Albion Monitor Issue 141 DECEMBER 2005

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Heaven Help Us, Bush Is Reading Again
Book subjects often predict administration policy

NSA Wiretaps Included 2003 Spying On UN Security Council
Bombshell known before Iraq invasion, but ignored by mainstream media

Terror War A Bust In The Courts, Analysis Shows
Most convicted of relatively minor crimes such as making false statements and violating immigration law

New Bolivia President Vows To End U.S. Drug War In Country
Bush White House now faces populist politician it worked hard to undermine

Bolivia's Morales Seeks To Make Coca Legitimate Crop
"It's not at all far-fetched to imagine that China and Europe could be great markets for coca tea"

Vigilantes Control Law In Much Of Bolivia
200 of the country's 328 municipalities have no prosecutors or judges

Germany Knew About Illegal U.S. Rendition Flights
Hundreds of flights since 9/11 allowed by Schroder's government now questioned

Europe Demands U.S. Come Clean On Secret Torture Centers
Calls for sanctions against nations harboring U.S. camps

CIA's "Dark Prison" In Afghanistan Revealed
"We're not talking about torture in the abstract, but the real thing"

Pentagon's Secret Plan To Spy On U.S. Muslims
Similar plan was killed last year after it was made public

Patriot Act In Limbo Amid Discovery Of NSA Domestic Spying
Bush authorized unprecedented abuse of privacy

Polls Show Americans Ambivalent On Torture
46% say torture can be justified

World Sees U.S. As "Rogue State"
The list of UN treaties and conventions that Washington has not signed or has actively opposed goes on and on

Did Bush Block Deal To Capture Zarqawi?
Sunni groups reportedly offered to shutdown Iraq's al-Qaeda ops in exchange for pullout timetable

Gulf Coast Sludge Is Poisonous, Tests Show
Arsenic up to 100x safe levels

Red Tape Keeps Katrina Survivors From Returning Home, Moving On
Can't reach FEMA or other agencies for help

Hurricane Stan Will Deepen Latin America Poverty For Decades
Governments will survive, but many communities will not

Christian Right Renews Annual Attack On "Christmas Attack"
Another holiday tradition

Bolton at the UN
John Bolton, the abrasive U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who has been dubbed by one New York newspaper as 'a human wrecking ball,' is living up to every critic's gloomy expectations. Last month, he threatened UN member states, specifically the 132 developing nations, that if they don't play ball with the United States, Washington may look elsewhere to settle international problems. He also called for "the elimination of outdated missions." According to one Arab diplomat, "this is a code word for Palestinian programs." He said the move to "shrink" the UN Division for Palestinian Rights and the proposal to eliminate or downsize the two committees dealing with Palestinian issues are being prompted by two countries: the United States and Israel. But the greatest confrontation is over his demand for immediate wide-ranging changes in management, with the threat that the U.S. won't approve the UN's biennial budget otherwise

 + UN Budget Shutdown Looms

 + Groups Implore Rice To Rein In Bolton

 + Bolton Holding UN Budget Hostage To Force "Reform"

 + Bolton Presses To Eliminate Palestinian Funding

Bush Fails To Step Between China, Japan Growing Tensions
Asia left to assume U.S. wants unstable relation between giants
The light blue area shows the extent of permafrost in 1999, and dark blue indicates the permafrost projected to remain in 2099 (Diagram courtesy NCAR)
Permafrost Meltdown Across The Arctic FREE!
New climate simulations predict over half will thaw by mid-century

Poll: Arabs Don't Buy Bush Democracy Crusade
Over 80% say effort worsened their view of the U.S.

Lockheed Martin Joins Ranks of Outsourced Interrogators
Acquired Sytex in February in a $462 million takeover
U.S. Renditions Are Operation Condor Version 2 FREE!
Condor officials brazenly denied responsibility for "disappearances," just as U.S. officials simply refuse to comment

U.S. Won't Join In Landmark Tobacco Treaty
GOP ties to Big Tobacco seen as shameful refusal to sign world's first global health treaty

Muslim Brotherhood Makes Big Gains In Egypt Election
Wins by once-banned Islamist group "was a massive surprise for everyone"

Road To Haiti's Presidency Leads Through Miami, NYC
80+ percent of college-educated Haitians live overseas and send money home

U.S. Aid To Latin America Increasingly Flows Through Pentagon
$750 million planned to train and equip foreign military and police forces with minimal congressional and State Department oversight

Million$ In Farm Subsidies Go To Europe's Richest
Royalty among top benificiaries

Canadian Natives To Get $1.7 Billion For School Abuse
Tens of thousands physically and sexually abused in 'residential schools'

Mara Salvatrucha Gang Spreads In Central Mexico Following Hurricane
Taking advantage of the destruction and chaos caused by Hurricane Stan in early October
Thousands Of Quake Survivors Still Without Shelter As Harsh Winter Begins FREE!
Aid still hasn't reached many villages, 2 months later

Pakistan's Corrupt Army Controls Quake Cash
Entire relief and reconstruction apparatus run at the local level by military
Pakistan Quake Victims Struggle To Survive Freezing Conditions FREE!
"We are preparing ourselves for the worst, because it could be ugly"

Time For Israel To Come Clean On Its WMDs FREE!
No Mideast peace until double standard ended

Growing Rift Between U.S. And Israel Over Middle East
That "democratic" Iraq endorsed by Bush certain to be hostile to Israel, whose safety was a major reason for Iraq invasion

Palestinian Suicide Bomb Sets Agenda For Israel March Election
Attacks have determined outcome of every election since the '80s

Fujimori's Family Skimmed Millions From Donations
Including account for Japanese donations to aid poor children in Peru

Slovakia Wakes Up To Neo-Nazi Threat
3,000 estimated extremists carrying out racial attacks

California executes reformed gang leader
Appellate Courts determined that he had a fair trial. One victim's daughter felt that Williams should be put to death. A victim's brother said that it's okay with him if Tookie's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Tookie Williams was typical of the hundreds of inmates currently on America's death row. Except for one thing. He was famous.

There was no smoking-gun proof that Williams was innocent. But the case against him was based on scant physical evidence, the testimony of crime-prone jailhouse informants and his fearsome reputation as street thug, doper and the co-founder of the notorious Crips gang, which unleashed murder and mayhem on impoverished black communities. Was Tookie rehabilitated? Or given his past, was rehabilitation or redemption even possible?

Over the past 30 years the focus of America's prison systems shifted from rehabilitation to punishment. Being "tough on crime" proved to be a winning issue for Republicans. First they aroused the electorate by exaggerating the threat of violence. Next they played the fear card. Then they promised to send the convicted away for long prison terms. Or, to kill them. Periodically they execute an inmate and turn this into a public spectacle. In his bestseller, "Our Endangered Values," Jimmy Carter blames the shift from rehabilitation to punishment on the rise of American fundamentalism. He describes fundamentalists as saying to the convicted, "I am right and worthy, but you are wrong and condemned."

 + Waiting For Tookie To Die At The Gates Of San Quentin
 + The Popularity Of Unforgiveness FREE!

 + Another Execution Over A Questioned Crime

 + Why Many Blacks Oppose Clemency For "Tookie"

 + Was Tookie Williams Framed?

 + Tookie Is Topic #1 In Black Press

DuPont Pays Record Fine In Teflon Case FREE!
$16.5 million for concealing health risks
A camera trap in the Kayan Mentarang National Park captured the unknown animal called Red Bornean carnivore on film (Photo, artist rendition © WWF)
New Mammal Discovered in Borneo Already At Risk FREE!
As Indonesia plans mammoth palm oil plantations in area

China's Pollution Disaster A Harbinger of Water Woes
Gov't tried to coverup disaster as toxic waste poisoned water supploy for Harbin, city of nearly 4 million

China Has Forced Millions From Homes For Sake Of Progress
Some 850,000 homes demolished and 2.5 million people evicted in Shanghai alone

Deserts Advancing Around World Despite Efforts To Slow Sands
UN proclaims 2006 as year to raise greater awareness

Colombia Drug Industry Thrives Despite Billions Spent By U.S.
Supplies 90% of the cocaine, 50% of the heroin sold in this country

Iraq News
Sunni-Secular Coalitions Reject Election Results
With the main Shiite coalition rejecting calls for another vote, tensions across Iraq are rising

U.S. Fears Shiite Control Of Iraq Ministries
After discovery of torture houses being run by Shiite officials

Iraq's Victimhood Vote
Election strengthened view of ethnic separation

For Iraqis, Survival More Important Than Saddam Trial
Glad he's out of power and on trial, but living in misery

Iraqis Often Finding Bread, Other Basics In Short Supply
And often unaffordable as no controls on market prices

Iraqis Protest Big Jump In Oil Prices
"Are we responsible for fuelling the American occupation forces with petrol?"

Arabs Believe U.S. Plans To Hand Iraq Over To Iran
Besides helping pullout, ill also benefit U.S. with big arms sales to other nations in Gulf Region
30,000 Iraq Dead? Since You Brought It Up, Mr. Bush... FREE!
Groups call for accurate count of war's toll on civilians

Iraqi On Iraqi Torture #1 Issue After Election
"People are doing the same as Saddam's time and worse," said former PM Allawi

U.S. No Longer Seeks "Defeat" Of Sunni Insurgents
As GOP airs ad attacking Howard Dean for suggesting that war cannot be won

Sunnis Opt For Voting ... AND Armed Resistance
Quiet deal between rebels and group representing 3,000 mosques

No Question Of Iraqi Election Outcome In Kurdish Territory
Endorsement of alliance of two major Kurdish parties

U.S. Planting "Good News" In Iraq Press
Just days after Rumsfeld praised "free media" as sign of progress

Shiite Death Squads Step Up Killings In Advance Of Iraq Election
Increasing number of executed bodies found

Iraq Police Often Shiite Death Squads
Death squads within the largely Shiite police and special commandos
Muqtada al-Sadr's Militia Becoming Iraq's Default Police FREE!
Has even carried out its own operations to free hostages

More Evidence Points To Falluja War Crimes
Pentagon admits use of incendiary weapon during 2004 assault
Hundreds Of W Iraq Families Fear Returning Home After U.S. Offensive FREE!
"They call on U.S. to vote for a better Iraq, but all we see is the suffering of our children"
Iraqi Kurds Claim Their Right To Oil FREE!
Could be first constitutional crisis

Politics As Usual
Has Bush Committed High Crimes And Misdemeanors?
Recklessly and audaciously, Bush is driving the nation into a constitutional crisis

Congress To Probe Bush Approval Of Illegal Wiretaps
Members of Congress, legal experts raise question of impeachment

Cheney Camp Loses Big Time As Bush Agrees To Torture Ban
But classified additions to Army policy may provide backdoor to interrogators

The White House Contempt For The Press
Distain for any reality-based coverage, here or in Iraq
Impeach Cheney? FREE!
Wouldn't it make more sense to skip the middleman and get right to the problem?

"Duke" Cunningham's Comeuppance
Peddled his principles and his patriotism rather cheaply

WTO Summit flops
Korean protesters in dramatic confrontation with police outside Hong Kong WTO meet
Farmers Battle Cops At WTO Summit
South Korean rice farmers riot over foreign subsidies

WTO Debate: Are Fish And Forests Products Like Toys?
Protecting local harvest from large scale imported fish, wood

WTO Debate: U.S. Cotton Subsidies Drive African Farmers Deep Into Debt
Can't afford clothes made from their own crop

WTO Protesters Met With Hong Kong Harassment
Tight security even for scheduled rallies

UN: It's Time For World To Pay Up On AIDS Promises
More "commitments and promises," but nations avoid committing to concrete deliveries

HIV Among Japan's Youth At Record High
Only major industrialized nation with increasing HIV/AIDS infections

Haiti Groups Blame U.S. For Dozens Of Killings By Police, UN Forces
Victims were loyalists to ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Slave Labor Alive And Well In Argentinan Sweatshops
Most victims are undocumented Bolivians smuggled into the country

Fake Vaccines, Corruption May Doom China Efforts To Stop Bird Flu
Inoculating China's 14 billion farmed birds could be easily undermined

Black Youth Given Harsh Jail Terms 10x More Often Than Whites
22x more likely to get life-without-parole sentences in California

Can The Russians Ever Bury Lenin?
40% want body of the "leader of the world proletariat" to stay on display

The Real James Bond Uncovered
Fascinated by Popov and by the temptation of the casino, Ian Fleming wanted to emulate his new Yugoslavian friend

Latin American Journalists Blocked From In-Depth Reporting
Local polical news not connected to bigger picture

Hip-Hop Predicted Liquor Store Trashings
Hip hop has long addressed -- and frequently profited from -- liquor sales in impoverished black neighborhoods

Koreans Take Stem Cell Scientist's Fall Personally
Hwang Woo Suk became intimately linked to the success of the nation

Women Cancer Patient Beauty Products Contain Carcinogens FREE!
Program is administered nationwide by the American Cancer Society

How the ACLU Didn't Steal Christmas FREE!
Religious right makes a buck demonizing the ACLU with fake anti-Christmas claims


MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Adios, Mo-Fo 2005
 + Not Just Your Average Government Spying
 + A Genuine Constitutional Crisis
 + Writing Good News For The Baghdad Daily Bugle
 + Lies Don't Lead To Road To Victory
 + Read This, Fellow Procrastinators
 + GOP Pros At God-Fearing, Corruption

 + Media Silent As Iraq's WMD Scientists Go Free
 + Iraq Vote Moves Baghdad Closer To Tehran
 + The Beauty Of U.S. Renditions: Deniability
 + Abramoff Scandal Highlights Right's Moral Bankruptcy
 + Bush Making Saddam Look Good In Comparison

 } Robert Scheer

 + NY Times Had No Business Keeping White House Secrets
 + Bush Lifts Another Chapter From Nixon's Vietnam Playbook
 + Saddam Charges Carefully Selected To Avoid Rumsfeld's Connection
 + Colin Powell: Still Craven After All These Years

 } Norman Solomon

 + All Over But The Obituary
 + The Year Credibility Vanished
 + Collapse Of Housing Bubble Just Part Of Bush's Woes
 + All The News That's Fit To Buy
 + Bush In Winter

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + Talkin' Trash With The Lords Of Loud
 + Subs Bring Holiday Shrill
 + Fighting 'Em Over There So We Can Spy On You Over Here
 + Send Steph To Iraq
 + Hannity Scores With Dishonest Setups
 } Steve Young

The death of Eugene McCarthy is the latest and most powerful reminder that the Democratic Party has lost its moral backbone.

While Americans in 1968 were awakening to the nightmare of an unjust, immoral and illegal war, founded on the lie of the Gulf of Tonkin, our politicians in Washington continued to slumber, year after year, until finally Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota rose up to challenge the leader of his own party.

Not unlike 1968, perhaps because the memory of Vietnam still lives in the American psyche, the people have awakened to the nightmare of the Iraq War. We have awakened to the lies that were used to justify and generate support for the war and we are in the process of awakening to the lies that are currently being used to justify our continued occupation.

Sadly, as it was in the days before Eugene McCarthy, our political leaders are lagging behind the awakening of the people. As it was before McCarthy, members of Congress are dragging their feet, willing to discuss the deceptions that led to war, willing to criticize the conduct of war, but inevitably stopping short of the obvious corrective measure: Unconditional withdrawal.

Albion Monitor
Issue 141

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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