default.html Issue 98
Table of Contents

Michael Moore, Rock Star

by Michelle Chihara Take the energy of a tent revival, add a political message, deliver it with comic flair to rival Chris Rock's, and you've got Michael Moore's nationwide book tour, coming soon to an indie bookstore, college campus or church auditorium near you. The book is called "Stupid White Men," and it just climbed to #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, with no sign of stopping. All this -- Moore wants you to know -- for a book that almost didn't get published

Pooh Audit May Be Tainted By Conflict Of Interest

by Joe Shea The lengthy and expensive accounting in the battle over royalties on Winnie The Pooh revenues may be tainted, according to sources familiar with the case and court records

California Supreme Court Rejects Disney Appeal

by Joe Shea The California Supreme Court has decided not to review an appeal by the Walt Disney Co. from a lower court's decision to slap the media giant with stiff penalties for willfully destroying documents it had been ordered to preserve. The Feb. 20 decision by five of the court's seven judges removed the last major hurdle to a possible trial later this year

Disney Allegedly Had Reporter Fired Over Pooh Coverage

by Joe Shea Lawyers for a New York freelancer whose stories on the case enraged Disney executives headed to court in New York Cty to sue Disney and the New York Post after editors at the Post allegedly caved in to pressure from Disney to fire her for her articles on the case

Bush Proposal Blurs Defensive, Attack Use of Nuclear Weapons

by Jim Lobe "The NPR blurs (the distinction between war-fighting and deterrence) by calling for development of new nuclear weapons," according to the Center for Arms Control. "Developing 'usable' nuclear weapons with perceived military value will encourage other states to pursue similar capabilities." Developing new nuclear weapons will also undermine the 1970 Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which commits nuclear-weapon states to eventual nuclear disarmament, according to critics

China in "Deep Shock" After Bush Calls it Possible Bomb Target

by Antoaneta Bezlova President Jiang Zemin, who is also chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, urged China's armed forces to make "solid preparations" for combat and "follow closely the latest developments of military strength in the world." Last week, Beijing announced a 17.6 percent increase in its military budget, a move seen as a direct response to the huge arms package offered by Washington to Taiwan last year and to the $48 billion hike in U.S. defense spending

The Return of Nuclear Insanity

by Randolph T. Holhut Decades of efforts to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons are now in the process of being wiped out to serve the military needs of the ongoing "war on terrorism." Our long-standing policy of considering the use of nuclear weapons only as a last resort may now be over. The leaders of our nation now believe they have the right to use America's unquestioned military dominance to turn any nation it pleases into a smoking crater

Army of God Declares Solidarity With Muslim Extremists

by Bill Berkowitz The Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, or SLOC, is being pressed by human rights and labor groups to explain how parts of the uniform worn by more than 10,000 runners who helped carry the Olympic torch to the Winter Games were manufactured by workers in Burma

Bush Wants $100 Million To Protect Colombian Oil Pipeline

by Arianna Huffington In a shameless handout to a poor-little-me corporate mendicant, the president wants to spend close to $100 million to help Occidental Petroleum protect an oil pipeline unwisely built in war-torn Colombia

Pursuit of Al-Qaeda May Lead to Russian Confrontion Over Pipeline

by Peter Dale Scott Deployment of U.S. Special Operations forces to the Caucasus state of Georgia would help enforce a Washington pipeline policy aimed at neutralizing Russian influence in oil-rich Central Asia. This is the unreported side of the U.S. proposal, which is also about pursuing al Qaeda fighters around the globe

Bush Drug Czar Hiding Real Costs of the Drug War

by Kevin Zeese Why the Enron-like accounting tricks? Through these fiscal manipulations, Drug Czar John Walters can claim that the split in his budget between law enforcement/military costs and treatment/prevention costs is nearly 50-50, rather than what it really is -- about 70-30. In other words, Walters can now back up the claim that he is taking America into a new era of the drug war, where treatment and prevention -- strategies that the public overwhelmingly supports -- outweigh punitive measures

Is Ariel Sharon Bush's Role Model?

by Steven Day Why pick a fight with Iran now? The long-standing deep freeze in American-Iranian relations has thawed significantly over the last few years. Why would the administration commit such an obvious blunder? The answer, sadly, appears to be that it wasn't a blunder at all, but a deliberate provocation designed to destabilize Iranian relations with the West. Bush took a page from Sharon's playbook; he is better off politically if Iran remains a "rogue state," so he made it happen. It's an awful conclusion to reach, but it's the only explanation that makes any sense

Wall St Worried That Bush Terror War Spinning Out of Control

by Jim Lobe Since Sept. 11, Washington has promised or provided new military aid in the form of training or equipment to dozens of countries only a few of which face a credible external threat, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan the Philippines, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen, not to mention Afghanistan where it intends to build a national army. Last week's promise -- to help "governments everywhere" fight terrorism -- is fueling still-whispered concerns that Washington is well on its way to what Yale University historian Paul Kennedy once referred to as "imperial overstretch"

Right Wing Ramps Up For Public Opinion War

by Jim Lobe All veteran members of a neo-conservative network of groups with overlapping boards of directors that have long championed right-wing governments in Israel and, among other things, urged strong U.S. action against both Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Islamic government in Iran, as well as Palestine Authority President Yasser Arafat

Bush to America: Mind Yer Own Business

by David Corn Cheney's much-cherished "principle" is bogus. Can Bush tell us why people won't openly trot into the Oval Office and talk honestly to the president? What are these would-be president's helpers scared of? One could argue Bush ought to be suspicious of receiving advice from anyone not willing to be seen entering the White House through the front door. There is a principle at stake. It just happens to be the opposite of what the Bush gang is pitching. Bush and Cheney are forgetting they are public servants. Their deliberations and decisions are public business

George's Taxtime Gotcha

by Jim Hightower He and his congressional cohorts even ordered the IRS to send a letter to every taxpayer in advance of the payment notifying them that the president had done them a personal favor and would soon be sending them their $300. It was a political goldmine for Bush. It also was a lie, as most taxpayers will learn when they come to line 47 on this year's tax forms

"Axis of Evil" Speechwriter Leaves for Rightwing Think Tank

by Jim Lobe White House speechwriter David Frum, who coined the incendiary "axis of evil" moniker used by President George W. Bush, is leaving Bush's employ for the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). It seems the perfect fit

"Axis of Evil" Speechwriter Leaves for Rightwing Think Tank

by Jim Lobe White House speechwriter David Frum, who coined the incendiary "axis of evil" moniker used by President George W. Bush, is leaving Bush's employ for the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). It seems the perfect fit

Bush, Teamsters Make Odd Bedfellows

by Arianna Huffington Ever since Teamsters president James Hoffa worked his wiles on a number of key Democrats, and convinced them to support the House version of the energy bill, which passed last summer, things between the union and the GOP have been getting hot and heavy

Bush Gaffes Anger, Puzzle Asia

by Randolph T. Holhut Of course, Bush has thinks North Korea is evil for being a totalitarian police state that abuses human rights and sells missile technology to Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. While that same description also applies to China, the difference is that American companies haven't been able to set up sneaker factories in North Korea yet. When the last hard-line Stalinist nation on Earth finally opens up as China did to foreign investment, it will be pretty safe bet that North Korea will no longer be seen as evil

Intimidation From Indonesian Army in E Timor Genocide Trial

by Mustafa Ali For many, the presence of Indonesian top brass at the March 19th resumption of the trials of 18 officials and army officers implicated in gross human rights abuses in East Timor brought a heavy air of intimidation into court. Skepticism is the dominant attitude among most Indonesian rights activists. They say that a corrupt judicial system, along with inexperienced judges and state prosecutors, are potential obstacles in the country's first ever human rights tribunal, not to mention the lack of understanding of rights issues among Indonesians

E Timor Refugees on Brink of Starvation

by Prangtip Daorueng Two months after the Indonesian government put an end to humanitarian assistance to East Timorese refugees living in West Timor, these displaced people are on the brink of starvation, their lives mired in uncertainty. Jakarta had hoped stopping the assistance would encourage the tens of thousands of refugees to leave the camps and either return home or settle in Indonesia, but this is not happening

Swiss Court to Crooks, Terrorists: Launder Your Money Here

by Lucy Komisar Just -- a few days after top Swiss law enforcement officials came to Washington to assure Attorney General John Ashcroft they were serious about cracking down on money laundering, a Geneva judge has handed the mildest possible slap on the wrist to one Russian culprit and declined to indict several others who laundered $60 million through Swiss banks in scam known as "Russiagate"

Adoption Vs. The "Values" Police

by Robert Scheer The boy no longer tests positive for HIV, so Florida's bureaucracy now deems him a suitable candidate for adoption -- as long as the parents aren't gay. Lofton and Croteau want to adopt Bert, but the Christian right's campaign of hate more than two decades ago embedded a toxic sentence in Florida's legal code that prevents it: "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual"

Does WS Journal Share Blame in Reporter's Murder?

by G. Pascal Zachary For weeks during the ordeal of Pearl's captivity -- and the uncertainty about whether he was dead or alive -- Wall Street Journal senior editors privately debated amongst themselves whether they somehow had put Pearl in harm's way. And not in any general, existential sense, but whether the paper's controversial decision to hand over an al Qaeda laptop computer to the Department of Defense and the CIA late last year had blown back on them

Syria, Others Point to Holes in Saudi Peace Plan

by George Baghdadi Beirut is concerned that the Saudi proposal makes no mention of an estimated 3.5 million Palestinian refugees, up to 350,000 of whom live in Lebanon. The communique called for elimination of Jewish settlements in areas occupied by Israel, another demand rejected by Israel and excluded from Prince Abdullah's proposal. The leaders were clearly more bent on promoting the Palestinian intifada than on endorsing political concessions

Palestinian "Martyr Brigades" Are Wild Card in Ceasefire

by Ferry Biedermann The Brigades have overtaken Hamas and Islamic Jihad as the main group involved in attacks in Israel and the occupied territories. Since the previous cease-fire broke down in January, it has inflicted more casualties than the other groups combined. Lately the Brigades have even started copying the hitherto exclusively Islamist tactics of suicide bombings, which in their secular ranks is also open to women

Schools, Ambulances Not Spared in Israeli Attacks

by David Rabin As Israeli troops took control of the Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank, a UN ambulance team got word that a missile had hit a car in the camp, injuring four. It was not an isolated case. According to the Red Crescent, one of its ambulance workers was killed about the same time and near that location. The worker had come out of his ambulance and was shot in the head

European Union Ratifies Kyoto Protocol

by Gustavo Capdevila Two conditions are needed for the Kyoto Protocol to come into force: it must be ratified by 55 countries, and ratifying parties together must represent at least 55 percent of world emissions. Once the Protocol has been signed by countries making up at least 55 percent of world emissions it will take at least 90 days for the Protocol to enter into force. If the EU is to live up to its commitment to ratify before the Johannesburg summit (Aug. 26-Sep. 4), all the 15 member states must send their ratification letters to the United Nations by the first week of June

Muslim Hatred in India Fueled by Anti-Islam Tour Guides

by Ranjit Devraj At well-known Hindu pilgrimage centers and towns, guides aggressively call out to tourists and offer to show them remnants of demolished temples and regale them with plaintive, exaggerated versions of more than 500 years of Islamic rule over India. Caring little for the sentiments of India's 200 million Muslims, who are still a minority in the country's billion-plus population, these guides add grist to the myth-making mill on which thrive fundamentalist groups

Right-Wing PR Seeks To Label Most Enviros "Eco-Terrorists"

by David Case Nick Nichols doesn't bother much with specific gripes against mainstream environmentalists. Perhaps that's better left to the executive imagination. Of course, his tactic -- lumping ideological kin with extremists -- is time honored among fanatics. By extension, all Muslims are in al Qaeda. If you don't own a television, you're the Unabomber

China Shaken By Bush's Position On Taiwan

by Antoaneta Bezlova While Beijing was hoping to use Bush's February visit here, timed to coincide with the anniversary of Richard Nixon's 1972 ground-breaking tour to circumscribe America's engagement with Taiwan, Bush acted on the contrary -- he shored up support for the democratic government of the island by promising it would come to its aid if attacked

Older Eyewitnesses May Be Unreliable, Study Says

by Karen Emerton New research shows that adult eyewitnesses over age sixty are more likely to make false choices when faced with a line up of suspects, particularly if they have already seen one of the faces in an earlier setting

Oil Company Gets Drilling Rights From Amazon Tribe With Little More Than Soccer Balls, Whistle

by Kintto Lucas The Huaorani communities authorized Agip Oil to build an oil platform and a pipeline to extract crude in the northeastern province of Pastaza, according to a contract signed in March 2001. In exchange, the company promised to provide each of the six Huaorani communities with 50 kgs of rice and sugar, two buckets of fat, a bag of salt, a referee's whistle and two footballs, 15 plates, 15 cups and a cabinet containing $200 worth of medicine, in a one-time consignment

Non-Disaster Charities Rush to 9-11 Bandwagon

by Hope Cristol You can squint at the fine print. You can click on every link. But even the keenest eyes won't find mention of September 11 relief efforts on the web site of the Animal Friendly License Plate Association, a nonprofit agency in Kansas City, Mo. That's troubling, because while its name might suggest otherwise, AFLPA is on the Internal Revenue Service's list of charities established to provide relief to victims of America's recent tragedy

New Side Effect of Global Warming: More Allergies

by John Lacey Global warming and related increased carbon dioxide levels could lead to more allergies from ragweed and other plants by mid-century, according to a report by Harvard University researchers. The study found that ragweed grown in an atmosphere with double the current carbon dioxide levels produced 61 percent more pollen than normal

Mideast Experts Skeptical on New Palestine State

by Thalif Deen Stephen Zunes, a University of San Francisco political scientist, said that in many ways the resolution was a symbolic gesture because what would remain a Palestinian state remains unclear. Zunes told IPS he was not sure whether the proposed new entity would be a viable state based on a total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip or "a kind of non-contiguous Bantustan-type entity as pushed by Israel and the United States last July." In 1959, the government of apartheid South Africa advanced its policy of racial segregation by creating several bantustans -- separate, dependent states for the country's black population. Although these "homelands" were intended as separate nations, none was internationally recognized

New Israeli Checkpoints In West Bank Raise Tension

by N. Janardhan The soldiers at the countless checkpoints surrounding Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank have become noticeably more cautious, not to say jumpy, since a spate of lethal attacks. Last week, two pregnant women were shot within two days at the same roadblock in Nablus. The husband of one of them was killed. At Qalandia, soldiers even fired at the car of the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmed Qrei'a, who is involved in peace negotiations. Israeli Foreign Minister Peres apologized and assured Qrei'a that nobody wanted to shoot at him

Optimism Surrounds Saudi Peace Plan

by N. Janardhan The entire Arab world has rallied behind the Saudi plan, realizing that the key to marginalizing radical Islamist elements in their respective countries lies in a solution to the Middle East conflict

Few Doctors Trained To Look For Adverse Drug Reaction

by Beth Porter Studies have reported that adverse drug reactions may cause more than 100,000 deaths annually in the United States, but at many medical schools little attention is given to recognizing and reporting adverse drug reactions

Discovery Sheds New Light On Operation Condor

by Raul Pierri Newly discovered files from the "archive of terror" uncovered in Paraguay are expected to strengthen legal actions against the architects of Plan Condor, the collaborative repressive operations of South America's Southern Cone dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s

Asia Trade In Bear Gall Bladder Medicines Booming

by Suvendrini Kakuchi Official figures released in China in 1997 say 7,000 bears are kept in captivity in 601 Chinese bile farms. Undercover investigations by WSPA in China, compiled in a film shown to reporters here, showed hundreds of bears, most bearing physical scars or wounds, cooped up in steel cages. The bears are milked twice a day through a tube that is inserted directly into their gall bladder

Oil Wealth Fuels Repression In Sudan

by Katy Salmon Over the last few years, oil has transformed Sudan from an economic basket case into a promising oil exporter. Much of this new found wealth is being pumped into military spending aimed at safeguarding the oil installations and decimating the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), against which it has been fighting for the last 19 years

Endangered Species Traders Arrested in India

Shahtoosh shawls are made from the underwool of the Tibetan antelope, which is now classified as one of the world's most endangered species. In high demand for the luxury fashion market, shahtoosh shawls are of such fine texture that they can be drawn through a finger ring. The 80 confiscated shawls were top quality, and the Wildlife Protection Society said they would have been worth an estimated $400,000 on the international market, and represent the death of about 240 Tibetan antelope

Snowmobilers Invading Remote Yellowstone Wilderness

by Jack Clinton Park officials report that the majority of the back country trespasses have taken place on a remote plateau in the park that snowmobilers reach by traversing forest service lands surrounding the West Gate entrance of Yellowstone. The remoteness of the area makes it virtually impossible for rangers to regularly patrol. The trespassing comes as the Bush Administration considers rolling back a Clinton era ban on snowmobiling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks

The Fragile Shadow World of Illegal Aliens

by Gustavo Arellano If I knew at the time of the crash that the man who totaled my car was undocumented and had no license, I would have let him go. Although the damage was substantial, I was fully insured. My car would eventually be returned as good as ever, at no cost to me. The man, in contrast, is probably somewhere in his native country, his American experience ruined by my foolish anger and a foolish law

Web Site Heckles Repubs Over Enron Ties

by Omar J. Pahati $5,951,570. That's the amount that Enron and its executives paid for political influence between 1990 and 2002, according to the Federal Election Commission. Those millions were contributed to the campaigns of dozens of candidates, propelling them into office. Three-quarters of the money went to Republicans

The Great Deception: Elusive Enemy, Endless War

by Howard Zinn How useful to have an enemy who is so elusive, whose defeat will require an endless war. Because so long as the nation is in a state of war, it is possible to control the population by saying: we are at war, and this is no time for division, we must sacrifice our freedoms. But it is exactly when the nation is at war, when we are dealing with life and death matters, that freedom of speech is most necessary

Remembering H. Rap Brown

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Brown reversed his downhill slide in 1976, did his mea culpa for his past, embraced Islam, rechristened himself with a Muslim name, established a nationwide string of mosques, the National Ummah, that battled against drugs and prostitution and for community economic uplift. Yet there were ominous signs that Al-Amin may not have completely buried the violent past that had caused him and so many other blacks terrible personal grief and pain

The Evil That Was Nixon

by Robert Scheer In tapes released last week, Nixon chats with Henry Kissinger about the escalating bombing of Vietnam and interjects that "I'd rather use the nuclear bomb." He even chides Kissinger for being overly worried about noncombatant victims: "You're so goddamned concerned about the civilians, and I don't give a damn. I don't care." As if to prove this grim claim, Nixon callously dismisses the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the girl fleeing napalm bomb attacks as "fixed" -- a sentiment worthy of Slobodan Milosevic

What's God Got to Do With It?

by Robert Scheer Can the attorney general be trusted to protect the rights of those whose spiritual life rests outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition when he has excluded them from the ranks of civilized people? Not to split angels on the head of a pin here -- or to restrict Ashcroft's hearty expressions of his Pentecostal faith as manifested in his daily prayer meetings at Justice -- but it is alarming when he defines his job in religious terms: "The guarding of freedom that God grants is the noble charge of the Department of Justice"

Rushing to Trash the Environment

by Molly Ivins Administrations come and administrations go, and little of what they do is permanent. Policies can be reversed, wars come to an end and new undersecretaries bloom in Washington. But if you're screw up the air, the land and the water, you can't undo it

Treat Arthur Andersen Like Andrea Yates

by Molly Ivins To anyone but a Wall Street Journal editor, the obvious question would be, why do the rich get away with stealing millions while the poor go to prison for stealing TVs?

Triumph of the Swill

by Molly Ivins The Tonya Harding/Paula Jones match on "Celebrity Boxing" ... I have no idea how to finish that sentence. OK, it's a concept. Maybe it's camp. Or haute tacky. Sure, we could shoot whoever thought of it, but don't you get the creepy feeling it says something awful about the culture? I just can't figure out what. It's a "What is the world coming to?" moment

From MAD To Idiocy

by Molly Ivins Naturally, the rest of the world thinks we're nuts, and they're not even using diplomatic language to say so. A Russian legislator inquired if Americans "have somewhat lost touch with the reality in which they live." We could spend some time relishing the glorious black humor MAD produced, but let's take a few steps back here at look at the Big Picture. Here are the questions: What do we think we are doing? And what kind of country do we want to be?

When Will We Get Fed Up With The Bush Giveaway?

by Molly Ivins Whether it's health, safety or natural beauty, it all gives way to "special interests" that outspend, out-organize and defeat the interests of what can still be called the silent majority. I have always found snowmobilers an amiable, if noise-addicted, lot, but it is the snowmobile manufacturers and dealers -- and their campaign contributions -- that are the real muscle in that battle. As Upton Sinclair observed, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it"

Weird, Wild Texas Primary Politics

by Molly Ivins Actually, this isn't nearly as weird as the time I had to support Bobby Locke for governor. Bobby's platform was challenging Col. Muammar Qaddafi of Libya to hand-to-hand combat in the Gulf of Sidra. At high noon, next Fourth of July, on the Line of Death. Locke trained for the bout in his backyard swimming pool in San Antonio. "Only one of us will come out of the water alive," said Locke, which sounded like a no-lose proposition to me. Besides, you should have seen the other candidates

Weird, Wild Texas Primary Politics

by Molly Ivins Actually, this isn't nearly as weird as the time I had to support Bobby Locke for governor. Bobby's platform was challenging Col. Muammar Qaddafi of Libya to hand-to-hand combat in the Gulf of Sidra. At high noon, next Fourth of July, on the Line of Death. Locke trained for the bout in his backyard swimming pool in San Antonio. "Only one of us will come out of the water alive," said Locke, which sounded like a no-lose proposition to me. Besides, you should have seen the other candidates

The Long Road To Yucca Mountain

by Molly Ivins Insomuch as you ever think about nuclear waste (a topic I prefer to avoid on the grounds that it's depressing and scary -- denial seems like a good tactic), you probably thought: "Good, Nevada. They'll like it there, and at least it won't be here." Wrong on both counts. Not only are Nevadans predictably unhappy -- and also seriously irate, because Bush promised during the campaign he would make the decision based on "the best science" --- but this also brings nuclear garbage right to your front door. Or at least to the closest interstate highway

Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" Gets The Facts Wrong

by Norman Solomon While Goldberg hotly contends -- without statistical backup -- that conservatives get a raw deal because they're singled out for ideological labeling more than liberals are, Nunberg relies on empirical evidence to reach a very different conclusion: "If there is a bias here, in fact, the data suggests that it goes the other way -- that the media consider liberals to be farther from the mainstream than conservatives are"

Is "TV journalism" An Oxymoron?

by Norman Solomon With its suffocating pretensions and frequent idiocies, television has always cried out for sardonic mockery. At times, beginning with Mad Magazine's razor-sharp parodies a half-century ago, "the vast wasteland" has been appropriately skewered. But the day is fast approaching when satire of American tv will be impossible

Terror, Retaliation, and Other Slippery Words

by Norman Solomon A daily paper in Florida made a profound statement early this month. "The nation's loyalty is turning into groupthink," the Daytona Beach News-Journal editorialized. "How else explain a president who, playing on the war's most visceral slogan, gets away with justifying an obscene corporate tax cut as 'economic security,' a build-up of defense industry stock as 'homeland security,' and an exploitative assault on the nation's most pristine lands as 'energy security'? How else explain his contempt for Congress, his Nixonian fixation on secrecy, his administration's junta-like demeanor in Washington since September?"

Office of Strategic Influence Nothing New

by Norman Solomon After Rumsfeld ceremoniously disbanded the Office of Strategic Influence, amid profuse pledges of veracity, Newsday columnist Ellis Henican astutely observed: "But don't worry, Rumsfeld's people were whispering yesterday around the Pentagon. They'll keep on spreading whatever stories they think they have to -- to foreigners especially. Call it the free flow of misinformation. Who needs a formal office for that?"

Will Bush Attack Iraq?

by Alexander Cockburn In terms of domestic politics, the opportune time for a U.S. attack would be at the time of the mid-term elections in the fall, with Congress up for grabs. The White House plainly feels it would win the battle for public opinion, with the flag waggers routing all dissidence in government except for the usual 30 or so holdouts among liberal Democrats and a handful of Republicans like Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. There have been a series of steady advances by the ultras, whose aim is to wipe out Saddam

Billy Graham Encouraged Nixon's Worst Side

by Alexander Cockburn On the 1972 Nixon tapes, Graham says that "a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine. They swarm around me and are friendly to me. Because they know I am friendly to Israel and so forth. They don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country"

What Role Did WS Journal Have in Daniel Pearl's Death?

by Alexander Cockburn Might it not have occurred to Pearl's editors, those who assigned him to South Asia, that the fact that he was an Israeli citizen might have put him in extra peril, given the fact that he was seeking to contact an extremely dangerous crowd of Muslim terrorists in Karachi?

The Politics of a "Bumper Crop" of Opium

by Alexander Cockburn There is a certain irony to the enormously costly ads bought by the U.S. government on Super Bowl Sunday to inform America's consumers of illegal drugs that to buy cocaine or heroin is to help terrorism. To the contrary, at least so far as Afghanistan is concerned, to buy heroin and morphine is to provide a sure market for Afghanistan's farm sector, which employs as many as 200,000 people in the fields harvesting the opium from the poppy heads. A sure income to the opium farmers means a cut for the rural barons, whose support is essential for the future well-being of America's selected government

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