Albion Monitor Issue 131 FEBRUARY 2005

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Anatomy of a Class Action - Teflon Update - Selective coverage of "The Bush Tapes" - Schwarzenegger and the press - The problems of Alberto Gonzales 404 reports
Asqalan prisoners
Israel promises to release 900 prisoners as goodwill, but Palestinians see it as a small gesture because over 8000 are behind bars. Palestinian Authority negotiators called the offer "insulting" and said it was "harming [Abbas] rather than coming toward him"
The two sides have been here before. During the 2003 "hudna," the temporary ceasefire unilaterally entered by Palestinian factions when Abbas was prime minister, Israel released 339 prisoners in a similar "goodwill" gesture. But with 100 of the prisoners serving time for criminal offenses rather than anything related to the uprising, and most of the rest close to being let go anyway, the release angered rather than placated the Palestinian side

100 Day Window For Mideast Peace
It's legitimate to want an end to terrorism. Unfortunately, Bush and Sharon don't see that there are other ways to defeat terrorists besides killing them. Instead of undermining Abbas, they would be better off following his lead. He knows that terrorism is a political, not just a military problem

A Year After Coup, Haiti Still Racked By Violence
250 or 460 deaths, depending on who's counting

Arctic's Inuit To Sue U.S. Over Global Warming
Blames U.S. for emissions which result in "everything changing, and changing fast"

Bush Quietly Building Up Nuclear Arsenal
Including a new generation of longer lasting and sturdier "bunker buster" weapons
Previously Unknown Bacteria Frozen 32,000 Years Comes Back To Life FREE!
First time any species ever found alive in ancient ice

Bush Stand On Darfur Genocide May Force U.S. To Join International Criminal Court
Bush catch-22: you can't just recognize some human rights violations

With Kyoto Protocol Launched, What Now?
Q&A with world's top environment official, Klaus Toepfer
Gore Says Bush Lacks Moral Courage To Tackle Global Warming FREE!
Failure to endorse the Kyoto Protocol represents a "stunning display of moral cowardice"

Congress Bypassing Bush On Global Warming Policy
"The issue is not going away and the cost of inaction will continue to rise" - Sen. John McCain
Risks Of Disasterous Climate Change Increasing, Scientists Warn FREE!
Concern that melting ice shelves may speed up glacial melt in a "cork out of bottle" effect

Nepal king cuts off contact with outside world, arrests political opponents

At his inauguration, Bush declared "the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world." Less than two weeks later, the king of Nepal, a major U.S. ally on the Chinese border, declared a state of emergency and shut down all communications with the outside world. Some 1,000 leaders and activists from political parties, student groups and trade unions were jailed as others fled. The king also suspended constitutional rights to freedom of speech, assembly, a free press, and authorized preventive detention.

Locked in a 9-year stalemate civil war with Maoist rebels that want to overthrow the monarchy, few believe the Royal Nepal Army can defeat them because the roots of the war are in the social and economic poverty of the nation. Nonetheless, India, Britain, and the U.S. are pouring weapons into the country; the Bush administration sees Nepal as another domino in its Terror War, arguing that the country could become a "failed state" and another haven for terrorists if the rebels win

 + Nepal Settles Into Life Under Martial Law

 + Nepal's Donors Threaten Military Aid Cutoff  + The King's Desperate Illusion FREE!

 + Bush Ignores Plea To Cut Off Military Aid

 + Terror In Kathmandu As Army Runs Amok

 + Fear Spreads As Arrests Continue

 + Hundreds Of Political, Labor Leaders Arrested

 + Exiles Vow To Support Maoist Rebels

 + Martial Law Until Rebel Movement Crushed

Hariri's Assassination Puts Spotlight On Syria
It was a Valentine's day massacre in front of Beirut's formerly glorious St. George hotel. Violence returned to the Lebanese capital on a scale not seen since the end of the civil war 14 years ago, and its victim was the very man who was synonymous with the country's slow emergence from that nightmare, former prime minister Rafik Hariri

Bush Hawks Likely To Exploit Hariri Assassination
"The [Syria] regime changers will be strengthened by this"

Lebanon In Shock From Hariri Assassination
TV and radio airwaves were filled with speculation and finger-pointing
Rice European Tour Saw Change In Style, But Not In Substance FREE!
"A successful diplomatic event... no more and no less"
Moscow Says It's Close To "Unique" Nuclear Weapons FREE!
Probably research leftovers of the Soviet effort in 1980s to counter Reagan "Star Wars"

World Bank Audit Urges Major Overhaul
Internal report says pressing need for independent oversight

"Real ID" Proposal Threatens Asylum Seekers
Would face strict rules to prove persecution in native land

World Hunger Could Be Easily Cut In Half
For less than Bush is spending each month in Iraq, UN finds
Government Scientists Told To Fake Research FREE!
Also warned not to fill out survey form, even on their own time

White House Skews Science To Fit Goals, Researchers Say
Even rewriting underlying scientific findings and analyses to fit political goals

California Sues U.S. Over Budget Abortion Ban
Billion$ in education and labor funds withheld unless states restricts women's rights

Vigilantes Vow To Patrol Border And Block Mexicans
Leader claims U.S. to be "completely overrun with illegal aliens by the year 2025"

Afghan Countryside Revolt Feared If Crackdown On Opium
Birth of a narco-state

Guantanamo Tribunals Ruled Illegal
Secret military tribunals have already ruled on cases of about 550 detainees

U.S. Citizen Caught In Terror War Catch-22, Held In Saudi Jail Since 2003
No access to lawyer, family, not clear if U.S. or Saudis want him held or for what reason

U.S. Invokes "State Secrets Privilege" To Block Torture Lawsuit
Third time since 9/11 Justice Dept. has claimed national security to dodge courts

Is U.S. Working With Anti-Iran Terror Group?
Hawks want to recast group listed as terrorists since 1997 as Iran liberation movement

Bush Could Bribe His Way To Iran Overthrow
The security forces and the vigilante groups can be bought to look the other way when people revolt

Cheney Won't Rule Out Air Attack On Iran -- By Israel
"Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards"
David Kay: Bush Iran Talk Sounds Like Run-Up To Iraq War FREE!
Possible weapons + poor human rights record = invasion

UN 'Purges' Suggest Annan Caving In To U.S. Pressure
"The only person who has not been purged is the secretary-general himself. He is probably waiting for the next shoe to fall"

Iraq Oil-For-Food Audit Finds No Widespread Abuse
Volcker takes unusual step of writing op/ed in conservative Wall St. Journal before report release

Rights Group Believes FBI Monitoring Web Page Readership
USA PATRIOT Act loophole could be used for web surveillance

"Black Widow" Trial Spotlights New Fear Of Possible Women Bombers
Russians suspicious of Chechnya Muslim women in traditional dress

Iraq News
Iran's Shadow Falls Over Baghdad
Shiite coalition takes almost half of the vote - Allawi party a distant third place

NEW! Iraq Election Unites The West, Not Iraq FREE!
Creating the appearance of democracy signals the country is open for business

Will Kurds Break Away From Iraq?
Once you reach the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, every checkpoint is manned by fighters loyal to one of the two Kurdish political parties. And they are on the lookout for one thing: Arabs

Turkey Prepared To Invade N Iraq If Kurds Claim Independence
Along with 40% of Iraq oil

Iraq Economy Balances On Turkey And Its Truck Drivers
Most Iraqi oil refined in Turkey, then sent back via oil tanker trucks
Turkey Nervously Watching Kurd Region Of Iraq FREE!
"Turkey no longer sees the disintegration of Iraq as a remote possibility"

Iraq Election Fraud In Kurdish Region, Groups Charge
"This was not an election. It was a census," says member of Arab minority

U.S. And Polish Troops Looting Iraq Artifacts, Researcher Says
Smuggling operations over Kuwait, Jordan borders

Talabani The Next President Of Iraq?
Kurd leader and Saddam foe may be only chance to hold nation together

Buoyed By Elections, Kurds Begin Push For Independence
Kurdistan move to break away from Iraq would be prelude to civil war
Female Genital Mutilation Widespread In North Iraq FREE!
"This is very clearly an abuse of children, a gender violence issue"

Russia Looking For Foothold In Iraq
Will write-off about $9 billion of Saddam-era debt, hopes for old oil contracts to be honored

What I Would Have Told Larry King FREE!
Mother of slain soldier in Iraq would have given TV host an earful - if she wasn't bumped for the Michael Jackson trial

Dual disasters in Indonesia's rebel province
Indonesian military (TNI)
For the Acehnese, the tens of thousands of soldiers in the province to enforce martial law are not a source of security; they are equivalent to a plague of locusts. The troops are expected to earn their own money, as the government covers only a part of their expenses. Thus, checkpoints have become moneymaking franchises; soldiers shakedown passing truckers, motorists, and motorcyclists
Most of the some $4 billion that has been raised worldwide for tsunami relief will likely be devoted to Aceh. There is no reason to believe, however, that this will guarantee better behavior by the Indonesian military. Aceh was already a killing field before the Indian Ocean wreaked havoc on the land

Tsunami Tourists Put Strain on Indonesia's Aceh
Some Acehnese believe spirits of the dead are haunting the tsunami-hit areas

Indonesia Red Crescent To Foreign Docs: Get Out
Outsiders who don't understand the language aren't helping tsunami relief

Osama, Islamicists Silent On Tsunami Disaster
Except for Saudi cleric who links tragedy to Asian "fornication and sexual perversions"
Unguarded Radiation Sites In Chechnya A Ticking Bomb FREE!
Looters have opened sealed facility, hauled away cobalt-60 containers
Neo-Nazis March In Dresden FREE!
"They're very open, out, and that is shocking that that is possible in Germany again"

Europe Moves To Ban Swastika On Auschwitz Anniversary
Resolution given an unexpected boost by photo of Britain's Prince Harry in Nazi garb

Neo-Con Wolfowitz Represents U.S. At Holocaust Ceremony
Ideological group uses Holocaust to justify black/white world views
Opposing Groups Get Opposite Results In ANWR Polls FREE!
Of the Republicans polled by Harris, 80 percent support drilling in the refuge

Business Tax Evasion Not Seen As Crime At Davos Summit
Few world leaders seem concerned about effects of tax evasion

Pentagon Fights Disclosure Of "Revolving Door" For Defense Contractors, Ex-Workers
1 of 3 on Defense Policy Board had ties to big contractors

Starting in 2002 the executive branch began to underscore the war on terrorism as a top foreign aid priority. According to the Congressional Research Service, the State Department now highlights the amount of U.S. assistance going to some 30 "front-line" states in the terrorism war. Aid to Pakistan, for example, jumped from $1.7 million in 2001 to $275 million in 2004.
U.S. Appears Indifferent To Central Asia Democracy Movements FREE!
Bush to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Good luck, stay in touch

After West Bank Wall, Israel Plans Gaza Trench
Trench along Egypt border could demolish up to 3,000 Palestinian homes

Murder Rate Of Haiti Street Kids Soaring
Targeted beatings and killings up 500% since February ouster of Aristide
First Person-to-Person Avian Flu Transmission Confirmed FREE!
Concern that new mutation could lead to global pandemic

Stem Cells Used To Treat Type 2 Diabetes
Not cure, but improvement to point diabetes can be managed with medications
Viruses, Grilled Meat Added To Cancer-Cause List FREE!
X-rays, viruses transmitted during sex also listed for first time

China Giant Poised To Stomp Key U.S. Industries
High-tech, auto, aerospace among industries once thought "safe" for U.S. industry

Paraguay, Brazil Saving Ancient Trails From Search For "Land Without Evil"
Guarani Indian treks combined economics with religious hunt for mythical land

Outside Pakistan's Cities, Childbirth Often Deadly
Doctors don't want to work in rural areas, and trained midwives scarce

Burmese Migrants Find Welcome Wearing Thin In Thailand
Underpaid and exploited, Burmese migrant workers are hidden face of Thailand

Note Written In Blood Led To Probe Of Sex Slave Rings
Thousands of Chinese women tricked into Malaysian prostitution

Rolls-Royce Among Corporate Backers Of Burma Regime
Report lists 439 multinational companies with economic ties to brutal junta

Without Warning, India Bulldozes The Great Slums Of Mumbai
3 million to be made homeless in redevelopment to "turn Mumbai into another Shanghai"

Brutal Conditions In Meat Slaughterhouses Found
Report charges federal regulators ignoring the most dangerous factory job in the U.S.

Neo-Cons Want Big Boost In Size Of Army
And about another $15 billion added to defense budget each year

Politics As Usual

During the Feb. 2 State of the Union Address, a contingent of GOP Congressmen thrust their right arms in a gesture uncomfortably reminiscent of the Nazi salute, although intending to show their fingers were dipped in blue as solidarity with Iraq voters. But when Iraqi guest Taleb al-Suhail flashed the classic symbol for peace, the offical American Forces Press Service was compelled to qualify it as the "two-fingered Iraqi peace sign"
Faith-Based Programs Escape Bush Budget Cuts
As White House offical resigns because Bush "never really wanted the poor people stuff"

Negroponte Pick As Intel Chief Seen As Defeat For Neo-Cons
Hawkish and controversial, but also a tough realist

Unclear If Neo-Cons Still In Driver's Seat For 2nd Term
Analyists watching Rice appointments for clues to power balance
The Whistle-Blower That Chertoff Tried To Silence FREE!
Forced out of her job for advising future Homeland Security head on ethics
Bush Budget Hits Environmental Agencies Hard FREE!
"Most anti-environmental budget blueprint" ever, groups say

Bush Budget Seeks Big Boost In Foreign Aid
$23 billion, not counting another $82 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan
Bush Budget Slashes Domestic Programs FREE!
Scrooge-like budget surprises include more for Mad Cow research, solar energy research

Bush Quietly Drops 2002 Budget Pledge To Poorest Nations
Bush 2002 promise: "I carry this commitment in my soul"

Bush Steers Ship Of State Deeper Into Mideast Waters
Not-so veiled threats against Iran in State of the Union address
Bush Using "Rush Limbaugh Strategy" To Pass Agenda FREE!
Clearly planning to govern just as he ran for re-election
The Accountability Moment FREE!
According to Bush, we, the people relinquished any right to hold this administration accountable for anything
Congress Enabling Corruption FREE!
The battle against corruption in Congress has collapsed, and that's just the way both Republicans and Democrats want it

Bush embraces ideology of Israeli hardliners
Sharansky pinup
Israeli ultra-hardliner Natan Sharansky is the latest pin-up ideologue in the Oval Office
Bush, Sharansky's Mutual Admiration Society
In Israel and across the Middle East, Sharansky is widely regarded as a right-wing Zionist and hawk, who positions himself to the right of Ariel Sharon

Neo-Con Elliott Abrams Moves To Center Stage In U.S. Foreign Policy
Author of PNAC policy on Middle East, backs Israeli hardliners
Iraq War Led To Boycott Of U.S. Businesses Abroad FREE!
Study finds brands closely identified with the U.S. lost considerable sales abroad

Drug Mafia Running Mexico's Top Security Prisons
"It is absurd that in a high security prison, someone can sneak in a gun and shoot someone with it"

Media Begins Looking At Women Prisoners Beyond Martha Stewart
But Stewart's holiday decorating contest still gets more attention than Death Row

Serbia's Best-Selling Authors: Accused War Criminals
All either serving prison sentences, in hiding, or standing trial

Cruise Ships Dumping Tons Of Waste In Caribbean Waters
Besides garbage and human waste, petroleum often ends up dumped in the Caribbean waters

Suicide On Rise In Europe, Particularly Among Youth
Rate going down among older people, but up dramatically for youth

"Carbon Sinks" Could Help Fight Climate Change, Report Says
The bad news: It would cost over $7 billion and require as much space as all of Texas

Nuclear Waste Project Divides Utah's Skull Valley Tribe
Over Whether U.S. can be believed about "temporary" storage

World Bank Warns Of A World Of "Silent Forests"
Asian forests being destroyed at a staggering rate, and China mostly to blame

Galapagos Islands At Risk From Illegal Fishing, Ecuador's Politics
High turnover of park managers as fishermen try to intimidate officials

Rumsfeld's Baby Nukes And The Terror War FREE!
New generation of weapons that could destroy single buildings, poison water supplies

Situational Charity: Tsunami And War FREE!
Why are victims of natural disasters more worthy than victims of man-made disasters?

Silencing The Whistleblowers FREE!
Bush seeking to quash Whistleblower Protection Act

Advice To Schwarzenegger: Don't Be a Captive Of Prison-Industrial Complex
No more willing to stand up to powerful prison guard union than predecessors, so far

What Our Government Won't Tell Us About Carcinogens FREE!
Why has the government waited until now to declare that X-rays are carcinogenic?

Tsunami Aid Contrasts With Neglect Of Asia's Greater Crises FREE!
Same number of people killed every two weeks by AIDS


MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Texas Wants To Tighten Screws On Pregnant Minors
 + When Bush Moral Values And Special Interests Collide
 + A Screw-The-Kids Budget
 + Repubs Finally Shove Through Anti-Class Action Law
 + Bush's Budget Of Shame
 + Private Account Smokescreen
 + Plenty Of Dissonance From The White House
 + Hard To Be Optimistic About Iraq

 + Government Of, By And For Big Business
 + What We Don't Know About 9/11 Hurts Us
 + Iraq Looks More Like Iran Every Day
 + Now, U.S. Must Get Out of Iraq's Way

 } Robert Scheer

 + Ex-President Tsunami Tour Signals End Of U.S. Humanitarian Aid
 + What They Really Mean. . .
 + Not Enough Media Curiosity In Iraq Coverage

 } Norman Solomon

 + Hunter S. Thompson A Willing Captive Of The Gonzo Myth
 + The Witch Hunt Of Father Paul Shanley
 + Tsunami Aid: Who Gives, Who Gets?
 + Left And Right, Sane And Mad

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + Air America Needs A Farm Team ASAP
 + Get Off Jeff Gannon's Back
 + Air America Magic
 + The Social Security Misinfotainers
 } Steve Young

retrohistory for dummies


Thomas E. Woods' "Politically Incorrect Guide to American History" New York Times' bestseller spells out the true history of the U.S for misguided liberals -- the kindliness and magnanimity of Puritan settlers toward American Indians, the conservatism of the American Revolution, the lawfulness of Southern secession, the North's responsibility for the post-Civil-War "black codes" in the South, the illegality of the 14th Amendment, and that the provisions of the Bill of Rights don't actually apply to the states

Albion Monitor
Issue 131

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

The Albion Monitor is currently published as an ongoing newspaper by Wayward Press, POB 1733, Sebastopol, CA 95473

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