Albion Monitor Issue 135 JUNE 2005

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The Downing Street Memo and the press 404 reports

1986 Iraq bond issued during Iran-Iraq war
FREE! Whatever government ends up in control of Iraq, it will have to repay a debt of staggering proportions. Although the "Paris Club" of industrialized nations forgave part of the debt last year, about $20 billion is still owed the IMF, and is tied to yet unspecified "conditionalities" set by the Fund. A far greater debt is owed to Arab states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and others. But all those bills fall in the shadow of the $97 billion Iran reportedly has claimed in reparations from Iraq for damage caused during the Iran-Iraq war

Bush's Iraq Speech Falls Flat
Appeal to 9/11 patriotism to pursue Iraq war without limit

Billion$ Missing From Iraq Trust Fund Managed By U.S.
Report finds "appalling level of incompetence, mismanagement, waste, fraud, and greed"
Another Mad Cow Found - USDA Wants To Add New Test FREE!
Cow had gone through 3 tests with inconclusive or negative results

Taliban Resurgent: Is Afghanistan Or Pakistan To Blame?
Pakistan blames former U.S. ambassador, now transferred to Iraq

Fewer Latinos Signing Up For U.S. Army
Almost 15 percent of U.S. casualties in Iraq are Latin American
Los Alamos Whistleblower Hospitalized After Assault FREE!
Scheduled to testify before Congress later this month about fraud

International Poll: View Of U.S. Sinking Since Bush Re-Election
Traditional European allies, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, all rate China above U.S.

Bush Has No Intention Of Diplomacy With Iran
And Iranian officials have dug in their heels on this issue because they correctly feel that they have been unfairly singled out for attack

Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the hard-line mayor of Tehran, has won the runoff for Iran's presidential election with 61.8 percent of the vote, far ahead of moderate rival, Ayatollah Rafsanjani. His supporters praise him for living a simple life and being a man of the people with good management skills and say he is a true follower of Islamic values. But his opponents call him a "fascist" who favors segregation of the sexes in public and say that his presidency will lead to a clampdown on the already limited freedoms they enjoy now. Ahmadinejad said Iran is the target of a destructive Western cultural onslaught. Shortly after becoming mayor of Tehran in April 2003, Ahmadinejad imposed a system in his office building of segregated elevators for men and women, shut down popular fast-food restaurants, converted several cultural centers into prayer halls, and banned pictures of international soccer star David Beckham from appearing on advertising billboards. That he even made a strong showing in the first election shocked most journalists and bloggers, who envisioned significant support for reformist Mostafa Moin, who finished fifth in a seven-man race. "It is hard to write. Everyone is in ultimate shock of these unprecedented, unbelievable and horrible results."


 + Iran's Hardliners Reinvent Themselves
 + Landslide Iran Election Win For Hardliner FREE!

 + Iran Hardliner's Strong Showing Forces Election Runoff
 + Election Underscores Bitter Divisions In Iraq FREE!

 + Iran Vote Recount After Election Fraud Charged

 + Tehran's Bloggers Expected Easy Liberal Victory
 + Ayatollah And The Extremist In Iran Runoff FREE!

 + Bush, Neo-Cons, Called Iran Election Illegit Even Before Votes Cast

 +  +
Left: Two Iranian policewomen (in black) attempt to break up a women's protest near Tehran University June 13.
Right: Iranian girls supporting moderate presidential candidate Rafsanjani wear stickers with his name as they walk in Tehran June 14. (PHOTOS: Assafir)

Richest Nations Willing To Write-Off Poorest Nation's Debt - With A Catch
$2 billion debt forgiveness would depend on vast privatization of economy

Big Pharma Ignoring Diseases Of Poorest Nations
90% of all R&D on allergy, cancer therapy, and cholesterol lowering drugs

Public Television's Mystery Mann FREE!
CPB Chairman secretly paid GOP consultant to monitor Bill Moyers

Why Bush Wants To Harbor Terrorist Who Downed Airliner FREE!
CIA involvement in 1976 bombing that killed all 73 crew members and passengers

Three Top Leaders Visit Bush, Come Away With Nothing
Britain, South Korea, and Turkey get lunch, but no thanks for taking risks for U.S.

Video Of Alleged War Killings Shakes Serbia
Serb paramilitaries disbanded in 1995, but no prosecutions
Deep Throat's Crimes: Mark Felt And COINTELPRO FREE!
Little or no mention of Felt's prime role in COINTELPRO -- or that in the early '70s, Felt appeared repeatedly on national TV news shows trying to whip up a climate of security hysteria by painting the anti-Vietnam war left as agents of foreign powers

Deep Throat Critics See Accountability As Crime FREE!
The press today wouldn't touch a story such as Mark Felt revealed

If Iraq has been the disaster zone of Bush foreign policy, Afghanistan is still generally thought of as its success story -- to the extent that anyone in our part of the world thinks about that country at all any more. Since a burst of media attention last October for the Afghan presidential election, what news Americans have gotten about Afghanistan has consisted largely of infrequent reports on the deaths of small numbers of American troops there; statements, interviews, and press conferences by various American generals or officials on the ever-improving situation in the country. What's really happening in Afghanistan is anything but a good-news story

G8 Climate Plan Weakened At U.S. Demand FREE!
Document so watered-down as to be meaningless

Bush Acknowledges Darfur Genocide - But No Plans To Stop It
"It's a completely insufficient response to genocide to say that you're sending a transport plane"

Bush Raises Stakes In N Korea Confrontation
Diplomats blaming Bush strong-arm tactics for lack of progress

Bush Foreign Policy Leading To An Anti-American Century
Interview with Dr. John Brown, former senior Foreign Service officer

Backlash To Euro, Globalization Killed EU Constitution
"Too Anglo-Saxon" also a factor

French No Vote On EU Presents Chirac With Crisis
Strong vote against neo- liberalization and deregulation

Distrust As Wolfowitz Takes Command Of World Bank
Expected to follow Bush Admin script for hegimony

In this undated photo, prisoners are tied down and hooded on a military transport plane enroute to Guantanamo Bay
A month after Amnesty International's called the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as "the gulag of our times," and said it evoked images of Soviet repression, the Bush administration has retaliated with attacks on Amnesty, the Red Cross, and other critics. Digging in its position on the facility, the government even awarded a $30 million contract to help build a new permanent prison for terror suspects, leading Amnesty to comment, Bush "plans to memorialize in bricks and mortar its decision to operate outside of the law."

But the chorus of Guantanamo critics is growing. On June 10, long-time Bush crony and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, who served as Housing Secretary during his first term, suggested that closing the prison may indeed be the appropriate thing to do. Without explicitly endorsing Guantanamo's closure, Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, another likely presidential candidate, also noted that the facility had become a serious "image" problem. "It's identifiable with, for right or wrong, a part of America that people in the world believe is a power, an empire that pushes people around: We do it our way; we don't live up to our commitments"

MORE on White House attempts to justify torture


 + UN Says U.S. Blocking Investigation Of Guantanamo Torture

 + Repubs Attack Red Cross Over Gitmo Criticism

 + Guantanamo Critics Put Bush On Defensive

 + Right-Wing Hostility to NGOs Glimpsed in Amnesty Flap

 + Halliburton Gets $30 Million To Build Prison At Guantanamo

Senate Bill Would Form Commission On Prisoner Abuse
Provision in anti-terrorist bill would create independent panel like 9/11 Commission

Amnesty Says Violence Against Women Widespread
In Bangladesh, women accounted for the large majority of acid attack victims

Homeland Security State Leaves Wrongly Accused In Limbo
Cases shrouded in secrecy, marked by closed hearings and sealed declarations

Sweden Bowed To U.S, Rendered Suspect To Torture
Asylum seeker stopped at airport and sent to Egypt at urging of U.S. agents

The nomination of Negroponte as DNI comes at a time when new CIA chief Goss has signaled that he intends to rid the agency of those who do not fall into line with Bush administration policies in the Middle East and elsewhere, leading some high officials to leave the agency and to widespread morale problems. In the view of one former intelligence official, "The CIA is a wounded gazelle on the African plain. It's a pile of bleached bones."

Neo-Nazis Seek To Exploit German Feelings of WWII Victimization
Helped by wartime defeat being a taboo subject in Germany
Russians Look Back On Stalin Era With Nostalgia FREE!
Memories of WWII victories, Soviet Union ascendant

Big U.S. Banks Seek Takeover Of Mexican Money Transfer Business
Out with Western Union and Moneygrams, in with credit card committments

Mexican Enviros Fighting Loggers Killed
Campesino (peasant farmer) environmentalists systematically attacked

Crisis In Bolivia Over Foreign Control Of Nation's Oil
IMF forced Bolivia to privatize its oil and gas in the mid-1990s

Pinochet Loses Immunity in Tax Fraud Case
But court rules Pinochet is mentally unfit to stand trial for human rights abuses

Flood Of U.S. Rice Into Haiti Drives Farmers Into City Slums
IMF pressure to open trade in 1980s led to subsidized U.S. rice destroying industry

Palestinian Unemployment Hits 26 Percent
40% among youths ages of 14 and 24, most likely to be radicalized

Nepal Stunned As King Cracks Down On Media
No criticism allowed of government, extended royal family

KBR employee Samuel Walker, says KBR denied him medical leave after he was injured in the Camp Merez bombing. His only options at that point were to quit or stay in Iraq. He recalls that he was eating French fries when the explosion blasted through the mess tent. "Body parts were flying all over and pieces of flesh flying in my face," Walker says. When it was over, the former contractor was drenched in the blood of the victims around him and rescue workers took him for dead. "I was so close to the bomber," he adds. "There was copper wire from the bomb embedded in my jacket." Walker took a full blast to the side of his head and shrapnel pitted his body. But when KBR medics treated him following the bombing, he says they merely rubbed Vaseline on his burns and gave him Motrin for pain. Walker quit and headed home to Houston, where he's in physical therapy for his neck, back and right knee. Walker also believes suffers from PTSD. Walker knows it's unlikely that he'll be able to re-enter the workforce. In the meantime, he's waiting on his claim for disability and medical bills. "I haven't gotten one red cent from them," Walker says

Iraq News
Rumsfeld: Iraq Insurgency Could Last 12 Years FREE!
As Gen. Abizaid admits U.S. in secret talks with rebel groups

Even Pentagon's Daily Brief Can't Spin The Iraq Bad News
Must-read news summary for military brass had suppressed Iraq reports
Iraqi Tribes Accused Of Oil Pipeline Protection Racket FREE!
Oil company official says groups blowing up the pipelines to prove the need for their services

80 Nations Agree Safe, Stable Iraq Would Be A Good Thing
Rice spins purely symbolic vote as start of "new international partnership"

Comparisons Between Vietnam, Iraq Quagmire, Hard To Avoid
Dreams of glory following capture of Baghdad in 2003 yields to nightmares of defeat

Desperate Iraqis Seeking Work Blind To Dangers
With unemployment near 50% many have no choice but to work in situations of grave danger

Politics As Usual
Senate Apologizes For Lynchings - But Not Hate Crimes
Hate crime laws blocked with the same "state's rights" excuse that kept lynching from ban
Senate Confirms Brown, Pryor To Appeals Courts FREE!
"This nomination is all about party payback time," Sen. Arlen Specter said. "That is what it is."

House Seeks To Slash UN Funding By Half
Bill would also allow Bush to pick and choose those programs he wished to fund

Mr. Pre-Emptive Attack Gets Bolton's Old Job
Was the person who pushed the phony Niger-uranium claim
Libya Is The Acid Test For Bolton Nomination FREE!
Bolton repeatedly overstated the threat posed by Libya and other states, often to the dismay of superiors like Secretary of State Colin Powell

Bush Housing Plan Would Slash Help For Families, Elderly, Disabled
"Section 8" voucher program created by Nixon and expanded by Reagan

Historic Emmett Till 1955 murder case reopened
Many Mississippi Civil Rights-Era Murders Unsolved
While on a visit to Mississippi in 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped from his home at gunpoint, savagely beaten, shot and dumped in a river. Till's murder proved to be one of the catalysing events of the civil rights movement.

Why Emmett Till's Murder Still Matters
Black leaders, religious and labor organizations and numerous public officials called on the Justice Department to act. But federal authorities claimed, erroneously, that only state officials could prosecute racially motivated crimes. If ever there was a racial lynching case that screamed for federal action it was the Till case. And there are more
"Move America Forward" Bids To Lead Extremist's Charge FREE!
Founders led ouster of California Governor Davis

Report Shows Evangelicals Bully, Intimidate Air Force Academy Cadets
Cadets warned those who are not born again will burn in the fires of hell

Efforts To Get Bibles Into Classrooms Spread Nationwide
Justified as study of Bible as literature, history

Catholic Church Prepares To Battle Evangelists
After years of losing ground to Protestant sects in Asia, Latin America
Bush Packing UN Panels With Religious Right FREE!
Extremists from right-wing think tanks and fundamentalist groups now are posted to U.S. delegations to the UN
In May, a strong piece of legislation was completely gutted in Oregon thanks to corporate lobbying. The bill would have banned carbonated soft drinks, candy, and fried pastry products in schools. But the law that passed calls only for schools to have "wellness policies" The Oregon Soft Drink Association donated $91,000 in campaign contributions to state politicians last fall. Three key lawmaker on the education committee received $2,000 each
All over the country, politicians deep in the pockets of the junk food lobby are using the excuse of "local control" to defend their indefensible positions on school nutrition. Trouble is that local school districts are lured by the much-needed cash generated by soda and junk food sales

"Student Bill of Rights" Casts McCarthyite Cloud Over Campuses
13 states already have introduced bills that would ban 'liberal indoctrination' d

Little Progress In Getting Japanese To Give Up Cigarettes
Even though smoking now banned in most offices and public places

China Under Mounting Pressure To Approve GM Rice
Decision either way will influence acceptance of GM food worldwide

Suicides Of 4,000 India Farmers Linked To Free Market "Reforms"
Debt crisis after 45,000 workers lose their

Vietnam's Fish Disappearing At Alarming Rate
Dynamite, cyanide still regularly used by fishermen

Fake Bio-Terror Drama Shows Hi Tensions Between Indonesia, Australia
Indonesian trial of Australian woman allegedly framed on drug charges was broadcast live

New Wave Of Angry Nationalism In Asia
Public opinion in China, Japan, and N Korea spurs anger at neighbors

African Aid Often Depends On What Language Is Spoken
UN official says French and Portuguese-speaking countries get back seat

Corporations Seeking Gold Fund Congo's Tribal Wars
Militias force poor to mine gold. then smuggle it over the Uganda border

What The Minutemen Vigilantes Look Like From The Streets Of Oaxaca
The Minutemen are all the talk at the local bar, in the back of taxicabs and on campus

Students, Teachers Come Together For Schwarzenegger Protests
Does a raucous, limousine-rocking protest mark the birth of a new political moment?

Punishment For Taking Mom's Call From Iraq Shows Harsh Treatment of Black Students
Nearly 1 of 3 students kicked out of school is Black

Joe Conason: Media's Shameful Non-Coverage Of Downing Street Memo
Certainly the secret minutes of a discussion about invading Iraq qualify as "news"

George W. Bush, Prophet Of God FREE!
Unlike other presidents, Bush speeches are not requests for divine favor; they are declarations of divine wishes

Ban China Fur, Often From Animals Skinned Alive
The fur trim in your coat may come from animals that were writhing as their skin was ripped off


MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Plenty Of Reasons For Outrage
 + Shameful Non-Coverage Of The Downing Street Memos
 + Destroying PBS
 + Note To Bush: Not Learning From Mistakes Is Sign Of Stupidity
 + Republican Class Warfare
 + The K Street Boys
 + Texas Screws Over The Schools -- Again

 + Bush's GOP Allies Finally Breaking Ranks On Iraq
 + Pattern of Deception Persists In Tillman's Death
 + Blaming The Messenger Fools No One

 } Robert Scheer

 + Voluntary Amnesia In The Service Of War
 + A More Democratic Iran Bad News For The Neo-Cons
 + From Watergate to Downing Street -- Lying for War
 + War Made Easy: From Vietnam to Iraq

 } Norman Solomon

 + The History Of Smoking Guns
 + Juries And Lynch Mobs
 + Thomas Friedman's Imaginary India
 + France's Magnificent Non!

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + He Said It, Or Didn't, But Here's What He Meant
 + Franken The Best Thing That's Happened To O'Reilly
 + FOXing Up The "Mainstream" Media
 + Libs, Media Are Torturing Our President
 } Steve Young


FREE! From top to bottom, Bush's people are, in this sense, a caricature of their own caricature of the 1960s. In fact, given their fixation on the Sixties, it's worth revisiting their record in that long-ago era when they were already the most morally relative of beings. On the central issue of those years, the Vietnam War, they were essentially missing in action; or, as our Vice President so famously commented, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." As a group, the top figures in this administration have often seemed like so many aggressive children let loose in the neighborhood sandbox by deadbeat dads and moms. Let me, in fact, suggest a label for them that, I hope, catches their truest political nature: They are immoral relativists

Albion Monitor
Issue 135

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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