Posted March 31, 2002
"Nuclear Offensive" for Peace?
(David Corn, Alternet.org, March 29, 2002)
Will someone please buy George W. Bush a dictionary? . . .
his administration has been misusing common words and, in
the process, perverting political discourse. . . . the master
plan for developing and structuring the U.S. nuclear force
-- notes that nuclear weapons will be part of the U.S. "offensive
deterrence." Offensive deterrence? Is this Orwellian,
or merely Stragelovian? . . . The new Bush doctrine of offensive
deterrence changes the equation. . . . It also includes the
possibility of dropping nuclear bombs on states (or perhaps
terrorist outfits) that develop weapons of mass destruction
and that are perceived as threats to the United States. In
other words, the United States might "deter" an
attack by attacking first -- not necessarily with nuclear
weapons, but not necessarily without. . . . it should be called
by its true name -- offensive preemption. . . . "Offensive
deterrence" may have a reassuring sound, but it blurs
the line between nuclear and conventional weapons. It is slippery
and dangerous language. . . . Bush and his lieutenants have
amassed an impressive record of perverted phraseology. His
"axis of evil" description of Iraq, Iran and North
Korea was deceptive. . . . On the presidential campaign trail,
Bush, in his aw-shucks way, often declared, "I'm a plain-spoken
fellow." If that were true, he would now be saying, "We're
going to be spewing more global warming gases into the air,
giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the
wealthy, threatening countries that are unallied and have
no known connection to the September 11 attacks, and revising
military doctrine to make the use of nuclear weapons just
a bit less unthinkable."
Names Critic of Campaign Law to Panel That Will Enforce it,
Affirmative Action Critic to Civil Rights Post
(Scott Lindlaw, truthout.org, 3/30/2002)
Two days after signing a new law restricting campaign donations,
President Bush bypassed Congress to install one of the law's
Republican critics to enforce it. He also named a vocal critic
of affirmative action as civil rights chief at the Education
Department. . . . Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., led the fight
for the campaign finance law, and his adviser John Weaver
said it seemed ''schizophrenic'' for the administration to
sign the legislation and then appoint an overhaul opponent
to the FEC. . . . Bush also used his recess appointment power
to install Gerald Reynolds as assistant secretary of education
for civil rights, prompting similar criticism that Reynolds
will not promote laws he opposes. . . . Reynolds has criticized
affirmative action and has worked for or been affiliated with
organizations opposed to such assistance for women and minorities.
. . . ''This is one more example of the administration's lack
of commitment to the enforcement of our nation's civil rights
laws,'' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of
the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
and Bush: the Mystery Deepens, Energy Papers Yield More Questions
(David Callaway, CBS.MarketWatch.com, March 28, 2002)
Think the flap over the Bush administration and Enron is winding
down? Think again. . . . heightened speculation that the Bush
team is hiding something by refusing to provide logs of Vice
President Dick Cheney's meetings with energy executives. .
. . Secretary of the Energy Spencer Abraham met almost exclusively
with energy executives while helping formulate taskforce policy
last year, while ignoring any submissions from environmental
or consumer groups. . . . It's part of a pattern of holding
back information that not only taints the administration with
Enron, but leads to skepticism about any of its other motives,
such as its messing with the Clean Air Act or its developing
a shadow government in case of attacks on Washington. . .
. we're still getting new bombshells on a weekly basis. .
. . [Secretary of the Army] White on Wednesday offered to
resign if the flap over his Enron ties hampers his ability
to do his job. . . . the fact he would even feel the need
to make the offer at a time when his job is so important to
the country shows just how hard the administration has been
hit by this scandal. . . . this story has legs. And
as long as any of the players in this drama refuse to come
clean - including at the White House -- it will continue to
astound us with fresh revelations, one at a time.
Seeks Exemption From Environmental Laws
(Kathrine Q. Seelye, truthout.org, March 30, 2002)
Concerned that several environmental laws are interfering
with the military's ability to train soldiers and develop
weapons, the Pentagon is seeking a Congressional exemption
from an array of measures that have protected endangered species
and their habitats for years. . . . seeks exemptions from
sections of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Marine Mammal
Protection Act, Noise Control Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act
and the Endangered Species Act. . . . The Defense Department
controls about 25 million acres for training grounds, about
90 percent of which is undeveloped buffer. It spends about
$4 billion a year to comply with environmental laws, money
that Pentagon officials say could be better spent preparing
the military for combat . . . Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility, a nonprofit group representing civil servants
who work on military bases and in environmental agencies.
"This is seen as a major threat, and there's a growing
cast of thousands meeting next week to plan to counter it."
. . . If the environmental laws are breached, Mr. Ruch said,
the military will be free to contaminate public drinking water
with munitions, discharge air pollutants in bombings and exceed
noise limits as well as test weapons that could harm whales
and other marine life.
are Governed by Fear: An Interview with Congressman Dennis
(Scott Galindez, t r u t h o u t.org, March 14, 2002)
Members of the Administration had retreated to bunkers outside
Washington so that they could keep the government going. The
bunker mentality I referred to in my speech represents the
presence of security and police and national guards, the jersey
barriers that are everywhere, where we have to literally negotiate
a labyrinth of concrete barriers in order to go to vote. .
. . the purpose of a Department of Peace and the motivating
factors involve a desire to make nonviolence an organizing
principle in our society for domestic as well as international
policy, and on an international level to seek to make war
archaic. On a domestic level, to deal with issues such as
child abuse, spousal abuse, domestic violence in the home,
community relations challenges, racial violence, anything
that exemplifies a lack of ability to deal with human relations,
would be dealt with by the Department of Peace. And it's a
cabinet level position, which would raise the whole issue
of non-violence and conflict resolution to serious level of
discussion in society. . . . Administration that wants to
use space as the next platform for its weapons . . . Now it's
the United States trying to seize the highest ground in the
universe, space. It is not our business to do. There is no
other nation that has the capacity to mount an attack against
the United States from space. So, what's this about? Perhaps
some crude attempt at -- using space as the next junkyard
for military contractors. . . . we are organizing a whole
new approach to create a new political movement in this country.
If you want to keep your eyes at our site,-- which is www.kucinich.us
-- we are going to be putting stuff on the website that talks
Posted March 29, 2002
Department Report Says Arctic Refuge Drilling Poses Significant
Risks to Wildlife
(H.Josef Hebert Associated Press, Mar 28, 2002)
Oil development in the coastal plain of the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge may pose substantial risk to caribou and other
wildlife, a government review concludes, contrary to claims
made by oil drilling advocates. . . . The report is likely
to play a key role in the upcoming Senate debate over whether
oil companies should have access to millions of barrels of
crude believed to lie beneath the refuge's 1.5 million-acre
coastal plain. . . . The 78-page report was developed by scientists
at the U.S. Biological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, both agencies within the Interior Department, and
peer-reviewed by outside scientists.
Winfrey declines Bush invite to Afghan trip
(Jeff Zeleny, Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2002)
Seeking to put a softer spin on the public's perceptions of
the war on terrorism, the Bush administration quietly asked
Oprah Winfrey to join an official U.S. delegation to tour
Afghanistan's schools . . . But Winfrey begged off . . . So
the White House, lacking its preferred guest, postponed a
trip that also was to feature some of the administration's
top women . . . Bush's political advisers are concerned that
some key voting groups, while supportive of the war on terrorism,
may be growing weary of the constant talk of killing and brutality.
The Oprah strategy was devised to dampen the images of global
violence. . . . The president's strategists are particularly
worried that women voters may have growing concerns about
the constant news of war as crucial midterm elections approach
and Bush begins preparing for an expected re-election campaign
in 2004. . . . "If there is going to be a decline
in support [for military action], it's going to come from
women first," said Andrew Kohut, director of
the Pew Research Center.
Tapped Solar Energy Funds to Print Energy Plan
(Tom Doggett, Rueters, March 29, 2002)
The administration took money from the Energy Department's
solar and renewable energy and energy conservation budgets
to pay for the cost of printing its national energy plan.
. . . Documents released under court order by the Energy Department
this week revealed that $135,615 was spent from the DOE's
solar, renewables and energy conservation budget to produce
10,000 copies of the White House energy plan released last
May. . . . Another $1,317.39 was spent for producing 16 "briefing
boards" used by administration officials to illustrate
and explain the White House energy plan. . . . The newly released
documents also show that $176.40 was taken from the energy
conservation program to pay for an Alaska trip by Andrew Lundquist,
the White House energy task force's staff director, to promote
the energy plan. . . . The administration's energy policy
called for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
a proposal strongly opposed by environmentalists.
On Our War Against Terrorism
(Congresswoman Cynthia A. McKinney, truthout.org, March 28,
America, the world's only superpower, is stifled in its ability
to defend human rights and democracy abroad because it has
failed the fundamental test at home. . . . Whose war
is this really? . . . In November 2000, Republicans
stole from America our most precious right of all: the right
to free and fair elections. In an organized manner, Florida
Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris,
created a list of convicted felons--57,700 to be exact--to
"scrub" from the state's voter rolls. The names
were created from Florida records and from lists provided
by 11 other states, the largest list coming from Texas. We
now know that most of the people on that list were innocent
of crimes. The list was a phony. . . . Of the thousands who
ultimately lost their vote through this scrub of voters, 80%
are African-American. . . . Mass arrests, detention without
charge, military tribunals, and infringements on due process
rights are now realities in America. . . . Moreover, persons
close to this Administration are poised to make huge profits
off America's new war. Former President Bush sits
on the board of the
Carlyle Group. The Los Angeles Times reports that on a
single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling
shares in United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest
contractor. . . . Now is the time for our elected officials
to be held accountable. Now is the time for the media to be
held accountable. Why aren't the hard questions being asked?
We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come
on September 11. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, delivered
one such warning. Those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately
before September 11 knew enough to make millions of dollars
from United and American airlines, certain insurance and brokerage
firms' stocks. What did this Administration know, and when
did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else
knew and why did they not warn the innocent people of New
York who were needlessly murdered?
Posted March 28, 2002
Hussein: America's Worst Enemy...or Cheney's Best Customer?"
a radio ad produced by GWBush.com
Activists around the country might want to use this professionally
prepared radio spot that clearly details Dick Cheney's personal
financial connections with Saddam Hussein.
Gets OK for Air Quality Rules
(AP/Las Vegas Sun, March 27, 2002)
The Environmental Protection Agency says it now has "a
clear path" to requiring tougher air pollution health
standards after winning a five-year legal fight over one of
the most controversial Clinton-era environmental regulations.
. . . The tougher health standards have been in limbo for
years after they were issued by the EPA during the Clinton
administration. The regulations were quickly challenged by
a wide range of business groups, utilities and the trucking
industry, as well as three states. . . . The long legal fight
shows "how industry can throw everything it has against
a public health standard and in the course of doing so they
managed to delay this process for many years," . . .
Business and industrial groups, including the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the
American Trucking Associations, had argued the new air standards
were not based on good science and would be too costly to
the economy. . . . The Supreme Court disagreed and concluded
that the EPA had acted reasonably and within its authority,
that its science was sound and that under the Clean Air Act
it need not take into account costs when issuing a health
standard. . . . The American Lung Association has estimated
that together the tougher smog and soot requirements will
prevent 15,000 premature deaths, 350,000 cases of aggravated
asthma and perhaps as many as a million cases of children
having decreased lung functions. . . . Environmentalists said
they hoped the EPA will move swiftly to determine where state
and local officials will have to take additional measures
to assure their air meets the new federal standards.
the Party Back in Politics, Populism Is Reborn
(Lauri Apple, AlterNet.org, March 25, 2002)
an estimated 6,000 people showed up for the tour's March 23
kick-off at the Travis County Expo Center in Austin, the liberal
capital of conservative Texas. Clad in his usual cowboy hat,
button-down shirt and blue jeans, emcee Hightower warmly introduced
the day's special guests, including author/filmmaker/rabble
rouser Michael Moore, Austin-based columnist Molly Ivins,
socially responsible ice cream man Ben Cohen, campaign finance
activist Doris "Granny D" Haddock and U.S. Representative
Jesse Jackson Jr. . . . in the land of George Dubya, Enron,
weekly death row executions and abysmal social service spending,
there's more to depress progressives than just internal quibbles.
Possibly in response to the cloudy outlook, many of Hightower's
special guests told stories of silver linings and successes
to the Austin crowd. With a bill banning soft money about
to be signed into law, Granny D -- who walked across the country
at age 90 for campaign finance reform (she's now a spry 92)
-- spoke enthusiastically but realistically about her recent
victory. "[The bill] does have holes in it, but it's
a start," she said. . . . One of the most glaring examples
of D.C.'s ignorance, he [Jesse Jackson, Jr.] added, was the
Bush Administration's decision to spend $95 billion of taxpayer
money -- including $15 billion for the airline industry --
to fight the war on terrorism. "All instigated by one
terrorist in a cave in Afghanistan," . . . Progressives
must begin to fight for fundamental rights like the right-wing
does, and move the vast majority of people towards accepting
a new family values platform" -- a human rights initiative
that advocates housing, education, and health care instead
of corporate subsidies, gun rights, and pro-life initiatives.
. . . Hightower and his tour are now headed to various
cities around the country (for a schedule of tour stops, see
. . . . Hightower advises creating an actual coalition
focused on actions and solutions intended to wrest power from
corporations and restore it to communities. . . . "No
movement has ever come from the top down," Hightower
said. "There's too much progressive energy focused in
D.C., but our power is out here. We have to fight locally,
without being drowned out by money."
Deports Israelis Amid Warnings of Espionage Activities
(Ted Bridis, Associated Press, March 5, 2002)
Authorities have arrested and deported dozens of young Israelis
since early last year who represented themselves as art students
in efforts to gain access to sensitive federal office buildings
and the homes of government employees, U.S. officials said.
. . . the youths' actions "may well be an organized intelligence-gathering
activity." . . . The DEA report said a majority of the
students questioned by U.S. investigators acknowledged having
served in military intelligence, electronic signals interception
or explosive ordnance units in the Israeli military. The DEA
said one person questioned was the son of a two-star Israeli
general, one had served as the bodyguard to the head of the
Israeli Army and another served in a Patriot missile unit.
. . . 120 Israelis had been arrested. . . . The DEA report
said that among U.S. sites apparently targeted was Tinker
Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, home to the military's AWACS
surveillance planes and the place where many of the nation's
B-1 bombers are repaired.
Posted March 27, 2002
Cites Unaccounted Plutonium - Amounts Sufficient to Create
'Dirty Bomb,' Official Says
(Walter Pincus, Washington Post, March 27, 2002)
The Energy Department cannot fully account for small amounts
of potentially dangerous plutonium provided under a 1954 Atoms
for Peace program to 33 countries including Iran, Pakistan
and India . . . The Energy Department inspector general report
noted that the plutonium capsules sent overseas were supposed
to be followed through a Sealed Source Registry, but that
program was discontinued by the Reagan administration in 1984.
. . . The Clinton administration disclosed in 1996 that the
United States had distributed abroad "approximately two
to three kilograms of plutonium mostly in the form of sealed
sources to foreign countries since the late 1950s." .
. . Robert S. Norris, a researcher for the Natural Resources
Defense Council, said yesterday that U.S. nuclear assistance
to Iran and India under the program helped those governments'
efforts to build a bomb. . . . "The Atoms for Peace program
was designed to put a good spin on the atom," Norris
said, "and instead it has helped Iran and India to start
their bomb programs."
Posted March 26, 2002
Reveal Energy Meetings
(H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press, Tue Mar 26, 2002)
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham held at least eight private
meetings with industry leaders but none with environmentalists
as the administration crafted its energy plan, newly released
documents show. . . . Critics of the administration's energy
policies have long argued that industry had an open door to
top-level administration policy makers, while those advocating
conservation, energy efficiency improvements and renewable
energy sources were given largely lip service. . . . But the
papers document no top-level meetings with advocates of energy
efficiency or renewable energy sources such as wind or solar
power. . . . it was the industry executives who had the access
to Abraham, a key member of Cheney's task force. . . . In
all, three dozen energy executives and lobbyists participated
in eight meeting with Abraham from mid-February to late April
of 2001. The Cheney energy report was released in May. . .
. He met with a top executive of the American Coal Co.; officials
of the Independent Petroleum Association of America; the chairman
of Utilicorp, a major power company to discuss electricity
deregulation; and with a half dozen utility executives and
other oil and gas industry leaders. . . . A "drop-by"
session to "discuss nuclear energy's role" in the
Bush energy plan lasted 30 minutes on March 20 and included
the head of the Nuclear Energy Institute, chairman of Westinghouse
and the chief executives of a half dozen major nuclear power
Lose on Energy Bill
(Las Vegas Sun, March 25, 2002)
The Senate was where environmentalists hoped to make their
stand on energy policy. But after two weeks of votes and horse-trading,
an emerging Democratic energy bill appears to be anything
but green. . . . Environmentalists lost in their bid to boost
automobile fuel economy and on a string of lesser issues .
. . However, the big fight over oil drilling in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is yet to come . . . Whatever
the Senate finally approves will have to be merged with an
energy bill from the Republican-run House that is far friendlier
to industry and anathema to environmentalists. It focuses
heavily on increasing development of fossil fuels and would
open to oil companies the Arctic refuge . . . On issues large
and small, some of the most powerful business interest groups
roaming the halls of Congress - automakers, the oil industry,
electric utilities and farm groups - have scored significant
victories, often turning back initiatives pushed by environmentalists.
. . . And the oil industry no longer has to contend with a
federal requirement for oxygen in gasoline, or whether an
oil-exploration method known as "hydraulic fracturing"
might run afoul of clean-water laws. . . . All of those
victories [by big business] pale next to the coup by the auto
industry, which now has the certainty it will not face tougher
federal auto fuel economy requirements anytime soon.
. . . They "handed our nation's energy security over
to the auto industry," fumed Carl Pope, executive director
of the Sierra Club. Automakers and auto unions lobbied vigorously
against the fuel economy increases and supported a measure
that instead would require the Transportation Department to
address the issue down the road.
[From the March 26, 2002 edition of
UPGradeMag (or just the "UP"), which is
an online global edutainment round-up that is must-reading
for all hip cultural leaders around the world.]
MASTERS OF WAR
The Vietnam War was the catalyst
in the late '60s which succeeded in uniting so many previously
disparate elements of protest and 'alternative societies'
into a 'Movement' that grew from below and shook the establishment
so deeply that is still fighting it (that's why they crack
down so heavily on Rave Culture and, of course, plants!. We
now have that Missing Link. WAT, the War Against Terrorism!
And a huge tectonic shift is happening around that.
But, if the truly wonderful
potential of War was only that it allowed all the Culture's
separate evolutionary currents to dissolve their priority
differences (save foxes first or ban smoking or push harder
for women's' rights?) into the greater flow of a Common Cause
against a Common Enemy, that would not be enough (as it wasn't
last time) to nudge the whole Culture forwards, and safely
beyond the Dinosauric Age..
BUT WAR BRINGS ANOTHER TRULY WONDERFUL
POTENTIAL! It can ALSO force many otherwise uncomplaining, conforming
citizens to SEE their 'leaders' FOR WHAT THEY TRULY ARE! I mean
we, the alternative 33%, can carp on (negatively?) about how
aggressively murderous and plain stupid short sighted they are
till the mad cows come home, but WAR brings them out into the
Open. How often, after all, does the general populace daily
witness a supreme leaders like President Lyndon Johnson being
taunted by the nation's children with lines like "LBJ!
LBJ! HOW MANY KIDS DID YOU KILL TODAY?!"
The WAR Against Poor People
has been annually killing thousands, starving hundreds of
thousands, and disenfranchising millions (while boring the
pants off those who've unconsciously chosen not to care) but
the real perpetrators remained hidden, politely and very very
carefully, behind a complex, anonymous 'Economic System.'
'WAR,' by flushing the Dinosaur tendency onto our media on
a daily basis, can jump-start the species into an evolutionarily
aware 'take' on the dreadfully inevitable destiny of this
level of consciousness and HOW EVEN THE WAR ITSELF IS BUT
A LOGICAL EXTENSION OF THE WAR THAT WAS ALREADY GOING ON?!.
Posted March 25, 2002
Stupid White Men still on
[From Michael Moore's online
newsletter, March 25, 2002]
Today's #1 ranking for
"Stupid White Men" on the New York Times bestseller
list has, I honestly believe, very little to do with me and
a WHOLE LOT to do with you and the powerful rebuttal you have
given to the media mantra of "GEORGE W. BUSH HAS THE
HIGHEST APPROVAL RATINGS IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!"
That more Americans are
reading this book, this week, than any other book in the country
has sent a stunning dagger to the heart of the right-wing
agenda -- and they are going bonkers trying to figure it out!
Well, there is nothing to figure out. Those approval ratings
are the biggest bunch of B.S. since daddy Bush's 90% approval
rating one year before he was sent packing. Take heart
in this folks. I want you to share this day, this incredible
victory with me. Let's hope it's the beginning of the
end for those boys who are occupying our Oval Office.
Gee, did I just break
their new Patriot Act by saying that? Let's hope so!
Fears Push Maryland Toward Wider Police Power
(Matthew Mosk, The Washington Post, March 25, 2002)
Maryland's House of Delegates is preparing to pass anti-terrorism
legislation today that would dramatically expand the ability
of police to tap phones and eavesdrop on the e-mail and Internet
activity . . . "I realize that this bill basically says
you can tap someone's phone for jaywalking, and normally I
would say, 'No way,' " said Del. Dana Lee Dembrow (D-Montgomery).
"But after what happened on September 11th, I say screw
'em." . . . The results have been similar across the
country, including in Virginia, as state lawmakers inch their
way into the war against international terrorism. . . . will
substantially broaden the scope of police rights to probe
into private lives. . . . said Del. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore
County), the occasional intrusion into lives "seems worth
the risk." . . . "I know it's hard to swallow,"
Zirkin said. "But I think we need to take a couple steps
in that direction right now." . . . The problem with
that, Grosfeld said, is that "you're talking about very
harsh penalties that could be added based on someone's political
beliefs, not because of their actions. That strikes me as
Raising: How Bush Plays the Game
(Michael Weisskopf and Adam Zagorin, Time.com, March 24, 2002)
[Bush] like Clinton, finds ways to make sure important donors
get heard. . . . Critics say his reason for refusing to give
Congress a list of industry executives who met with Cheney's
task force is to hide ties with financial interests . . .
a clear pattern of who gave and who got access has emerged.
Nearly 50 energy producers or associations had contact with
the White House while Cheney's task force was working. . .
. Records show that all but a handful gave to or solicited
for the R.N.C. [Republican National Committee] . . . Rick
Shelby of the American Gas Association, who raised at least
$250,000 for the gala at the same time he was getting the
task force's blessing for incentives to build 38,000 miles
of new pipeline. Nuclear-industry officials gave $150,000
while landing support for a waste-burial site . . . Former
Representative Bill Paxon and another lawyer whose firm works
for Exxon Mobil raised at least $100,000 apiece as the oil
giant was persuading the panel to back a review of trade sanctions.
. . . In addition to Exxon Mobil, two other oil giants, Conoco
and Phillips Petroleum-each a $25,000 gala donor-have long
opposed the sanctions, which deprive them of markets. Conoco
president Archie Dunham, an old Cheney pal, visited him March
21 to press the case. Big Oil saw the task force's proposal
as a victory . . . Another task-force surprise was a recommendation
that the government review its lawsuits against several power
companies accused of ignoring legally mandated pollution controls
on renovated plants. Six utilities, including gigantic Southern
Co. of Atlanta, hired ex-R.N.C. chairman Haley Barbour to
lobby for the relaxation of controls. While raising at least
$250,000 for the gala, Barbour met with Cheney on May 3 to
discuss the matter. Barbour apparently made an impact. The
review Cheney called for threw the lawsuits into limbo. And
last week EPA assistant administrator Jeffrey Holmstead told
an industry trade association that the Administration wants
to eliminate the old pollution controls.
Security: The White House Shows Its True Colors
(Arianna Huffington, March 18, 2002)
Since his much ballyhooed appointment in the wake of Sept.
11, Ridge has kept a lower profile than Mullah Omar -- a strategy
that has raised doubts about his effectiveness. . . . When
he tried to take on problems at America's airports, he butted
heads with the Transportation Department. When he tried to
bring order to the administration's chaotic response to the
anthrax attacks, he found himself jockeying for control with
Health and Human Services. And when he proposed changing our
nation's border security strategy, both Customs and the Justice
Department cried foul. . . . Even a no-brainer like the need
to consolidate the responsibility for protecting the nation's
food supply is being resisted by officials in the two relevant
agencies -- the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture
Department. As a result, a mind-boggling system persists where,
for example, the FDA oversees the safety of cheese pizza and
the Agriculture Department the safety of pepperoni pizza.
And all Ridge can say is: "We have to see whether the
system that has developed over the past two decades is the
one we need in the future." Here's a hint, Mr. Ridge:
It's not. . . . "The president has not chosen the right
model," [Gary] Hart told me. "The Office of Homeland
Security should be a statutory agency with budgetary authority.
People obey people who have control over their budgets. What
the president has done is the equivalent of putting the Army,
Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps in separate federal departments
and have them coordinated by a White House office instead
of a single Secretary of Defense."
Posted March 24, 2002
a Secret CIA Operation Responsible for the Outbrake of Anthrax
in the U.S.?
America's anthrax attack last autumn was second only to that
on the Twin Towers in the degree of shock and anxiety it caused...Some
even say the anthrax letters triggered sub-clinical hysteria
in the American people...yet this, the first major act of
biological terrorism the world has seen remains an unsolved
crime... Three weeks ago Dr Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged
authority on US bio-defence - claimed the FBI is dragging
its feet because an arrest would be embarrassing to the US
authorities. . . . Some very expert field person would have
been given this job and it would have been left to him to
decide exactly how to carry it out. The result might have
been a project gone badly awry if he decided to use it for
his own purposes and target the media and the senate for his
own motives as not intended by the govt project...but this
is a possibility that I think needs to be considered . . .
We now know by piecing together information from well-placed
sources that there's another individual. He's been interviewed
by FBI agents, and remains under widespread suspicion... But
he's no loner. He's likely to have worked on a key government
project in the past and to have a network of friends and colleagues
he can rely on. The possibility that more than one person
is involved may answer some of the perplexing geographical
questions about where the attacks originated. . . . immediately
prior to the attacks of the 11th, the New York Times carried
a major investigation which at any other time would have been
a story of huge significance...It revealed three secret bio-defence
projects at a time when the American people believed none
was taking place. . . . America's desire to protect its biodefense
programme from scrutiny at all costs was part of why it walked
away from an international agreement to control biological
weapons last summer. Could its near obsessive secrecy have
come home to roost? breeding a climate that allowed one of
its experts to take a step too far and turn bio-terrorist
against his own?
Posted March 21, 2002
new empire loyalists
Former leftists turned US military cheerleaders are helping
snuff out its traditions of dissent
(Tariq Ali, The Guardian, March 16, 2002)
What concerns me more is another group: men and women who
were once intensely involved in leftwing activities. It has
been a short march for some of them: from the outer fringes
of radical politics to the antechambers of the state department.
. . . This is why they have become the useful idiots of the
empire. . . . They have, in other words, to pass the David
Horowitz test. Horowitz, the son of communists and biographer
of the late Isaac Deutscher, underwent the most amazing self-cleansing
in post-1970s America. Today he is a leading polemicist of
the right, constantly denouncing liberals as a bridge to the
more sinister figures of the left. . . . Compared to him,
former Trotskyists Christopher Hitchens and Kanaan Makiya
must still appear as marginal and slightly frivolous figures.
They would certainly fail the Horowitz test, but if the stakes
are raised and Baghdad is bombed yet again, this time as a
prelude to a land invasion, how will our musketeers react?
. . . What unites the new empire loyalists is an underlying
belief that, despite certain flaws, the military and economic
power of the US represents the only emancipatory project and,
for that reason, has to be supported against all those who
challenge its power. A few prefer Clinton-as-Caesar rather
than Bush, but recognise this as a self-indulgence. Deep down
they know the empire stands above its leaders. . . . At a
time when much of the world is beginning to tire of being
"emancipated" by the US, many liberals have been
numbed into silence.
Nixon smoking or was he just insane?
(Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, March 21, 2002)
Tapes from the Nixon White House . . . [Nixon speaking] "You
know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are
out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is
the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them?
I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
. . . In a previously released rant, Nixon and Billy Graham
gnash and froth over how Jews control the media. How can most
Jews be psychiatrists and still control the media? Nixon does
not explain. . . . The excerpts begin with the Nixon doctrine
on why marijuana is much worse than alcohol: It is because
people drink "to have fun" but they smoke marijuana
"to get high." This distinction was evidently enormously
significant to Nixon, because he repeats it twice. . . . Northern
California, [Nixon] says, has gotten so "faggy"
that "I won't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco."
. . . "Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last
six Roman emperors were fags. . . . You know what happened
to the popes? It's all right that popes were laying the nuns."
Posted March 20, 2002
terrorist activity in the U.S. - Forced Drugging OK'd By Federal
(The Alchemind Society, March 19, 2002)
Defendants can be forcibly drugged even though they haven't
been convicted of any charges and pose no danger to themselves
or others. That's the ruling issued March 7, 2002, by the
Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in the case
of United States v. Charles Thomas Sell. The 2 - 1 split decision
establishes government power to forcibly medicate a person
with mind altering drugs even before trial.
Posted March 19, 2002
MARCH ON WASHINGTON UNITY STATEMENT FROM THE A.N.S.W.E.R.
- Issued February 27 -
In response to calls for unity
in the anti-war movement the International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
(Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) is announcing that
it is moving its National March on Washington Against War
and Racism from April 27 to April 20, 2002.
Clearly everyone understands
the need for many activists from many movements to be in Washington
D.C. to protest the dangerous racist war drive that threatens
the people of the planet and to fight Bush and Ashcroft's
attempts to dismantle the Bill of Rights, criminalize dissent,
and investigate and imprison people based on racial and religious
A.N.S.W.E.R. calls on people
to rally at the White House at 11 a.m. on April 20, 2002,
before marching to the Justice Department and on to a unified
rally with the other coalition. This march will be the first
that breaks the ban on demonstrations in front of the White
House that was unconstitutionally imposed prior to anti-war
demonstrations in September during the head-long rush to war.
Thought Police monitor war critics
(Antiwar.com, March 18, 2002)
The neoconservatives, however, are ready for that: their answer
is a new organization, Americans for Victory Over Terrorism
(AVOT). Heading up the group is William Bennett, former drug
czar and self-appointed public scold. . . . AVOT's avowed
purpose, according to Bennett, is to "take to task those
groups and individuals who fundamentally misunderstand the
nature of the war we are facing." Ah, but it may not
be just a "misunderstanding" on the part of people
like me - for example - who oppose a US policy of global intervention.
A full-page ad taken out by AVOT in the New York Times denounced
not only bin Laden & Co. but those Americans on the home
front . . . "Who are attempting to use this opportunity
to promulgate their agenda of 'blame America first.' Both
[internal and external] threats stem from either a hatred
for the American ideals of freedom and equality or a misunderstanding
of those ideals and their practice." . . . In a preemptive
first strike, AVOT is going after these internal "threats"
by compiling a list of professors, legislators, writers, and
others whose zeal on behalf of our endless "war on terrorism"
is deemed insufficient by the arbiters of the new political
correctness. . . . but who are the real anti-Americans here?
The AVOT website is filled with material that would lead the
average casual visitor to think that this is a branch of the
official Republican party: there is even a link to the White
House. But a deeper probe reveals an undercurrent of
well, of anti-Americanism, albeit not of the traditional left-wing
arsenal upgrade planned 'Bunker buster' marks a shift in U.S.
(Jonathan Weisman, USA TODAY, March 19, 2002)
Energy Department scientists will begin work next month on
a new bunker-busting nuclear weapon that could mark the most
significant advance in the U.S. nuclear arsenal in a decade.
. . . Research into a weapon that could penetrate deeply buried
structures, such as those designed to make nuclear, chemical
or biological weapons, is a key part of President Bush's push
to rejuvenate the U.S. nuclear weapons program. . . . Bush's
father canceled the last major weapons research program, a
short-range attack missile warhead, in 1991. He halted all
new weapons research in 1992. . . . President Clinton shifted
the nuclear weapons program from research, testing and production
to dismantling warheads and ensuring the safety and reliability
of older weapons without testing.
Posted March 18, 2002
it's cool to be rude about Dubya again
(Lawrence Donegan, The Observer, Sunday March 10, 2002)
As Stevie Wonder took the stage, the President started waving
to the blind musician, only to drop his hand when he realised
his mistake. 'I know I shouldn't have, but I started laughing,'
one witness said. . . . That story was buried deep in the
diary page of the Washington Post last week but its very appearance
confirms that the post-11 September moratorium on poking fun
at the President's inadequacies is over. Suddenly, it's cool
to be rude about Dubya again. . . . 'Bush is amateurish and
self-serving and, frankly, it's disgusting,' she [Sandra Bernhard]
told her . . . audience. 'Everybody is covering their asses
with the Enron scandal and it was very convenient that September
11 came along to deflect the fact that they should never have
been in the White House in the first place. . . . Bruni's
account reveals a welter of detail about Bush's immaturity
which runs counter to the White House portrayal of serious,
resolute 'leader of the free world'. . . . One of Bush's favourite
campaign jokes was to put his hands on the head of bald reporters
and shout, 'Heal!', Bruni recounts. . . . 'You've been a drunk,
a thief, a possible felon, an unconvicted deserter and a cry
baby... for the sake of all that is decent and sacred take
leave immediately and bring some honour to your all-important
family name,' he [Michael Moore] writes in Stupid
White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the
Posted March 17, 2002
Of Evil-- In Washington D.C.
(Edward Herman, Znet, March 16, 2002)
Coup d'etat president George W. Bush has designated three
poor and unconnected states as an "axis of evil,"
. . . There IS a political axis of evil running strong in
the United States that underpins the Bush regime, which includes
the oil industry, military-industrial complex (MIC), other
transnationals, and the Christian Right, all important contributors
to the Bush electoral triumph, and each of which has high
level representation in the administration including, besides
Bush himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, O'Neill and Ashcroft. This
REAL axis of evil is using 9/11 and the "war on terrorism"
to carry out its foreign and domestic agenda on a truly impressive
scale, and so far without much impediment at home or abroad.
. . . It represents the choice of an overpowerful country's
elite, determined to consolidate their economic and political
advantage in the short run, at whatever cost to global society.
. . . "sensational appeals to patriotic pride and animosity
made by victories and defeats...[helps] direct the popular
interest to other, nobler, institutionally less hazardous
matters than the unequal distribution of wealth or of creature
comforts. Warlike and patriotic preoccupations fortify the
barbarian virtues of subordination and prescriptive authority.
. . . The Washington Axis is also pursuing a "war on
the poor" that will merge easily into the "war on
terrorism," as the poor will be driven to resist and
resistance will be interpreted as terrorism. . . . At every
level the Bush team has fought against the basics of democracy
and attempted to concentrate unaccountable governmental authority
in its own hands. Militarization itself is anti-democratic,
but the team has attempted to loosen constraints on the CIA
and police, reduce public access to every kind of information,
and constrain free speech. . . . They have put in place a
secret government and are moving the country toward a more
openly authoritarian government, and, if they can keep it
going, their planned open-ended war on terrorism should serve
this end well.
and Free in Times of Crisis: ACLU Says Terrorist Attacks Have
Changed American Law, Society
(ACLU, March 8, 2002)
"Six months after September 11, much has fundamentally
changed in America," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive
Director of the ACLU. "Perhaps the most disturbing change
is the government's apparent dismissal of the idea that our
society can and must be both safe and free." . . . Specifically,
the ACLU pointed to what it called an "ongoing pattern
of erosion" of basic civil liberties in America in the
name of unproven security measures. . . . the plan to monitor
confidential attorney-client conversations, the selective
enforcement of immigration law based on race . . . the USA
PATRIOT Act and the often-unchecked powers it gave law enforcement
agencies. . . . The plan announced earlier this week by Attorney
General Ashcroft extends the neighborhood watches to include
terrorism prevention, a move critics fear could fuel Cold
War-style discrimination and censorship. . . . our government
is unconstructively fear-mongering, and fueling the already
rampant ethnic and religious scapegoating . . . Congress and
the American people must carefully scrutinize actions that
the government is taking -- actions that may limit our liberty
without adding anything to our safety. . . . this wave of
"anti-terrorist" activity has also launched one
of the most serious civil liberties crises our nation has
says bin Laden no Threat: Options open against rogue states
... including nuclear weapons
(Marc Sandalow, truthout, March 14, 2002)
President Bush declared Osama bin Laden all but vanquished
yesterday, saying the al Qaeda leader -- dead or alive --
no longer poses a serious threat to America. . . . Bush also
refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons against nations
like Libya and Syria . . . Many view the Pentagon policy as
a departure from a decades-old Cold War strategy of stockpiling
nuclear weapons to deter a nuclear attack from other nuclear
powers such as the Soviet Union. . . . On the violence in
the Middle East: Bush made his strongest criticism of Israel's
military offensive against Palestinians, led by Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon. . . . On the military's capability
to fight the war against terrorism: "People shouldn't
worry about a draft," Bush said. "We've got ample
manpower to meet our needs" and "a vast coalition
of nations [Editor's note: Can anyone name the members of
this 'vast' coalition?] willing to lend their own manpower
to the war."
are Governed by Fear: An Interview with Congressman Dennis
(Scott Galindez, t r u t h o u t, March 14, 2002)
Members of the Administration had retreated to bunkers outside
Washington so that they could keep the government going. The
bunker mentality I referred to in my speech represents the
presence of security and police and national guards, the jersey
barriers that are everywhere, where we have to literally negotiate
a labyrinth of concrete barriers in order to go to vote. Aesthetically,
it is unacceptable, but we're talking about politically, in
terms of a democracy, that's definitely not the message that
you get. This is architecture worthy of a different form of
government, shall we say. . . . the level of security creates
a mentality of caution, and an underlying sense of fear .
. . it has a way of affecting consciousness, like a virus
can adversely affect a healthy organism . . . We have circumstances
that are not conducive to healthy decision-making in a democratic
society. . . . And the release of the report [stating that
U.S. policy includes a 'first strike' use of nuclear weapons]
- which I have no doubt came from the Administration itself
- was still another attempt to heighten the level of fear
in the country and make it impossible for people to be able
to make rational decisions as to what their own interest might
be. . . . Now it's the United States trying to seize the highest
ground in the universe, space. It is not our business to do.
There is no other nation that has the capacity to mount an
attack against the United States from space. So, what's this
about? . . . we are organizing a whole new approach to create
a new political movement in this country. If you want to keep
your eyes at our
site,-- which is http://www.thespiritoffreedom.com . .
. We have so much to do. Yet, society is becoming militarized.
"Theological Fascination With Missile Defense,"
- Lawmakers Doubt Need for Defense Plan
(The Associated Press, March 12, 2002)
Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday questioned
the Bush administration's spending on missile defense, arguing
that a terrorist is more likely to attack by truck or by boat.
. . . "We can't afford to waste billions of dollars"
because of the Bush administration's "theological fascination
with missile defense," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
"No threat assessment exists to justify the spending."
. . . U.S. intelligence agencies say it is far more likely
that a bomb would be delivered by a truck or a boat than by
a ballistic missile. . . . Kucinich also railed against recent
administration comments that the United States might use a
nuclear weapon in a first strike, calling it the "height
of immorality ... to throw that stuff around as if it were
casual locker-room banter." . . . "People are playing
with the apocalypse," said Kucinich, top Democrat on
the national security subcommittee. "These are doomsday
scenarios ... (and) it needs to be challenged."
is an echo of imperial Rome in Bush's war capital
(Martin Woollacott, The Guardian, March 15, 2002)
The wartime capital that is Washington today is a strange
place. . . . Yet, as if that was what the Dubya of his middle
initial now stands for, the word "war" itself is
rarely off the president's lips, or those of his ministers
and advisers. . . . The president thus uses "the war"
as a sort of broom for sweeping aside the opposition on all
kinds of issues . . . But if the administration is at war,
it is less than clear that the American people feel themselves
to be fully engaged. . . . But the fighting now, whether in
Afghanistan or the occupied territories or in Iraq or elsewhere
in the future, is or will be in distant parts. It is being
prosecuted, as far as Americans are concerned, by a professional
and not a conscript army. It is being directed, in Washington,
by a secretive government, one which even neglected to properly
inform its own party, let alone the opposition, about the
setting up of a shadow administration . . . The strategy is
being shaped by a small inner group who offer no logical connection,
to take the prime example, between the campaign against the
Taliban and al-Qaida and a possible invasion of Iraq, while
denying all connection between American support for the Sharon
government and the disaffection of the Arab world. . . . "They
are riding a wave of military patriotism," according
to Anatol Lieven of the Carnegie Foundation, "and utilising
it for their own purposes, first for knocking down America's
rivals abroad and second to win elections at home." .
. . The other issue on which serious debate has been largely
avoided in this wartime capital is American support of the
Sharon government. The overwhelmingly strong argument that
Sharon's policies were and are a disaster for Israel, for
the Palestinians, and for the US has never been properly put.
Instead the terms of the American debate have been largely
set by the Israeli right.
seek immunity, open hearings to end government coverup
(Billy Cox, Florida Today, May 20, 2001)
Witness after witness - many of them retired military and
government officials - stepped forward to accuse the government
of erecting a 50-year cover-up through intimidation around
unidentified flying objects. Among the most troubling scraps
of evidence were documents and witness accounts of UFOs destabilizing
advanced weapons systems, including the shutdown of nuclear
missiles inside ICBM silos. . . . "We have existed in
a national security state since 1947 with the creation of
the National Security Act," said Sheehan, who went on
to declare that former chief executive George Bush had sabotaged
President Carter's efforts to access classified UFO files
when the former still was CIA director. . . . It was called
Project, and it went on for nearly three hours, with each
witness telling the media audience they wanted to submit open
testimony to Capitol Hill under oath. . . . Michael Smith,
a retired Air Force sergeant, said he was astounded by the
capabilities of a UFO that showed up on his early-warning
radar when he was stationed near Klamath Falls, Ore., in 1970.
It hovered at 80,000 feet for 10 minutes, then reappeared
200 miles from its initial location within a single sweep
of the radar scan. When he queried the North American Aerospace
Defense Command, Smith was told, "you keep it to yourself."
. . . Greer said he was satisfied with the screening process.
"This field is filled with hoaxes and scams," he
said. "But it doesn't mean that all of it is. In fact,
after eight years of research, we have found the documents
and insiders willing to testify under oath before Congress
that this is true."
Posted March 15, 2002
Security Devices at Fla. Airport
Mike Branom, Associated Press, Mar 15, 2002)
The airport security systems of the future can see through
clothes for weapons, sniff a person for explosives and determine
what's in a bottle without opening it. . . . That future has
landed at Orlando International Airport, as six prototype
security systems will begin operation over the next few days.
. . . The scanner that can see through clothes leaves nothing
to the imagination, and the bomb sniffer also can test
for drugs. Both of these systems concern civil liberties
advocates that these searches may go too far. . . . One system,
the Rapiscan Secure 1000, uses low-energy X-rays to search
a person through clothing. When Rapiscan project manager Bryan
Allman scanned himself, detected was a plastic knife hidden
in his shirt pocket. . . . However, the outline of his body
- every inch of it - also was clearly visible. Perhaps proving
the machine's revealing nature, airport officials refused
to put a woman in the scanner. . . . The potential for complaints
about the invasiveness of the search didn't seem to bother
Allman. . . . "Everybody has to learn that the world
has changed since Sept. 11, and the world needs a much more
thorough type of screening," Allman said. . . . But the
American Civil Liberties Union says the scan is too intrusive.
. . . "This, of course, is a virtual strip-search,"
ACLU associate director Barry Steinhardt said. "There's
no question this has tremendous potential for embarrassment."
. . . The Ionscan also can be quickly adjusted to test
for 60 types of drug residue, which Hood praised as
a bonus stemming from the war on terrorism. "The ability
to use technology to be able to stop some of the drug trafficking,
we're always looking for the opportunity to deal with that
war, as well," Hood said.
of U.S. in Grip of Dangerous Drought
(FoxNews, March 15, 2002)
Gripped by drought, states from the Atlantic Ocean nearly
to the Pacific have become a veritable tinderbox ready for
the spark - and there's no relief in sight, weather forecasters
said Thursday. . . . In New York City, reservoir levels are
at 50 percent below normal. Rain and snowfall in Washington,
D.C., is 70 percent below normal for the September to February
period, a 13-inch deficit. Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey,
Virginia, Arizona and Massachusetts posted their driest September-to-February
period ever. . . . "This is comparable to missing a full
year of rain," National Weather Service Director Jack
Kelly said. . . . "Water supply forecasts are also bleak
for parts of the West. In some areas, snow cover is only half
of the normal and forecasts indicate flows on rivers, critical
to meeting water supply needs, are also expected to be half
of normal," Kelly said.
Slam White House 'Attitude Problem'
(Reuters, March 15, 2002)
White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels apologized for any
"inadvertent" impression created that the White
House was slighting Congress' constitutional role . . . That
anger has been fed by Ridge's refusal to testify on how the
tens of billions of dollars set aside for U.S. homeland security
efforts are being spent. The White House maintains he does
not have to appear before Congress because he is a presidential
adviser, not a Cabinet secretary or agency head. . . . "I
have to be direct, I am dissatisfied with both the quantity
and quality of information coming out of the administration
as it relates to homeland security," said Oklahoma Republican
Rep. Ernest Istook, who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee
on Treasury and General Government, which controls the White
House's budget. . . . "I hope that the lack of necessary
information does not compel us to withhold funds for the priorities
established by the president," he said. . . . Obey added,
"No information, no money." . . . "There are
transcendent priorities; the protection of America and the
defeat of a foe that's out to harm us," he said. "Individual
and provincial and territorial priorities, however important
they may be in isolation, may have to give way this year,
will have to give way."
Posted March 14, 2002
I 'Anti-American'? (A voice from the right)
By Joseph Sobran
How did I go from being superpatriotic to being anti-American,
or even, as some have called me, "treasonous"? I
haven't joined the Taliban, endorsed terrorism, waged war
against the United States, taken bribes from foreign governments,
or sold sensitive military secrets to Chinese or Russian spies.
Wherein, then, have I offended? . . . That's easy. I haven't
joined in the spirit of primitive patriotism that is expected
of us in wartime. In fact I deny that such patriotism deserves
to be honored as patriotism. . . . If, for example, you think
the U.S. Government should abide by the Constitution even
during wartime, you are [called] anti-American. If you think
the government should at least declare war before waging it,
you are [called] anti-American. If you deprecate a war that
hurts and kills innocent people without achieving its stated
goals, you are [called] anti-American. . . . That's not all.
If you judge your own country's government by the same standards
that you apply to other countries' governments, you are [called]
anti-American. If you think America is not immune to the sins
that have often afflicted other countries, you are [called]
anti-American. If you think our government has made us enemies
we don't need, you are [called] anti-American. . . . If you
think that even America's "good wars" - the Civil
War and World War II - had terribly tragic results for this
country and the world, you are [called] anti-American. . .
. So if you consider the ruin of a noble experiment in limited
government "Americanism," just set me down as anti-American.
anyone have a picture of the plane that hit the Pentagon?
As everyone knows, on 11 September, less than an hour after
the attack on the World Trade Centre, an airplane collided
with the Pentagon. The Associated Press first reported that
a booby-trapped truck had caused the explosion. The Pentagon
quickly denied this. The official US government version of
events still holds. Here's a little game for you: Take a look
at these photographs and try to find evidence to corroborate
the official version. It's up to you to Hunt the Boeing!
Missile Defense: Blowing The Whistle On Bad Science
(Arianna Huffington, March 14, 2002)
as is made clear in a classified Pentagon report leaked last
week detailing the Bush administration's willingness to significantly
lower the threshold for going nuclear. Apparently the bar
has now been set at "in the event of surprising military
developments." But as recent events in the Shah-i-Kot
Valley proved, there are rarely any other kind. So this pretty
much means "at the will of the president." . . .
Last week also saw the release of a report from the General
Accounting Office (GAO) that details how the Pentagon, two
major military contractors, TRW and Boeing, and a team of
high-powered MIT scientists fabricated the success of the
nation's first missile defense test -- turning an embarrassing
failure into a phony triumph. . . . "As an adopted citizen
of this beautiful country," she told me, "I would
do anything to be able to protect what I love so dearly. But
we've wasted a decade, and billions of dollars, in a quest
for a missile defense shield based on a technology that will
never work." . . . Her commitment to exposing the truth
has come at a high price. A gifted scientist with a Ph.D.
in physics and engineering, and the holder of 24 United States
patents, Schwartz has found herself effectively blackballed
since filing her suit -- unable to land a job in her field
despite having sent out over 300 resumes. . . . "She
is definitely a hero," Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who has
requested a Congressional hearing on this issue, told me.
"She's like a 21st Century Paul Revere who is warning
that this fundamentally flawed technology will not protect
the American people, and at the same time it's being used
to destroy the ABM treaty."
Posted March 13, 2002
on Global Warming
(New York Times, February 16, 2002)
The obvious conclusion to be drawn from President Bush's latest
global warming strategy, unveiled this week, is that he does
not regard warming as a problem. There seems no other way
to interpret a policy that would actually increase the gases
responsible for heating the earth's atmosphere. That the policy
demands little from the American people, while insulting allies
who have agreed to take tough steps to deal with the problem,
only adds to one's sense of dismay. . . . The White House
described Mr. Bush's strategy as aggressive and bold. The
only thing bold about it are accounting tactics worthy of
Enron that are designed to make an increase in emissions look
like a decrease. . . . Mr. Bush's long-awaited substitute
for Kyoto is a disappointment. The essence of his strategy
is a concept that seems to have been minted for the occasion,
called "emissions intensity," under which carbon
dioxide pollution would be allowed to grow, but at a slower
rate than economic output. That sounds attractive, but it
misses the point. The buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
already alarmingly high, is a cumulative process. Thus the
name of the game is to stop adding new emissions to the vast
amounts already up there, not simply to slow their growth.
. . . We cannot abandon existing law for a promise. Meanwhile,
Congress is obliged to do something, and soon, to develop
a credible national strategy on global warming. On this score
Mr. Bush has fallen well short of the mark.
Posted March 12, 2002
Diego police raid book signing for Stupid White Men
(Michael Moore, March 11, 2002)
It's a few minutes before midnight, on Friday night on 3/8/2002.
I'm in San Diego, and I have just escaped being arrested by
the San Diego police. . . . In the past six days, I have spoken
to 15 separate mobs of people. I don't know what other word
to use because, quite simply, wherever I go, there is this
unbelievable pandemonium. Every day, every night, hundreds
-- or thousands -- jam themselves into halls, arenas, churches,
auditoriums to listen to me talk about my book and whatever
else is struggling to make its way through my brain. Forget
about standing room only -- these venues look more like breathing
room only. . . . And then there was San Diego. . . . Over
a thousand people are packed inside the 800-seat auditorium.
Outside, another thousand people are on the lawn trying to
get in. The traffic on the street is tied up and the stream
of San Diegoans keeps filing up the sidewalk. . . . Somewhere
around 11:30pm, I hear a commotion at the back of the auditorium.
I see people start to scatter. The San Diego police are coming
down the aisle, their large flashlights out (the auditorium
lights are still on, so we all understand the implied "other"
use of these instruments). The police are telling everyone
to "VACATE THESE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY OR YOU WILL ALL
BE ARRESTED!" I cannot believe what I am hearing. "YOU
WILL NOT RECEIVE ANOTHER WARNING. LEAVE NOW -- OR FACE ARREST!"
. . . I have never been arrested, strange as that may seem.
I could not believe that, of all I have done, all I have stood
for over the years, that it has come down to this -- and I
was about to be hauled away for autographing books! . . .
"OK," I said. "We'll leave." I then mumbled
something about the last time I checked, this was still the
United States of America -- even if we were just five miles
away from where it ends. They escorted me and the few remaining
souls out of the building. . . . I finish the last book and
hop in my sister's car. She remembers to give me a plaque
that had been presented to me in abstentia (while I was outside
talking to the people who couldn't get in). It was from the
city councilwoman from the area of San Diego we were in. It
read "Official Proclamation: City of San Diego Declares
-- March 9, 2002, 'Michael Moore Day.'" . . . "Maybe
we should have shown this to the cops, " she says. [Full
text of Michael's letter]
What to do if your local bookstore
says Michael Moore's new book is out of stock
[The following is from the P.S. to the above email sent
by Michael Moore] I have heard from so many of you about
how hard it is to find my book in the bookstores. It's true
-- the book does not exist in most stores. Yet it is #1 in
most cities across the country on the bestseller lists. I
don't get it. HarperCollins has been very slow to print books
and get them out there. Why this is, I do not know. No doubt
they have been caught by surprise with the overwhelming response
to the book. You can't really blame them -- they thought the
"president" had an 80% approval rating. Bookstore
owners have been desperately pleading with me to help them
get books shipped to their stores. I called HarperCollins,
and their official line is that "There are plenty of
books out there and the book has never been out of stock."
Everything that I and others have personally seen says the
exact opposite. So, I need your help. If you go to a bookstore
and they don't have the book, please send an email to HarperCollins
... and be sure to c.c. me at ... StupidWhiteMen@aol.com
Hopefully, this will help. You can also call the Customer
Service Hotline at ...800.242.7737 (Punch in 1,1,0 to get
to message center.)
click here to order Stupid Whitee Men directly from
Shades of COINTELPRO !
Police Keeping Illegal Files
Robert Weller, Associated Press, Tue Mar 12,11:09 AM ET)
DENVER (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has accused
the Denver Police Department of keeping illegal files on peaceful
protest groups including Amnesty International and the Nobel
Peace Prize-winning American Friends Service Committee. .
. . "These are a small sampling of documents we have
that show Denver police are monitoring peaceful protest activities
of individuals and law-abiding groups," . . . Stephen
B. Nash, who was identified in one of the files as an event
organizer for Amnesty International, said police could not
say the files were needed for security because of the Sept.
11 attacks. "My file goes back to 2000, well before Sept.
11," Nash said. . . . The American Friends Service Committee,
a Quaker group, "acts in the best tradition of nonviolence,"
said Barry Leaman-Miller, who was identified in one file as
a member of the "American Friends Service Committee (criminal
extremist G)." There was no immediate explanation for
the "criminal extremist" note. . . . Among the events
mentioned in the files were a protest of an Italian-led parade
honoring Columbus, protests of a killing by a police SWAT
team that went to the wrong house, protests against the International
Monetary Fund and World Bank , and demonstrations by the Chiapas
Coalition against alleged civil rights violations in Mexico's
poorest state. "This is really outrageous to me ... since
Sept. 11 immigration equals terrorism," said Luis Espinosa,
a member of the Chiapas group.
Nepotism in Washington
Appointments, Administration Leaves No Family Behind
(Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, Tuesday, March 12, 2002;
Two weeks ago, the State Department announced that Elizabeth
Cheney, the vice president's daughter, would become a deputy
assistant secretary of state. Her husband, Philip Perry, last
week left the Justice Department to become chief counsel for
the Office of Management and Budget. There, Cheney's son-in-law
will join OMB Director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., whose sister,
Deborah Daniels, is an assistant attorney general. . . . That's
just the beginning. . . . The Bush administration bloodlines
begin at the top and flow through the rank and file. Secretary
of State Colin L. Powell is the father of Michael Powell,
chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. . . . Some
appointments have brought questions of nepotism. Federal law,
passed after Robert F. Kennedy was made his brother's attorney
general, requires that "a public official may not appoint,
employ, promote [or] advance" a relative in an agency
"in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction
Question Need for Missile Defense, Criticize Administration
Over First-Strike Comments
(Carolyn Skorneck, Associated Press Writer, Mar 12, 2002)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday
questioned the Bush administration's spending on missile defense,
arguing that a terrorist is more likely to attack by truck
or by boat. . . . "Why would someone send a missile when
they can just put it in a suitcase?" Rep. Christopher
Shays, R-Conn., asked a panel of experts at a hearing on protecting
the United States from terrorism. "It's inexcusable for
this administration not to recognize that possibility and
act on it." . . . "We can't afford to waste billions
of dollars" because of the Bush administration's "theological
fascination with missile defense," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich,
D-Ohio. "No threat assessment exists to justify the spending."
. . . U.S. intelligence agencies say it is far more likely
that a bomb would be delivered by a truck or a boat than by
a ballistic missile. A non-missile attack would be cheaper
and more reliable and it could not be traced easily to the
country responsible. . . . "People are playing with the
apocalypse," said Kucinich, top Democrat on the national
security subcommittee. "These are doomsday scenarios
... (and) it needs to be challenged."
Posted March 10, 2002
EPA not properly testing WTC air
(CNN.com, February 24, 2002)
One of the agency's own says EPA providing false info.
"I believe EPA did not do that because they knew it would
come up not safe and so they are involved in providing knowingly
false information to the public about safety," said Hugh
Kaufman, chief investigator for the EPA's Ombudsman Office,
at a public hearing Saturday with scientists, residents, and
small business owners. . . . "Not just EPA, the state
and the city, too," he said. "We also had testimonies
that all the agencies -- local, state, and federal -- have
been consorting together every week to discuss these issues."
. . . Kaufman has said earlier this month that he believes
the air quality at Ground Zero is worse than the EPA will
admit, and that he believes the agency has been misleading
the public about the inherent risks for residents and workers
in the area.
Irradiation Threatens Public Health, National Security
(Samuel Epstein, M.D., Environmental News Service, March 8,
Consumers are wary of irradiated food, and with good reason
even if they don't understand the dangers involved. Irradiated
meat is a very different product from cooked meat. . . . As
well documented since the 1960s, these massive doses of ionizing
radiation produce profound chemical changes in meat. These
include elevated levels of the carcinogenic chemical benzene,
and also the production of unique new chemicals, known as
radiolytic products, some of which have been implicated as
carcinogenic. . . . Food irradiation plants pose grave dangers
to national security. They are relatively small, unregulated,
and unlikely to be secure. As such, they are highly vulnerable
to sabotage. . . . Of particular current concern are terrorist
attacks to steal radioactive cobalt pellets. These could be
mixed with conventional explosives to produce so-called "dirty
bombs," whose effects could be devastating. . . . Rather
than sanitizing the label in response to special interests,
Congress should focus on sanitation, not irradiation of the
nation's food supply.
Posted March 7, 2002
Runoff Elections (Prop A) wins 56% - 44% in
San Francisco. In a hard-fought campaign against big money
and well organized opponents, Proposition A sailed through
to victory in the recent California elections. This is truly
a people's measure, and it will bring voter's rights in the
U.S. a step closer to the democratic ideal. One of the tactics
used by supporters of this proposition was to leverage the
power of the Internet to counter-balance the large sums of
money opponents spent on traditional political advertisements.
[from the Prop A website] Proposition A completes our elections
in November so we don't have to hold a second election in
December. This has several advantages:
- Saves tax dollars, up to $2 million per year
- Frees voters from having to deal with elections in December
- Raises voter turnout. Turnout dropped by nearly 50% in
- Supports campaign finance reform, since candidates don't
have to raise more money for a second election.
- Reduces negative campaigning. With Prop A, candidates
have incentive to build and mobilize voters instead of tearing
down their opponents.
Best Seller: Michael Moore's new book is a national sensation
White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the
Nation debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller
list this week, and at #1 on the Publisher's Weekly nonfiction
bestseller list for independent bookstores. It's still #1
for all books on Amazon, and, my personal favorite for a good
laugh, #4 on the bestseller list for the Wall Street Journal.
By the fifth day of release, the book had gone into its 9th
printing. . . . Last night in Santa Rosa, at the local high
school, they had a thousand people packed inside and another
500 out on the lawn who couldn't get in. It's like this in
all the places I visit. Hundreds, thousands, turning out to
discuss all the sorry excuses for the state of the nation.
. . . People have had it with keeping silent for the past
6 months. They resent having felt like if they chose to question
what the government is up to or, God forbid, dissent, they
would somehow be considered unpatriotic.
be sure to read Michael Moore's letter to George W. Bush
. . . and don't miss the story
about his near-arrest in San Diego
Posted March 5, 2002
Bush forms Secret Government,
does not tell Democrats
House says Congress informed of shadow government plans
(Ron Fournier, YahooNews, Mar 5,11:19 AM)
President Bush's spokesman disputed complaints from lawmakers
who said they were not informed that the administration had
established a "shadow government" outside Washington
in case nuclear-armed terrorists strike the nation's capital.
. . . He did not reveal what lawmakers or legislative aides
were advised of the plans, which include housing 75 to 150
senior administration officials in secure underground facilities.
The officials rotate in and out of the secret sites, spending
days at a time away from friends and family, to ensure that
top government officials survive an attack on Washington.
. . . A spokesman for Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who as Senate
president pro tempore follows Hastert in the line of succession,
knew nothing about the plans, said Byrd spokesman Tom Gavin.
. . . "Senator Byrd has not been briefed and neither
has his staff," Gavin said. . . . Daschle's remarks were
part of a broader complaint about the administration's efforts
to keep Congress informed about the war's developments, including
plans to expand beyond Afghanistan.
Posted March 4, 2002
Caligulian American Justice System--U.N. Intervention is Necessary
(By John Stanton and Wayne Madsen)
At this critical moment in U.S. history when the American
justice system is needed to stem the tide of American totalitarianism,
it finds itself incapable of doing so. . . . High school students
in America know that the right amount of money and influence
can buy a favorable decision, a legislative loophole, timeshare
at a low security Federal Prison Camp, and even the US presidency
as the Election of 2000 demonstrated. . . . The notorious
Roman emperor Caligula would have marveled at the viciousness
of these monstrous creations [the War on Drugs and the War
on Terror] and relished the opportunity to wield these weapons
against the population. . . . Each day, the National Guard
is involved in 1,300 counterdrug operations and has approximately
4,000 troops on duty. Without warning or prior notification
to civilian authorities, the U.S. military will 'mock' invade
communities across America, often causing panic, and in some
cases, death. . . . According to groups as diverse as the
Christian evangelical Operation Starting Line and Human Rights
Watch, the American Panopticon houses 6 million people in
some form of 'correctional supervision -- incarceration, probation
or parole'. . . . those numbers give the U.S. the horrific
distinction of having the 'highest per capita incarceration
rate in the history of the world'. . . . The disproportionate
number of minorities living and working in the American Panopticon
is nothing short of criminal. . . . Considering the fact that
the Bush administration installed John P. Walters as Director
of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, investors can
look upon private prisons and their population as a growth
industry . . . Like his predecessor, Gen. Barry McCaffrey,
Walters seems more interested in recruiting more slave laborers
for America's prison-industrial complex. . . . With recent
revelations that the Bush administration set about to create
a secret shadow government in two underground bunkers near
Washington, it is worth looking at the history of U.S. government
list keeping and plans to incarcerate political subversives.
. . . The USA PATRIOT Act, drawn up in a frenzy only matched
in history by the scrapping of the German Constitution in
the wake of the Reichstag Fire, certainly criminalizes a range
of what can be construed as 'political crimes against The
State. The State's prison-industrial complex, therefore, stands
to benefit from a whole new population of 'criminal.' . .
. The United Nations must recognize that one of its founding
members is drifting dangerously towards totalitarianism --
a prospect that endangers the peace and freedom of the entire
world. Perhaps it's time they intervene.
Posted March 1, 2002
Enron-Cheney-Taliban Connection? (Ron Callari, Albion
Monitor, February 28, 2002)
The coverups are still very much a mystery. What were the
documents that were fed into the shredder -- even after the
corporation declared bankruptcy? What is the White House fighting
to keep secret . . .Was a deal in Afghanistan part of a desperate
last-ditch "end run" to bail out Enron? . . . In
1997, Enron announced that it was going to spend over $1 billion
building and improving the lines between the Dabhol plant
and India's network of gas pipelines. . . . There was one
gotcha: It looked like the trans-Afghan section of the pipeline
might never be built. Afghanistan was controlled by religious
extremists who didn't want to cooperate. . . . By the time
George W. became president, the India project was in serious
trouble. Enron's reputation as a bully in India was legion.
. . . Scarcely a month after Bush moves into the White House,
Vice President Cheney has his first secret meeting with Ken
Lay and other Enron executives on February 22, 2001. . . .
It's clear the Cheney had his own conflicts of interest with
Enron. A chief benefactor in the trans-Caspian pipeline deal
would have been Halliburton, the huge oil pipeline construction
firm which was previously headed by Cheney. After Cheney's
selection as Bush's Vice Presidential candidate, Halliburton
also contributed a huge amount of cash into the Bush-Cheney
campaign coffers. . . . Until there is a full investigation,
questions will remain about how far the Bush team went to
try to save their buddies at Enron. Vice President Dick Cheney's
refusal to release details about his private April meeting
with Lay is suspicious. It is already known that Cheney accepted
seven out of eight national energy policy recommendations
made by Lay; so what are they so damned determined to keep
secret? What could be more incriminating than that? . . .
Is the White House covering up that it was molding foreign
policy as well as energy policy to suit Enron? Did the Bush
Administration know that Enron's collapse was coming as early
as August? If any of these are true, the largest bankruptcy
in American history may well connect with the greatest political
scandal in American history.
Posted February 27, 2002
and the Myths of Runaway Capitalism (Marjorie Kelly,
February 20, 2002)
It's about many gut-level issues that confront us: corporate
control of politics, executives getting rich while their company
sinks, employees laid off by the thousands, 401(k) plans tanking,
messes left by deregulation, a corporate board asleep at the
switch. All are themes in the Enron soap opera, yet not one
is unique to Enron. The problems the scandal reveals are systemic.
. . . The most basic issues of Enron are system issues. These
come down to two, not unrelated truths: 1) The ideal of the
unregulated free market is flawed, and it's time we said goodbye
to the invisible hand. 2) Managing a company solely for maximum
share price can destroy both share price and the entire company.
. . . Why did the system design lend so much power to greed?
Because doing so was in the interest of the financial elite,
including Enron executives and Wall Street. Lay and Skilling
both were "laser-focused" on shareholder gain .
. . A federal contractor responsibility rule could prohibit
the government from contracting with egregious corporate law-breakers.
Such a rule was put in place by President Clinton as he left
office, but was overturned by President Bush.
Marjorie Kelly is a founder and editor of Business
Ethics magazine. Her recent book, The
Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy,
is one of the most important books of the year and should
be read by anyone who either works for a corporation or invests
in the stock market.
Democracy: R.I.P - The Emergence of the Fascist American Theocratic
State (John Stanton and Wayne Madsen, February 10,
This new fascist era was designed and implemented primarily
by Republican organizations and individuals who funded, supported
and ultimately inserted George Bush II in office. Equally
complicit in this atrocity was the Democratic Party, itself
having become corrupt and beholden to its own interests. But
the greatest tragedy in this horrific turn of events was that
the public and media embraced fascism's coming. . . . an inaptly
named USA PATRIOT Act and the establishment of US Military
Tribunals would be enacted in the same lightning fashion as
when Adolph Hitler scrapped the German Constitution in the
wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire. . . . the FBI began scanning
the Internet for web sites that contained what The State considered
seditious and unpatriotic content and, in a few cases, began
shutting them down in a sort of cyberspace version of Nazi
book burning. . . . This hypocrisy and the overarching influence
of oil over The State's foreign policy is described in a new
No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War
on Terrorism) by ex-CIA agent Robert Baer, a veteran covert
operator in the Islamic world. He states that he found "that
the tentacles of big oil stretch from the Caspian Sea to the
White House." . . . Big Oil would convince the Bush administration
to turn an ill-advised and ineffective counter-drug war in
Colombia into a counter-insurgency operation aimed at protecting
the pipelines of US oil companies. . . . Government officials
would proclaim on many occasions that any dissent to and from
the government's initiatives would be branded as unpatriotic
and terrorist. In that environment thousands of Americans
and those of color were pilloried by the government and their
fellow citizens for questioning The State's actions. Demonstrators
who opposed the corporate power grab in a world that ignored
labor and social protections were described as commercial
and economic terrorists. The White House Press Secretary urged
Americans to watch what they say and do in response to barbs
by a television comedian. . . . The State's sanctioned religion
was literal biblical paternalism, militant in its own way.
In this environment it was no surprise that women, once again,
lost dominion over themselves and their wombs as the state
proclaimed the unborn, born, and subject to The State.
Scolded Over MS Case (Reuters/WiredNews.com)
A senior House Democrat said on Thursday that Attorney General
John Ashcroft should have recused himself from the Microsoft
antitrust case just as he did from the investigation of collapsed
energy giant Enron. . . . noting that Ashcroft had received
$20,000 worth of contributions from the software giant during
the 2000 election. In November the Justice Department agreed
to settle the case against Micosoft after the company agreed
to measures designed to give computer makers more flexibility
to configure the software on the machines they sell. However,
the settlement has since come under attack from some consumer
groups and some Democrats in Congress who say the settlement
is weak and ineffectual. Nine of the 18 state attorneys general
in the case have refused to sign on to the deal and are continuing
to press for stricter sanctions. . . . Conyers has expressed
concern that the Microsoft case had been subjected to "inappropriate
Invisible Whiteness of the Olympic Beer Riot (Tim
Wise, Alternet.org, February 25, 2002)
That the coverage of the Olympic "beer riot" was
decidedly different than that for any riot ever led by people
of color goes without saying. . . . Naturally, the racial
identity of the Salt Lake rioters passed without mention in
the press, and probably without notice by most Americans,
in a way it most assuredly would not have -- in fact never
does -- when the shoe is on a darker foot. When "they"
tear things up and attack police we call them thugs and animals.
But when we do it, we're just "hooligans," or perhaps
"out of control youth," caught up in the moment.
. . . Since the mid-'90s, white riots have occurred on more
than twenty college campuses, mostly as the result of crackdowns
on underage drinking or earlier closing times for local bars.
Whites also have taken to rioting as the result of college
football or basketball games. Unlike people of color, who
at least choose important issues to raise hell over -- like
police brutality, poverty and racism -- we whites lose our
minds over the twin oppressions of cover charges and midnight
last-calls. . . . For whites, drinking and rioting are merely
two more things we can do without facing the risk or stigma
encountered by people of color who might do the same things.
Most Dangerous President: Pro-Oil, Pro-Israel, Anti-World
(Mohamed Khodr, Media Monitors Network, September 22, 2002)
Bush's Military-Industrial-Energy Complex (The Real Axis of
Evil) saw an opportunity to bleed the trillions of dollars
of surplus to enrich themselves by sky rocketing the defense
budget while the war in Afghanistan presented him with the
unheard of opportunity to establish permanent military bases
in nations around the treasured Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves.
The Christian Coalition seized the opportunity to further
their Anti-Islamic agenda in the goal of containing the 'Islamic
threat.' But more importantly they saw an opportunity to further
support Israel and Sharon's plan to totally transfer and/or
eliminate Palestinians from the occupied territories thereby
establishing Israel over the entire holy land, thus expediting
their vision of Christ's Second coming. . . . Just as Bush's
father, the former President said: 'We're doing the Lord's
Work' when meeting with the troops after Desert Storm (Hitler
also uttered the same words when justifying the Holocaust),
it seems Junior has found his 'Lord's Work' too. It doesn't
hurt if one also gets rich along the way of the new 'Crusade.'