default.html Issue 114
Table of Contents

Project Censored 2002-2003

Now in its 27th year, Project Censored continues to produce its annual list of important, but neglected stories. And more than ever, the list's publication is not mentioned in either the mainstream and alternative media. That the publication of the list itself is censored only compounds the problem of such important stories being passed over. Project Censored should be regarded as the conscience of the press and not ignored

Bush Gets Chilly Reception From UN, World Leaders

by Thalif Deen Bush's address to the UN General Assembly seeking support for post-war Iraq was overshadowed Tuesday by UN head Kofi Annan's implicit criticism of Washington for invading that Arab nation without Security Council authorization. The politically cautious Annan, who is known for his diplomatic niceties, broke traditional norms when he castigated the United States for its "pre-emptive strike" on Iraq last March

Bush Likely To Get UN Resolution, But No Troops Or Money

by Thalif Deen The United States is facing the bleak prospect of getting a UN mandate for a multinational peacekeeping force for Iraq -- without troops. With France announcing it will not veto Washington's proposed UN resolution for the force, the administration of President George W. Bush is trying to muster foreign troops it desperately needs to stabilize a war-devastated Iraq that may be on the brink of political and military chaos

Does The WTO Have A Future?

by Diego Cevallos In the corridors of the conference, there was an air of worry and concern among the delegates, many of whom had warned at the start of the meeting that another failure would deal a harsh blow to the international trade system, which began to emerge in the late 1940s

Millions Of Farmers Stake Future On WTO Deals

by Diego Cevallos In 2001, the trade ministers decided that by Jan. 1, 2005 there should be agreements in place for substantially reducing domestic supports and removing export subsidies, with sights on total elimination, in order to improve poor countries' access to world agricultural markets. If agreements are not achieved in the next year, there will be negative consequences throughout the global economy

WTO Debacle Shows Power Of Poorer Nations When United

by Gustavo Capdevila The trade powers thought they could continue getting everything they wanted from the ministerial conferences of the WTO, an institution in which they wield heavy pressures and a great deal of influence, but this time was different, said the Argentine diplomat This is the lesson of Cancun, where nobody won and in a certain sense everybody lost, but it was left clear that the WTO members "must come up with real agreements," he added

World Trade Negotiations Collapse

"Agricultural subsidies in developed countries are not targeted to keeping small struggling family farms in business but to provide hefty rents to large farmers or corporates," India's Arun Jaitley, minister of commerce and industry and law and justice, said. "In many developed countries, the average income of farmers is higher than the national average, reaching almost 200 percent of the average in certain cases."

Bush To UN: Will You Help If We Let Iraqis Vote?

by Thalif Deen The United States is trying to win support for a multinational peacekeeping force in Iraq by pledging a timetable for elections and a return of sovereignty to the country it now occupies

Iraqi Exiles Dominate U.S.-Picked "Government"

by Thalif Deen Observers have been critical of the overwhelming presence of former Iraqi exiles in the new team. Most of the ministers appointed now have either been trained or have worked in the United States or Britain

Burma Boasts Nobel Laureate Not On Hunger Strike

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Rangoon's junta is diving into its verbal armory to launch insults at Washington, including calling it "irresponsible and self-centered" in the wake of the much-publicized U.S. claims that Burma's most famous political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi, was on a hunger strike. Burma's outburst of anger at the superpower comes after it emerged during the weekend that Washington's claim about Suu Kyi was not true

Suu Kyi Hunger Strike Forcing Asia To Take Position On Burma Junta

by Marwaan Macan-Markar By going on a hunger strike, Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has pushed Southeast Asian governments into the embarrassing position of being forced to reveal where they stand on her dissidence

George Soros: I Will Fund "Regime Change" -- In The U.S.

by Thalif Deen George Soros, most often described as a billionaire philanthropist, once shared some of the political values of U.S. President George W. Bush. For example, they both wanted "regime change" in Iraq. But Soros went further: he has also been gunning for Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi, Burma's Gen Than Shwe and Turkmenistan's president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov. And now Soros has made a full political circle: he wants to see a "regime change" in the United States

"Recall Radio" Attacks Appeals Court Challenge

by Robert Gelfand Here is a small sampling from the John & Ken Show from Monday, September 15: (John speaking): "If that's the argument, then why doesn't the ACLU say, here's why black and brown people can't punch a hole through a card. Here's why black and brown people get lost and confused easily. The judges should explain this. I heard Erwin Chemerinsky the law professor carrying on on the radio today, about how unfair it was to minorities. Well what is it then? Is it that they have small brains?"

Bush Wants To Speed Up Environmental Reviews

by J.R. Pegg A Bush administration task force issued recommendations September 24 to change how federal agencies implement and interpret the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a law environmentalists describe as the "Magna Carta" of U.S. environmental policy. The White House says the proposals aim to modernize the NEPA process, but critics believe the intent is to roll back the federal government's responsibility to consider the environmental impact of its actions and policies

Killing Of Ayatollah Marks Start Of Iraq Civil War

by William O. Beeman The bombing of one of Islam's holiest shrines not only killed an important Shi'a leader, it also signals the first shot in an Iraqi civil war that Middle East experts warned would ensue if Saddam were removed without careful planning

Japan Not Rearming, Despite Troops To Iraq

by Andrew Lam The possibility that Japan may send troops to Iraq has fueled speculation that the pacifist nation could regain its taste for war. Nothing could be further from the truth

Modern Global Warming More Damaging Than In Past

by Lara Magouirk Generally, each species requires specific habitat and climate conditions to survive. In the past when climate changed, populations of a species would die out on one edge of their habitat range and expand into newly available habitat at the other edge. This colonization process was crucial for the survival of species during the unstable climate of the last ice ages. However this broad movement of species, which has prevented large-scale extinctions in the past, is not likely to operate effectively in the modern world

Americans Among World's Most Ignorant About Global Warming

by Andrea Lynn Despite its greater economic and educational resources, U.S. citizens have essentially the same level of knowledge about the sources of global warming as citizens of developing countries -- and that level isn't very high

Human Rights Groups Demand Bush Suspend Military Aid To Colombia

by Yadira Ferrer The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seeking to block the delivery of $30 million, part of $250 million in aid approved by the U.S. Congress for the 2003 fiscal year

For Israel, Arafat Is Distraction From Failed Policy

by Peter Hirschberg Some officials say the government is preparing the ground for the ultimate removal of Arafat by softening international public opinion in stages, as it did when it progressively reoccupied much of Palestinian-controlled territory in the West Bank last year But does Sharon really want to see the back of the Palestinian leader, who he constantly blames for the ongoing violence and the inability to reach a political solution to the conflict? "Sharon doesn't have a peace agenda and so it is comfortable for him to hide behind Arafat," Ali Jarbawi, professor of political science at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank told IPS

Crucial Insurance Battle Underway In Texas

by Molly Ivins Why the docs let themselves get conned into fronting for the insurance companies on this one is beyond me, but that's what has happened. Friendly Doctor Welbys are all over the airwaves in ads telling us how they're being driven out of business by the high cost of medical malpractice insurance and the only way they'll be able to continue delivering babies and curing measles is if we vote for this abomination. Of course the poor docs are getting screwed by the insurance companies -- it's awful. But instead of regulating insurance rates, our bought-and-paid-for legislature went after our legal rights, instead

The Grasso Case: Scandal As Usual

by Molly Ivins Surely the most shocking thing about Grasso's $148 million pay package is that no one involved noticed it was insane. Here we've been through more than a year of gross business scandals, from Enron to WorldCom to Martha Stewart. Presumably our more high-profile corporate execs have been reminded to mind their p's and q's. But here are the directors of the New York Stock Exchange itself, which theoretically regulates corporate malfeasance, so blind, so oblivious they just sleepwalked into this

Even Repubs Starting To Gripe Bush Is A Sorry Excuse

by Molly Ivins We got no Osama, we got no Saddam, we got no weapons of mass destruction, the road map to peace in the Middle East is blown to hell, we're stuck in this country for $87 billion just for one year, and no one knows how long we'll be there. And still poor Krauthammer is hard-put to conceive how anyone could conclude that George W. Bush is a poor excuse for a president

Dick Cheney Assumes The Ostrich Position

by Molly Ivins The administration is now in The Full Ostrich on Iraq: Dick Cheney put on a fabulous performance last Sunday on "Meet the Press," in which he insisted everything in Iraq is trickety-boo, right as rain and cheery bye. I haven't heard anyone lie with such gravitas since Henry Kissinger was in office

Can't We Please Start This All Over?

by Molly Ivins Meanwhile, the Bush administration has gone into full ostrich posture. As Maureen Dowd observed, Donald Rumsfeld is starting to sound like Baghdad Bob, Saddam Hussein's fabulous flak. Vice President Cheney, who can tell whoppers with more portentous gravity than anyone since Henry Kissinger, said Sunday there is no reason to "think the strategy is flawed or needs to be changed." No reason at all -- not a bit, not a whit, right, Dick? Forget about the coffins and the wounded coming back in a steady stream, and the increased hatred and vengeance-seeking in Iraq

The New Bush Bait And Switch

by Molly Ivins I ain't gonna take it anymore. I am not shutting up for Bill O'Reilly or anyone else. I opposed our unprovoked, unnecessary invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it would be a short, easy war followed by the peace from hell. I predicted every terrorist in the Middle East would be drawn to Iraq like a magnet. I was right, and I'm not going to apologize for it

Just Fix The Iraq Mess, Okay?

by Molly Ivins With both liberals and conservatives now on the "For Lord's sake, fix it" side, the biggest impediment to actually doing something is the Pentagon's "Hey, no problem, everything's going according to plan" attitude. Donald Rumsfeld is starting to sound like Alfred E. ("What, me worry?") Neuman. The inability to admit error is a salient characteristic of this administration, but I'm not interested in apologies or mea culpas -- just get over there and fix it

Holding The Bush Gang Accountable For The WMD Tales

by Molly Ivins We have already lost more soldiers in the "peace" than we did during the war. And still no weapons of mass destruction. I realize all the good little boys and girls are supposed to "get over" the missing weapons of mass destruction, but I cannot brush this aside with the careless elan of the neo-con hawks ("doesn't matter," "makes no difference," "who cares?"). Public officials need to be held to some standard of accountability for what they say

The Most Anti-Labor Administration In Memory

by Molly Ivins If we've had an administration so blinkered by class blinders before, it is not within my memory. What these people know about working-class Americans would fit in a gnat's eye. In the summer of 2002, when Ted Kennedy and the late Paul Wellstone were working to get an emergency extension on unemployment benefits -- something that has been largely pro forma under earlier administrations -- Majority Whip Tom DeLay protested that Democrats want "unlimited unemployment so people could stay out of work for the rest of their lives." Actually, one million unemployed workers had already exhausted their benefits before the House finally acted in January 2003, and were simply left in the streets with nothing under the too-little, too-late Bush bill

A Qualified Governor Would Be A Nice Idea

by Molly Ivins I realize Gray Davis was supposed to be Mr. Experience, Mr. Detail -- and didn't he make a fine mess out of things? Yes, he did. He panicked during the energy crisis (brought about by Wilson), groveled at the feet of Southern California Edison (which wrote the electricity de-reg bill in California), begged for power to keep lights on and overpaid billions for it. Too true. But use your noggin, is that really an argument in favor of putting somebody who knows nothing in charge?

IMF Programs Often Fail, Internal Audit Shows

by Peyman Pejman IMF fiscal policy programs, implemented in dozens of borrowing countries across the globe, largely fail to improve budgets and often over-optimistically predict investment and economic growth, says an independent report from the body

Fear, Loathing Of U.S. Spurs Muslim Unity Among Old Enemies

by Mushahid Hussain An unintended and probably unexpected consequence of the U.S. 'war on terror,' particularly the invasion of Iraq, has been its role in forcing countries in the Muslim world to reassess their relationships and review their foreign policy priorities. Without openly confronting the United States, whose military presence stretches from the borders of Saudi Arabia to those of Russia, countries in the Middle East and South Asia are seeking to build durable ties with neighbors

UN Won't Help U.S. As Long As "Stooges" Run Iraq Government

by Thalif Deen Germany, France and Russia, three key members of the UN Security Council, say they are willing to concede U.S. military leadership in Iraq provided Washington relinquishes civilian and political authority to the United Nations and to Iraqis. The response from U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was fast and furious. In an interview with the Arabic television network Al Jazeera on Thursday, Powell summarily rejected any attempts to transfer civilian control to the Iraqis

Bush Now Desperately Needs UN Help

by Jim Lobe Will the administration have to give up significant control over the political and rebuilding process in Iraq in order to get what it wants: a major infusion of foreign troops and international economic aid? Or will it be able to continue running the show, as implicitly suggested by the draft resolution that Washington began circulating to Council members this week?

U.S. Warns Iraq: Beware Of Foreign Troops In Your Country

by Peyman Pejman In recent months, U.S. Administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer has repeatedly warned of the presence of "foreign terrorists" in the country, of which he has said there are "several varieties around"

NIKE Held Liable For False Sweatshop Claims

by Jim Lobe An unexpected settlement of a five-year-old lawsuit against Nike, the world's biggest maker of athletic shoes, has left intact a California Supreme Court ruling that corporations can be held liable for public statements they make about their operations

Nike PR on Trial

by Adam M. Kanzer and Cynthia A. Williams Imagine if corporations were permitted to "plead the First Amendment," making it virtually impossible to use litigation to test the truth of company statements about their social and environmental records. This could be the impact of the position taken by Nike in Nike v. Kasky. Nike argues that in defending itself against charges of using sweatshop labor, its statements were "political speech," subject to full First Amendment protections. But if this view prevails, it could invalidate many consumer protection laws and securities regulations. And it could permanently undermine the reliability of corporate reporting -- both financial and social

Bush Breaks Promise On AIDS Funding, Activists Say

by Miriam Kagan In his State of the Union speech last January, Bush asked Congress to "commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean." Bush spoke of an "emergency plan for AIDS relief" that, by committing $3 billion a year over five years, was to be "a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa." But in his budget, the president only committed $2 billion to various AIDS initiatives, far less than what he initially promised in the authorization bill and far less than what health experts say is needed. The budget appropriated only $400 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

With Apartheid Wall, Palestinian Complaints Grow

by Peter Hirschberg Construction of the wall, however, is being held up as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon finds himself sandwiched between conflicting political pressures. Instead of running along the border between Israel and the West Bank, the planned route of the wall has crept eastward, deeper and deeper into Palestinian territory. This is largely because of demands by Jewish settlers living in the occupied territories that they be included on the Israeli side of the wall. But after hearing Palestinian criticism of the wall several weeks ago -- they say it is gobbling up West Bank land on which they hope to build a future state -- President George Bush called the barrier "a problem"

Israel Destroys Chances for Peace By Destroying Palestinian Leadership

by Ira Chernus The Sharon government's greatest fear is a strong Palestinian leadership that can unite the Palestinian factions in effective resistance to Israeli occupation. The Israelis know that only Arafat can provide that leadership. Their policies all aim to keep him weak and all Palestinian leaders divided, hoping that this will keep the Palestinian people divided and therefore weak

U.S. Troops In Iraq Isolated And Untrained

by Lee Siu Hin Officially these are not combat troops, but "military police" out to catch "the very bad people" from Saddam's regime. "They do not have basic skills in civilian policing, and they are unaware of the law they are supposed to be applying," says Curt Goerig of Amnesty International

How Can Women Vote For Schwarzenegger?

by Robert Scheer "'As we were rehearsing, I saw this toilet bowl,' says Schwarzenegger, an impish smile crossing his face. 'How many times do you get away with this – to take a woman, grab her upside down, and bury her face in a toilet bowl? I wanted to have something floating in there,' he adds. When Schwarzenegger mocks the "who-knows-what groups" that might have raised objections to his proposed sicko movie scene, he is certainly not just speaking of feminists, since the Christian right would presumably raise strenuous objections to such a scene.

The White House's Cynical Iraq Ploy

by Robert Scheer The pattern is clear: Say what you want people to believe for the front page and on TV, then whisper a halfhearted correction or apology that slips under the radar. It is really quite ingenious in its cynical effectiveness, and Wolfowitz's latest performance is a classic example — even his correction needs correcting

Unprecedented Jump In Health Insurance Scams Since Bush Presidency

by Mary Mahon, Commonwealth Fund Since 2001, four unauthorized plans have left nearly 100,000 people with approximately $85 million in unpaid medical debts and without health coverage. While no state is immune to the problem of unauthorized plans, some have been especially hard hit. In Florida nearly 30,000 victims of scams have been left uninsured and burdened with unpaid medical bills

Compared To Arnold, Bustamante -- And Reagan -- Look Good

by Robert Scheer Running the excruciatingly complex California government is serious business, however. That was acknowledged even by former actor Ronald Reagan, who spent years familiarizing himself with the state government's workings before announcing his 1966 campaign for governor. I interviewed him at the time, and there was no question of his being prepared. Reagan came to grips with economic reality quickly, as Lou Cannon, Reagan's definitive biographer, pointed out in the New York Times: "In the first week of his governorship Mr. Reagan proposed a $1-billion tax increase, then the largest tax hike ever sponsored by any governor of any state." And, Cannon noted, it was mostly aimed at banks and corporations

An $87 Billion Admission Of Failure

by Robert Scheer Once again, Bush is using the Big Lie technique, continuing to slyly conflate those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks with Saddam Hussein and Iraq, despite there being no evidence of such a relationship. It is an insult to those who died on that day of infamy to exploit them to defend a failed policy of preemptive war designed by a bunch of think tank neoconservatives as part of a cockamamie plan to remake the Middle East

Wanted: A President That Isn't So Gullible

by Robert Scheer "We were prisoners of our own beliefs," a senior U.S. weapons expert who worked with the Iraq Survey Group told The Times. "We said Saddam Hussein was a master of denial and deception. Then when we couldn't find anything, we said that proved it, instead of questioning our own assumptions." The Brits don't like being fooled. That's not the case in the United States, where for too many pundits and politicians, accepting official mendacity has become a mark of political sophistication

Zimbabwe Officals Grabbed Prime Land Under Reforms

by Wilson Johwa A government report into Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program has thrown a spotlight on the unlawful possession of multiple farms by senior government officials and others close to the establishment

Two Years Later Nuclear, Chemical Plants Still Vulnerable

Two years ago, terrorist strikes demolished the World Trade Towers in New York and damaged the Pentagon in the nation's capital, killing more than 3,000 people and injuring thousands more. Since then, the United States has spent billions of dollars upgrading safety and security, but critics of the Bush administration say U.S. nuclear and chemical facilities are still vulnerable and much more remains to be done

EPA Covered Up Deadly Ground Zero Air Problems

Monitor Wire Services As the World Trade Center debris pile continued smoking in the months after 9/11, dangerous pollutants that could penetrate deep into the lungs of workers and residents blanketed the area -- even as the EPA was assuring the public there was no danger at Ground Zero

Bush Determined To "Spend What Is Necessary" To Conquer Iraq

by Stephen Zunes President Bush now declares that a successful American-led pacification of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq would be an "essential victory in the war on terror." In linking the legitimate international struggle against Al-Qaeda with the illegitimate U.S. occupation of Iraq, it becomes possible for the administration to justify the president's determination to "spend what is necessary" in controlling this oil-rich country and to depict those in the United States and elsewhere who oppose the occupation as being soft of terrorism

General Wesley Clark Becomes Anti-War Fave Overnight

by Jim Lobe Clark's announcement is likely not only to heighten media attention to what has been seen as a largely unexciting contest for the Democratic nomination, but also to change its dynamics Given his military stature, Clark will almost certainly affect Kerry's support, precisely because his military record was considered a strong selling point for the 2004 race

What IS A Neo-conservative, Anyway?

by Jim Lobe With all the attention paid to neo-conservatives in the global media today, one would think that a standard definition of the term would exist. Yet, despite their now being accused of a virtual takeover of U.S. foreign policy under President George W. Bush, a common understanding of 'neo-cons' remains elusive

Bush Gang Turned Sorrow Into Political Capital

by Norman Solomon The Bush team was able to manipulate post-9/11 emotions well beyond the phantom of Iraqi involvement in that crime against humanity. The dramatic changes in political climate after 9/11 included a drastic upward spike in an attitude -- fervently stoked by the likes of Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and the president -- that our military should be willing to attack potential enemies before they might try to attack us. Few politicians or pundits were willing to confront the reality that this was a formula for perpetual war, and for the creation of vast numbers of new foes who would see a reciprocal logic in embracing such a credo themselves

Energy Politics Overshadow House Blackout Inquiry

by J.R. Pegg The Bush administration and many Congressional Republicans are keen to use the August 14 blackout as fuel to push through a massive energy bill that includes large subsidies for energy production as well as the transmission reliability rules. Democrats say the energy bill is a controversial proposition with no guarantee of passage and argue that the reliability provisions should be pulled out and considered as a separate piece of legislation. It makes sense to "kill the closest snake first," said Michigan Representative John Dingell, a Democrat.

Bush Spending Millions On Study Of Private-Run Interior Dept

by J.R. Pegg Democrats failed Sept. 23 to block the Bush administration's plan to study privatizing thousands of positions within the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service. Republican lawmakers said the outsourcing initiative is too important to American taxpayers for it to be halted, but critics say the administration's policy is diverting precious funds away from the protection of the nation's treasured lands and resources

Bush EPA Nominee Faces Angry Senators

by J.R. Pegg President George W. Bush promotes Utah Republican Governor Mike Leavitt as a consensus builder who is the ideal candidate to take the reins at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But critics say Leavitt's environmental record is no cause for cheer and are keen to use his confirmation hearings to expose the Bush administration's indifference to the environment and the agency Leavitt has been asked to lead

The Gang That Hijacked 9/11

by Randolph T. Holhut As painful as that day was for Americans, little did we know that as the ash and smoke were rising from the pyre that was once the World Trade Center, there were people scheming to take advantage of the tragedy

The Candidate Who Could Beat Bush, But Won't Run

by Mark Scheinbaum The Democratic Party could nominate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and go on to beat President George Bush the next time around, but that will never happen

Dems Won't Call For Probe Into Bush WMD Claims

by Jason Leopold Democrats in Congress have abandoned their efforts to investigate the White House's use of questionable intelligence information about Iraq's alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, saying the issue has been "eclipsed" by President Bush's request for $87 billion from Congress to continue funding the war there

The New Howard Dean An Improvement Over Old Version

by Joyce Marcel In terms of his policies, Dean is Bill Clinton without the Vaseline on his zipper, a centrist Democrat who would be indistinguishable from a Republican if that party had not been taken over by a group of radical right-wingers. It is mind-boggling that the Democratic Leadership Council is against him, because he's one of their own, a true believer

Chile's Top Rated TV News Show -- With Puppets

by Gustavo Gonzalez Peirano and Diaz began with an apparently simple idea: create a television news production team using puppets, which in many cases look like familiar objects or well-known personalities. Then they added the all-important ingredient of a satirical look at "real world" news production. But they did not stop there. The two journalists also introduced segments aimed at the younger viewing audience, issues that "adult news" tends to brush over, such as the environment and the rights of children

Unprecedented 20 Million Mexicans Have Hand- To- Mouth Jobs

by Diego Cevallos Nearly 20 million people earn a livelihood in the so-called "informal sector" as street vendors or in "changarros" -- small shops -- in Mexico, a nation in which over half the population is poor. Since President Vicente Fox took office in December 2000, some 500,000 people have lost their jobs and the informal economy has expanded by 900,000 workers. Never in the history of Mexico have so many people worked in the informal sector

Israel Calls Assassination A Form Of Defense

by Ana Jerozolimski Israel maintains that its policy of targeted killings, which have claimed the lives of at least 200 Palestinians since the start of the intifada almost three years ago, is a legitimate means of defense against terrorism. But in the eyes of the Palestinian National Authority, the targeted killings are war crimes

Cheney Loses Court Battle Over Secret Energy Meet

by Ritt Goldstein A federal appeals court on September 11, 2003 refused to reconsider its ruling against Vice President Dick Cheney in his effort to keep secret the documents of his energy task force. The U.S. Court of Appeals voted 5-3 against rehearing the case, leaving Cheney and his Justice Department lawyers with the option of either appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court  or complying with a lower court order to release information about White House contacts with the energy industry

Grasso Deal Was Legal, But Doesn't Pass The Smell Test

by Mark Scheinbaum The Guatemalan Constitutional Court has recently cleared the way for Efrian Rios Montt, responsible for mass killing in Guatemala in the 1980s, to run for president. But instead of pursuing justice against the 77-year-old retired brigadier general whom some call the "Guatemalan Saddam Hussein," the interventionist Bush administration responds to Montt's potential return to power with laissez-faire human rights policy

Is Bush Seeking A Truce With Al Qaeda?

by Franz Schurmann With terrorist attacks by Al Qeada or affiliated groups increasing around the world, it seems doubtful that America can prevail against the group using current tactics. Nor can the shadowy terror network wield any real political power in any Muslim country while under attack by America. Could a truce be in the works?

Urban Sprawl Leads To Fat, Less Healthy People

by Becky Ham People who live in sprawling counties weigh more, walk less in their leisure time and have higher rates of high blood pressure compared with those who live in densely populated urban areas, a new study finds

U.S. Leads Arms Sales to Mideast, Asia

by Jim Lobe Altogether, arms sales from all sources to developing countries made up about two-thirds of arms sales worldwide during 2002, according to the report, which is based on the most comprehensive data compiled by the U.S. government. New arms agreements with developing nations totalled $17.7 billion, a 10 percent increase over new deals in 2001. Of that total, U.S. sales came to $8.6 billion, or almost 48 percent of all arms transfers to Third World countries, up from 41 percent the previous year

Can Bush's Three Wars Come To An End?

by Franz Schurmann Two years after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the United States still seems confused about who attacked and continues to attack, and why. But Al Qaeda and the ideologically distinct Taliban have learned some clear lessons since 9/11. President Bush still can find ways to back away from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a global war on terror

Elevated Radiation Levels In Iraq Tied To U.S. Weapons

by Katherine Stapp Concerns are growing about the presence of depleted uranium and other toxins in Iraq following a rash of illnesses among U.S. troops and the discovery by a reporter that radiation levels in parts of Baghdad are extremely elevated

"Guantanamo Spy" Claims Look Like Replay Of Wen Ho Lee Case

by L. Ling-chi Wang The case against U.S. Army Chaplain James Yee must not go the way of the Los Alamos scientist wrongly convicted of espionage, where FBI leaks to the press powered an unjust prosecution

Repubs Attack Wesley Clark Over Photo With War Criminal

by Terence Sheridan Republicans recently released a 1994 photo of Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark swapping hats with Serb general Ratko Mladic, who was indicted a year later for war crimes and is now a fugitive. Mladic got the best of Clark, but the talented and driven former NATO commander may get the last laugh

Bush "No Child Left Behind" Built On Fraud

by Christopher Brauchli In the Department of Education biography of Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education, we are told of the success of the No Child Left Behind program. The biography says that in January 2002 all states submitted plans outlining how they would ensure that their schools would be places of high expectations and high standards. Some of the states modeled their plans after the perceived great success of Houston's public schools under Dr. Paige's stewardship. In July 2003, however, we learned that Houston public school system was not all it seemed to be

In Colombia, Bush Did The Right Thing -- For The Wrong Reason

by George Koo Like it did with Japan some 20 years ago, America seems to be looking East for an excuse for its own troubled economy. This time, China and its currency, the renminbi, are the scapegoat

Am I An 'Angry Lefty?' Yes, And I've Got Company

by Randolph T. Holhut I am sick of the constant fear-mongering and the cynical use of 9/11 to justify everything from tax cuts for the rich to expanded police power. We're told that the economy is improving, yet personal bankruptcies are at an all-time high and more than three million jobs have disappeared in the last three years. About half of this nation's combat forces are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, two rat holes that soaking up about $4 billion of our money a month while education, health care and other pressing domestic needs are shortchanged. If expressing these concerns make me an angry lefty, I've got plenty of company in America

Let's Not Pretty-Up Wesley Clark

by Norman Solomon If Wesley Clark is "antiwar," then antiwar is a pliable term that doesn't mean much as it morphs into a codeword for tactical objections rather than principled opposition. "Nothing is more American, nothing is more patriotic than speaking out, questioning authority and holding your leaders accountable," Gen. Clark said in a Sept. 24 speech. That's a key point -- and it must always apply to how we deal with all politicians, including Wesley Clark

Echoes Of Vietnam-Era Editorials

by Norman Solomon In early 1968, the Boston Globe conducted a survey of 39 major U.S. daily newspapers and found that not a single one had editorialized in favor of U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. While millions of Americans were demanding an immediate pullout, such a concept was still viewed as extremely unrealistic by the editorial boards of big daily papers -- including the liberal New York Times and Washington Post. Yes, some editorials fretted about a quagmire. But the emphasis was on developing a winnable strategy -- not ending the war. Pull out the U.S. troops? The idea was unthinkable

Media And The Get-Rich Con

by Norman Solomon While Time and other media outlets were simply reporting on the dot-com phenomenon, they were also hyping the phenom -- glorifying it and egging it on. They did so repeatedly during the last few years of the 20th century

The Most Shameful Moment For PBS NewsHour

by Norman Solomon The latest "NewsHour" interview with Kissinger came just two days before the 30th anniversary of the coup in Chile. Although declassified documents show that Kissinger was deeply involved in making that coup possible, Lehrer's hospitality was such that the anchor did not mention it

Dec. 2002 Memo Predicted Current Iraq Mess

by Alexander Cockburn Last Dec. 3, Cordesman issued a "rough draft" memo that derided Operation Oust Saddam as the recipe for a bloody mess. Title of paper: "Planning for a Self-Inflicted Wound: U.S. Policy to Shape a Post-Saddam Iraq." Theme: Operation Oust Saddam is an "uncoordinated and faltering effort." "We face an Arab world where many see us as going to war to seize Iraq's oil, barter deals with the Russians and French, create a new military base to dominate the region, and/or serve Israel's interest ... We may well face a much more hostile population than in Afghanistan. We badly need to consider the Lebanon model: Hero to enemy in less than a year." (He was wrong here, of course. In Iraq it took less than a week.) The Iraqi National Congress, he sneered, was far stronger inside the Washington Beltway than in Iraq. Most of the existing structure of the Iraqi government was "vital." Iraq "is not going to become a model government or democracy for years."

UN Handmaiden To U.S. In Iraq

by Alexander Cockburn "One has to be careful," said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan earlier this month, "not to confuse the UN with the U.S." If the Secretary General had taken his own advice, then maybe his Brazilian subordinate, Vieira de Mello, might not have been so summarily blown to pieces in Baghdad two days earlier. Whichever group sent that truck bomb on its way had made the accurate assessment that de Mello and his boss Annan were so brazen in allowing the United Nations to play a fig leaf role in the U.S. occupation of Iraq that drastic action was necessary to slow down the process. So the UN man handpicked by the White House paid with his life

Alan Dershowitz, Plagarist

by Alexander Cockburn "From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine," a 601-page book by Joan Peters, published in 1984. Peter's polemical work strove to buttress the old Zionist thesis that the land of Israel had been "a land without people, awaiting a people without land." Peters' book was soon discredited as a charnel house of disingenuous polemic. Though neither Peters nor her book appear in the index to "The Case for Israel," they do get a mention in a note: "...I do not in any way rely on them in this book." "Them" clearly refers to Peters' conclusions and data. This brazen declaration is preceded in Chapters 1 and 2 by repeated, unacknowledged looting of Peters' research

Hiking Light With Bruce Anderson

by Alexander Cockburn Each stop to drink water and enjoy the wonderful vistas of redwood stands, Douglas firs, and rock-girt seashore wasn't prelude to the grim business of once again hoisting a 40-pound load onto sore shoulders. Going up the up steep grades was a breeze. I gloried in nature's temple rather than feeling I was on the uphill slope to the morgue

Waiting For The Neo-Con Downfall

by Alexander Cockburn Now here we are on the downslope of 2003, and George Bush is learning, way too late for his own good that the neo-cons have been matchlessly wrong about everything

Surprise Party For Edward Said

by Alexander Cockburn We march through life buoyed by those comrades-in-arms we know to be marching with us, under the same banners, flying the same colors, sustained by the same hopes and convictions. They can be a thousand miles away; we may not have spoken to them in months; but their companionship is burned into our souls, and we are sustained by the knowledge that they are with us in the world

One-Handed Pool At George Plimpton's

by Joe Shea He lived in a fabulous two-story apartment overlooking the East River. As people started trickling in, it occurred to me that every single one of them was famous. The warmest was Peter Maas, the author of Serpico, who took an interest in me and wept me occupied until the pool-playing began

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