judge's rulings, and a jury selected from a predominantly white jurisdiction all came together to pervert and manipulate the fair-trial process. Every defendant is supposed to be entitled to the presumption of innocence, to the benefit of the doubt -- but these defendants received the benefit not of doubt, but of white privilege, and the protection of the powerful

Police Abuse is Invisible Crime

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Despite the recent wave of highly questionable police shootings of mostly young African-Americans and Latinos, the Justice Department has done almost nothing to nail the murderous cops. According to a 1999 report on police misconduct by Human Rights Watch, an international public watchdog group, in 1998 federal prosecutors brought excessive force charges against police officers in less than one percent of the cases

Cop in Diallo Case Had Killed Man In Similar Incident

by Erin Sullivan On Halloween night 1997, 22-year-old Patrick Bailey, an aspiring stockbroker and son of Jamaican immigrants living in Brooklyn, was shot by none other than Street Crime Unit Officer Kenneth Boss, one of the four recently acquitted in the Diallo trial

"Dear Amadou..."

by Lance Johnson Ever since the Diallo shooting, I have felt trapped. Cornered, not as Amadou was in the vestibule as the four officers rained gunfire on him, but cornered in a society that will never understand me, or simply refuses to try -- no matter how hard I try. No matter how non-threatening, college-educated or "positive" I presume to be, I will always be judged by the shade of my skin

Pinochet Freed For "Humanitarian" Reasons

by Gustavo Gonzalez Ex- Chilean dictator Pinochet headed home March 2 "scorned" by the international community, said the Group of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (AFDD) president Viviana Diaz, who announced that her group would immediately begin work to strip Pinochet of his immunity as a life senator, in order to see him stand trial in Chile, where he faces 59 lawsuits on charges of crimes against humanity

Pinochet's 503 Days in Britian

by Gustavo Gonzalez Highlights of the case that silently began to take shape four years ago

Rights Groups Claim Victory Despite Pinochet Release

by Jim Lobe "Dictators around the world must now live with the constant fear of being 'Pinocheted,'" said John Cavanagh, the director of the Washington-based think-tank, the Institute for Policy Studies

Julia Butterfly Harassed At Conference

by Sunny Lewis Speaking to an audience of about 3,000 at the University of Oregon Law School's conference on environmental law in the public interest, Hill was describing the difficulties she experienced while 180 feet up in a redwood tree on Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Company land when a woman stood up in the crowd and began scolding Hill for giving money to Pacific Lumber Company

Fears of Starvation in E Timor

by Sonny Inbaraj East Timor's Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta called the situation of East Timorese refugees in Indonesia "a criminal matter," and urged the international community to help return them home fast

U.S. Probe May Link Pinochet to Murder

by Gustavo Gonzalez U.S. Justice Department's decision to reopen investigations into the 1976 assassination of a former Chilean foreign minister and his assistant could mean the eventual implication of former dictator Augusto Pinochet in the crime

Boeing Cuts Corners on Safety Inspections, Says Union

by Nina Shapiro Is Boeing compromising on safety in order to cut costs? Some workers believe so, pointing to changes in the way the company carries out inspections. A former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, among others, seems to agree

Court Determines Reform Party Future

by Jack Breibart The big question is whether the losers will strike out to form a new party. There is precedent here. In 1966 a group which backed Richard Lamm against Perot for the party presidential nomination left and formed the American Reform Party. There also may be a lesson: The ARP hasn't made a dent in national politics

How Campaign Finance Laws Favor the Rich

by Steve Chapman The giving limit might make sense if it were essential to prevent corruption. But $1,000 was too paltry to buy a politician even in 1974, when the law was enacted. And today, $1,000 will buy only about what $300 would buy then. In 26 years, Congress has never seen fit to raise the contribution ceiling to reflect inflation. Why should it? It's the best incumbent-protection measure ever devised

Falwell Gets Ready to "Reclaim America"

by Bill Berkowitz Twenty years ago, Falwell's Moral Majority played a key role electing Ronald Reagan as President and helped to build a conservative majority in Congress. Falwell says these accomplishments were realized by "register[ing] over 8.5 million new voters through the churches and religious organizations and re-activated millions more back into the political arena." Now he intends to top that figure

End of Road for McCain -- or the Beginning?

by Steve Chapman By the time McCain began denouncing Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, his campaign was already taking on water. What he clearly hoped was that by disassociating himself from the GOP's right wing, he would energize non-Republicans across the country to turn out for him in numbers sufficient to swamp the old guard and win him the nomination. That didn't happen. On Super Tuesday, he was beaten so soundly that the only remaining question was when he would quit the race. But all along, his strategy had a hidden virtue: It might succeed even if it failed

McCain Strategy of Luck and Heresy

by Harold Meyerson When historians look back on the brief, intense primary season of campaign 2000, they will doubtless note that John McCain proved himself a far more compelling challenger in his party than Bill Bradley did in his. But they should also note that February's bizarre primary calendar artificially inflated McCain's stature

Ruling Party Candidates Win Primary

by David Corn After Super Tuesday, each party has as its putative nominee the fellow embraced by its elites, by its main money people and by its prominent lobbyists. And, of course, by its loyal voters, who followed the orders from above and spurned challengers who, in limited fashion, dared their parties to be better. John McCain and Bill Bradley provided more discomfort than expected. But the lesson is not startling: It's damn hard to beat the Man

Texas Taxpayer Funds Used to Solicit $2.2 Million for Bush Campaign

by Nathaniel Heller Almost half the governor's guests at the mansion have given money to Bush's campaign. Furthermore, beginning in mid-1997, political figures and big money fund-raisers who would play major roles in his presidential campaign began to stay over, a clear break from the previous two years, when the guests indeed were predominantly friends and family

Who Is George W. Bush?

by Toby Rogers and Nick Mamatas The difference between the anti-Clinton books and this biography of George W. Bush is singular. The former were sold in bookstores across the country, and Fortunate Son was taken off the shelves and burned

House OKs "Property Rights" Bill

by Cat Lazaroff Landowners will have easier access to federal courts in zoning disputes and other conflicts over land use if a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday becomes law. Critics of the bill, including members of the Clinton administration, say it will allow developers to override local decisions to curb sprawl

Vanishing Wetlands Key to Global Water Crisis

by Gustavo Capdevila The environmental organization maintains that agriculture has been one of the principal culprits in the disappearance of wetlands. Government farm subsidies and agricultural waste are responsible for the destruction of hundreds of thousands of hectares of wetlands in industrialized countries

No Proof That Mitigated Wetlands Work

by Holly Wagner When a developer fills in and builds on a natural wetland, he's required by federal law to create a wetland in a nearby area -- a process called mitigation. And it's the developer's responsibility to maintain and monitor the wetland for five years, according to Mitsch. After five years, though, these mitigated wetlands often "disappear off everybody's radar screen"

Who's Liable for Genetically Modified Crops?

by Danielle Knight New suit would make Monsanto financially liable for damages caused by its products. This includes damages to the environment or public health, as well as additional costs incurred by farmers and food manufacturers resulting from GMOs produced by Monsanto

Caged Warrior: Interview with Leonard Peltier

by Ben Corbett Last November, in wake of publication of Leonard's book, "Prison Writings: My life is my Sun Dance," American Indian leaders descended on Washington D.C. to voice their opposition to the illegal incarceration of Peltier, considered a political prisoner by a growing force of global Indigenous rights activists. During the month-long rally, Katherine porter, wife of Congressman John Porter, delivered 35 million signatures of petition demanding immediate executive clemency for Peltier. To squelch the widening effort for Peltier's freedom, during the November event, the FBI placed ads in the Washington Post as well as other national media, denouncing Peltier as a cold-blooded killer, guilty as charged

Sharp Decline in "Maquiladoras" Conditions

by Diego Cevallos Conditions in Mexico's "maquiladoras," or foreign assembly plants, became even more exploitative in 1999, and workers' complaints rose by 25 percent, according to an independent trade union

Trafficking of Women on Increase

by Brian Kenety Every year hundreds of thousands of young women and girls from less-developed regions are lured with misleading promises of conventional employment to work in brothels and nightclubs in Western Europe

Mystery Ship Worries African Enviros

by Amadou Sakho A ship lingering off the Senegalese coast has caught the attention of local environmentalists, who worry that it contains potentially hazardous cargo. Since October 1999, the 170-meter vessel has been bobbing in the waters. Its hull appears to be sprouting seaweed and its cockpit is rusting into oblivion

Growing Call For Reparations of U.S. Slavery

by Katherine Stapp The apology from Aetna Inc., the nation's largest health and life insurer, and possible restitution in the form of a scholarship fund for black students, represents a small victory in a low-intensity war that has been simmering for years: that of an effort by African Americans to receive reparations for the U.S. legacy of slavery and segregation

Error 404: News Not Found in Your Daily Paper

Does Project Censored have a future? Leonard Peltier gets medical treatment; Nazis on the march; the census squawk

Congress Report Blasts IMF for Failures

by Mark Weisbrot New report of a Congressional commission that harshly criticizes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will add fuel to the firestorm of controversy that has surrounded the institution since its mishandling of the Asian financial crisis two and a half years ago. Together with the unprecedented public dispute over the leadership of the institution, and Seattle-like demonstrations planned for April in Washington, DC, the IMF is under siege as never before in its 56-year history

IMF Polices Damaged Environment, Group Says

Enviros want IMF to be removed from long-range development planning and, instead, be confined to making short-term loans to countries in financial trouble

Leaded Gas Still Sold Throughout Third World

by Jamie Lincoln Kitman Because of the marketing drive of Ethyl and Octel in the Third World, as of 1996 93 percent of all gasoline sold in Africa contained lead, 94 percent in the Middle East, 30 percent in Asia and 35 percent in Latin America

A Year After NATO Bombings, Trauma Lingers

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic The first anniversary of the NATO air campaign against Serbia on March 24 finds a country still visibly scarred by the fierce 11-week assault. A year later, people still jump at the sound of a dumpster lid slamming or a car alarm going off. Children play a game called "run to the shelters," and many have turned to experts for help to overcome the stress

U.S. Aid Money Will Worsen Colombia's Internal Conflicts

by Yadira Ferrer "Plan Colombia" does not attack the roots of the drug trade problem, as the government claims, but instead will intensify the country's decades-long internal conflict, resulting in thousands more displaced persons, continued human rights violations and worse environmental damage, the specialists say

Fears of Kosovo-Style War in Colombia

by Kintto Lucas Analysts and rights groups in Ecuador and Colombia fear that renewed efforts to crack down on drugs in Colombia will trigger an exodus of drug traffickers and guerrillas across the border to Ecuador and lead to a situation similar to the 1999 bombing of the Yugoslavian province of Kosovo

Colombia Anti-Drug Aid is Replay of Reagan's Mistakes

by Randolph T. Holhut If a civil war spills out from Colombia, with thousands of refugees flooding into neighboring Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru and Panama -- democracies that are as fragile and impoverished as Colombia -- who knows what happens next?

Colombia, U.S. Both Hooked on Drug War

by Andrew Reding We are a "godly" nation that periodically seeks scapegoats for the human inability to live up to otherworldly standards. In the 17th century that meant hunting witches; in the 20th, communists. Now, in the 21st century, communists are going out of style and drug traffickers are becoming the new moral enemy of choice (though it is still convenient to have "communist drug traffickers")

Colombia's Child Soldiers

by Yadira Ferrer The Colombian Institute for Family Welfare estimates that around 2,000 minors are still active in Colombia's insurgent organizations, while around 3,000 participate in right-wing paramilitary groups, despite repeated calls by human rights groups and international bodies for an end to the use of child soldiers

Dr. Laura Retreats From Anti-Gay Rhetoric Under Pressure

by Donna Ladd Dr. Laura Schlessinger is the successful radio talk-show host who started out years ago yelling at listeners to take responsibility for their actions and blossomed into a Bible-thumping conservative who uses her radio show for an ugly pulpit. The lecture queen has shown a particular disdain for homosexuals, often referring to them as "biological errors." The evidence was right on her Web site ( in transcripts where she condemned the homosexual lifestyle and activism -- that is, the words were there until last week. Now those pages are blank. On Friday, March 10, all of Dr. Laura's anti-gay, and even unrelated comments about pedophilia, suddenly vanished from her Web site. In its place, an apology of sorts appeared

Media Ignores African Disasters: "Been There, Done That"

by Danny Schechter Africans only make the news as victims, when they suffer calamities, coups and conflicts. TV news lives for powerful images, and in this case, the graphic pictures meant more than a mere thousand words. They were a substitute for words and explanation and analysis and context. As a result, charity, not change, defined the response. Images without interpretation go in one eye and out the next. The famine was the story du jour; the follow-up was not

A Nasty Campaign Against Organic Food

by Donella H. Meadows Organic farmers do not lose more to pests or weeds than other farmers. They do not get lower yields, though Dennis Avery (who was in the Agriculture Department under Reagan, who now works at the right-wing Hudson Institute) constantly claims otherwise

Bush Flubs Embarass Us All

by Molly Ivins Some joker from a Canadian radio comedy show told Bush he had been endorsed by "Prime Minister Poutine of Canada." Where upon Bush thanked the prime minister for his support and said how important our neighbors to the north are to us all. Unfortunately, poutine is a form of Canadian junk food made with potatoes, cheese and brown gravy

Repubs Attack, Then Retreat, on Gas Tax

by Molly Ivins You may recall that this buffle-headed suggestion was made last week by Gov. George W. Bush, backed by some Senate Republicans. Dubya, as we know, has little interest in policy, but excellent political skills. And what could sound better, as prices at the pump soar across the nation, than an offer to cut 4.3 cents a gallon off the total? Great politics: Vote for that guy, or you'll have to be Bill Gates to fill up the pickup, not to mention those monster SUVs

Bush's Phony Education "Solutions"

by Molly Ivins One of George W. Bush's big applause lines is: And if a school is failing, we should cut its money. He wants to take all Title I money away from low-performing schools -- and give it in the form of vouchers to the families of disadvantaged students. The parents could then use the vouchers (worth about $1,500 per student) to pay for after-school tutoring or to help pay for private-school tuition. The "socioeconomically disadvantaged," who are still called poor folks in Texas, really do need more than tougher school standards

Huh? It's Over?

by Molly Ivins This rush to front-load primaries shuts out more and more people from getting the kind of intensive, personal campaigning that lets people really get a look at the candidates -- and lets the candidates hear from the country. Once they get past New Hampshire, it now looks like a general election -- all negative ads, spin and money, money, money

Politics = Money

by Molly Ivins Into our laps falls Sam Wyly, a Dallas billionaire, spending $2.5 million for a television ad full of grossly distorted claims. Of course the Bush campaign had no knowledge of Wyly's ad. Came as a complete surprise to them. Not since the happy events of '96, when the R's and the D's both took contributions from Asian businessmen, have we seen such a splendid demonstration of what the problem is. Said George W., "That's what free speech is all about." So you just take $2.5 million out of your billions and go run your own ad

Bush Donor Behind Sham Ad

by Molly Ivins The mystery of "Republicans for Clean Air" was solved Friday when The New York Times revealed that Dallas billionaire and Bush pioneer Sam Wyly was fronting the money for this singularly hilarious example of what is called the "sham issue ad." And just the other day I was noting that one loophole in Bush's campaign finance reform is that it doesn't address sham issue ads

Granny D, A Woman Who Walks the Walk

by Molly Ivins The trouble with Granny D, the 90-year-old crusader who walked across the entire country to support campaign finance reform, is that she makes the rest of us look like such schlumps. Whew, what a record for citizen action: 3,200 miles

Bush Fibs on Patient-Protection Claim

by Molly Ivins George W. Bush is now running a TV ad around the country that claims: "While Washington was deadlocked, he passed a patients' bill of rights. Under Gov. Bush, Texas enacted some of the most comprehensive patient-protection laws in the nation." He never even signed the patients' bill of rights, and you can look it up. Claiming that "he passed" or "delivered" the patients' bill of rights is turning the truth on its head

Photojournalism and Poverty

by Norman Solomon Looking at American mass media, how do we reconcile the occasional tugs at heartstrings and compassion with the ongoing appeals to vanity and acquisitiveness?

Media Plays Executioner's Song

by Norman Solomon The prison- industrial complex encounters little skepticism in medialand. The dominant scenarios of crime and righteous retribution offer the kind of climaxes that scriptwriters crave. The legal system's revenge is dramatic -- and in the case of capital punishment, absolutely final

Media Shadowed by Self-Censorship

by Norman Solomon Self-censorship has long been one of journalism's most ineffable hazards. The current wave of mergers rocking the media industry is likely to heighten the dangers. To an unprecedented extent, large numbers of American reporters and editors now work for just a few huge corporate employers -- a situation that hardly encourages unconstrained scrutiny of media conglomerates as they assume unparalleled importance in public life

Media Skirts Link Between Shootings and TV Hype

by Norman Solomon On the last day of February, the shocking news was that a 6-year-old boy in Michigan killed a classmate. How would a little boy get the impression that pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger is appropriate behavior? Not exactly a tough question. But it's too tough for the nation's up-to-the-minute TV journalists -- especially when their jobs involve playing dumb

CNN Worked With Army PSYOPS Group

by Alexander Cockburn A handful of military personnel from the 4th Psychological Operations Group (i.e. PSYOPs) based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina have until recently been working in CNN's headquarters

Bashing Art Becomes Giuliani Hallmark

by Alexander Cockburn Last year, Giuliani put the Brooklyn Museum on the map with his denunciation of the "Sensation" exhibition, which featured various calculated affronts to polite taste, including a Madonna reposing on elephant dung. Now, New York's latter-day Savonarola is ensuring success for the Whitney's upcoming biennial exhibit

Eugenics: The Impulse Never Dies

by Alexander Cockburn Bush wants to kill people. He's hastened the appeals process, and vetoed a law to replace the legal-resource centers eliminated by Clinton and Congress. His staff says he spends between 15 and 30 minutes on each case, and of course, Bush declares his confidence that no innocent person has been executed on this watch

The War on Youth

by Alexander Cockburn The so-called gang violence and juvenile-crime prevention initiative derives from the great mid-1990s panic about feral youth, when crime pundits like Professor John DiIulio were rampaging across the Wall Street Journal's editorial pages, raising the alarm about a coming wave of youthful super-predators robbing and killing the older citizenry at will. It's turned out that DiIulio and his fellows were spectacularly wrong in their predictions, and in a just world, would be relieved of tenure status and sentenced to 5,000 hours of community service

Night Shift at the GOP Phone Bank

by Michael Finley What an odd situation, I thought. In a boom economy, the Republican Party has to recruit underage punk rockers at high wages to call people and complain about what the world's coming to

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