Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
May 24, 2003
As always, Caveat Lector!
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IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!
"In the beginning of a change,
the patriot is a scarce and brave man, hated and scorned.
When his cause succeeds however,
the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
"Fear not the path of truth,
successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure
uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other
possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are
viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the
people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the
existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right
of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or
"It is dangerous to be
right in matters on which the established authorities are
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one
interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith
in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think
that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out.
For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become
exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in
the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality
right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'
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International aid arrives as Algeria quake toll tops 1,600
Saturday May 24, 4:41 AM
Algeria's prime minister warned that the official provisional figure of 1,600 dead in Wednesday's earthquake was bound to rise, while exhausted rescue teams still clawed through mountains of rubble in a hunt for the living.
"The toll, alas, is going to get worse," premier Ahmed Ouyahia told a news conference, explaining that the heavy loss of life was due to the high population density in the hardest-hit areas.
Over 7,200 have also been reported injured, while hundreds are listed as still missing, presumably trapped in buildings that collapsed in the shock...
The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he was starting to suspect Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in advance of the war on Iraq, a German newspaper reported today.
"I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none," Mr Blix told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.
If that were the case, he said, Iraq's evasive behaviour in recent years could be due to Saddam Hussein's fixation with Iraqi honour and a wish to dictate the conditions under which people could enter the country...
"This could conceivably be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time," said Harman
WASHINGTON, May 24 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - As the lack of hard evidence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) has been a thorn in the side of the U.S.-led forces in post-war Iraq, the Congress on Friday, May 23, demanded CIA to determine whether the U.S. intelligence community erred in its pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs or links with al-Qaeda network.
[...] "The committee wants to ensure that the intelligence analysis relayed to our policymakers from the intelligence community was accurate, unbiased and timely," said the letter, signed by committee vice-chairman Porter Goss, a Republican, and committee member Jane Harman, a California Democrat.
[...] In the Senate, as well, Democrats were attacking U.S. intelligence services, whose performance, said John Rockefeller of West Virginia, had been "wholly unimpressive."
Rockefeller called for internal investigations by the Pentagon and CIA to determine whether the Bush government had been manipulating documents to show that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger for its nuclear program while the CIA was denying it...
Expert questions authenticity of al-Qaeda
Maj. Gen. Craig McKinley, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said even the nation's radars were, in retrospect, turned the wrong way, looking out to sea for incoming invaders rather than searching the skies for threats from within the country.[...]
newest excuse . . . now hurry up and give up your freedoms so you
can be safe. If you have not yet read the
grimly humourous essay
Debunking conspiracy theorists' paranoid fantasies about
Sept. 11, by Gerard Holmgren than you are missing
Ex-President Bush Says Son Misunderstood on
Post-9/11 satire barks and
Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq
By STANDARD SCHAEFER
U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte called the lifting of sanctions "the turning point of a historical page that should brighten the future of a people and a region." It simply will not do so. Thirteen years of sanctions has drastically altered the fundamental nature of Iraq's economy; history has shown repeatedly that the infrastructure of economic warfare always outlives the war itself. To distract attention from this fact, representatives to the UN from the United States continued to chastise Saddam Hussein for diverting money from the "oil for food program" to his personal bank accounts.
No doubt Hussein is guilty, but this is really beside the point. The United States, with its long history of love-hate relationships with dictators, should know by now that dictators welcome sanctions and embargos.
Sanctions allow dictators to blame the world, often rightfully, for their domestic problems. By portraying the country as under attack, they are able to reduce internal dissent. In response to sanctions, dictators are often relieved of the duty of serious social spending and can justify to its citizen's the increase in military spending...
by Yvonne Ridley
05/23/03 Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has held top secret talks with members of the former Taliban government. The dramatic move could see a return to power of some of the most senior members of the Taliban, once described by Tony Blair as the most evil, brutal regime in the world.
However President Karzai praised the Taliban's "good elements and said the movement had done a "great service to our war torn country". The interim leader, who is becoming increasingly isolated, has lost all power and influence outside of the capital Kabul. However, news of his attempt to broker a peace deal with his old enemies is bound to cause shock waves across the world.
The Taliban delegation was led by the former Health Minister Mullah Abbas who was last in the capital as British and American bombs rained down out the outbreak of war in October 2001. The meeting will certainly cause huge embarrassment to British Prime Minister Tony Blair who celebrated the demise of the Taliban so publicly after the fall of Kabul. Foreign Office officials said they were ''aware'' of the peace move but preferred to remain muted last night.
Although it is quite clear President Karzai's initiative was done with the backing of the Bush Administration, White House spin doctors also remained unusually muted in their response to the meeting. A senior delegation of Taliban, led by Mullah Abbas, slipped in to Kabul for the top secret several days ago after being given assurances of their personal security as some are thought to be on America's "wanted" list.
[...] "Karzai saluted some of the Taliban and said that their movement had done a great service for the country. It was a very tense, and at times emotional, meeting and one of many to come", a Taliban source told Globe-Intel. He said the interim leaders main bodyguards, all American, were kept outside of the meeting, adding: "It was just as well because while there was praise for the Taliban there were few good words for the United States."
[...] An anti-American wave is also sweeping across the country because of the military presence and a series of US blunders which have led to the deaths of Afghan civilians. These include the death of 11 Afghan children who were killed when a laser guided missile hit their home in Bermil near the Pakistan border as revealed exclusively in the Sunday Express last month...
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
The CIA has launched a review of intelligence assessments of Iraq's banned weapons programme and its links with al-Qaida, to see how the intelligence community's pre-war pronouncements compared with reality.
The idea of a review, which emerged yesterday from interviews with unidentified officials by the New York Times, had first been raised with the CIA last October by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.
However, the failure of US forces in Iraq to find hard evidence for repeated claims by US intelligence agencies that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction could make the review politically explosive, the New York Times said.
It quoted officials as saying that the review did not mean the US had given up all hope of finding Saddam's banned weapons.
Even so, closer scrutiny of the intelligence community's assessments of the threat posed by Saddam before the war could make for uncomfortable reading.
It could worsen a feud which has been running since last year, with CIA analysts complaining that ideologues from the Pentagon were exerting pressure for assessments to bolster the case for war on Iraq.
Those tensions deepened when the Pentagon set up a special cell to review intelligence on Iraq - an action seen as a rebuke to the CIA from Mr Rumsfeld for its failure to come up with the definitive link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al-Qaida.
But yesterday it appeared that the CIA had been handed the advantage. The review will reportedly be conducted by a team of retired CIA officials, and will be under the control of the director, George Tenet. They will also have the authority to study documents from outside agencies.
Russia is staging its own version of Pop Idol in the country's prisons where inmates are competing for a recording contract and freedom.
The competition, open to the country's 748 high-security prisons, aims to discover a new national pop sensation.
The winner will be legally bound to perform a number of live concerts and will also be given a recording deal.
Prison wardens have been told to filter out applicants guilty of particularly gruesome crimes, but a number of convicted killers have nevertheless been allowed to enter.
[...] The competition is being sponsored by Troika, one of Moscow's biggest radio stations, which denies it is exploitation.
"There's lots of talented people out there in those prisons, and this is just the way for them to be discovered," a spokesman said...
U.S.: Bars could be worth $500 million
Friday, May 23, 2003 Posted: 11:09 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. troops seized what is believed to be a massive gold shipment Friday during a routine traffic stop near the Iraqi border with Syria, U.S. Central Command announced.
Soldiers with the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment found about 2,000 bars -- each weighing 40 pounds -- while searching a Mercedes truck driven by two men.
The bars have not yet been tested to determine their contents, Central Command said, adding that they could be worth as much as $500 million, depending on their purity and karat weight.
The men said they were paid $350 to pick the truck up in Baghdad and drive it to an unnamed person in the Iraqi town of Qaim near the Syrian border, along a known smuggling route. They said they were told the bars were bronze, the Central Command statement said.
The bars are now in custody of the 3rd Cavalry.
Coalition forces have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars believed to have been taken by members of Saddam Hussein's regime before the start of the war.
May 23, 11:52 AM EDT
GENEVA (AP) -- The World Health Organization has traced the SARS virus to the civet cat and two other small mammals in China, and researchers are investigating a possible link between the animals and the SARS outbreak in humans, an official said Friday.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong examined 25 animals representing eight species in a live animal market in southern China and found the virus in all six masked palm civets they sampled, as well as in a badger and a raccoon dog.
Klaus Stohr, chief SARS virologist at the WHO, said Friday it was impossible to tell from the study whether any of the animals spread the virus to humans or whether they caught the virus from people.
"All these animals could have been infected by feed which was given to them at the market," Stohr said. "Very often these markets have one major supplier of feed."
[...] "This is corroborative evidence that there make be a link between the wildlife and the emergence of SARS."
[...] Taiwan reported 55 new SARS cases Friday but no new deaths. The island's total number of infections is 538 and the death toll is 60 - the third-highest toll after mainland China and Hong Kong.
In Canada, health officials say they fear that four people in a Toronto hospital may be ill with SARS. All four are in a respiratory isolation ward, two in critical condition. If confirmed, they would be the city's first new SARS cases since April 19.
Story filed: 07:03 Saturday 24th May 2003
Medical researchers says they have found the Sars virus in a racoon-like creature which is a popular delicacy in China.
University of Hong Kong researchers say they have successfully isolated a type of coronavirus that caused Sars in an animal called the masked palm civet.
They say it appears to have spread the Sars virus to humans.
Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung says the scientists tested a large number of game animals eaten by people in China's Guangdong province.
They have found coronavirus in four of the civet cats.
Civet cats are not true cats, but short-haired mammals with long bodies, short legs, and tails. They resemble small raccoons or weasels.
"Looking at the genetic information, it is highly likely that the virus has been jumping from the civets to humans," Dr Yuen Kwok-yung said.
24 May 2003
Hundreds of people have been advised to go into quarantine after health chiefs announced a new cluster of 20 or more possible Sars cases in Toronto.
The new scare came hours after the US Centres for Disease Control reinstated a travel alert for Canada's largest city.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation lifted its travel advisories related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) against Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Guangdong, saying the outbreaks are under control there.
In Taiwan, a US disease investigator was rushed home after developing symptoms of the often-deadly virus on the job.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has spread to more than 8,000 people around the globe, and the death toll stood yesterday at 689, the vast majority of them in Asia...
Greek lawyers say they are going to sue British officials - including Prime Minister Tony Blair - for their role in the Iraq war.
The Athens Bar Association says it will file a suit against Britain at the International Criminal Court - the recently created tribunal for cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The lawyers call the attacks by the United States and British forces against Iraq "crimes against humanity and war crimes".
They have listed a number of international treaties they say the two countries have violated.
These include the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Convention and the International Criminal Court's statute.
Dimitris Paxinos, the head of the lawyers' association, told the BBC the lawsuit will be filed within a fortnight.
He said American officials could not be prosecuted as the US is not a signatory to the ICC's founding treaty...
The US has withdrawn from the ICC
Legal experts at the European Commission in Brussels say EU nations have no right to exempt American citizens from prosecution at the newly-created International Criminal Court.
An internal EU document says any country which agrees to the Bush administration's request to exempt US citizens would be acting against the object and purpose of the ICC.
The pressure group Human Rights Watch has urged the European Union to stand firm against American plans to dilute the power of the court.
The International Criminal Court was established in July after more than 60 nations had ratified its charter.
But the US had already withdrawn its support and Washington had urged individual European countries to conclude bilateral deals which would give its citizens protection from prosecution...
[And there is only one reason that the Bush Reich would seek such protection: they are guilty of war crimes, and intend to commit more in the near future.]
By ELAINE CASSEL
Activist attorney Lynne Stewart, who was court-appointed to defend the blind Sheik Abdel Rahman in charges arising out of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is charged with aiding and abetting her client's "acts of terrorism" by speaking to the press about her client's politicial position. She is being criminally prosecuted for doing what lawyers do--advocating and speaking for her client. In the world according to John Ashcroft, the lawyer becomes synonymous with the client. This is an unheard of spin on the attorney-client relationship, one that defies hundreds of years of history of professional obligation and duty. Ashcroft has made lawyers--as well as their clients--targets in his war on civil liberties. He would vilify lawyers who uphold the highest tradition of their profession.
Now Michael Tigar, an activist himself, who has spent his lifetime representing controversial clients and causes (and as the target of an FBI false smear tactic, former Supreme Court Justice Brennan withdrew his offer to the young Tigar to clerk for him), is representing Lynne Stewart. No case could be more fitting for him than this one. And in this terrorist trial, the government has an attorney who won't be timid in calling the judge and the prosecutors on their illegal conduct.
In a letter Tigar wrote to Judge Koeltl on May 21, Tigar lambasts the prosecutor's suggestions that it, and it alone, will decide what evidence Tigar and his client get to see. Though the prosecutor refers to the documents as "classified," no proof, let alone rationale, of their classified status has been disclosed. Morever, the prosecutors say that as to the documents they will let Tigar and his team see, they, the prosecuors and/or their agents, will "monitor" Tigar and his staff to see what they do with the information. Of course, they may also be monitoring his meetings with his client. Ashcroft wrote that into law a couple of years ago...
By Jim Marrs
In early 2003 there was an effort underway within the Justice Department to further expand the provisions and powers of the PATRIOT Act. And it was all done in such secrecy that even ranking members of congress did not know this act was in preparation.
Even Mark Corallo, deputy director of the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs appeared unaware of the draft legislation. "This is all news to me. I have never heard of this," he told members of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based group dedicated to "public service journalism." This center obtained a copy of the document and made it public in early 2003.
A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, Jeff Lungren, said, "We haven't heard anything from the Justice Department on updating the PATRIOT Act. They haven't shared their thoughts on that. Obviously, we'd be interested, but we haven't heard anything at this point."
After reviewing the draft legislation, Dr. David Cole of the Georgetown University Law School said raises a "lot of serious concerns." "It's troubling that they have gotten this far along and they've been telling people there is nothing in the works." He added the proposed changes "would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive `suspicion,' create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups."
Innocently entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," this expansion of both police and government powers was kept deep within the confines of the Justice Department until leaked to the public. As usual, the corporate controlled mass media made little of the story but it sparked outrage on the Internet and from some columnists.
Editorial page writer Errol Louis of the New York Sun wrote, "[This] document is a catalog of authoritarianism that runs counter to the basic tenets of modern democracy." Columnist Jim Hightower termed it "Ashcroft's Latest Assault on Liberty."
A dissection of the PATRIOT Act expansion by Timothy H. Edgar, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, revealed the legislation would diminish personal privacy by removing checks on government power by:
ACLU counsel Edgar noted that the constitutional protection of habeas corpus (the right to a hearing to determine if any criminal offense has been committed) has not been exempted since the War Between the States.
Edgar added that despite the Justice Department's efforts to characterize both the PATRIOT Act and its proposed expansion as minor tinkering with statutory language, "the DOJ's modest descriptions of the powers it is seeking, and the actual scope of the authorities it seeks, are miles apart." "The USA PATRIOT Act undercut many of the traditional checks and balances on government power, " he explained. "The new draft legislation threatens to fundamentally alter the constitutional protections that allow us as Americans to be both safe and free. If adopted, the bill would diminish personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority, reduce the accountability of government to be public by increasing government secrecy, further undermine fundamental constitutional rights of Americans under an already over broad definition of `terrorism,' and seriously erode the right of all persons to due process of law."
Many of the provision of the expansion of the PATRIOT Act seem to be so draconian and reprehensible that many people felt it could never be passed in the light of day. But, as noted by Professor Cole, author of Terrorism and the Constitution, this legislation may lay awaiting yet another pretext to make it law.
He said PATRIOT Act II "is troubling as a generic matter that they have gotten this far along and tell people that there is nothing in the works. What that suggests is that they're waiting for a propitious time to introduce it, which might well be when a war is begun. At that time there would be less opportunity for discussion and they'll have a much stronger hand in saying that they need these things right away."
Dr David Whitehouse
Scientists have "entangled" two sub-atomic particles separated by about a millimetre, a feat that might pave the way for powerful quantum computers in the future. Quantum entanglement on a chip: Significant scaling up When two particles are entangled they are somehow connected because the fate of one depends upon the other, no matter how far apart they are.
Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defence of key Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by American special forces, the US general in charge of the war has confirmed.
Well before hostilities started, special forces troops and intelligence agents paid sums of money to a number of Iraqi officers, whose support was deemed important to a swift, low-casualty victory.
General Tommy Franks, the US army commander for the war, said these Iraqi officers had acknowledged their loyalties were no longer with the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, but with their American paymasters. As a result, many officers chose not to defend their positions as American and British forces pushed north from Kuwait.
"I had letters from Iraqi generals saying: 'I now work for you'," General Franks said.
It is not clear which Iraqi officers were bribed, how many were bought off or at what cost. It is likely, however, that the US focused on officers in control of Saddam's elite forces, which were expected to defend the capital. The Pentagon said that bribing the senior officers was a cost-effective method of fighting and one that led to fewer casualties.
"What is the effect you want?" a senior Pentagon official said. "How much does a cruise missile cost? Between $1m and $2.5m. Well, a bribe is a PGM [precision guided missile) AD it achieves the aim but it's bloodless and there's zero collateral damage...
The Message Fact or
The nation's journalists were surprised, shocked, and outraged. Jayson Blair, a 27-year-old New York Times national correspondent, had lied and cheated his way through a four-year career at the paper that not only claims to have the highest journalistic standards but also believes it's the national record. At the time he resigned under pressure at the end of April 2003, Blair had not only left a trail of innumerable factual errors, but had fabricated quotes, "covered" stories in other states while not leaving New York, and plagiarized from metropolitan newspapers.
[...] In an unprecedented 14,000 words of explanation and apology almost two weeks after the "resignation," the Times excoriated the chain-smoking, Scotch-drinking, cocaine-using Blair for having "committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud," wailed that it was the worst "black-eye" in the newspaper's 152-year history, and promised to take steps not to allow it to occur again.
But, it will occur again, just as it had occurred for decades, not just at the Times but in all the media.
During the nineteenth century, in their quest for political power and circulation, newspapers not only exaggerated and fabricated, they also played innumerable hoaxes upon their readers. In the twentieth century, "jazz journalism" replaced "yellow journalism," but reporters still looked for ways to meet their publishers' needs to sell papers. Journalists have come a long ways since then. But, as in any profession, there are still significant holes of ethics.
TV shows sponsored by Ford in the 1960s and 1970s either shot away from New York City's Chrysler Building, or electronically eliminated it. The National Geographic digitally altered the pyramids for "aesthetic" reasons for one of its covers. Janet Cooke, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a feature about an eight-year-old boy who was addicted to cocaine while in his mother's womb, was stripped of her prize and fired from the Washington Post in 1981 when the story proved to be as much fiction as her resume.
NBC-TV broadcast a story about fish that were supposedly killed on government land, but it was footage of a different forest--and the fish weren't dead. NBC also came under a firestorm of protest when the public learned that to enhance a story about truck safety, the network's "Dateline" staff rigged a GM truck with an explosive to illustrate how easily those trucks burst into flame. FOX-TV obliterated the distinction between news and hucksterism when it "interrupted" its coverage of the 1997 Super Bowl with a "special report" by news anchor Catherine Crier. The breaking news? The Blues Brothers "escaped" and were about to headline the half-time show.
[...] As much as journalists may want to believe these are isolated examples, they aren't. As much as the public wants to believe that the problem occurs only in journalism, it doesn't. About 75 percent of college students admit to cheating, according to a 1999 survey conducted by Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University professor. A year later, a survey conducted by the editors of Who's Who Among American High School Students revealed that 84 percent of high school students believe cheating was common. A study by the Center for Academic Integrity revealed that about 15 percent of all students say they bought research papers, and more than half admit to having copied passages, without attribution, from published sources.
More important, students don't see that cheating, lying, or plagiarizing are necessarily immoral or unethical. Almost half of high school students, according to the Josephson Institute of Ethics, believe "a person has to lie or cheat sometimes in order to succeed." College graduates pad their resumes; references lie in their recommendations. Psychologist Robert Feldman of the University of Massachusetts found that among 11-16 year old students, there was a high correlation between lying and popularity. Feldman told the Associated Press, "Politicians have known for a very long time that telling people what they want to hear is a very good social tactic." Politicians and CEOs, aided by hordes of PR professionals, also know they can spin the truth because the media, often faced by increased work loads and diminished resources, have largely abrogated their roles of cynical watchdogs.
Americans lie on their income tax returns, on claims to insurance companies, and about the condition of their used car which they're about to unload. They lie about productivity to their bosses, and use "sick days" to play golf. And when it comes to managers and executives, Enron, Adelphia, Halliburton, and dozens of others may not be exceptions to how many corporations do business.
The nation's journalists shouldn't be shocked, surprised, or outraged about Jayson Blair's theft of honesty--they, like most Americans, are all part of the problem.
NEW YORK - Starting tonight, ABC reporter John Stossel will have a new job at 20/20: co-anchor. Barbara Walters' former partner John Miller departed in January, and ABC chose Stossel to fill his role. According to a recent report in TV Guide (5/10/03), one source at ABC says that picking Stossel makes sense: "These are conservative times... the network wants somebody to match the times."
One might hope ABC would be more concerned with hiring a journalist with a record of credible and accurate reporting than with matching the perceived political climate. For years, Stossel's work has been notable for bungled facts and twisted logic, all in service to his conservative "free market" agenda. (See Extra!, 3-4/03.) In a 1998 report (2/3/98), Stossel dismissed complaints about rising CEO salaries, saying that "factory wages were up, too-- up 70 percent" in the last 15 years. But wages for manufacturing workers had risen only if you don't adjust for inflation; in terms of purchasing power, factory workers' wages had fallen by more than 6 percent since 1983. In a 1999 special (9/19/99), one of Stossel's main sources claimed that Hong Kong is "the only government in the world that makes a surplus, a big surplus." In fact, 11 countries-- including the U.S.-- had run a budget surplus the previous year.
Stossel's methods have also been called into question-- most memorably when he cited research that didn't actually exist about pesticide residues in organic produce (New York Times, 7/31/00).
In a recent email to viewers (5/16/03) Stossel lashed out at his critics, "the activists of the totalitarian Left, which try to get people like me fired, or silenced." FAIR, however, has never called on ABC to fire him. We have frequently asked for Stossel's reports-- more opinion pieces than news stories-- to be balanced with commentary from an opposing point of view, and we've encouraged viewers to ask ABC whether the numerous inaccuracies and distortions in Stossel broadcasts meet the network's standards.
Up until now, ABC has for the most part ignored the thousands of letters pointing out the unreliability of Stossel's reporting. Now, apparently, it's decided that the appropriate response is a promotion.
Phil Reeves in Baghdad
Haider Tahab was so quiveringly angry that the blood vessels at his temples seemed ready to burst. He kept returning to deliver another blast of point-blank invective, as if driven by a compulsion that would only fully be relieved once he had hit someone.
Bobbing above the heads of the people crowded behind him was a crude wooden coffin, which they were trying to load on to the roof of a white mini-van. They seemed as furious as he. "Down Bush! Up Saddam!" he bellowed into my face. "The Americans have turned into murderers and thieves."
Scenes such as this, albeit with a different script, are commonplace in Gaza or the West Bank after a 36-year occupation in which thousands have been shot dead by the Israeli army. But we were in Baghdad only a month after the Americans had routed one of the most repressive and corrupt regimes of the modern age and promised a new era of democracy, freedom and prosperity.
As the crowd tied the coffin to the van's roof to be driven 100 miles south to the Shia holy city of Najaf for burial, Mahadi Mehsen drew a contemptuous comparison between the two occupied peoples. "We are not like the Palestinians," he said, shouting above the wails and cries of anger. "All of us will be Fedayeen. We will take revenge if they don't stop this."...
British firms scrambling for contracts in the reconstruction of Iraq were told yesterday that the Government would ensure they got a "fair chance" to grab a division of the spoils.
As protesters waved placards and chanted "vultures, vultures", the first steps in the slicing of one of the biggest commercial bonanzas in history took place in London yesterday.
The initial business deals for rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure amount to $1.1bn (about A3687m). But this could increase to $100bn under the rapid recalculations being carried out.
Yesterday British, European and Asian firms gathered at a seminar in London organised by the Bechtel conglomerate. Later, the British contingent attended one held by Trade Partners UK, an arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Bechtel, which has close and controversial ties with the US administration, has been awarded the biggest contract so far - $680m - by the US Agency for International Development (USAid). The company has said that as much as 90 per cent of the work would be passed on in sub-contracts.
[...] Among the Iraqi firms taking part is the Iraqi Reconstruction Group. Its representative, Abbas al-Husseini, said: "We don't want Bechtel to be a centre of hate. Please don't do it for the Iraqi people but withthe Iraqi people."
Anthony Browne in Khan Bani Saad
THE small dank cells with cold stone floors, tiny windows and iron bars for a door used to house criminals and the victims of Saddam Hussein's regime. Now Khan Bani Saad prison, overlooked by watchtowers and surrounded by razorwire, is filled with families who are victims, not of the war, but of the peace.
Sabrir Hassan Ismael, a mother of six, held her three-year-old daughter Zahraa in the cell that is now their living room and bedroom, and cried: "Look at me; look at my family. We live in prison. We can't buy food because we don't have money. We have no gas to cook.
[...] Before the end of the war Mrs Sabrir lived with her husband, a local mayor, on a farm in the town of Khanaqin, close to the Iranian border. They are members of the Arab Saraefien tribe that had survived unscathed through the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq. As opponents of Saddam they even welcomed the American invasion.
But it is the peace, and the disintegration of Saddam's grip, that has destroyed their lives. On April 11, two days after the fall of Saddam, Kurdish fighters entered Khanaqin, ordering all 15,000 Arabs to leave within 48 hours.
"There were so many Kurdish fighters we couldn't count them. They came into our house, and fired into the air, and grabbed me by the shoulder and said we had to leave in 48 hours or they would kill us," said Mrs Sabrir's son, Amar Hassan Tahar, 26.
[...] The tribe has appealed for help to the coalition forces, but no one has even visited them. They have eaten or sold almost all their animals, and have only a week left of food. Now they hate the Americans.
"None of the American promises has happened. It is unbelievable what has happened," Mr Yassim said.
His son concludes: "We have discovered that Saddam is better than the Americans."
Hadeb Hamed Hamed, the tribe's sheikh, sat on mats on the prison officer's porch, and said: "The Americans promised us food and medicine and freedom. But we have lost our homes, our land, our crops. Now we live in prison with nothing, and they ignore us.
"It is the allied forces that have done this to us. When we run out of food, I don't know what we will do."
In fact, he does know, because with starvation looming, he has been talking about it with the other elders.
"If we don't have a solution, we will fight the Americans even if they kill us. It is better than sitting here with nothing and just dying," he said.
So the blood may spin in American
Airline, barred rider
Judge Throws Out Death
Twins' mom suffers for hard
[N]othing has been tougher to endure than the turmoil swirling around Rice since Monday, when the 32-year-old mother of five went to police with a secretly recorded audiotape of her twin sons allegedly plotting to kill two siblings.
But Rice said she can't forget their chilling words captured on tape. She also points out their alleged confessions to police, recent theft of her three Ginsu-type kitchen knives and previous statements that they would kill anyone who "messed with" them.
There's also the hole they started to cut through the wall of their trailer - an escape route they had planned to use after killing their brothers, ages 10 and 15, Rice said. That would have allowed them to avoid activating a security system she recently had installed to stop them from running away from home.
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