Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The New York Times Covers Its Ass

The New York Times whitewashes Bush's lies on Iraq war

By Bill Vann

30 September 2003

In what amounts to a damning self-indictment, the New York Times admitted in a September 26 editorial that it “never quarreled with one of [the Bush administration’s] basic premises” for launching its war on Iraq—the supposed threat from weapons of mass destruction.

The editorial, titled “The failure to find Iraqi weapons,” never explains, however, why the newspaper—considered the most influential voice of what once passed for a liberal establishment in America—uncritically accepted the government’s premises.

The obvious question is why the Times, with its hundreds of reporters and annual revenues totaling over $3 billion, did not question the Bush administration’s official story. Why did it not use its considerable resources to conduct its own independent investigation and challenge the claims of the government? Is that not the supposed task of an independent media?

The Times did no such thing. On the contrary, it served as a willing conduit for the administration’s war propaganda. More than that, through its senior correspondent, Judith Miller, it collaborated in manufacturing false intelligence as a pretext for war. Miller published story after story alleging the existence of Iraqi WMD, which she later acknowledged were based on “exclusive” information provided by Ahmed Chalabi, the convicted bank embezzler who heads the Iraqi National Congress. Chalabi was universally viewed within intelligence circles as an unreliable source, given that his motive was to provoke a US invasion.

Now it has become undeniably obvious that the Bush administration’s allegations about Iraqi weapons were fraudulent. After a six-month search of Iraq, a draft report from a 1,400-member US-led team revealed that it has turned up not a trace of the hundreds of tons of chemical and biological weapons that the administration claimed were in the hands of the Iraqi regime.

As the pretext given for the Iraq war crumbles, the Times has published what amounts to a “preemptive” editorial. Its aim is to forestall any serious political conclusions about the fact that the government carried out an unprovoked war of aggression based upon lies.

“Now it appears that premise was wrong,” the newspaper declares. “We cannot in hindsight blame the administration for its original conclusions. They were based on the best intelligence available.”

This statement was made just days before the release of a letter from the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Florida Republican and former CIA agent Congressman Porter Goss. It described this “best intelligence” as “piecemeal,” “fragmentary” and “circumstantial.” For the most part, it added, the claims were based on estimates made a decade earlier.

“The absence of proof that chemical and biological weapons and their related development programs had been destroyed was considered proof that they continued to exist,” the letter, addressed to CIA Director George Tenet, stated. “The assessment that Iraq continued to pursue chemical and biological weapons remained constant and static over the past 10 years.”

The letter went on to charge that the government and the intelligence agencies observed a “low threshold” or “no threshold” in disseminating bogus claims that the regime in Baghdad was tied to terrorism.

“As a result, intelligence reports that might have been screened out by a more vigorous vetting process made their way to the analysts’ desks, providing ample room for vagary to intrude,” the letter stated. This included reports from sources “that would otherwise be dismissed,” it added.

This assessment echoed that of Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector, who earlier this month stated his conclusion that the Iraqi regime had destroyed all of its chemical and biological weapons in 1991.

Blix compared the Bush administration’s efforts to prove otherwise to the witch-hunters of the Middle Ages. “In the Middle Ages when people were convinced there were witches they certainly found them,” he said, accusing the Bush administration and the Blair government in Britain of carrying out the “spin and hyping” of phony intelligence concerning alleged Iraqi weapons.

Senator Edward Kennedy, one of the most senior Democrats on Capitol Hill and the brother of an assassinated president, went further, declaring that the pretext for war was a “fraud,” based on “distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence.” He charged that the Bush administration launched the invasion to secure domestic political advantage. “There was no imminent threat,” Kennedy said. “This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically.”

Meanwhile in Britain, the Hutton Inquiry into the suicide of weapons expert David Kelly has established beyond any reasonable doubt that Bush’s sole major international ally systematically lied and distorted intelligence to promote a war on Iraq.

Yet the Times insists that its readers assume only innocent motives and good intentions on the part of the Bush White House. While faulting the administration for its doctrine of preemptive war and suggesting that the absence of any weapons in Iraq is “an uncomfortable question for the Bush administration,” the newspaper nonetheless suggests that all can end well: “If Iraq can be turned into a freer and happier country in coming years, it could become a focal point for the evolution of a more peaceful and democratic Middle East.”

Two days after the editorial appeared, the Times published a piece by its foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman. While using the bully-boy language and cynical realpolitik arguments that are his trademark, his column essentially served the same purpose: to gloss over the vast implications of the US government having lied to the American people to provoke a war.

Citing the interim report indicating no trace of WMD in Iraq, Friedman writes: “What this means for the American people is this: The war to oust Saddam Hussein was always a war of choice (a good choice, I believe). But democracies don’t like to fight wars of choice.... Knowing this, the Bush team tried to turn Iraq into a war of necessity by hyping the threat Saddam may have posed with WMD.”

What are the implications of Friedman’s argument that “Democracies don’t like to fight wars of choice”? Such wars, commonly referred to as “wars of aggression,” have previously been associated with fascist dictatorships, particularly Nazi Germany. It was the launching of such wars that formed the basis of the principal charge laid against the surviving leaders of the Third Reich during the war crimes trials at Nuremberg.

To convince the American people that it was not waging such a criminal war, the administration invented a threat where none existed. It lied and has continued to lie.

These lies are not, it should be added, about minor policies, let alone about the private sex life of a president, the grounds less than five years ago for the impeachment of Clinton.

The lies about Iraqi weapons involved the most momentous decision a US president can make—to send the country’s military to war. Bush carried out the Iraqi invasion based upon a Congressional resolution stating that military action was justified in “self defense” against a supposed threat that Iraq would use biological or chemical weapons to carry out a “surprise attack” on the US. No such weapons existed and the administration deliberately falsified intelligence reports to claim that they did.

The result has been the loss of tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Over 310 US soldiers have been killed and more than 1,600 wounded. The cost of this military intervention has skyrocketed to over $166 billion for the first year alone. The implications of this vast expenditure will be felt by millions of Americans in the form of even deeper cuts in health care, education and vital social programs, cuts that will undoubtedly lead to the deaths of innocent people in the US as well.

Exemplifying the corruption and outright criminality of the US media, Friedman’s response is: too bad. He could care less about the soldiers who are being killed and maimed on a daily basis in Iraq or that they were sent there on false pretenses. “Sorry folks, we broke it, we own it,” he writes, demanding that the Democrats choose between “wallowing in the mess, endlessly criticizing how we got into Iraq, or articulating a broader more realistic vision for successful nation-building there.”

Is there no connection between “how we got into Iraq”—based on systematic lying to both the American people and the world—and the debacle that now confronts the US administration’s attempt at “nation-building”? This term is a euphemism for colonial conquest. Its objective in Iraq is the securing of US control over the Persian Gulf and its vast oil reserves in order to promote Washington’s goal of undisputed global hegemony. That this fact is understood by the Iraqis is reflected in a growing guerrilla war of resistance to the US-led occupation.

The Bush administration utilized criminal means to pursue criminal ends. As a result Iraqis died and American youth were sent to their deaths based upon a lie. The attempt to dismiss this by the Times and its thuggish international columnist makes them accomplices.

These issues cannot be swept aside. At stake are the democratic rights of the American people, not to mention the threat that those who hold power in Washington will continue with their “wars of choice” until they escalate into a worldwide conflagration.

It is clear that Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and every other principal figure in the administration lied in order to promote a war of aggression. They must be held accountable.

What is called for is a full and independent investigation into the way in which the illegal war against Iraq was prepared. Those responsible must be punished. All those government officials who launched this war on false pretenses must be impeached and criminally prosecuted.

As the role of the New York Times clearly demonstrates, a similar investigation is needed into the role of the mass media in serving as a willing propaganda arm for US militarism.

The fight to bring those responsible for the war to account must be joined with the demand for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

IWR Photo Bush Cartoon - Brooks and Friedman Married

IWR Brooks and Friedman Married

A view of the wedding of the day.

Weekend Thoughts: How a regular guy gets homeless

Yahoo! News - How a regular guy gets homelessBy Les Gapay, Special for USA TODAY

I pull into a campground, pay my fee and pitch my green, two-person tent beneath the trees in the hills above California's southern coast. Someone has left some firewood, and I split it with my ax and chop some kindling. Within minutes a nice fire is going. I heat up some chunky canned soup on my propane stove and eat it out of a coffee mug along with crackers while sitting in my canvas chair.

For dessert I have a small can of fruit. I look out over a lake and watch the sun set and the fire crackle. It is a relaxing way to end the day. Nearby are families and couples doing much the same thing. Later, I crawl into my sleeping bag and doze off until the sun wakes me in the morning.

I could be one of many vacationers or weekend campers traveling in my clean, red, 5-year-old truck with pickup shell. But this has been my daily routine for 15 months now. On June 2, 2002, I gave up my $750-a-month apartment in Palm Springs, Calif., and put most of my belongings in storage to save money by living out of my truck. I thought it would be for the summer until the economy rebounded and I got public relations consulting and freelance writing work or a full-time job in the field. I never realized then that summer camping would go into fall and then the chill of winter, even in Southern California, then spring, then summer again.

I had no income at all in 2002 and have lived off savings, premature IRA withdrawals, credit cards and then food stamps. I wasn't eligible for unemployment compensation because I was self-employed. I didn't qualify for subsidized housing because I didn't have a steady income. I fell through the cracks of California welfare programs because they are aimed at families with children at home. To save money, I dropped my health insurance two years ago and reduced my vehicle insurance last year to the state minimum. I cook out at campgrounds or eat cheap meals at fast-food places to keep my expenses down. Most of the time I have been in California, but during the winter I camped some along the Colorado River in Arizona and also near Phoenix. This summer I headed north to what I thought would be cooler climes of Montana, but have been in a heat wave. My situation is finally starting to look up. This spring and summer my corporate freelance work picked up, with several small jobs. It's not enough to rent an apartment or room, but I have hope that the work will continue to increase as the economy rebounds, and my plight will end soon.

I am certainly not the only one in this predicament. About 8.9 million people in the USA were unemployed in August, 6.1% of the workforce, according to the Labor Department (news - web sites). More than 3 million people were homeless over the past year, about 30% of them chronically, according to the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty. They are not just the noticeable ones on the street but also families in shelters due to the current economic condition. And, 20% of the homeless have jobs, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. At California state campgrounds rangers told me there were many homeless families, moving up and down the coast to get around limits on stays. At one state park, I saw one woman each morning drive her son to a bus stop so he could get to school.

Every day, a challenge

In my case, I have had to use various survival skills to cope with living out of my truck and also in dealing with government bureaucracies.

My biggest daily challenge: Finding a campsite, especially in the tourist season, and, when I am in towns, places to go to the bathroom. I am only at campsites at night sleeping either in my truck or tent and during the day spend much of the time in libraries surfing the Net for jobs and sending out résumés by e-mail. The corporate writing work that I have gotten I have done in libraries. Sometimes I relax in air-conditioned bookstores and read the papers, magazines and books. I also have used job service computers daily for months in California seeking work, to no avail. Luckily, I have always been able to stay at campgrounds, mostly county, state and federal ones, which range from $10 to $18 a night. Private ones are too expensive. I try to shower daily, and many of the campgrounds have coin-operated showers. I tried showering at friends' homes when I didn't have one at a campground, but they tired of that quickly.

The campgrounds have limits on stays, often seven or 14 days a season. They are intended for recreational use. At one California park I overstayed the 30-day annual limit and was told to leave by a gun-toting ranger who grilled me about my intentions and then gave me a lecture on finding a job. He later relented on throwing me out because it was near Christmas and said I could start the 30 days the first of the year. At a county park, a sympathetic ranger said I could stay over the 14-day limit "if you behave yourself."

Weather also caused me to move around. I camped in the desert of Southern California in the winter, near Palm Springs, despite temperatures in the 30s and 40s at night in December and January. I had to move into a Motel 6 once due to the cold and another time because of heavy rain. When the weather got too hot in the spring in the desert, I camped at higher elevations or along the coast venturing into pleasant cities like Santa Barbara and San Clemente to use libraries.

Some campgrounds can be risky. Some even have signs warning of theft, mountain lions or, in Montana, grizzly bears. I had items taken three times, twice by other campers and once by a worker, but all were recovered. At one state park on the ocean north of Santa Barbara, a mountain lion walked through my campsite at dusk while I was tending a campfire. I slept in my truck that night instead of my tent.

Falling through the cracks

At first I wasn't eligible for food stamps because I had more than $2,000 (the maximum allowed to qualify) to my name and because I thought my truck was worth too much. But eventually, the money ran out and I found out that my truck, with more than 170,000 miles on it now, was worth less than the $4,650 the food stamp program allows. I got anywhere from nothing to $139 a month in food stamps depending on my freelance income for the month. I had several glitches on food stamp amounts due to errors by bureaucrats, but I appealed and won.

Other government programs weren't much better. At a job service office I was told that I couldn't send e-mails to apply for jobs, until I objected that many employers wanted applications for public relations and journalism positions sent that way. I didn't find the job service program much help, with aides more interested in finding me some menial labor job rather than one in my field or in a related area like marketing or sales. Low on money, I did apply for retail jobs in hardware, department, lighting, copying and other stores, even a bottling plant, but was either turned down as overqualified or for not having the right experience. I think some of the employers thought I would leave as soon as I found something better.

Many of my friends and acquaintances kept pressuring me to take any job and forget about my profession. I continued to press for jobs in my field, public relations or journalism, but postings were few. Some jobs I was told had 200 to 300 applicants, with many going to young workers. I will turn 60 this year and wondered if age was a factor.

At one point, I was down to my last $200. I borrowed some money from friends when relatives refused loans, with one saying he was out of work and another that he had been unemployed for several months and was still getting back on his feet. I was surprised which friends loaned me $200 or $300, different from the ones I had thought I could count on. My ex-wife and her husband surprised me by loaning me some money. One campground worker asked me: "Do you have any kids who can help you out?" I get little show of concern or contact from one adult daughter and haven't heard from the other at all, although I never asked them for any money. No one wants a homeless person for a father. When you are having troubles is when you need a supportive family. Even priests I know at churches I attended weren't sympathetic or helpful, with one refusing to meet with me, saying he was too busy. Most homeless are worse off than I am, not having a truck to live in and a cell phone to use, and some have mental problems. I never went to a shelter, figuring paying for campsites was more like being a snowbird.

Living on fast food; making the best of things

One of the most difficult aspects of living out of my truck was finding places to go to the bathroom or just to sit during part of the day. I quickly learned the ropes. I often ate in fast-food joints because of the $1 promotional items. Two of those made a meal. McDonald's and others had plenty of homeless people sitting around drinking coffee. I ended up spending time in those places reading the paper in the morning and stopping in to use the bathrooms. Other places I found that had plenty of restrooms were Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Borders and shopping malls. Sometimes I would get a cheap meal at a food court in a mall. When I wanted to treat myself to dinner, like when I got a loan, I could only afford to go to Denny's and order a senior meal. But it sure tasted good to me. I found I gained weight, 10 pounds in a year, despite being homeless because of the constant fast food. I started cutting back, getting cereal, fruit and deli sandwiches with my food stamps.

I discovered after a while that it would have been cheaper to rent a room than to pay $400 to $500 a month in campground fees and additional money for storage and for gas. I looked for rooms, but found that no one wanted to rent to me since I didn't have steady work.

Another drawback to my plight was getting daily phone calls from bill collectors and credit card companies because I had had $25,000 in debt on my credit cards and was unable to make payments. Chase bank was the worst, calling me every day. If I didn't answer, messages were left. "How are you able to pay for a cell phone?" one caller from a collection agency demanded. (It is the one bill I pay so I can use the phone for work and so potential employers can contact me about jobs.) In addition to credit card companies, I owe the IRS money as penalty for early IRA withdrawals before I was age 591/2 and eligible. I have considered bankruptcy but have put it off, waiting to see if my situation improves. Under the law, I still would have to pay my taxes even if I filed for bankruptcy.

I also learned to live without TV and without knowing much detail about most news. I didn't pay much attention to the war in Iraq (news - web sites), terrorism, politics, the latest movies, music and trends. Mostly I was with nature at campgrounds in places like the Salton Sea, Joshua Tree National Park, state beaches along the coast of Southern California, national forests in the mountains and county parks. I even went up to Yosemite for a while and also Northern California. I walked along the ocean or in the desert. This summer it has been in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. Last summer I heard a wolf howl in the wild at night and saw grizzly bears, the first in Montana and the second in Wyoming. I read books on theology and history in bookstores. I built campfires and watched sunsets and sometimes even a sunrise. I would pray and meditate at night and in the morning. Because of that I was at ease during much of this. "I envy you," said one harried food stamp supervisor. "I know it is difficult, but to us workers in cubicles it sounds good," said a corporate friend in the Silicon Valley. I don't enjoy living like this, but try to make the best of it.

Finally, a light for me, and for all of us

Now, finally, things are improving. I got work in March and through the spring and summer, small jobs, from a former client on the East Coast. One article I ghost wrote for him appeared as an op-ed piece in a national newspaper. I got him interviews with the press around the country, calling from my cell phone or e-mailing from libraries, with no one the wiser, all probably thinking I was a successful PR person.

I sold some photos I took in 1979 on a movie set to a documentary film company. I got a writing assignment from a computer company in the Silicon Valley this summer, and there is possibility of more, the first time I have had work from that client in three years. Public relations job postings on the Internet have increased. I am not eligible for food stamps anymore because I am making more than the limit of $960 a month, another good sign. I've even gotten some welcome relief from sleeping outdoors. I have recently stayed with friends in Montana and Washington and slept in real beds.

To be sure, my work is sporadic and doesn't pay nearly as well as it did a few years ago when times were good. And I sense that the recovery isn't broad yet. But, already I am back in California, closer to potential work when the economy does come back.

Hopefully coming soon is sleeping in a bed every day, a place of my own and some security. No more camping except on vacation, and that not for a while.

I'm ready for a more normal, healthier life again. Let the good times roll! I think the whole country is ready for good economic times. The recession wasn't fun for any of us.

Les Gapay is a public relations consultant and writer. He is a former Wall Street Journal reporter.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Vicious occupation of Iraq: US troops slaughter three more Iraqis. Reporters Fired On...AlJazeera Kicked Out...Truth is the biggest casualty.

US troops slaughter three more Iraqis Cow Farmers

WSWS : News & Analysis : Middle East : Iraq

US troops slaughter three more Iraqis
By Peter Symonds
25 September 2003

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the tragic deaths of three more Iraqis were added to the civilian toll that Washington rarely even acknowledges. A patrol of US soldiers surrounded a farmhouse in the small village of Al Saja near the town of Fallujah and a short time later called in air support. The Iraqis died after missiles slammed into the building and surrounding area.

US military authorities have treated the incident dismissively. Spokeswoman Specialist Nicole Thompson claimed that “unknown forces” had fired on troops from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at around 2 a.m., and then fled to the village. She confirmed “at least one enemy dead” as a result of the US attack but could provide no information about other casualties.

Specialist Anthony Reinoso, another military spokesman, repeated the same account, adding his own embellishments. According to him, as the soldiers approached the village “a crowd had formed,” “weapons were seen” and “the crowd attempted to block several intersections.” A clash followed that involved “a coalition aircraft” and left “one enemy killed.”

Reinoso did not explain why US soldiers had been patrolling in the dead of night or how he knew that the dead man was an “enemy”. Nor could he offer any reason why the US military had responded by calling for a massive air strike. In all likelihood, he had no idea. Like the rest of the story, he was simply making it up as he went along.

Neither account bears any relationship to what reporters found when they went to the scene, spoke to villagers and visited survivors of the attack in nearby hospitals. Three men died when the missile slammed into the house in which they were sleeping: Ali Jumaili, 45, and two of his cousins, Saadi Fayad Jumaili and Salem Ismail Jumaili, both in their mid-30s.

Some 15 or so family members had been sleeping in the four-room building. Two of Ali’s sons—Hussein, 12, and Tahsin, 9—were injured along with Abed Rasheed, 50, who had been sleeping on the roof but ran downstairs as the missile attack began. The Canadian Globe and Mail described the devastation: six large craters; walls and doors riddled with shrapnel; shattered windows and blood-stained floors.

The New York Times report, which names Ali as Ali Khalaf Muhammad, concluded: “From a preliminary examination of the scene, it was obvious that a major attack had occurred. Bomb or missile craters dotted the yard of the house, and family members pointed to two places where ordnance had landed but failed to detonate. Bullet holes puncture steel doors and shattered windows, as well as a picture of Mr Muhammad that hung in the corner of the room where he died.”

All the evidence pointed to a completely one-sided attack. “Family members insisted they had offered no resistance to the American patrol. No bullet cartridges or weapons were visible this afternoon [Tuesday] at their house, only bomb craters and holes punched in concrete by large-calibre weapons,” the newspaper stated.

Ali’s brother, Zaidan, told the press: “We don’t understand why they would kill us here... We are only peasants here. American soldiers came here in the morning and searched our house, but they found nothing. We didn’t shoot at them. With what? With our cows? We are peasants and farmers.”

Zaidan said he had seen US troops patrolling near the village on Monday evening but thought nothing of it. He awoke to the sound of shooting around 2 a.m. Some 15 minutes later he heard warplanes approaching and the house erupted in explosions. “The attack came very quickly. There was heavy bombardment and we couldn’t hide from it. The air was filled with splinters,” he said.

The family and neighbours had tried to take the wounded to hospital but US troops had closed off the road and refused to let them pass for an hour. According to Zaidan, a US officer had appeared in the village the following morning and, speaking through an interpreter, admitted that a mistake had been made and offered an apology. Neither of the military spokespersons—Thompson or Reinoso—would confirm that any apology had been made to the devastated family.

Ali’s cousin, Ghanem Jumaili, gave voice to the anger felt in the village. Speaking outside the funeral tent where nearly 100 people were mourning the dead men, he told the San Francisco Chronicle: “How can the Americans come here shooting us like we’re Ali Babas [bandits]? Don’t they know these men are fathers and brothers? They kill us in our own homes! They shoot us from our bicycles! They come as terrorists and thieves.

“Is this the liberation of Iraq,” he exclaimed. “As long as [US troops] act like this, there will be no stability in Iraq. Every person martyred here today is worth 100 Americans. Let me make this clear: The real war has not started yet. It starts from this day on.”

US campaign of terror

Details of the incident remain unclear and will remain so if the US military has its way. No formal investigation has been announced. But from what is known, it is unlikely that any “crowd” formed in the village or that any shots were fired at the troops from the farmhouse. Moreover, if one of the three dead men was an “enemy,” the military has certainly not provided any proof. Neither has it justified unleashing a massive airstrike against defenceless civilians.

What the episode does suggest is that in response to growing resistance, particularly in areas like Fallujah, which forms part of the so-called Sunni Triangle, the Pentagon is stepping up its policy of repression and terrorism: rounding up or killing anyone suspected of being an enemy and responding to any sign of opposition with massive firepower, regardless of the consequences for the civilian population.

Writing in the Independent on September 20, journalist Robert Fisk drew a related conclusion following his failed attempts to get answers from US authorities about the killing of an Iraqi interpreter last week. The death only came to light because the interpreter, Saad Mohamed Sultan, worked for Italian diplomat Pietro Cardone, who, with his wife, was travelling in the same car at the time. The driver attempted to overtake a US convoy; a US soldier motioned to him not to and, as the car was pulling back, fired a single bullet that killed Saad. The convoy did not even bother to stop.

Fisk commented: “An increasing number of journalists in Baghdad now suspect that US proconsul Paul Bremer and his hundreds of assistants ensconced in the heavily guarded former presidential palace, have lost touch with reality. Although an inquiry was promised into the shooting of the Iraqi interpreter, details of the incident suggest that US troops now have carte blanche to open fire at Iraqi civilian cars on the mere suspicion that their occupants may be hostile.”

An article in the Asian Times entitled “The Mean Streets of Baghdad” on September 23 recounted the fate of a 23-year-old Jordanian student. He was detained at gunpoint on Saturday and held for hours after doing nothing more than back-chatting a US soldier who rudely ordered him about. He found himself in a big hall in the airport along with 400 others. Ahmad was released, but many others remain detained for days or weeks inside Camp Cropper—the US prison set up within the airport grounds.

The Asian Times commented: “US repression is relentless. Red Cross officials confirm that more than 20,000 people have been arrested in Baghdad in the past few months. Most come and go—but there’s no way to keep tabs on all the cases: there are no functioning courts and judges. Amnesty International has already denounced cases of ‘torture,’ and an unknown number of Iraqi civilians have been gunned down by US search patrols. The bunker-down Coalition Provisional Authority simply refuses to mention how many Iraqi civilians are being shot or killed every day—either victims of crime or victims of US repression.”

These media accounts provide only a glimpse of the methods that the US military is employing to terrorise the Iraqi population. Increasingly the US occupation authority is not prepared to tolerate any open reporting or criticism of its activities. Indeed, there is a growing list of incidents in which journalists themselves are being shot at or arbitrarily detained.

The latest case involved the arrest of an Associated Press reporter and his driver on Tuesday. Both were handcuffed, forced to stand in the sun for three hours and denied water or the use of a phone. They were detained by soldiers of the 1st Armoured Division near Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, and accused of participating in the insurgency against US troops, despite their repeated attempts to explain they were journalists. They were later taken to a US base where they were released after a curt apology.

The same day Washington’s puppet Iraqi Governing Council issued a statement limiting the activities of the Arabic satellite channels, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, both of which have been critical of the US occupation of Iraq. The council accused the channels of “encouraging terrorism” and “endangering stability and democracy” and banned them from official press conferences and government ministries. An Al Jazeera spokesman denounced the decision, saying: “Its victims are the truth... and freedom of the press.”

Both Washington and its Iraqi flunkeys have a vested interest in ensuring the truth does not come out. While the Pentagon refuses to maintain a list of Iraqi civilian casualties, the tally of deaths and injuries posted on the website Iraq Body Count ( indicates that it is extensive. Their figures are based on the gathering and crosschecking of media reports and therefore represent only a fraction of the actual casualties. As of early September, their estimated toll was between 7,346 and 9,146 Iraqi civilian deaths since the US invasion began.

The terrible events at the village of Al Saja on Tuesday have just added three more.


I don't know about you, citizen friend, but I am NOT one of the GOOD NAZIS. You know...the Germans that looked the other way while Jews were being slaughtered?

It is time to hold this vicious bush_junta's feet to the fire. It is suborning murder, theft, property destruction, and allowing our soldiers to simply shoot to kill--and walk away without any investigation.



He failed at everything he tried. And used lots of OPM (other people's money) everytime. Without a second thought. Without an apology.

That's what the son of a bitch Bush should get: Hung by his fucking neck until dead. No second thought. No apology. Right next to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolferwizz, Perle, Powell, Rice, Rove...they are all WAR CRIMINALS IN THE EXACT MOLD OF THE NAZIS.

They all need the same treatment. Trial and death. Let's see what chimper thinks about the death penalty when they put him in an orange jumpsuit and give him a date with the gurney. It must be televised for the world to see.



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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Bush at the UN--a war criminal takes the podium

Bush at the UN--a war criminal takes the podium

President George W. Bush’s ignorant and insulting speech to the United Nations General Assembly September 23 made clear that the US administration has all but written off any hope of obtaining significant international support for its colonial venture in Iraq.

Bush came before the body as an unrepentant war criminal, whose actions had violated the UN Charter and international law by waging a war of aggression as criminal and unprovoked as those carried out by the Hitlerite regime in Germany more than 60 years ago.

Having just last week publicly acknowledged there is no evidence of a link between the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC, Bush began his speech to the UN by invoking the ruins of the World Trade Center as the “symbol of an unfinished war.”

He likewise peddled yet again the now universally discredited pretext for the Iraq war, the claim that the Baghdad regime posed a grave and imminent threat because of its supposedly immense stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction.”

This, just one week after the chief of the United Nations’ own inspection agency, Hans Blix, compared the US and British allegations about such weapons to the hunt for witches in the Middle Ages and amid reports that the unit set up by Washington to scour the country for the alleged tons of biological and chemical weapons materials has halted all searches.

Indeed, Bush himself referred to the supposedly urgent hunt for deadly weapons that were about to be handed to terrorists as a sort of archival pursuit. US personnel, he indicated, are “analyzing records of the old regime to reveal the full extent of its weapons programs.” In other words, there was not a trace to be found of the tons of nerve gas, anthrax, serin and other deadly agents alleged by Washington.

Did the US president’s handlers believe that the international diplomats, foreign ministers and heads of state assembled in his audience at the UN building in New York are so gullible they don’t even read the newspapers?

In reality, his speech was not written for them. Rather, his words were addressed over their heads to his political base among the extreme right-wingers and semi-fascists who dominate the Republican Party. He was promising them that there will be no turning back from global militarism and plunder. The US agenda of seizing by force the oilfields of Iraq and a strategic stranglehold over the Middle East remains in force.

Far from the attempt at reconciliation that had been predicted by many media pundits, Bush’s speech was every bit as provocative and bellicose as his 2002 State of the Union address declaring that “you are with us or against us,” and his address to the UN last year when he warned the international organization that it would become “irrelevant” if it failed to subordinate itself to the US war preparations against Iraq.

Read the whole stunning piece at Link ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Bush_Junta Murdered 3000 Helpless Afgans And Buried Them in Mass Graves

Afghan Massacre - acftv

Afghan Massacre tells of how American Special Forces took control of the operation, re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried.

And it details how the Pentagon lied to the world in order to cover up its role in the greatest atrocity of the entire Afghan War. This is the documentary they did not want you to see.

Afghan Massacre was produced over ten months in extremely dangerous circumstances: eyewitnesses were threatened and subsequently killed, the film crew were forced into hiding and our researcher was savagely beaten to within an inch of his life. He was recently awarded the 2002 Rory Peck Award for Hard News, The SONY Award and the film has been nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Current Affairs.

Watch the trailer....Buy the Video.


Or As Chimper_Fucker put it in his lying STate of the Onion "meshhage,:"

"Or they are gone by other means and won't be fighting anymore."

The stinking dirty cowardly murdering mother fucking bastard.

When will his dirty ass and the whole bush_junta be captured by international police and turned over to the Hague, to stand on the dock next to mass murderer Milosovich, and be hung by his neck until dead?

All of them: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Negroponte. War criminals and murderers. Breaking the first rule of international law: MAKING WAR AGAINST THE PEACE.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Tom Friedman (NYT) Finally Blows out of his Web--Lost In The Ozone--Just Nutz

Friedman of the Times declares war on France

Toady for Bush_junta finally blows out of his web. Thomas Friedman, an adventure in fantasy and self delusion!

Friedman, The Snake, Oil for Sale on New York Times' Op Ed Page!

Friedman, bush_junta apologist and make-believe self righteous scam artist buys into the final lie: It's all the fault of the French--who said upfront, No No No what do you not understand: NO

By Bill Vann
20 September 2003
Back to screen version | Send this link by email | Email the author

An atmosphere of disarray pervades the Bush administration as it confronts a debacle in Iraq. US troops are confronting daily and increasingly deadly attacks that Pentagon officials have acknowledged are the work of ordinary Iraqis determined to free their country of foreign military occupation. The costs of the venture are spiraling out of control, with massive public opposition to Bush’s call for another $87 billion to finance US military efforts.

Meanwhile, the lies that were used to promote the illegal war—the supposed threat of weapons of mass destruction and an alleged connection between the Saddam Hussein regime and Al Qaeda—are coming unraveled. Not a trace has been found of the massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons that the US claimed existed in Iraq.

This week Bush admitted that the administration “had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th,” despite the relentless propaganda to convince the American people of just the opposite in the run-up to the war, and statements by Vice President Cheney just days earlier suggesting that there existed just such a link.

All of the predictions made by the US administration—that US troops would be welcomed as liberators; that Iraqi oil would pay for reconstruction while producing a bonanza for US firms; and that the rest of the world would be convinced by a successful US war to solidarize themselves with Washington—have proven uniformly false.

It is clear that the occupation of Iraq is turning into a military, economic and political catastrophe that will end only with the unconditional withdrawal of all US forces.

For those who were most convinced that US military might would suffice in imposing Washington’s will upon the Middle East—the administration’s journalistic toadies—the crisis in Iraq has created extreme frustration and belligerence.

Such is the case with Thomas Friedman, the chief foreign affairs columnist of the New York Times. Those familiar with his writings will hardly be surprised that his latest piece consists of smug lies in service of a bellicose US foreign policy. That is his specialty. The title of his column, “Our War with France” does merit attention, however.

Friedman is a thug with a laptop. He has used his column to advocate the “pulverizing” of Belgrade, the smashing of Iraq and has proudly advanced the slogan “give war a chance.” Now, it would seem, he is pushing for the sacking of Paris. Having supported a war against a relatively defenseless Iraq, Friedman now uses the language of aggression against a major European power and erstwhile US ally.

The catastrophe in Iraq, according to Friedman, is the fault of the French. This is the case because, having opposed the US war, the French government has had the temerity of seeing its warnings about the calamity it would produce richly confirmed.

Not only that, Paris has balked at US demands that it and other countries fork over tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of troops, no questions asked, to bolster a US-run exercise in neocolonialism.

“If you watch how France is behaving today ... then there is only one conclusion one can draw: France wants America to fail in Iraq,” Friedman writes. “France wants America to sink in a quagmire there in the crazy hope that a weakened US will pave the way for France to assume its ‘rightful’ place as America’s equal...”

In reality, Washington has needed no one’s help in sinking into a quagmire of its own making in Iraq. France has from the outset attempted to restrain the US and warn it of the consequences of waging unprovoked wars of aggression in the Middle East. It has assumed the role of an older and wiser imperialist power, with knowledge gained from painful experience, including its failed attempt to suppress the Algerian independence movement four decades ago.

No doubt, the French government has acted to defend its not inconsiderable financial interests in Iraq and throughout the region. This necessarily means resisting the attempt by Washington to establish unrestricted control over the oil upon which France and the rest of Europe depend.

Not only does Friedman blame France for the failure of the US occupation, but for the war itself. Paris insisted, he claims, on “making it impossible for the Security Council to put a real ultimatum to Saddam Hussein that might have avoided a war.”

It is one thing to lie; it is another to think that no one will remember the lies you wrote before. The Bush administration never had any intention of avoiding a war with Iraq. On the contrary, everything it did—from fabricating evidence about weapons of mass destruction, to the false claims concerning September 11 and the maneuvers within the UN itself—were aimed at implementing a plan for war that was worked out well before Bush even entered the White House.

What about Friedman? One would imagine from his latest column that he spent the months preceding the US invasion longing for a peaceful solution to the Iraq question and was dismayed that the French forced Washington into a war.

It is worthwhile reviewing some of his pacifist essays for the New York Times in the run-up to the US invasion. Last December 1, he drafted a column advising the Pentagon that the best way to prepare a war against Iraq was to kidnap Iraqi scientists and force them to say that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons.

On January 5 he provocatively headlined his column “A War for Oil?” Replying to his own question, he wrote: “My short answer is yes. Any war we launch in Iraq will certainly be—in part—about oil. To deny that is laughable.”

On June 4, he dismissed the growing body of evidence that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. “The real reason for this war,” Friedman wrote, “which was never stated, was that after 9/11 America needed to hit someone in the Arab-Muslim world. Afghanistan wasn’t enough.” He continued, “Smashing Saudi Arabia or Syria would have been fine. But we hit Saddam for one simple reason: because we could.”

This last statement aptly sums up the gangster mentality that reigns within the Bush White House. The retroactive claim that if only the French had backed an open-ended resolution legitimizing a US invasion, war could have been avoided is ludicrous.

In an attempt to preserve a veneer of objectivity, Friedman includes a word of criticism for the Bush administration. He accuses Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of having been “full of themselves” after the US conquest of Iraq and, as a result, missing an opportunity “to magnanimously reach out to Paris to join in reconstruction.” He quickly adds, however, “it might have softened French attitudes. But even that I have doubts about.”

Who is he kidding? Far from magnanimity, the Bush administration was—and still is—speaking openly of “punishing” France for daring to defy the US in the UN Security Council. It is determined to keep the French out of the reconstruction in order to preclude any competition for control over Iraq’s oilfields.

What has riled Washington—and Friedman—about France’s current position is its demand that the US cede significant political power to the UN and an elected Iraqi government. The Bush administration’s has no intention of doing either, because it has yet to complete its objectives: securing control over the country’s oil wealth and forging a puppet regime that will guarantee the US military bases and overriding control.

Another Friedman specialty is dressing up this predatory agenda as an exercise in democracy. He does not fail to disappoint in his latest column, this time accusing the French of lacking the noble aspirations that supposedly animate Washington.

“France has never been interested in promoting democracy in the modern Arab world,” Friedman writes. Unlike the US, of course, whose closest Arab ally is the absolute monarchy in Saudi Arabia and which finances and supports the Israeli state in a campaign of violent repression and assassination that has abrogated the fundamental democratic rights of some 3.5 million Palestinians in the occupied territories. Washington’s latest blow for democratic principles in the Middle East was vetoing a UN resolution urging Israel not to murder Yasser Arafat, the elected president of the Palestinian Authority.

Friedman continues: “It is stunning to me that the EU, misled by France, could let itself be written out of the most important political development project in modern Middle Eastern history.”

The most important “political development project,” he might have added, since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement dividing the Arab world into French and British colonial spheres. But this time the Americans have yet to secure control and the French are offered nothing. Yet they are asked to supply young European soldiers to put themselves on the receiving end of the bullets and bombs now aimed at young American ones. That and several tens of billions of dollars.

Finally, Friedman accuses the French of failing to recognize their own self interest, warning that a victory of the Iraqi resistance over the US occupation will “energize” radical Islamist forces within France, which as a result will see “its own social fabric affected.”

No doubt the French government has real concerns about antagonizing its considerable Arab and Muslim population. It is well aware from its own bloody colonial past, however, that sending more troops to fight a guerrilla resistance will result only in more resistance and a spiral of violence that will threaten stability throughout the region and in Europe itself. It also knows that the US war in Iraq has provoked an unprecedented rise in popular hatred of Washington, not only in the Middle East but around the globe.

Friedman speaks for the most cynical and reactionary layers within the government and the US ruling elite. His lies and journalistic thuggery may have served a certain purpose in creating a climate for launching the war against Iraq, but they are far less useful in papering over the desperate crisis that the war has provoked.

In the beginning of the column he accuses France of wanting “America to fail in Iraq.” This is no doubt true at least in one sense. French interests are in conflict with the US drive for hegemony in the Persian Gulf. Whether it will be able to reach an accommodation in the short term remains to be seen.

Any attempt to bail out and thereby prolong the Bush administration’s criminal enterprise in Iraq with UN-sanctioned money or troops should be resolutely opposed. For “America to fail in Iraq”—that is, an end to an illegal occupation that continues to claim the lives of both Iraqis and Americans, and the unconditional the withdrawal of all US troops—is in the interests of the vast majority of Americans themselves.

Bush’s policy of “preemptive war”—of utilizing America’s military might to seize resources, topple governments and conquer peoples—must fail and be completely discredited in the eyes of the American people and the world. A “success” in this predatory policy would only create the conditions for more wars—including against France, Russia, China or another power. It would also produce deeper attacks on democratic rights and social conditions within the US itself.

It is imperative that those responsible for the war on Iraq, and for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans, be held accountable through investigations, impeachment proceedings and criminal prosecution. This includes the well-paid hacks like Friedman who deliberately lied to the American people to promote this war.

See Also:

The Times’ Thomas Friedman on Iraq: spreading “democracy” with missiles and lies

[22 July 2003]

Friedman: We did it “because we could”

New York Times covers up for lies on Iraq war

[6 June 2003]

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman: “No problem with a war for oil”

[15 January 2003]

Friday, September 19, 2003

Molly Ivans Sees Our Country In Trouble Big. Do You?

"The City Where Everybody Says Exactly What Everybody Else Says"

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Always interesting to come into The City Where Everybody Says Exactly What Everybody Else Says just to run my own reality check. If I'm out of step with the conventional wisdom, I'm doing fine. The minute I find myself saying what everybody else says, it's time to leave town.

Here in our nation's capital, the political reporter from the boonies is most often asked, "Is this Howard Dean thing for real?" Hey, THEY never heard of Howard Dean; Howard Dean never did time on The Hill. How are they supposed to have a read on him? Their provincialism is truly charming. In politics, when people ask, "Is the guy serious?" it means, does he have money? So, OK, Howard Dean is serious. Next question.

But Bush is SERIOUS is the next argument. Have you looked at that money? Well yes, and I certainly say that $200 million makes him serious as a stroke. But you tell me what he can run on. The economy is in terrible shape, and I'm not just talking about lost jobs. People's lives go to hell in a lot of ways beyond no jobs -- no unemployment insurance; no health insurance; cost of health insurance spiking double, triple; lost pensions; Bush wants to take away overtime -- you start adding all this up, and even out in the "red states" (it's so cute, the way they say things here), it's not looking so good for Bush.

But security -- he's strong on defense and security, right? One of those moments of clarity that demonstrate HERE IS THE PROBLEM in an unforgettably dramatic fashion occurred last Friday. American troops shot and killed nine Iraqi cops and wounded nine more while the cops were in hot pursuit of some bandits. Our guys mistook their guys for the bad guys. The firefight lasted three hours, with the Iraqi cops screaming, "We're the police!" the whole time. Unfortunately, we didn't have anyone who could understand what they were saying. That's the problem.

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.

Meanwhile, the president, who even sort of looks like Alfred E. Neuman, continues to assure us that he "was ‘elected' to solve problems, not leave them to future presidents and future generations."

Uh, that would sound better if he hadn't just informed us he is borrowing another $87 billion, on top of the $79 billion we have already spent, to continue this famously successful policy that has no flaws and does not need to be changed. As The New York Times observed, those who will be paying off Bush's $87 billion with interest didn't hear his speech because they had already been put to bed by their parents.

If you will recall just three short years ago, this country was a going operation. Eight years of peace, prosperity and the busy, busy Republican scandal machine trying to convince us it was all an illusion.

Since then, we've started two wars, still don't have Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein and have spent millions on people who make us take off our shoes at the airport, and we are still as vulnerable to terrorist attack as ever. The Republican response on that is their favorite ploy, "Blame Bill Clinton," but the record shows that the Clinton administration was a lot more active in going after Al Qaeda than the Bush administration before Sept. 11.

Perhaps you have noticed, the only terrorists we have actually rounded up have all been caught through police operations, often with the cooperation of the Pakistanis, the French, the Spanish, even the Saudis, sometimes. Bombing two countries doesn't seem to have done anything to Al Qaeda except reinforce and reinvigorate it. A connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda at last! They moved in after we got rid of Saddam Hussein.

Meanwhile, the economy is in the toilet; even the optimists who think it will recover are predicting a "jobless recovery." Won't that be nice -- we can certainly look forward to whatever that is. And when we get our "jobless recovery," the government's in the hole for $500 trillion this year and most of the upscale Bush tax cuts haven't even kicked in yet. As we march bravely toward oceans of red ink (leaving behind no problem for future presidents or future generations), we also face a looming crisis in Social Security.

Let me be the first to say -- we shoulda listened to Al Gore. Al Gore was right, oh Lord, he was right. We shoulda put that money into a lockbox for Social Security. We are in a world of trouble now. As Paul Krugman pointed out in a Sunday New York Times magazine article, getting ourselves into a such a dire financial mess that we have to kill off or at least dramatically reduce Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is not just a slight miscalculation on the part of our leaders. They want to undo both the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt.

But I think there is something even worse being taken, being stolen, by this administration. As Jim Hightower observes in his excellent new book, "Thieves in High Places: They've Stolen Our Country and It's Time to Take It Back," what they're really stealing is the very idea of this country, the idea that there's a common good, that we're all in this together, that we all do better when we all do better.

In this country, we have the most extraordinary luck -- we are the heirs to the greatest political legacy any people have ever received. Our government is not THEM, our government is US (with room for improvement, to be sure). All this right-wing propaganda about how the government is The Enemy, the government needs to be strangled, needs to be starved, needs to be hocked off, as though schools and hospitals were horrible things -- it's all nuts.

It's our government, we can still make it do what we want it to when we take the time and put in the energy it takes to work with other people, organize, campaign and vote --we can still make the whole clumsy, money-driven system work for us. And it's high time we did so.

To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at


Wednesday, September 17, 2003


Gene Lyons
September 17, 2003

Bush II: Tragedy or farce? L. Jean Lewis Revisited

History repeats itself, Karl Marx famously observed, first as tragedy, then as farce. Like most Marxist dogma, it won't stand much skeptical scrutiny. Take the Bush administration, for example, tragedy or farce?

Judging by the president's wary expression during his recent speech calling for $87 billion to rebuild Iraq--enough to fund Medicare for two years, or pay the salaries of 1,740,000 teachers, cops or firefighters at $50,000 per annum--Bush himself clearly has no clue. Except that submitting the bill wasn't as cool as swaggering across an aircraft carrier flight deck to pronounce "mission accomplished" in a tailored aviator costume.

Polls show that with budget deficits approaching a record $500 billion, Americans are reeling from sticker shock. Indeed, Bush did such a bad job that Vice-president Dick Cheney emerged from his lair to make what a Los Angeles Times editorial called "sweeping, unproven claims about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism" on "Meet the Press." In another sign opinion is turning, the Washington Post gave front page space to an article demonstrating that much of what Cheney said was either factually false or sheer speculation.

But what really appeared to irk Cheney were suggestions that multibillion dollar, no-bid contracts in Iraq awarded by the Pentagon to his old company, Halliburton, may have had something to do with political influence. After cashing in $30 million worth of Halliburton stock options upon assuming the vice-presidency, Cheney says he has taken no further interest in the corporation's fortunes. He described as "political cheap shots," any suggestions to the contrary. "Nobody has produced one single shred of evidence that there's anything wrong or inappropriate here," he said.

What's more, and this is where the story diverges into sheer slapstick, there's not much chance that Pentagon investigators ever will. Newsweek reports that none other than L. Jean Lewis, the preposterous GOP heroine of congressional Whitewater hearings, has been named chief-of-staff of the Defense Department's inspector general--an agency with 1240 employees and $160 million budget whose task is auditing Pentagon contracts for waste and fraud. It's a $118,000 a year job for a woman who once peddled "Presidential BITCH" t-shirts and coffee mugs mocking Hillary Clinton out of her government office at the now-defunct Resolution Trust Corporation.

Apparently Lucy Ricardo was unavailable for the job. When last seen publicly, Lewis was being half-carried out of a 1995 Senate hearing after fainting when Demo-crats began to question her about a letter by Little Rock's Republican U.S. Attorney Charles Banks refusing to initiate a September 1992 investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton's Whitewater dealings for which she'd presented no credible evidence. "[T]he insistence for urgency in this case," Banks had written "appears to suggest an intentional or unintentional attempt to intervene into the political process of the
upcoming presidential election."

Having prosecuted Jim McDougal's handling of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, Banks knew perfectly well what Kenneth Starr eventually spent six years and $70 million dollars proving: the Clintons were, if anything, the pigeons in McDougal's flim-flams. He added prophetically that media coverage of the kind investigation L.
Jean Lewis was frantically pushing tended to "'legitimize what can't be proven,'" adding that "I cannot be a party to such actions."

Both Banks' letter and Lewis's nationally-televised comic opera swoon, it will be recalled, went unreported in the New York Times and Washington Post, the two newspapers most deeply committed to the bogus scandal she helped them conjure out of thin air. It says a lot about today's Republicans that Banks' principled action in the face of the first Bush White House's covert efforts to convene an "October Surprise" probe of the Democratic nominee probably doomed his chances for a federal judgeship.

Documents showed that Lewis and like-minded RTC colleagues spent thousands of man-hours probing Madison Guaranty, ignoring Arkansas S & L collapses ten and twenty times larger in their futile quest. But if getting Whitewater upside-down disqualified a person from employment, half of official Washington and most of the city's name-brand journalists would be out of work.

Of much greater concern was Lewis's bizarre testimony. Under oath, she swore the "Presidential BITCH" T-shirts signified no political bias, and that she personally didn't mind being called a bitch. Before both House and Senate comittees she denied pressuring Justice Department officials to act before the 1992 election. But FBI agents and prosecutors testified that she'd hounded them repeatedly and made melodramatic statements about "altering history." Contemporaneous documents proved it.

Lewis also secretly recorded conversations with colleagues, misrepresented their contents, then swore that a defective tape-recorder had magically turned itself on. Senate investigators proved she'd actually used a brand new machine, and turned the matter over to Kenneth Starr for investigation. But you know what happened to

So rest easy, taxpayers, L. Jean Lewis is on the job.

-------End of Gene Lyons' great piece---------

Now I don't know about you, good friend, but this totally ignorant bunch of mother-fuckers running that chimper_junta, with glassy-eyed figurehead chimper bush II sitting in Al Gore's chair, needs to be fucking OUT OF THE PEOPLE'S WHITE HOUSE. NOW.

They are all war criminals, thieves; treacherous and treasonous murderers, looters, insane bastards who work for corporations. Run the country like a 'bizness?' You bet. And everyone on the top rapes the country while all of you on the bottom suck scum off the sides of the fish bowl to survive.



Interview with Felicity Arbuthnot US actions in Iraq building a "well of hatred"

By Barbara Slaughter
17 September 2003

Felicity Arbuthnot, a freelance journalist, has visited Iraq nearly 30 times since the first Gulf War in 1991 and visited the country again just prior to the recent war. Since the formal declaration of the end of the war she has been able to speak to some of her many contacts in Iraq. She recently spoke to Barbara Slaughter of the World Socialist Web Site.

Arbuthnot explained how US troops are helping to stoke enormous resentment in the Iraqi people.

“If these young soldiers had been given a crash course on the culture of this place... Iraq has been invaded like so many countries in the region for thousands of years. If they had walked down the streets that they are patrolling, and they had been taught a little bit of Arabic, and they had not gone there with Kuwaiti interpreters or Iraqis who had not been back into the county for 30 years or had been born abroad... This is a huge, huge cultural mistake.”

She explained that on many occasions interpreters have given completely inaccurate translations.

She cited the practice of British and US troops at roadblocks putting up their hand with their palm out. In the Middle East this gesture is a sign of welcome. Arbuthnot explained, “They drive through and they get their heads blown off or their children’s heads blown off like that wretched woman in the south whose baby’s head landed in her lap. How wrong can you get it?”

“Again and again you hear—if only they had knocked we would have let them in,” referring to how American troops are arresting people by breaking into their homes. “They shoot the doors open. They have shot a lot of people who have been standing in their living room. This alone is a disaster because now the security situation is so bad—everybody is so desperate—people don’t have the money to replace anything—they don’t have the money to replace doors, the wood or the nails. If somebody breaks a window they just have to find something to brick it up with.”

Arbuthnot explained the typical approach of troops entering houses: “The first thing they do—even if the man is in his underpants and has been asleep—is they throw him to the ground. They drag him outside in front of his neighbours. This is not just a ritual humiliation—this is culturally something that is beyond us in the West to describe how appalling this is. Then with just the woman or women and children alone in the home, the woman is made to lie down. Hands are run over her and the children and the young girls. This is a humiliation, but you are looking at a region where there are still ritual killings for this sort of humiliation.”

The invasion of someone’s house, tramping over carpets in their boots, is adding to the growing resentment, Arbuthnot pointed out. “You have to remember even when people are not very religious there might be someone who comes into your house who wants to pray on your carpets. You would never go into a Muslim house with your shoes on. They [the US troops] go in with their great big boots on. They march across the carpet. These carpets are not just houseware in a Muslim home, they are sacred. So they march in.”

Arbuthnot explained that the US is, “paying informers large amounts of money. Everybody is desperate so they telling anybody what they want to hear. There are people who are absolutely desperate. They will shop somebody just to feed their kids.”

She noted numerous reports of soldiers looting, often large sums of money kept in homes because of the insecurity of the Iraqi banks. “Time and time again you are hearing about the Americans going in taking the money, the computer, the marriage gold.”

The US Army has reopened prisons and “they appear not to be putting people in the cells, but putting them outside in the boiling sun in cages just like Guantanamo. People are going there as early as five in the morning and they are saying [to the American guards] where is my father, brother, uncle, son, grandfather whatever and they are just told to go away.”

In Iraq the temperatures can be over 150 degrees Fahrenheit and Arbuthnot referred to a recent article in the Jordan Times that reported prisoners were being given low rations of water in spite of the extreme heat.

Arbuthnot recounted reports from friends in Iraq about the behaviour of US helicopters at night. In Iraq in summer many people sleep on the roof because it is the coolest place to be. She said, “the American helicopters come down really low and they fly quite slowly and they look down and they ogle and they do the most terrible thing of all they throw shoes at them.” (In Iraqi culture throwing shoes as someone is an extremely insulting action). Arbuthnot said that by these actions the US Army is building, “a well of hate against them, an absolute well of hate.”

She explained how the infrastructure is in a shattered state and no attempt was being made to restore it. She had visited Iraq shortly after the first Gulf War, in 1992, and after a few months, by cannibalising equipment, the Iraqi authorities were able to organise rationed electricity supply. This contrasts to the current situation where people are being left with no power or irregular supplies. According to Arbuthnot this is a deliberate policy. She had been told that the American tanks have “Peace for Power” written on their sides in Arabic, i.e., power will be restored in return for a cessation of attacks and confrontations by the Iraqis.

Asked what life was like for ordinary Iraqi people and how they were surviving, Arbuthnot explained that virtually everyone had been sacked and women who had gone out to work are now staying at home. Women no longer feel safe on the streets. Reports of rapes and “disappearances” were on the increase. Many children no longer go to school. Children have to rely on male relatives being able to drive them to school, but there are huge shortages of petrol. Drivers might have to queue for 14 to 15 hours to get petrol so getting about by car becomes impossible.

Following the war, patients from psychiatric hospitals and children from orphanages have ended up on the streets. According to Arbuthnot there are reports of these children “selling themselves to American soldiers.” She added social life has come to a standstill. Children are not able to play in the streets for fear of provoking shootings from nervous US troops.

The colonial occupation is trampling over the cultural and historical heritage of a land known as the cradle of civilisation. Following the end of the war the Americans stood back and let the looting of the priceless treasures from the Baghdad museum take place, now it is reported that the ancient Ziggurat structure of one of humanity’s first recorded settlements, Ur, has been sprayed with graffiti.

Arbuthnot refutes the claims that resistance to the US and British occupation comes only from Al Qaeda or remnants of the Baathist regime. Explaining that to 90 percent of Iraqis fundamentalism is an anathema and that Iraq is a very secular state, she said the opposition to what is happening is across the board. The current situation was best summed up by a filmmaker, someone who knows the Middle East very well. On returning from Iraq he had said to her, “The Americans have done one remarkable thing. They have united this entire complex fractious nation in loathing of the Americans.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The Awful Truth about Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate?

FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate?September 16, 2003

Howard Dean does not need a phony "Anti War" candidate crunching his great work. But he could use the guy as a Vice President, if Clark admits his labeling as 'anti-war' is you will see from this great report:

The possibility that former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark might enter the race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination has been the subject of furious speculation in the media. But while recent coverage of Clark often claims that he opposed the war with Iraq, the various opinions he has expressed on the issue suggest the media's "anti-war" label is inaccurate.

Many media accounts state that Clark, who led the 1999 NATO campaign against Yugoslavia, was outspoken in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq. The Boston Globe (9/14/03) noted that Clark is "a former NATO commander who also happens to have opposed the Iraq war." "Face it: The only anti-war candidate America is ever going to elect is one who is a four-star general," wrote Michael Wolff in New York magazine (9/22/03). called Clark a "fervent critic of the war with Iraq" (9/5/03).

To some political reporters, Clark's supposed anti-war stance could spell trouble for some of the other candidates. According to Newsweek's Howard Fineman (9/8/03) Clark "is as anti-war as Dean," suggesting that the general would therefore be a "credible alternative" to a candidate whom "many Democrats" think "would lead to a disaster." A September 15 Associated Press report claimed that Clark "has been critical of the Iraq war and Bush's postwar efforts, positions that would put him alongside announced candidates Howard Dean, Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio as the most vocal anti-war candidates." The Washington Post (9/11/03) reported that Clark and Dean "both opposed the war in Iraq, and both are generating excitement on the Internet and with grass-roots activists."

Hearing Clark talking to CNN's Paula Zahn (7/16/03), it would be understandable to think he was an opponent of the war. "From the beginning, I have had my doubts about this mission, Paula," he said. "And I have shared them previously on CNN." But a review of his statements before, during and after the war reveals that Clark has taken a range of positions-- from expressing doubts about diplomatic and military strategies early on, to celebrating the U.S. "victory" in a column declaring that George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt" (London Times, 4/10/03).

Months before the invasion, Clark's opinion piece in Time magazine (10/14/02) was aptly headlined "Let's Wait to Attack," a counter-argument to another piece headlined "No, Let's Not Waste Any Time." Before the war, Clark was concerned that the U.S. had an insufficient number of troops, a faulty battle strategy and a lack of international support.

As time wore on, Clark's reservations seemed to give way. Clark explained on CNN (1/21/03) that if he had been in charge, "I probably wouldn't have made the moves that got us to this point. But just assuming that we're here at this point, then I think that the president is going to have to move ahead, despite the fact that the allies have reservations." As he later elaborated (CNN, 2/5/03): "The credibility of the United States is on the line, and Saddam Hussein has these weapons and so, you know, we're going to go ahead and do this and the rest of the world's got to get with us.... The U.N. has got to come in and belly up to the bar on this. But the president of the United States has put his credibility on the line, too. And so this is the time that these nations around the world, and the United Nations, are going to have to look at this evidence and decide who they line up with."

On the question of Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, Clark seemed remarkably confident of their existence. Clark told CNN's Miles O'Brien that Saddam Hussein "does have weapons of mass destruction." When O'Brien asked, "And you could say that categorically?" Clark was resolute: "Absolutely" (1/18/03). When CNN's Zahn (4/2/03) asked if he had any doubts about finding the weapons, Clark responded: "I think they will be found. There's so much intelligence on this."

After the fall of Baghdad, any remaining qualms Clark had about the wisdom of the war seemed to evaporate. "Liberation is at hand. Liberation-- the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions," Clark wrote in a London Times column (4/10/03). "Already the scent of victory is in the air." Though he had been critical of Pentagon tactics, Clark was exuberant about the results of "a lean plan, using only about a third of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly made the right call."

Clark made bold predictions about the effect the war would have on the region: "Many Gulf states will hustle to praise their liberation from a sense of insecurity they were previously loath even to express. Egypt and Saudi Arabia will move slightly but perceptibly towards Western standards of human rights." George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt," Clark explained. "Their opponents, those who questioned the necessity or wisdom of the operation, are temporarily silent, but probably unconvinced." The way Clark speaks of the "opponents" having been silenced is instructive, since he presumably does not include himself-- obviously not "temporarily silent"-- in that category. Clark closed the piece with visions of victory celebrations here at home: "Let's have those parades on the Mall and down Constitution Avenue."

In another column the next day (London Times, 4/11/03), Clark summed up the lessons of the war this way: "The campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on? Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact."

Another "plain fact" is this: While political reporters might welcome Clark's entry into the campaign, to label a candidate with such views "anti-war" is to render the term meaningless.
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What do you think? Is Wesley Clark really 'anti-war?' Could he be a good Vice President to, say, Howard Dean? Feel free to email your opinions to me at IWANTTO KNOWWHATYOUTHINK
You may see your letter here please be honest and brief. Expletives allowed!!

Monday, September 15, 2003

"Exploiting the Atrocity" New York Time's Paul Krugman Delivers the Awful Truth.

Exploiting the Atrocity

In my first column after 9/11, I mentioned something everyone with contacts on Capitol Hill already knew: that just days after the event, the exploitation of the atrocity for partisan political gain had already begun.

In response, I received a torrent of outraged mail. At a time when the nation was shocked and terrified, the thought that our leaders might be that cynical was too much to bear. ``How can I say that to my young son?'' asked one furious e-mailer.

I wonder what that correspondent thinks now. Is the public - and the news media - finally prepared to cry foul when cynicism comes wrapped in the flag? America's political future may rest on the answer.

The press has become a lot less shy about pointing out the administration's exploitation of 9/11, partly because that exploitation has become so crushingly obvious. As The Washington Post pointed out yesterday, in the past six weeks President Bush has invoked 9/11 not just to defend Iraq policy and argue for oil drilling in the Arctic, but in response to questions about tax cuts, unemployment, budget deficits and even campaign finance. Meanwhile, the crudity of the administration's recent propaganda efforts, from dressing the president up in a flight suit to orchestrating the ludicrously glamorized TV movie about Mr. Bush on 9/11, have set even supporters' teeth on edge.

And some stunts no longer seem feasible. Maybe it was the pressure of other commitments that kept Mr. Bush from visiting New York yesterday; but one suspects that his aides no longer think of the Big Apple as a politically safe place to visit.

Yet it's almost certainly wrong to think that the political exploitation of 9/11 and, more broadly, the administration's campaign to label critics as unpatriotic are past their peak. It may be harder for the administration to wrap itself in the flag, but it has more incentive to do so now than ever before. Where once the administration was motivated by greed, now it's driven by fear.

In the first months after 9/11, the administration's ruthless exploitation of the atrocity was a choice, not a necessity. The natural instinct of the nation to rally around its leader in times of crisis had pushed Mr. Bush into the polling stratosphere, and his re-election seemed secure. He could have governed as the uniter he claimed to be, and would probably still be wildly popular.

But Mr. Bush's advisers were greedy; they saw 9/11 as an opportunity to get everything they wanted, from another round of tax cuts, to a major weakening of the Clean Air Act, to an invasion of Iraq. And so they wrapped as much as they could in the flag.

Now it has all gone wrong. The deficit is about to go above half a trillion dollars, the economy is still losing jobs, the triumph in Iraq has turned to dust and ashes, and Mr. Bush's poll numbers are at or below their pre-9/11 levels.

Link to Krugman on NYT...

Monday, September 08, 2003

Chimp_Junta, Facing Failure in Iraq, Trots Out Robotic, Glassy-Eyed Figurehead to Keep Moron-Merikens In Lockstep

Desperate over growing debacle: Bush justifies Iraq occupation with lies on "terror"

Faced with the deepening debacle of the US military occupation of Iraq and growing popular opposition at home, President Bush delivered a televised speech to the American people Sunday in which he attempted to justify the continuing slaughter there with claims that are recognized internationally as patent lies.

Timed just four days before the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Bush’s speech started from the deceitful premise that Iraq was somehow responsible for the tragic events in New York City and Washington that day.

“Nearly two years ago, following deadly attacks on our country, we began a systematic campaign against terrorism,” Bush began, asserting that first the war in Afghanistan and then the invasion of Iraq were carried out in retaliation for September 11.

“We acted in Iraq,” Bush said, “where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council. Our coalition enforced these international demands in one of the swiftest and most humane military campaigns in history.”

Bush’s speech followed the release last week of a poll indicating that nearly 70 percent of the American public believes that Iraq was somehow responsible for attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, despite the fact that not a single Iraqi was among the 19 people identified as the airplane hijackers and the acknowledgement by administration officials themselves that there is no evidence tying the regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks.

The public misconception is the product of an extraordinary level of complicity between the Bush administration and the media to distort reality, conceal information and terrorize the public into supporting a war of aggression.

It is significant that this lie is recycled for public consumption in the United States on the very weekend that the press in Europe and elsewhere around the globe has taken note of a comprehensive article by a former leading cabinet minister in the British government (see: British official charges US “stood down” on 9/11) charging that the Bush administration allowed the September 11 attacks to take place in order to create a pretext for launching longstanding plans to conquer Iraq and lay hold of its oil wealth.

Bush’s resurrection of the false claim that Iraq was responsible for September 11 is a measure of his administration’s desperation as the other main lie floated to justify the war—that US intervention was required to eliminate dangerous stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction—has been totally discredited. Having scoured the country for five months, the US military has found not a trace of the tens of thousands of liters of deadly chemical and biological weapons materials that Washington claimed were in Iraq in the months leading up to the invasion.

Meanwhile, the other claims made by the White House and the Pentagon—that Iraqis would welcome US troops as liberators and that Iraqi oil would finance the occupation as well as lucrative contracts for US corporations to reconstruct the war-ravaged country—have proven equally false.

Mounting US casualties

US soldiers are dying on a daily basis in ambushes and attacks that those on the ground in Iraq attribute to a growing resistance movement that enjoys broad popular support. The inability of 130,000 US troops to maintain even a semblance of security has been brought painfully home by a series of four deadly car bombings that have sent the United Nations and other international agencies fleeing the country and caused the country’s majority Shiite community to demand the end of the foreign occupation and the deployment of its own armed militias.

Oil production, subjected to continuous sabotage attacks, is at less than half the pre-war level and is projected by optimistic US administrators to reach that level—only a fraction of what Iraq’s oil fields are capable of producing—only after another year.

Bush described those resisting US occupation as a “collection of killers” and “terrorists” whose attacks are directed against “decency, freedom and progress.”

“They want us to leave Iraq before our work is done,” he said. “They want to shake the will of the civilized world.”

This remark—perhaps the only true statement in the speech—serves as an apt description of every movement of oppressed peoples to throw off the domination of the colonizers and oppressors of the “civilized world.” The “work” that the Bush administration set out to do in Iraq is plunder. Its aim was to use overwhelming military force to conquer the country, seize control of its oil fields and turn it into an American-controlled protectorate.


Must Read. Definitive PROOF that US Forces were Ordered to "STAND DOWN" and allow 9/11. The Story American Media Deliberately Hides from YOU because-->YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH<-- Or Can you?
Meacher: terrorism a pretext for conquest British official charges US "stood down" on 9/11

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Bush_junta Attorney General Speaks (in 1997) with Disdain about "BIG BROTHER" during Clinton Administration: A Study In Hypocrisy and Abuse of Power


By Defeated Ex-Senator John Asscrack

Republican, Missouri
Former Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce and Tourism (before being beaten in his reelection bid by an amazing American, Governor Carnahan, after Carnahan DIED in an unresolved small aircraft crash...Asscraft was retired to the sidelines while Jean Carnahan took the Senate seat after her husband won election...weeks after his death. The people of Missouri knew what a stinking bastard Asscrack is)

[Asscrack takes issue with Clinton administration views on the Internet
and the use of encryption technology.]

The Internet provides a great opportunity to our country, in part by representing the most inviting form of communication ever developed. It draws people together from all corners of the globe to share and communicate on an unprecedented level, and brings all branches of government closer to the public that they serve.

The Internet allows small businesses to reach out across the globe and conquer the distances between them and potential customers. Individuals can view merchandise and make purchases without leaving home. The Internet also holds great promise for education. Students -- rural, suburban, and urban -- are increasingly able to access a wealth of information with their fingertips that was previously beyond their reach.

In order to guarantee that the United States meets the challenge of this new means of commerce, communication, and education, government must be careful not to interfere. We should not harness the Internet with a confusing array of intrusive regulations and controls. Yet, the Clinton administration is trying to do just that.

The Clinton administration would like the Federal government to have the capability to read any international or domestic computer communications. The FBI wants access to decode, digest, and discuss financial transactions, personal e-mail, and proprietary information sent abroad -- all in the name of national security. To accomplish this, President Clinton would like government agencies to have the keys for decoding all exported U.S. software and Internet communications.

(Same thing the lying, hypocritical son of a bush wants to do to us now!!)

This proposed policy raises obvious concerns about Americans' privacy, in addition to tampering with the competitive advantage that our U.S. software companies currently enjoy in the field of encryption technology. Not only would Big Brother be looming over the shoulders of international cyber-surfers, but the administration threatens to render our state-of-the-art computer software engineers obsolete and unemployed.

There is a concern that the Internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity. However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?

The protections of the Fourth Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right. The state's interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens' Bill of Rights.

The president has proposed that American software companies supply the government with decryption keys to high level encryption programs. Yet, European software producers are free to produce computer encryption codes of all levels of security without providing keys to any government authority. Purchasers of encryption software value security above all else. These buyers will ultimately choose airtight encryption programs that will not be American-made programs to which the U.S. government maintains keys.

In spite of this truism, the president is attempting to foist his rigid policy on the exceptionally fluid and fast-paced computer industry. Furthermore, recent developments in decryption technology bring into question the dynamic of government meddling in this industry. Three months ago, the 56-bit algorithm government standard encryption code that protects most U.S. electronic financial transactions from ATM cards to wire transfers was broken by a low-powered 90 MHZ Pentium processor.

In 1977, when this code was first approved by the U.S. government as a standard, it was deemed unbreakable. And for good reason. There are 72 quadrillion (72,000 trillion) different combinations in a 56-bit code. However, with today's technology these 72 quadrillion combinations can each be tried in a matter of time.

Two days after this encryption code was broken, a majority of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee voted, in accordance with administration policy, to force American software companies to perpetuate this already compromised 56-bit encryption system. In spite of the fact that 128-bit encryption software from European firms is available on Web sites accessible to every Internet user. Interestingly, European firms can import this super-secure encryption technology (originally developed by Americans) to the United States, but U.S. companies are forbidden by law from exporting these same programs to other countries.

I believe that moving forward with the president's policy or the Commerce Committee's bill would be an act of folly, creating a cadre of government "peeping toms" and causing severe damage to our vibrant software industries. Government would be caught in a perpetual game of catch-up with whiz-kid code-breakers and industry advances. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has signaled his objection to both proposals.

The leader and I would like to work to bring solid encryption legislation to the Senate floor. Any proposal should give U.S. encryption software manufacturers the freedom to compete on equal footing in the international marketplace, by providing the industry with a quasi-governmental board that would decide encryption bit strength based on the level of international technological development.

U.S. companies are on the front line of on-line technologies -- value-added industries of the future. Consider this: Every eighteen months, the processing capability of a computer doubles. The speed with which today's fastest computers calculate will be slug-like before the next millennium or the next presidential election comes along. The best policy for encryption technology is one that can rapidly react to breakthroughs in decoding capability and roll back encryption limits as needed.

The administration's interest in all e-mail is a wholly unhealthy precedent, especially given this administration's track record on FBI files and IRS snooping. Every medium by which people communicate can be subject to exploitation by those with illegal intentions. Nevertheless, this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records, read our medical records, or translate our international communications.

Additionally, the full potential of the Internet will never be realized without a system that fairly protects the interests of those who use the Internet for their businesses, own copyrighted material, deliver that material via the Internet, or individual users. The implications here are far-reaching, with impacts that touch individual users, companies, libraries, universities, teachers, and students.

(So let's get this right. This fucker was down on privacy impacts on libraries, bookstores, ATM and medical records, reading or translating our email when he was the Senator from Missouri, but now, as Bush's AG, everything in his deep conviction has changed. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They all must be impeached. They are all criminals...aj)

In December 1996, two treaties were adopted by the diplomatic conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to update international copyright law. These treaties would extend international copyright law into the digital environment, including the Internet. However, these treaties do not provide a comprehensive response to the many copyright issues raised by the flourishing of the Internet and the promise of digital technology. We must work to keep the scales of copyright law balanced, providing important protections to creators of content, while ensuring their widespread distribution. In an attempt to meet these goals, I introduced the Digital Copyright Clarification and Technology Education Act of 1997.

Equally important, we must begin a process that is structured to balance the rights of copyright owners with the needs and technological limitations of those who enable the distribution of the electronic information, and with the rights and needs of individual end users. The current treaties and statements are not sufficient, and include some language that could create legal uncertainty. This vague language could lead to laws that ignore technical realities. The language must be clarified through the enactment of legislation in conjunction with the Senate's ratification of the treaties.

Another issue that could prevent the Internet from reaching its potential is taxation. If we tax the Internet prematurely or allow discriminatory taxing, we may stifle a burgeoning technological development that holds much commercial, social, and educational promise for all Americans. Taxation should be considered only after we have fully examined and understood the impact that unequivocal taxation would have on this new means of commerce. The Internet Tax Freedom Act would allow for full consideration of the opportunities and possible abuses by placing a moratorium on further taxation of online commerce and technologically discriminatory taxes. It is important to note that S. 442 will allow states and local jurisdictions to continue to collect any tax already levied on electronic commerce.

On-line communications technology is akin to the Wild West of the 19th century. To best settle this new frontier, we should unleash American know-how and ingenuity. The government's police-state policy on encryption is creating hindrances and hurdles that will eventually injure our ability to compete internationally. Government's role should be to break down barriers, to allow everyone to excel to their highest and best.

Global Issues
USIA Electronic Journal, Vol. 2, No. 4, October 1997

In case you missed the point here, it was BAD for the Clinton administration, the finest duly-elected president in the last 50 years, but these INVASIONS, and the-- MISNAMED PATRIOT ACT-- are OK for the unelected frauds in the chimper_junta? Would YOU really want any of these ignorant mother-fuckers looking over YOUR shoulder?

I don't think so. I can even smell Asscrack's breath from 1000 miles away. I can see his ugly face peering back from the computer. And if you can't see him doing it to you, guess what? You're just not looking hard enough at your computer screen. The mother fucker is there...and I piss in his eye and kick him in the balls right here and now. Fuck you, Asscrack, and the whore you rode up on.