default.html Issue 89
Table of Contents

Enviros Under Attack By Right-Wing Coalition

by Don Hazen Inspired by a friendly Bush administration, a trio of anti-environmental groups and companies is launching a multi-tiered attack on the Rainforest Action Network


Israel Aggresively Building New West Bank Settlements

by Ferry Biedermann Since coming to power in March, the Sharon government has announced the construction of 734 housing units in the occupied West Bank. This does not include additional construction in new Jewish neighborhoods surrounding Jerusalem that are also built on occupied lands. Because of such practices Israeli governments -- both left and right wing -- have lost credibility in the eyes of the Palestinians and the international community. This is why Israel is now facing demands for a total and absolute freeze in settlement construction


Africa Dust Is Health Risk For Florida, Caribbean

Potentially hazardous bacteria and fungi catch a free ride across the Atlantic, courtesy of North African dust plumes. NASA-funded researchers who made the discovery believe the stowaway microbes might pose a health risk to people in the western Atlantic region


Anti-Drug Herbicide Use In Colombia Causing Regional Problems

by Kintto Lucas Aerial fumigation with RoundUp Ultra, which contains Cosmo-Flux 411F and 26 percent glyphosate, instead of the one percent recommended for use as an herbicide, is blamed for health problems miles across the Ecuador border


Biotech Industry Ignoring Ecosystem Risk, Says New Report

by Danielle Knight Debate on genetically modified organisms seems destined to intensify following the release of a report arguing that some bio-engineered life forms could have profound impacts on the environment because the complex interactions between genes and ecosystems have not been adequately studied. The U.S.-based think-tank argues in its report, released today, that there is a serious gap in the understanding of how the entire genetic structure of a living being functions within an ecosystem


Women Now Lead Men In New AIDS Cases Worldwide

by Thalif Deen "Today, young women in the developing world are twice as likely to be infected as men," warns Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. About 55 percent of all HIV-positive adults in sub-Saharan Africa are women compared with a decade ago, when men outnumbered women. Teenage girls are being infected at a rate five or six times greater than their male counterparts. "And in the world as a whole, at least half of all new infections are among women," he added


Mexico's New Progressive Foreign Minister

by James E. Garcia Mexico's Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda's performance at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists showed that Mexico now has at least one public servant, maybe even more, who believe that people power trumps totalitarianism


Despite Cease-Fire, Israel Sprayed Palestinian Town With Lethal Dart Shells

by Ben Lynfield In addition to killing three civilian women on June 9, the darts, or flachettes, which spread out in an arc of dozens of meters, wounded two other people. They deepened the mistrust that is hanging over efforts to reach a durable Middle East cease-fire. The firing of dart shells highlights the continued risks faced by Palestinian civilians despite declarations by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon late last month of an Israeli cease-fire and official announcements that soldiers are under orders to exercise restraint


Enviros Plot Strategy To Weaken Bush

by Danielle Knight Bush's repudiation of the Kyoto Protocol accord on climate change, environmental groups are forming a united front against the administration's request for "fast-track" trade negotiating authority


Mexico Banker Accused Of Drug, Money Deals Sues Reporters

by Cynthia Cotts Banamex chairman Roberto Hernandez Ramirez has been called a money launderer and a drug dealer by the Mexican-based NarcoNews.com. Hernandez has denied the allegations since they were first reported in 1997 by the Mexican newspaper Por Esto! Last summer, after failing in his efforts to get Por Esto! prosecuted in Mexico, the banker decided to sue his critics in New York


CIA Gave $10 Million to Peru's Ex-Spymaster

by Angel Paez The Central Intelligence Agency gave ex-Peruvian spymaster Vladimiro Montesinos at least $10 million in cash over the last decade, as well as high-tech surveillance equipment that he used against his political opponents


Israel's Sharon Faces War Crimes Charges

by Marwaan Macan-Markar 28 Palestinians filed suit in a Brussels court against Sharon, accusing him of war crimes committed during the 1982 massacres in the Shatilla and Sabra refugee camps in Lebanon. Sharon had been defense minister when an Israeli-backed Lebanese Christian militia killed some 1,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps. Sharon thus has joined six political figures to face charges of crimes against humanity in the Belgian courts since 1988


Ambitious Plans, But Little Practical Action At UN AIDS Summit

by Thalif Deen The United Nations wrapped up a major conference on AIDS June 27 with a slew of declarations and new commitments to fight AIDS, which has killed more than 22 million people over the past 20 years


Conflict Of Interest Scandal In "Ethical" Bush White House

by Jim Hightower Intel's lobbyist says the meeting was "quite useful." Less than two months after meeting with Rove -- Bingo! -- the merger was approved. But Rove's ethical problem is about more than doing a government favor for a big campaign contributor


Bush Energy Plan Gives Foes Window Of Opportunity

by Mark Hertsgaard Bush has handed his opponents a golden political opportunity with his energy plan, and if they use it wisely they can block his anti-environmental agenda and perhaps even disable his presidency, much as Bill Clinton was undone during his first term by the health care issue


Cheney, Energy Task Force Defies GAO

by J.A. Savage The Bush-Cheney energy plan that features increasing reliance on nuclear power, more fossil fuel use and a lack of emphasis on renewable energy and conservation was developed by .......whom? Not even the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of the federal government can find out


Misguided War Crimes Law Now Before Senate

by Benjamin B. Ferencz The cleverly mislabeled "Servicemembers Protection Act" was recently passed by the House and is now pending in the Senate where it was appended as an amendment linked to the Foreign Relations Act authorizing payment of past-due membership fees to the United Nations


Europeans Aren't Anti-American, Just Anti-Bush

by Randolph T. Holhut The biggest reason why Europe has been all over Bush has not been capital punishment or Kyoto or Star Wars. It is the fact they realize Bush lost the election, used a judicial coup to seize power and is busily plundering the nation and eventually the world to fill the pockets of the fat cats who helped put him in the White House. In their eyes, Bush is illegitimate and has no right to jeopardize the health and safety of the world


FCC Tightens Censorship, Loosens Ownership Rules

by Dan Kennedy Just two months after the agency issued a 28-page "Policy Statement" aimed at clarifying the rules against indecent or obscene speech. The statement -- nearly seven years in the making, and drafted in response to a previous case -- is supposed to illuminate existing guidelines rather than promulgate new ones. But the statement readily lends itself for use as a new weapon by the forces of censorship


Bush Foreign Policy: Speak Spanish, Put Foot in Mouth

by Jason Vest The great Italian journalist Luigi Barzini, Jr., once characterized Americans as "loners in the world." It's a description that seems increasingly appropriate for Bush and his fellow outriders. Rather than pause and perhaps reconsider some of their more dubious notions, they project resentment and insist on faulty resolve. Double-whammy rebukes from NATO defense and foreign ministers over missile defense? Dig in heels and keep pressing the case. Entertain the notion of not pissing all over the concepts and ideals to which the Kyoto treaty aspires? Forget it. Try to earnestly get your head around why, on May 3, the United States was voted off the United Nations Human Rights Commission, even as such rampant human rights violators as Sudan and Libya were voted on? Hell no, just let loose broadsides against rampant "anti-Americanism"


Why Bush is Winning

by Robert B. Reich The crises have been manufactured, the proposed solutions don't even solve them, and the public is dubious at best, why are these three big plans still on track? First and foremost, all are deeply held tenets of the Republican right, and George W. and Prime Minister Richard Cheney are true believers (for ideological reasons rather than for those publicly enumerated). Second, Republicans run Congress and have basically held together in support of these goals, while the Democrats are in disarray. Third, the big plans are big, and their sheer boldness has given them momentum


A Monument to Distorted Priorities

by Arianna Huffington Only convoluted reasoning such as this could explain why a gargantuan granite monument would be a higher priority than health care or housing or improved services or increased benefits for veterans


The Company Bush Keeps

by Jim Hightower Not content to fill his cabinet with corporate CEOs, directors, and lobbyists, George W. Bush is trying to corporatize all the other top policy-making positions of government, too


Leave No Embryo Behind

by David Corn If opponents of embryonic stem-cell research truly believe their own arguments, they ought to be storming fertility clinics to "liberate" frozen human embryos


Revisiting Big GOP Lies

by David Corn David Brock, a journalist whose vicious assault upon Hill was embraced by the rightwing, is coming out with a new book -- excerpted in Talk magazine -- in which he confesses he falsified his case against Anita Hill in order to win fame and favor as a conservative partisan


George W. Bush: The Un-science Guy

by David Corn Europeans, no surprise, didn't buy Bush's weak brew and insisted they would stick with the Kyoto process. For his (almost comical) part, Bush kept reiterating that he took global warming seriously -- and then declined to propose serious measures to counter the problem. How long does he think he can pull off this act -- note the danger, do nothing? Until Coppertone stock splits and New Orleans exists only as an Atlantis-like theme park?


No Comeback For Gore

by David Corn For the past few months, I have been conducting a rather informal survey, asking dozens of Democratic officials, activists, and operatives whether they would care to see Gore run in 2004. The numbers of yeses: zero. "There is absolutely no support within the Democratic Party for another Gore run," says a leading Democratic strategist-and-spinner. A senior Democratic staffer in the House says, "The Democrats on the Hill think of him as dead meat"


The Great White Myth of Kennewick Man

by Knute Berger Five years ago this July, an ancient skeleton was found on the banks of the Columbia River during a hydroplane race near Kennewick, Washington. When the bones turned out to be a major archaeological find, the remains of a 9,000 year-old prehistoric man, a political, legal, cultural, and racial battle ensued. Just who was Kennewick Man, who owned his bones, and what should be done with them?


Desperate N Koreans Seek Asylum In China

by Antoaneta Bezlova Seven North Koreans fleeing their homeland entered a United Nations office here in late June and refused to leave until they were granted asylum, preferably in South Korea. International aid groups estimate that from 150,000 and 300,000 North Korean refugees are hiding in northeast China and Mongolia


Kissinger To Be Questioned Over Role In Chile Coup

by Gustavo Gonzalez After 28 years, the past has returned to haunt Henry Kissinger, the U.S. secretary of state at the time of the 1973 military coup in Chile. Kissinger is widely believed to be the key official involved in the Nixon government's attempts -- launched in 1970 in Chile through the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -- to block the election of socialist Salvador Allende to the presidency, and later to destabilize his government


What A Surprise: Foreigners Have Rights

by Steve Chapman The U.S. Constitution has a novel feature: It guarantees the rights of people, not just of citizens. Even the lowliest illegal immigrant possesses certain liberties that the government must respect. But a wave of anti-immigrant fervor swept over Washington back in 1996, and Congress and President Clinton agreed we were being far too hospitable


Anti-Gay Attacks Condoned In U.S. Schools, Report Finds

by Lili Beit While verbal abuse was far more common than physical harassment, when teachers failed to check the taunting, heckling and insulting of gay students it often escalated into violence. Often teachers turned a deaf ear to violations of students' rights, or themselves participated in the harassment of gay students, because they feared for their own jobs if they endorsed gay rights


Indonesia Fears New Era Of Repression

by Satya Sivaraman Three years after a student-led popular uprising toppled the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia, there are disturbing signs that little has changed in the authoritarian attitude of the country's military and police forces. Now, with Indonesia's economic and political scene in deep crisis, many analysts fear that the chaotic situation might become an excuse for powerful vested interests to try and take the country back to its sordid past


Australian Natives Push For Sea Rights

by Kalinga Seneviratne Nine years ago, the people of Murray Island, one of the remote Australian islands between the northern coast of Queensland and Papua New Guinea, won a landmark High Court action on land rights. Now Murray Island's residents are gearing up for another battle -- to claim ownership to the seas around them


Bush Proposal On Vieques Too Little Too Late

by Jim Lobe Bush's decision to halt Navy bombing exercises on Vieques Island off Puerto Rico by May 2003 is unlikely to settle what has become an increasingly volatile conflict


Shame, Fear Still Keep Secret 1999 E Timor Atrocities

by Anna Kaslim After militia leaders slaughtered at least 100 women and children, along with the local priest, the militia kept Maria and other young women at the local military headquarters where she was raped by Indonesian soldiers. Her village and even her friends will never hear what she endured nearly two years ago, because if Maria's tale was known she would risk being an outcast


The Other War Criminals

by Sanjay Basu The U.S. is not as read to cheer the trial of Slobodan Milosevic as the Hague begins the trial of U.S.-backed former generals from Croatia who were indicted for the massacres of hundreds of Serb civilians


Pour, Little Rich Girl

by Christopher Caldwell As the meaning of Barbara and Jenna Bush's alcohol troubles gets masticated in the press, the key point to bear in mind is the one that most easily gets lost. It's that there are no customs on Earth more bizarre than America's alcohol laws. When you think of them, think of suttee, foot-binding, and ritual scarification


Supreme Court Puts Limit On Hi-Tech Police Snooping

by Richard Glen Boire While the majority created a bright-line rule that police must get a search warrant before peeking inside of a person's home with the aid of "sense-enhancing technology," the majority created a poorly reasoned and difficult to administer "popularity limitation;" namely that the warrantless use of such a device is permitted if that device is also "in general public use." Such a popularity limit means that Fourth Amendment protections will become subservient to the marketing prowess of companies that manufacture and sell surveillance technology


When Banks Offer Privacy, Restrictions and Limitations Apply

by Robert Downes Banks value your privacy so much that they're planning to share it with retailers, insurance agents, direct marketers, membership clubs, publishers, mortgage companies, non-profit organizations and anyone else they can think of. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 was intended to deregulate financial institutions, making it possible for banks to sell insurance and for insurance companies to get involved in savings and investment schemes


The Editor, The Toe, And The Dragon

by Alexander Cockburn Confronted with San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein's bare and possibly unfragrant feet, the Komodo sank its razor sharp, serrated teeth into the editor's big toe. Bronstein managed to pry its jaws open, salvage his foot and make good his escape. The Komodo made a serious mess of Bronstein's foot, and there are fears that the dragon's dirty teeth may have infected Bronstein; but what about the effect of Bronstein's foot on the Komodo?


DynCorp in Colombia: Outsourcing the Drug War

by Jeremy Bigwood DynCorp is openly labeled "mercenary" by a hostile Colombian press, a charge they vigorously deny. A State Department official told this reporter that "mercenaries are used in war. This is counter-narcotics." But in Colombia, the line between the counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics has been blurred for many years. While it is true that Colombia now produces much of the cocaine used in the United States making it a target for the "war on drugs," Washington's policy objectives may go beyond drugs. The U.S. is also concerned about Colombia's more than 30-year long guerilla insurgency. Critics say that Plan Colombia is an expansion of Washington's involvement in counter-insurgency


Bush Helping Banks Launder Money

by Molly Ivins The Bush administration is now backing away from international efforts to reduce money-laundering, a banking procedure used by drug cartels, arms traffickers and terrorist groups, as well as crooked dictators


A Decent, Peculiar Place To Live

by Molly Ivins We are not uniformly full to the brim of nice folks -- all of us have our human share of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth. This is not Garrison Keillor's America, which is itself no Eden. But I think we're closer to Keillor, with an even more wry twist, than most of the media recognize


Big Timber Seeks To Silence Critics

by Molly Ivins Since the RAN folks have been targeting Boise Cascade to get the company to stop logging in old-growth forests, this may seem to be a case of turnabout- is- fair- play. Actually, it's another corporate campaign -- like SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) -- designed to silence critics of corporate practice. Boise Cascade is working with two industry-supported front groups, trying to get the IRS to cancel Rainforest's tax-exempt status and to pressure its funders to cut off the group's money


Dubya Rule #1: It's Bad To Sue Business

by Molly Ivins Bush does not believe in doing anything to hurt big business. He especially doesn't believe in letting anyone sue business. He is opposed to a patients' bill of rights for that reason; he tried to keep the lawyers who won a $17 billion case for the state of Texas from getting their fees for that reason; and tort reform, which is another way of saying you can't sue corporations that injure or kill you or your family, is a burning passion with him


Texas, Proudly Marching Backwards

by Molly Ivins During his presidential campaign, Bush, who likes to have things both ways, claimed he personally had gotten "Republicans and Democrats together" in Texas to pass this strong bill of rights. Actually, he vetoed it the first time and then refused to sign the right-to-sue provision the second time, after it was passed by a veto-proof majority. Because he did sign other, less important parts of the package of bills, however, for campaign purposes he proudly claimed authorship of the very bills he had fought. Now he's back to threatening to veto a patients bill of right with any teeth in it


What "$300 Tax Break?"

by Molly Ivins As usual, those who need it most will get the least. The folks who would rush out and spend their tax rebates because "the baby's home and needs shoes," thus stimulating the economy, won't be getting a rebate


Bush Meets The Yuripeens

by Molly Ivins Bush appears to the Europeans, as a senior White House official put it, "a shallow, arrogant, gun-loving, abortion-hating Christian fundamentalist Texan buffoon." To dismiss this misimpression as a function of European snobbism, leftism or anti-Americanism (as did a splendidly ludicrous essay in The Wall Street Journal) misses the point. We are supposed to be the pragmatists, the shrewd Yankees, but Bush has embarked on two courses of folly simultaneously -- ignoring global warming and National Missile Defense


If Orwell Were Alive Today

by Norman Solomon George Orwell died in 1950. If he had lived long enough to reach the 21st century, it's a good bet that -- while treasuring the civil liberties and other freedoms that exist in the United States -- he would deplore the deep patterns of indoctrination that undergo constant reinforcement in our society. "Democratic" processes of intellectual conformity and insidious political propaganda were of great concern to Orwell


Picks For Media All-Stars

by Norman Solomon Right Fielder: Rush Limbaugh, who likes to hug the right-field line, boasts of many putouts in foul territory. However, he is rued by umpires, who find him abusive and prone to hallucinations


Media Praise For Pentagon Papers Rings Hollow

by Norman Solomon In contrast to all the talk about the glorious defeat of prior restraint, we hear very little about the ongoing and pernicious self-restraint exercised by media outlets routinely touted as the best there is. High-profile reporters and commentators like Hunt, Novak and Lewis are much too circumspect to mention, for instance, the November 1988 speech that Graham delivered to senior CIA officials at the agency headquarters in Langley, Va., where the Washington Post publisher said: "There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't"


Is A Better Media Future Possible?

by Norman Solomon For a couple of years now, many designers and art directors have hotly debated "First Things First 2000," a global manifesto urging "a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication -- a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning." The original signers, 33 prominent design professionals, have been joined as endorsers by hundreds of colleagues


The People's Power

by Alexander Cockburn When PG&E successfully pushed deregulation through the California legislature in the mid-1990s it surely slapped itself on the back for a master stroke. But now look. We have California state attorney general Bill Lockyer pushing a criminal investigation into the conspiracy to hike energy prices in California. Among the big questions: Is PG&E a shark that got chewed by bigger sharks from Houston, like Enron, or did the utility simply shuffle its money elsewhere on the Monopoly board and then declare bankruptcy?


Christopher, Please Don't Sue Henry!

by Alexander Cockburn In the wake of Hitchens's two articles in Harper's on Kissinger's war crimes, magistrates in three countries -- Chile, Argentina and France -- have summoned Kissinger to answer questions


Food And Forgetfulness

by Alexander Cockburn Why would you want to know where food comes from? Ignorance is probably preferable, if not morally desirable. Better to think that that New York strip or T-bone steak was put together in a lab, which is the way we're headed anyway. Why be curious about where your broccoli comes from?


The Secret Government, Drunk On Gin Fizz

by Alexander Cockburn If the avenging posses mustered by the Bohemian Grove Action Network manage this year to burst through the security gates at the Bohemian Grove, they will (to extrapolate from numerous eyewitness accounts of past sessions) find slightly shaky evidence that here indeed is the ruling crowd in executive session: hundreds of near-dead white men sitting by a lake listening to a pundit on the order of Henry Kissinger, plus many other near-dead white men in adjacent landscape in a state of intoxication so advanced that many of them had fallen insensible among the ferns, gin fizz glasses gripped firmly till the last


NY Times Erasing "The First Draft Of History"

by Joyce Marcel Remember the spoiled kid who whined that he'd take his toys and go home if you didn't play the game his way? That's the way The New York Times has been behaving since June 25, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the paper and in favor of freelancers' rights. Now that the Times has lost, it has announced that it will actually go ahead and destroy the historical record -- it will be deleting approximately 115,000 articles written by roughly 27,000 freelancers between 1980 and 1995



Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor Issue 89 (http://www.monitor.net/monitor)

All Rights Reserved.

Contact rights@monitor.net for permission to use in any format.