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Hot Spot! US 'War on Terrorism'
Pages 1 2 3
Supplement to Sept. 11 Links
- The U.S. Government Wanted ‘To Make An Example Out of Me’: Young Webmaster Heads to Prison for Political Website
Amy Goodman and staff (Sept. 3, 2003) Democracy Now
Sherman Austin heads to jail today for a one-year term. He was charged with “distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction” after someone posted bomb-making information on his political website, raisethefist.com. Once he is is released he is banned from associating with anyone who wants to change U.S. government ‘in any way.’
- Foreign Policy Lies Lead to War
Editorial (July 25, 2003) via email
President Johnson's lies to the American people
about the Gulf of Tonkin contributed to the
devastating decisions to escalate a U.S. war in
Vietnam that cost 57,000 U.S. troop deaths and
upwards of three million Vietnamese deaths.
Forty years later, George W. Bush and his
key aides put together a package of lies about Iraq-
imports of uranium from Niger, purchases of
aluminum rods which supposedly could be used for
constructing nuclear weapons, development of
biological and chemical weapons, and connections
between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
- Final Report: Congressional Joint Inquiry into Sept. 11
Download (July 24, 2003) GPO
In February 2002, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence agreed to conduct a Joint Inquiry into the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community in connection with the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our nation on September 11, 2001. This report (available as both S. Rept. 107-351 and H. Rept. 107-792) consists of 832 pages that presents the joint inquiry’s findings and conclusions, an accompanying narrative, and a series of recommendations.
- Wrestling for the Truth of 9/11
Editorial (July 9, 2003) NYTimes via Truthout
The Bush administration, long allergic to the idea of investigating the government's failure to prevent the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is now doing its best to bury the national commission that was created to review Washington's conduct. That was made plain yesterday in a muted way by Thomas Kean, the former New Jersey governor, and Lee Hamilton, the former congressman, who are directing the inquiry. When these seasoned, mild-mannered men start complaining that the administration is trying to intimidate the commission, the country had better take notice.
- 'No-Fly' List Risk: With Databases Everywhere, the U.S. Government May Be Turning Into Big Brother
Jayashri Srikantiah (July 1, 2003) ACLU of Northern CA
Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams are long-time peace activists who live and work in San Francisco. When they went to San Francisco International Airport last year to take a flight to Boston, they were told by an airline agent that their names may be on a secret federal "no fly" list. They were briefly detained, questioned and only allowed to fly when San Francisco Police officers cleared them after checking their names against a master FBI list....
In order to obtain more information about the "no fly" list and other transportation watch lists, Adams, Gordon and the American Civil Liberties Union filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act with the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI last December. Because neither agency responded with any information, these parties filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under the freedom and privacy acts on April 22, 2003. Without even basic information about the list, there is no way for the public to hold their government accountable as to whether the resources that law enforcement is expending on stopping and questioning air passengers are resources well spent.
- Dazed and Confused
Mickey Huff (May 2, 2003) AlterNet
"The pillar of support for war on Iraq and also the abuse of our civil rights is the forty percent of the public that do not perceive that Bush, Rumsfeld, Powell and their advisors have used the media in an extensive disinformation campaign – including claims of an Iraqi threat from weapons of mass destruction and connections to the 9-11 terrorists," asserts Dr. Marc Sapir, Retro Poll's director. "Thus, support for war is related to the mass media's failure to challenge the government's self-serving persistent disinformation campaign about threats to our security."
- Prof Investigated for Attending Cuba Conference
Kristin Waters (Apr. 25, 2003) via email
In the past few weeks I've been following this story closely,
because as soon as i heard about the arrests of the "dissidents", I knew
there was more to the story. then, last week, I received notice from the
Treasury Dept that I was being investigated for my travel to Cuba in 2001.
I traveled then under a general license to a conference sponsored by the
Women's Studies Department of the University of Havana to a very productive
gathering. Now I'm being investigated. they asked me to name names, both
of cuban sponsors and of American fellow-travellers. I did neither and
instead wrote a terse response giving them a minimum of information. I
thought you might like to know what else is happening on this side.
- Bush-Hitler Remark Sinks Movie Exec
Ron Wynn (Apr. 14, 2003) Nashville City Paper via Truthout
CBS demonstrated incredible corporate timidity April 6 when it chose to fire the executive producer of a controversial miniseries. According to both The Hollywood Reporter and the Web site Zap2it, the network canned Ed Gernon for telling TV Guide that a May launch date was perfect for the upcoming four-hour miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil since the climate in Germany during Hitler's rise to power mirrored the current prevailing attitude in the United States regarding the Iraq war.
- Police Attack California Anti-War Protesters
Martha Mendoza (Apr. 7, 2003) AP via Common Dreams
Police open fired Monday morning with non-lethal bullets at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland, injuring several longshoremen standing nearby.
- Arias: Palm Beach audience lacked 'tolerance'
Nirvi Shah (Apr. 3, 2003) Palm Beach Post
"It seems to me that the United States government has overstepped its bounds and squandered whatever goodwill and solidarity it received from the international community in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," Arias said in his speech. "If the United States continues to subscribe to the notion that 'might is right,' rather than 'right is might,' it could easily transform itself from the hero of the 20th century to the villain of the 21st."
- Teachers placed on leave over war posters
AP (Apr. 1, 2003) CNN
Two high school teachers said Tuesday they have been placed on leave for refusing to remove war-related student artwork posted in their classrooms.
- Statement at First Public Hearing
Mindy Kleinberg (Mar. 31, 2003) Commission on Terrorist Attacks
With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: they were lucky over and over again. Allow me to illustrate.
- The Loneliness Of America
Vir Sanghvi (Mar. 29, 2003) Hindustan Times via Rense
That horrible tragedy [of Sept. 11] gave America an opportunity to do two things. It had a chance to take on the menace of global terrorism and to hunt down the Osama bin Ladens of the world. And it also had an opportunity to finally confront global anti-Americanism and dispel the anger and hatred that many people felt towards America.
Under George W, it has blown both chances. Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living in Pakistan. The world's Muslims hate America even more than they did before 9/11. But this is the really spectacular bit - even those of us who rallied to America's side in the horrible aftermath of 9/11 have been alienated and distanced.
- Scientists Warn on Bush Bioweapons Push
Paul Elias (Mar. 28, 2003) AP via Yahoo
A Bush administration program to add at least three bioweapons labs is troubling many scientists and arms control experts, who say it can't be good to train more microbiologists in the black art of bioterror....
At least six universities and the New York State Department of Health are competing for contracts to build one or two labs, where scientists can infect research monkeys and other animals with such lethal agents as the Ebola, Marburg and Lassa viruses. Those African hemorrhagic diseases are often fatal and always painful, marked by severe bleeding.
- Student poets victimised for anti-war stance
(Mar. 26, 2003) Green Left Weekly
On March 17, the day of US President George Bush's televised announcement of the imminent US military attack on Iraq, Green Left Weekly writer Bill Nevins was suspended from his teaching job at Rio Rancho New Mexico public high school. The student Poetry Slam Team/Write Club, which Nevins organises and sponsors, was also barred from performing their outspoken words in public. [see poem at link above]
- Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War: Cheney's Former Company Profits from Supporting Troops
Pratap Chatterjee (Mar. 20, 2003) CorpWatch
As the first bombs rain down on Baghdad, CorpWatch has learned that thousands of employees of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, are working alongside US troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. According to US Army sources, they are building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the "war on terrorism."
- When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
Thom Hartmann (Mar. 16, 2003) Common Dreams
It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)
- Red alert? Stay home, await word
Tom Baldwin (Mar. 16, 2003) Gannett NJ, via IndyMedia
A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate.
- Man arrested for 'peace' T-shirt
Reuters (Mar. 4, 2003) CNN
A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.
- Just One Voice In Her Defense
Jimmy Breslin (Feb. 25, 2003) Newsday
It wound up yesterday that Harrison's was the only voice of all the people with Irish names in the city to protest the deportation on Friday night of Bernadette Devlin. People with Irish names today think criticism is criminal, protest is subversive.
- Rumsfeld Was On ABB Board During Nuclear Deal with North Korea
Jacob Greber (Feb. 21, 2003) swissinfo via truthout
The Swiss-based ABB on Friday told swissinfo that [US Secty of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld was involved with the company in early 2000, when it netted a $200 million (SFr270million) contract with Pyongyang.
The ABB contract was to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power stations at Kumho, on North Korea's east coast.
- Audio: The Logic of Covert Motives in the Bush Administration
Norman Mailer (Feb. 20, 2003) Commonwealth Club
It is probably true that at the beginning of the push of the present administration to go to war the connections between Sadaam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were minimal....
- Al-Arian Arrested
Rachel La Corte (Feb. 20, 2003) AP
Television reports showed Sami Al-Arian being led in handcuffs to FBI headquarters in Tampa after the arrest. His indictment is sealed until a court hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
- Presidents, Potentates, and Ring Wraiths: Is the Bush Clan Strung Out On Power?
Thomas Pangborn (Feb. 15, 2003) NVUSA
The ring myths of northern Europe, although fascinating, do not seem to be found in many other cultures. These foreboding tales are mainly found in Europe, where they seem to be the most useful. In Tolkien's famous trilogy about the ring myth, Lord of the Rings, (now three major motion pictures!) the author sets forth a modernized, amalgamation of various ring myths, plus a few wonderful ideas of his own, interwoven with myths from elsewhere about good and evil. The result is a story that delivers a message for our time: absolute power corrupts absolutely....
A motion has been drafted to impeach President Bush, and although it was presented by Ramsey Clark, not a viable candidate for President himself, nevertheless, it is no joke. Such a motion is the equivalent of a drunk driving arrest, which is usually the first form of 'help' most addicts get. They get locked up where they can’t drink or drug, or they simply are immobilized. The President has been driving the country towards war in a reckless manner. Shouldn't we make him walk the straight line and take the political breathalizer test? Shouldn’t the keys to the Oval Office be taken from him? Shouldn’t he be locked up until he can think over and recognize the errors of his ways.
- The American Way of Torture
Nat Hentoff (Jan. 31, 2002) Village Voice
I have been collecting fragments of press reports of torture by American intelligence agencies over the past year, but the Washington Post story was the first extensive, detailed account of what is going on at CIA facilities in the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
- Bio-Warfare and Terrorism
Francis A. Boyle (Winter 2003) Synthesis/Regeneration 30
While this fight was going on, the Reagan administration authorized at least 40 shipments of weapon-specific biological agents to Iraq from the American Type Culture Collection, which is a large scientific institute. The Collection cultures every known type of disease for scientific purposes. It was clear that the Reagan administration was shipping all of these materials to Iraq knowing full well that Iraq was going to develop biological weapons and use them against Iran....
Finally we have the recent anthrax attacks in the United States. It was not clear what was going on until the New York Times published the details of the technology behind the Daschle letter. The technology behind this and following letters was very sophisticated. These anthrax samples had a trillion spores per gram. That is super weapons-grade.
There was also a special treatment to eliminate electrostatic charges so the spores would float in the air. One must have special equipment for this treatment. The only people who would have the capability to do this are individuals who are either currently employed by the Department of Defense or the CIA doing biological warfare work, or people who had been employed in that capacity. One would probably need access to one of the government’s biological warfare labs and there are only a handful of these labs in the country.
- 'Kick His Ass And Get The Gas': Interview
Noam Chomsky (Dec. 24, 2002) OutlookIndia
The only thing I'd like to add that these people did not declare a war on terror on September 11. They declared it 20 years earlier. The same people who are now running the Washington came in with the Reagan administration. Their first act was to declare a war on terror. They said a war on terror would be the focus of US foreign policy primarily in Central America and in Middle East. Every one of them is now back in the office.
- Zero Tolerance - Racial Harassment in School Worsens
Jennifer Emiko Boyden (Dec. 20, 2002) Color Lines via NCMOnline
Racial profiling and zero tolerance in public schools took on new meanings and intensity after Sept. 11. But what didn’t change is the failure of school officials to respond appropriately....
The Attorney General of California recently reported that the number of anti-Islamic hate crime victims in the state rose from five in 2000 to 87 in 2001. "Anti-other ethnicity/national origin" hate crimes, which include those directed at Arabs and Middle Easterners, increased from 99 in 2000 to 501 in 2001....
- Mass LA Muslim arrests condemned
News Report (Dec. 20, 2002) BBC
A coalition of nine civil liberties groups called it a "flawed and misguided" scheme which has "damaged America's global image".
Immigration lawyers say at least 500 men - mainly Iranians - were arrested in and around Los Angeles after they complied with an order to register with the authorities by 16 December....
- KPFA Flashpoints Interview with Attorney [Real Audio]
Program Summary (Dec. 20, 2002) Flashpoints.Net
32:22 Dennis: families all over the country protesting the arrest of hundreds of Iranian and other Muslim men trying to register with the INS.. happening in SF too.. now w Nancy Horashe (sp?), of the National Lawyers Guild.. Nancy: 10-12 people arrested here in the Bay Area.. reported for special registration on Monday.. then detained.. kept in custody in SF until Wednesday.. transported from Bay Area jails, put on military planes in Oakland.. handcuffed, chained together, treated like criminals.. flown to Arizona desert military airport.. taken off the plane, driven to a detention facility in Florence, Arizona.. the next day, federal marshalls came back for them.. they're put back on the plane, flown to Colorado.. spent some time on the ground, more prisoners loaded.. plane took off, landed again in Oakland.. loaded more prisoners, then flew to Bakersfield, more prisoners, then finally flew to San Diego.. a 36 hour odyssey.. these are not criminals.. people with minor visa violations.. normally they would be bonded out.. from San Diego, a client called me collect, reported that the treatment there is really vicious.. verbally assaulted, called derogatory names, racial slurs, constantly harrassed.. made to stand facing a wall, unable to see their tormentors.. my clients are all Iranians.. insulted for being Iranian, told they deserve the treatment they've been getting 'because they are Iranian'.. the reason they were taken from SF: we had bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.. the INS quickly put these men on a plane before the hearings could take place.. the men thought they were complying with the law, the families can't understand this turn of events.. the client who called me from San Diego.. a very peaceful man.. no criminal background at all.. dragged around.. will spend the holidays in jail.. he's a Canadian citizen, has been working here legally, paying his taxes.. no safeguards in place..
- ACLU Calls Immigrant Registration Program Pretext for Mass Detentions
Press Release (Dec. 19, 2002) ACLU via IndyMedia
In a development that confirms the American Civil Liberties Union’s initial fears about a controversial immigrant fingerprinting and registration program, the Immigration and Naturalization Service is apparently using the program as a pretext for the mass detention of hundreds of Middle Eastern and Muslim men and boys.
- Office-by-Office Summary of How INS Is Handling Call-In Special Registration (Updated 12/20/02)
Summary (Dec. 20, 2002) AILA
Des Moines, IA: Swedish citizen born in Lebanon (family members are all Swedish) was told he did not need to register. Given form to show he attempted to register.
- L.A. Roundup - Stop This Assault on Democracy
Shadi Rahimi (Dec. 20, 2002) PNS via NCMOnline
What we really should be asking is: How has U.S. democracy regressed to a point in time when the American people have no say in any policy or action the government chooses to take?
- Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif.
Jill Serjeant (Dec. 18, 2002) Reuters via Truthout
Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars.
Shocked and frustrated Islamic and immigrant groups estimate that more than 500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles, neighboring Orange County and San Diego in the past three days under a new nationwide anti-terrorism program. Some unconfirmed reports put the figure as high as 1,000.
The arrests sparked a demonstration by hundreds of Iranians outside a Los Angeles immigration office. The protesters carried banners saying "What's next? Concentration camps?" and "What happened to liberty and justice?."...
- LINE UP FOR INTERNMENT CAMPS
Reg (Dec. 19, 2002) ORead Daily
Many of those arrested, according to their lawyers, had already
applied for green cards and, in some instances, had interviews
scheduled in the near future. Although they had overstayed their
visas, attorneys argue, their clients had already taken steps to
remedy the situation and were following the regulations
closely. "These are the people who've voluntarily gone" to the INS,
said Mike S. Manesh of the Iranian American Lawyers Assn. "If they
had anything to do with terrorism, they wouldn't have gone." Another
attorney, who said he saw a 16-year-old pulled from the arms of his
crying mother, called it madness to believe that the registration
requirements would catch terrorists. "His mother is 6 1/2 months
pregnant. They told the mother he is never going to come home ? she
is losing her mind," said attorney Soheila Jonoubi, who spent
Wednesday amid the chaos of the downtown INS office attempting to
determine the status of her clients. Jonoubi said that the mother
has permanent residence status and that her husband, the boy's
stepfather, is a U.S. citizen. The teenager came to the country in
July on a student visa and was on track to gain permanent residence,
the lawyer said. In additions, to Muslims many Iranian Jews who had
immigrated to Los Angeles were also being detained.
- Statement of the American Immigration Lawyers Association In Opposition to Special Registration
Press Release (Dec. 16, 2002) AILA
To make matters worse, the registration process is being wrongly applied. Instead of identifying terrorists, the INS in some local offices is using the special registration procedure to identify and detain people who are on the path to permanent residence, but are "out of status" -- sometimes through no fault of their own. It makes no sense from security or resource perspectives to target people who eventually will be granted lawful status because they have applications pending for lawful permanent status, have been issued employment authorization documents, or otherwise are eligible for lawful status.
- Top-secret Iraq Report Reveals U.S. Corporations, Gov't Agencies and Nuclear Labs Helped Illegally Arm Iraq
Program Summary (Dec. 18, 2002) Democracy Now
Hewlett Packard, Dupont, Honeywell and other major U.S. corporations, as well as governmental agencies including the Department of Defense and thenation’s nuclear labs, all illegally helped Iraq to build its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
- Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction
Pres. Bush (Dec. 10, 2002) National Security Strategy
The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.
- Global Gloom and Growing Anti-Americanism
What the World Thinks in 2002 (Dec. 4, 2002) Pew Research Center
Despite an initial outpouring of public sympathy for America following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, discontent with the United States has grown around the world over the past two years. Images of the U.S. have been tarnished in all types of nations: among longtime NATO allies, in developing countries, in Eastern Europe and, most dramatically, in Muslim societies.
Since 2000, favorability ratings for the U.S. have fallen in 19 of the 27 countries where trend benchmarks are available. While criticism of America is on the rise, however, a reserve of goodwill toward the United States still remains. The Pew Global Attitudes survey finds that the U.S. and its citizens continue to be rated positively by majorities in 35 of the 42 countries in which the question was asked. True dislike, if not hatred, of America is concentrated in the Muslim nations of the Middle East and in Central Asia, today’s areas of greatest conflict.
- Hey, Lucky Duckies!
Paul Krugman (Dec. 3, 2002) NYTimes
Carping critics of the conservative movement have been known to say that its economic program consists of little more than tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts. I may even have said that myself. If so, I apologize. Emboldened by the midterm election, key conservative ideologues have now declared their support for tax increases — but only for people with low incomes....
What do we learn from this catalog of cruelties? We learn that "compassionate conservatism" and "leave no child behind" were empty slogans — but while this may have come as a surprise to the faith-based John J. DiIulio, some of us thought it was obvious all along. More important, we learn how relentless and extremist today's conservative movement really is.
Some people — moderate Republicans who aren't ready to admit what has happened to their party, and Democrats who think their party can appease the right by making its own promises of smaller government — still don't get it. They imagine that at some point the right will decide that it has gotten what it wants.
But the right's ambitions have no limits, and nothing moderates can offer will appease it. Eventually the public, which actually benefits from most of the programs the right is determined to abolish, will figure that out. But how fast voters figure it out depends a lot on whether moderate politicians clearly articulate the issues, or try to escape detection by sounding like conservatives.
- 9/11 FAMILIES PROTEST SELECTION OF HENRY KISSINGER TO HEAD SEPT. 11 INVESTIGATION: CONCERNS RISE OVER FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE'S TIES TO SAUDI ARABIA, WE TALK WITH INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER SEYMOUR HERSH
Amy Goodman (Dec. 2, 2002) Democracy Now
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said yesterday he will sever ties with any of his global clients if they present conflicts of interest in the September 11 investigation. President Bush last week appointed Kissinger to lead an "independent" investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks.
Kissinger is the founder and chairman of the consulting firm Kissinger Associates Inc. He has represented some of the world's most powerful multinational corporations, including many with interests in US foreign policy. The Bush administration has not asked Kissinger to disclose the names of his clients, but they are believed to include ExxonMobil, Arco, American Express and Coca-Cola.
- Censorship By Other Means: The Witch-Hunting of a Professor
Gilles d'Aymery (Dec. 2, 2002) Swans
Fear for one's job, fear for one's liberty, fear for one's life... Is this the direction in which we are heading?
- Domestic Spying Pressed Big-City Police Seek to Ease Limits Imposed After Abuses Decades Ago
Michael Powell (Nov. 29, 2002) Washington Post via Portside
Arguing that this city faces a far more
perilous world than once imagined, New York's police
commissioner wants to toss aside a decades-old federal
court decree governing the limits on police spying and
surveillance of its own citizenry.
City officials argue that officers need more elbow room
to photograph, tape and infiltrate political and social
organizations to uproot terror networks. But civil
libertarians warn of a return to the unsavory days of
old, when New York's police department acquired a
reputation for police "black bag" break-ins and spying
on political dissidents.
It's a battle with echoes in other cities. In Chicago,
officials have already weakened a court decree limiting
police spying. In San Francisco, officials have
reversed their own 1997 decision and have now joined an
FBI terrorism task force, even though FBI surveillance
of mosques and peaceful protests could violate the
Taken together, these steps suggest a cultural and
legal shift driven by fear of terrorism in cities where
a civil libertarian impulse once was widely shared.
Nowhere is that more noticeable than here.
- State Budget Outlook Remains Bleak
Press Release (Nov. 25, 2002) National Governors Association
Saying states face the most dire fiscal situation since World War II, the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers released a report today that concludes many states have exhausted budget cuts and drawing down rainy-day funds and that the most difficult decisions still lay ahead.
- The Military's New War of Words
William M. Arkin (Nov. 25, 2002) LA Times
Both the Air Force and the Navy now list deception as one of five missions for information warfare, along with electronic attack, electronic protection, psychological . attacks and public affairs. A September draft of a new Air Force policy describes information warfare's goals as "destruction, degradation, denial, disruption, deceit, and exploitation." These goals are referred to collectively as "D5E."...
The potential for mischief is magnified by the fact that so much of what the U.S. military does these days falls into the category of covert operations. Americans are now operating out of secret bases in places like Uzbekistan and the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq; Special Forces units are said to be inside western Iraq as well. In the meantime, the armed forces are making use of facilities in the Arab states along the Persian Gulf....
And when the information that military officers provide to the public is part of a process that generates propaganda and places a high value on deceit, deception and denial, then truth is indeed likely to be high on the casualty list....
- FBI Focus on Iraqi Professor Sparks a Protest at UMass
Eric Goldscheider and Jenna Russell (Nov. 24, 2002) Boston Globe
When professor M.J. Alhabeeb received a call from police in
his office at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst last month, his
first thought was that someone in his family had been in an accident.
A few minutes later, an FBI agent and a campus police officer were at
his door, acting on a tip that the Iraqi-born professor held
anti-American views. The joint interview by FBI and UMass officers
lasted only a few minutes, and was by all accounts polite. But it has
outraged many professors, who say the university's participation in
the investigation violated academic freedom and could have a
''chilling effect'' on the free exchange of ideas on campus.
- Waiting on a Countervailing Force
Edward Said (Nov. 24, 2002) Al Ahram via ZNet
Certainly Europe generally and Britain in particular
have a much larger and more demographically significant
Muslim population, whose views are part of the debate
about war in the Middle East and against terrorism. So
discussion of the upcoming war against Iraq tends to
reflect their opinions and their reservations a great
deal more than in America , where Muslims and Arabs are
already considered to be on the "other side", whatever
that may mean. And being on the other side means no
less than supporting Saddam Hussein and being
"un-American". Both of these ideas are abhorrent to
Arab and Muslim-Americans, but the idea that to be an
Arab or Muslim means blind support of Saddam and
Al-Qa'eda persists nonetheless. (Incidentally, I know
no other country where the adjective "un" is used with
the nationality as a way of designating the common
enemy. No one says unSpanish or unChinese: these are
uniquely American confections that claim to prove that
we all "love" our country. How can one actually "love"
something so abstract and imponderable as a country
It is the coincidence between the Christian Right and
the so-called neo-conservatives in America that fuel
the drive towards unilateralism, bullying, and a sense
of divine mission. The neo-conservative movement began
in the 70s as an anti-communist formation whose
ideology was undying enmity to communism and American
supremacy. "American values", now so casually trotted
out as a phrase to hector the world, was invented then
by people like Irving Kristoll, Norman Podhoretz, Midge
Decter, and others who had once been Marxists and had
converted completely (and religiously) to the other
side. For all of them the unquestioning defense of
Israel as a bulwark of Western democracy and
civilisation against Islam and communism was a central
article of faith. Many though not all the major
neo-cons (as they are called) are Jewish, but under the
Bush presidency they have welcomed the extra support of
the Christian Right which, while it is rabidly
pro-Israel, is also deeply anti-Semitic (ie these
Christians -- many of them Southern Baptists -- believe
that all the Jews of the world must gather in Israel so
that the Messiah can come again; those Jews who convert
to Christianity will be saved, the rest will be doomed
to eternal perdition).
- IMPRISONED PALESTINIAN ACTIVIST CALLS IN FROM A NEW JERSEY DETENTION CENTER AND DEBATES AN INS SPOKESMAN
Farouk Abdel-Muhti (Nov. 22, 2002) Democracy Now
A Palestinian activist detained as part of the post-Sept. 11 dragnet is suing the federal government for holding him too long without presenting evidence in support of his detention.
Farouk Abdel-Muhti says he must be allowed to stay in the U.S. because, as a Palestinian, there is no nation to which he can be deported. His defense team is also arguing the Supreme Court has ruled that six months is the maximum reasonable length of time a person can be held before being deported. Abdel-Muhti has been held behind bars for more than six months.
- Homeland Security Bill on Verge of Passage; CDT Pursues Oversight Strategy
Jerry Berman, et al (Nov. 19, 2002) Center for Democracy & Technology
Thus the Homeland Security Act represents the latest, huge step forward in the hasty expansion of government powers without corresponding checks and balances. It is incumbent on Congress to match the expanded powers with expanded guidelines and oversight. The creation of a Privacy Office within DHS is one step, but the process also requires the adoption of rules and guidelines that the new office can enforce.
- CITIZENSHIP IN EMERGENCY: Can democracy protect us against terrorism?
Elaine Scarry (October/November 2002) Boston Review
When the plane that hit the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania are looked at side by side, they reveal two different conceptions of national defense: one model is authoritarian, centralized, top down; the other, operating in a civil frame, is distributed and egalitarian. Should anything be inferred from the fact that the first form of defense failed and the second succeeded? This outcome obligates us to review our military structures, and to consider the possibility that we need a democratic, not a top-down, form of defense. At the very least, the events of September 11 cast doubt on a key argument that, for the past fifty years, has been used to legitimize an increasingly centralized, authoritarian model of defense—namely the argument from speed.
- Conyers Condemns Today's FISA Court Decision
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (Nov. 18, 2002) Truthout
Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued the following statement regarding today's decision by a secret appeals court to give the Justice Department broad authority in conducting wiretaps and other surveillance on terrorism suspects within the United States:
"The Administration's race down the slippery slope of eroding constitutional safeguards seems to have no end in sight. Today's disappointing decision constitutes an embarrassing step backwards for civil liberties in this country. Piece by piece, this Administration is dismantling the basic rights afforded to every American under the Constitution.
- Unions vow to fight outsourcing bill
Sarah Laitner (Nov. 15, 2002) Financial Times
Federal employee trade unions vowed on Friday to keep fighting plans by the US administration to open nearly half of government jobs to competition from the private sector."
- THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002
Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia (Nov. 14, 2002) Congressional Record via Truthout
There are a few things that I know are in it [the Homeland Security Act] by virtue of the fact that I have had 48 hours, sleeping time included, in which to study this monstrosity, 484 pages. If there ever were a monstrosity, this is it. I hold it in my hand, a monstrosity. I don't know what is in it. I know a few things that are in it, and a few things that I know are in it that I don't think the American people would approve of if they knew what was in there.
- Rumsfeld's Defense Science Board proposes 'prodding' terrorists to terrorism
Bill Berkowitz (Nov. 13, 2002) WorkingForChange
The DSB's recommendation for a Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group appears to be in line with President Bush's National Security Strategy, which called for preemptive military strikes. Military Analyst William Arkin writes that P2OG would "bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception." The organization "would launch secret operations aimed at 'stimulating reactions' among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to 'quick-response' attacks by U.S. forces."
- A Whiff of Dread for the Land of Hope
Simon Schama (Nov. 12, 2002) NYTimes via Portside
Democracies, Thucydides says, are no better armed
against panic in the face of adversity, nor are they
necessarily more virtuous and discriminating when they
exercise their power against it. During the debates
over the prudence of the Sicilian expedition, the most
withering contempt is reserved for the belligerence of
armchair hawks whose enthusiasm for the campaign is in
inverse proportion to their personal experience of
combat. The warnings of the seasoned veteran, Nicias,
against running "new dangers when the state of our own
city hangeth unsettled" are allowed their full,
cautionary eloquence. Nonetheless, the historian
complains, "everyone alike fell in love with the
enterprise: the old men upon hope to subdue the place
they went to or that at least so great a power could
not miscarry; and the young men upon desire to see a
foreign country and to gaze, making little doubt but to
return with safety."
In the carnage that follows it is Nicias himself who is
left to watch the annihilation of the Athenian army and
navy. Never suppose, implies Thucydides, wagging his
finger, that any empire is invincible. Survival
depends, above all, on an understanding of the economy
- No Child Unrecruited
David Goodman (Nov-Dec, 2002) Mother Jones
Sharon Shea-Keneally, principal of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, was shocked when she received a letter in May from military recruiters demanding a list of all her students, including names, addresses, and phone numbers. The school invites recruiters to participate in career days and job fairs, but like most school districts, it keeps student information strictly confidential. "We don't give out a list of names of our kids to anybody," says Shea-Keneally, "not to colleges, churches, employers -- nobody."
But when Shea-Keneally insisted on an explanation, she was in for an even bigger surprise: The recruiters cited the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's sweeping new education law passed earlier this year. There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid.
"I was very surprised the requirement was attached to an education law," says Shea-Keneally. "I did not see the link."
- Homeless Vet Arrested for Protest
Natalie P. McNeal (Nov. 11, 2002) Miami Herald
A man who said he is a Vietnam veteran was arrested Sunday before a Veterans Day ceremony when he insisted on making a speech criticizing preparations for war against Iraq....
'The servicemen and women of our nation are again being asked to offer their lives on foreign soil to prevent conditions which the political and military leadership themselves here at home have developed,' [Terrence] Rothman wrote.
- Statement of Concern on the Present Danger
(Undated) IRC & IPS Project on the Present Danger
Against this present danger, we stand together with other Americans who are indignant at the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Bush foreign policy. We will add our voices to the rising chorus of critics--here and abroad--who believe that the United States should be a respected leader that upholds international law, rather than holding itself above it. The challenge of a great power is not to free itself from the constraints of multilateralism, but rather to use its influence to ensure that the structures of international cooperation are more responsive and effective at meeting the challenges America faces.
- Vast Detail on Towers' Collapse May Be Sealed
James Glanz and Eric Lipton (Sept. 30, 2002) NYTimes
An immense body of documentary evidence, like maps of the debris piles, rare photos and videos, has also been accumulated in a collection that far outstrips what government analysts have been able to put together as they struggle to answer the scientifically complex and emotionally charged questions surrounding the deadly failures of the buildings.
But everyone from structural engineers to relatives of victims fear that the closely held information, which includes the analysis and the possible answers that families and engineers around the world have craved, may remain buried in sealed files, or even destroyed.
Hot Spot! US 'War on Terrorism'
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