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Katrina's brewing scandal 8/31/2005 RedState.org: "The faces of the refugees for whom the first refugee camp in United States history is being set up are disproportionately black. As I watched Shepherd Smith's live coverage on FoxNews, the video footage of the refugees streaming out of New Orleans showed almost entirely poor blacks in the crowd. Blacks outnumber whites by vast margins in nearly every picture or video of the disaster.
I am not one for playing racial politics following disasters, or for playing politics at all in the wake of such events, but mark my words, the race and economic status of the refugees will become a vastly more long-lasting political issue for the left than anything having to do with Iraq or global warming. The fact that Governor Blanco of Louisiana is a Democrat will not matter, because the left has made this entirely about President Bush. The image of the South as a hillbilly region rife with racism and active discrimination against blacks will probably be resurrected to explain why it seems that the disproportionate amount of refugees are black. And as with any debate about race, the rhetoric will be extremely heated."
New Orleans Is At the Mercy of Lawless Thugs 8/31/2005 American Daily: "While all of the images coming out of the Gulf Coast are deeply disturbing, those of the looting are perhaps the most troubling." - never mind all the black babies being carried through the water with no place to go, suffering heat exhaustion and dehydration, with no one to evacuate them.
Lost in the Flood - Why no mention of race or class in TV's Katrina coverage? 8/31/2005 Slate: "To be sure, some reporters sidled up to the race and class issue. I heard them ask the storm's New Orleans victims why they hadn't left town when the evacuation call came. Many said they were broke—"I live from paycheck to paycheck," explained one woman. Others said they didn't own a car with which to escape and that they hadn't understood the importance of evacuation."
Bigots Gloat over Hurricane Victims; Spew Racist and Anti-Semitic Hate Online 8/31/2005 ADL
Katrina Exposes Racism 8/31/2005 Znet
Bush Diverted Levee-Building Funds to Iraq War, Tax Cuts 8/31/2005 Pensito
Four charged with plotting terror attacks in L.A 8/31/2005 Reuters
New Orleans is Sinking, But… "Hey, Shoot that Black Guy Running Off with the Bottled Water from Wal-Mart!" 8/31/2005 Counterpunch
MEMORANDUM TO THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE THE HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE 8/31/2005 Antiwar.com: "Israeli Surveillance of the Future Hijackers and FBI Suspects in the September 11 Attacks and Their Failure to Give Us Adequate Warning: The Need for a Public Inquiry"
Venezuelan President Offers Aid For Katrina Victims 8/31/2005 AHN
The War on Katrina 8/31/2005 TPM Café: "While New Orleans is a predominantly African-American city, it is also clear (based on the pictures of the people struggling there) that the impact of such devestation is going to be felt in less affluent neighborhoods where access to alternatives is limited -- whether those neighborhoods are minority or not."
Muhammad says he was beaten by the LAPD 8/31/2005 Wave: "Nation of Islam minister accuses officers of beating and kicking him after he was handcuffed during candlelight vigil in Hyde Park. Police officials say officers were defending themselves."
'This is criminal': Malik Rahim reports from New Orleans 8/31/2005 SF Bay View: "Malik Rahim, a veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans, for decades an organizer of public housing tenants both there and in San Francisco and a recent Green Party candidate for New Orleans City Council, lives in the Algiers neighborhood, the only part of New Orleans that is not flooded. They have no power, but the water is still good and the phones work. Their neighborhood could be sheltering and feeding at least 40,000 refugees, he says, but they are allowed to help no one. What he describes is nothing less than deliberate genocide against Black and poor people. - Ed."
Racial Insensitivity On Hannity & Colmes 8/31/2005 News Hounds: "Hannity introduced an interview with Charles Foti, Louisiana Attorney General, and a former New Orleans sheriff, by saying, "This morning, cameras caught people ransacking a grocery store, trying to gather as much food as possible." Nearly everyone in the video was African American. The video was show repeatedly throughout the hour."
Hurricane Katrina exposes racism and inequality - Left behind to face the worst 8/31/2005 Socialist Worker
Black Employees Sue Tyson Foods for Maintaining ‘Whites Only’ Restroom 8/30/2005 Black America Web
Addie Greene Isn’t the Problem – Our Unequal Treatment by Police Is 8/30/2005 Black America Web
The Louisiana Superdome of shame 8/30/2005 Pravda: "Watching news coverage of the refugees trying to enter the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans for safety from the approaching force-five Hurricane Katrina, I was incredulous how the people attempting to enter the stadium were being treated by the national guard troops and local police. The people were made to stand for hours outside in the awful Louisiana climate while they were admitted one or two adults at a time so they could be searched "for firearms and alcohol." "
Overseas deployments hinder Guard hurricane presence 8/30/2005 AP
Venezuela: a Launch Pad for Muslim Extremism? 8/30/2005 Counterpunch: "Now, this is a curious figure. The total population of Venezuela as of July 2005 was, according to the CIA Factbook, about 25,375,000. The same source specifies that 98% of Venezuelans are Catholic or Protestant Christians, leaving 2% "other." Other sources give a Jewish population of 35,000, a Buddhist population of 25,000. This leaves half a million who are neither Christians, Jews, nor Buddhists. But the most substantial listing of Venezuelan religious population I've found doesn't give any information on Islam at all, and a Muslim site gives the figure of only 126,876 believers in Venezuela. I suppose there might be a large community of Arab Christian immigrants, but looks to me like Arostegui has simply done some math, found that the missing two percent amount to 507,000, and finds therein that "half-million strong" and threatening "Venezuelan Arab community" providing (in his fevered imagination) haven to the Muslim rogue-state agents."
SuperDome Lockdown: Katrina's Prisoners 8/30/2005 PEJ: "In the hours leading to the landfall of the, ultimately Class 4 hurricane, thousands were left waiting for hours in the open while security checks were laboriously undertaken, with National Guard and police searching and confiscating liquor, guns, and other contraband. Though no comments have yet emerged, the racial dimension to the exodus was immediately apparent on television. Corporate newscasts of the long lines snaking around the Dome revealed the overwhelmingly Black cast of the evacuees. A cast contradicted by that of police and National Guard sent in to oversee the operation."
When the levee breaks 8/30/2005 Philadelphia Daily News: article opens with this quote "It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.
-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004."
How Bush's policies doomed New Orleans 8/30/2005 PHX
Katrina's real name 8/30/2005 Boston Globe: "THE HURRICANE that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming… Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.
The reason is simple: To allow the climate to stabilize requires humanity to cut its use of coal and oil by 70 percent. That, of course, threatens the survival of one of the largest commercial enterprises in history.
In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign.
In 2000, big oil and big coal scored their biggest electoral victory yet when President George W. Bush was elected president -- and subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.
As the pace of climate change accelerates, many researchers fear we have already entered a period of irreversible runaway climate change."
America’s doomsday prophecy 8/30/2005 Daily Sun, Nigeria: "Every lover and patriot of the country Nigeria should feel disturbed by the recent US intelligence report that if certain things are not put in place, Nigeria will disintegrate within the next 15 years.
Since this report became public knowledge, Nigerians have as usual been divided over the veracity or falsehood of such a prediction coming from one of our friendly nations. Many including the President Olusegun Obasanjo dismissed the report as a product of mischief-makers and prophets of doom."
NAACP, Urban League Assessing How to Help Hurricane Katrina Victims 8/30/2005 Black America Web
9 Weeks to Pump Out New Orleans? 8/30/2005 SlashDot
FBI raids Atiku's US home 8/29/2005 Vanguard, Nigeria: "OPERATIVES of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have searched the US home of Vice President Atiku Abubakar as part of an international anti-corruption probe, according to reports yesterday."
Hurricane Katrina leaves New Orleans’ poor out in the storm 8/29/2005 Black News Weekly: "While whites and the well-off Blacks got the hell out of town, poor Blacks and whites in New Orleans who were too poor to leave, had to wait out hurricane Katrina in the Superdome.
As New Orleans braced itself for one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the US, it's a shame how the poor in the city were left to fin for themselves. Consider this; if you are Black and still in News Orleans, and can't swim, then them crackers have left you up shit's creek!"
Democratic deal-makers once again sell out blacks 8/29/2005 USA Today: "The compromise, which was struck by seven moderate Democrats and seven moderate Republicans who have been branded the "Gang of 14," allows Democrats to filibuster a judicial nominee only under "extraordinary circumstances." Several key members of this group say that exception can be triggered only when serious questions about a nominee's ethics or character arise.
If this interpretation holds, Roberts' confirmation is all but assured. Even more chilling for me is the fear that his elevation to the Supreme Court will usher in an end to the Second Reconstruction."
Senators Should Skip Abortion and Ask John Roberts About Eminent Domain 8/29/2005 Black America Web
Jesse Jackson Says Venezuela No Threat, Praises Venezuelan Government Concerns 8/29/2005 Venezuela Analysis: "With regard to the question about whether Jackson shares Chavez’s complaint that the Bush administration is funding opposition civil society groups in Venezuela, Jackson said, “If [Venezuela’s] government were to fund opposition groups in the U.S., it would be unacceptable. Democracy demands that we play the game by one set of rules.” "
Venezuela to seek legal action against Robertson 8/29/2005 Reuters: ""I announce that my government is going to take legal action in the United States ... to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism." Chavez said in a televised speech.
The fiery left-wing critic of Bush's foreign policy who frequently charges the U.S. government is plotting to kill him, called Robertson "crazy" and a "public menace."
He said Venezuela could seek Robertson's extradition under international treaties and take its claim to the United Nations if the Bush administration did not act."
Campaign to ring Chavez alarm fails to resonate 8/28/2005 Reuters: "A congressional official, who asked not to be named because he was relating a private conversation, said a bipartisan delegation of U.S. legislators met Condoleezza Rice before she became secretary of state to urge her to reach out to Chavez.
According to the official, Rice cut the lawmakers off and said, "We just don't like him." "
Lawsuit claims cops kept blacks, Jews out of KKK celebration on city property 8/26/2005 Houston Chronicle: "The KKK rented the hall from the city for $600 and held an event June 11. The group encouraged the public to attend to learn about KKK history, hear a free lecture and see exhibits.
A few hundred people, many of them black, protested outside the hall during the event. Dozens of Tomball police and other law enforcement officers were stationed nearby to ensure public safety.
The lawsuit alleges the city promoted the group's segregationist policies when it rented the hall to the group and police enforced those polices when they stopped blacks from entering the hall during the event."
Winter Soldiers' Stories 8/25/2005 Alternet: "The film, shot in Detroit in winter 1971 but not widely released until now, provides first-hand accounts by apparently sane, sensitive soldiers, who witnessed (or committed) the most barbaric acts of brutality as part of their normal, day-to-day tours of duty.
"What should be brought out is the horror of the everyday that went on over there, " said one veteran in the film.
We learn from Cpt. Rusty Hughes about a crew from Philadelphia who got their kicks chucking live prisoners out of helicopters. He tells us that the practice was supported by military orders, which dictated that prisoners be counted once they were unloaded from aircraft not when they were first picked up, as the numbers might not jibe. Winks all around."
Jesse Jackson to address Venezuela's National Assembly and Afro-Venezuelan groups 8/25/2005 Vheadlines: "During his 3-day trip to Venezuela commencing on Saturday, Jackson expects to meet up with Venezuelan religious leaders and Afro-Venezuelan organization representatives."
Pat Robertson and His Business Buddies 8/25/2005 Washington Post: originally published 11/01 - "Pat Robertson did learn about the gold mining investment opportunity from a visiting Liberian delegation. Robertson did subsequently create the for-profit Freedom Gold Limited in the Cayman Islands in December 1998 in which he was listed as the president and the company's sole director. He did conclude a mining agreement signed personally by him, Charles Taylor and key members of Taylor's cabinet on May 18, 1999. And the deal does give the Taylor regime a cut of the action."
Chávez taunts US with oil offer 8/25/2005 Guardian: "President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela hit back vigorously at calls by an ally of President George Bush for his assassination by offering cheap petrol to the poor of the US at a time of soaring fuel prices.
In a typically robust response to remarks by the US televangelist Pat Robertson, Mr Chávez compared his detractors to the "rather mad dogs with rabies" from Cervantes' Don Quixote, and unveiled his plans to use Venezuela's energy reserves as a political tool."
Assata - Rap Icons Godmother Still Gaining Support 8/25/2005 Thug Life Army: "Dear Mayor Palmer: Let me introduce myself by saying that ASSATA SHAKUR is my sister, friend, and comrade in the struggle for human rights of all oppressed people. When three “Freedom Fighters” boldly took action in 1979 and entered the Clinton Correctional Facility and liberated Sister ASSATA from the chains and shackles of her jailers, I rejoiced. I was proud to be apart of a generation of young African Americans that were courageous and committed enough to go up against America and didn’t give a damn about odds."
Telling the truth about racial profiling gets Justice Dept official demoted 8/24/2005 NYT: "The flashpoint in the tensions between Mr. Greenfeld and his political supervisors came four months ago, when statisticians at the agency were preparing to announce the results of a major study on traffic stops and racial profiling, which found disparities in how racial groups were treated once they were stopped by the police.
Political supervisors within the Office of Justice Programs ordered Mr. Greenfeld to delete certain references to the disparities from a news release that was drafted to announce the findings, according to more than a half-dozen Justice Department officials with knowledge of the situation. The officials, most of whom said they were supporters of Mr. Greenfeld, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters.
Mr. Greenfeld refused to delete the racial references, arguing to his supervisors that the omissions would make the public announcement incomplete and misleading. Instead, the Justice Department opted not to issue a news release on the findings and posted the report online.
Some statisticians said that decision all but assured the report would get lost amid the avalanche of studies issued by the government. A computer search of news articles found no mentions of the study."
Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration 8/24/2005 Truth Out: "It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things," Karpinski said. "And then a handwritten message over to the side that appeared to be the same handwriting as the signature, and that signature was Secretary Rumsfeld's. And it said, 'Make sure this happens' with two exclamation points. And that was the only thing they had. Everything else had been confiscated."
Diamonds are Robertson's best friend 8/24/2005 Sullivan County: "Although the financial success of CBN is well-known, one of Robertson's lesser known organizations is his African Development Company (ADC). ADC is a private venture that invests in various land-based operations in Africa, such as mining and agriculture, with the stated goal of redirecting profits toward humanitarian projects. In Zaire, the ADC operates a diamond-mining project in the center of Zaire's prime diamond mines and forestry concessions."
Pat and Hugo: The Real Story - Part 1
Rev. Robertson's Call to Assassinate Hugo Chavez 8/23/2005 Greg Palast: "And what seems to have gotten our Veep's knickers in a twist is not the price of oil, but who keeps the loot from the current band-busting spurt in prices. Chavez had his Congress pass another oil law, the "Law of Hydrocarbons," which changes the split. Right now, the oil majors - like PhillipsConoco - keep 84% of the proceeds of the sale of Venezuela oil; the nation gets only 16%.
Chavez wanted to double his Treasury's take to 30%. And for good reason. Landless, hungry peasants have, over decades, drifted into Caracas and other cities, building million-person ghettos of cardboard shacks and open sewers. Chavez promised to do something about that.
And he did. "Chavez gives them bread and bricks," one Venezuelan TV reporter told me. The blonde TV newscaster, in the middle of a publicity shoot, said the words "pan y ladrillos" with disdain, making it clear that she never touched bricks and certainly never waited in a bread line.
But to feed and house the darker folk in those bread and brick lines, Chavez would need funds, and the 16% slice of the oil pie wouldn't do it. So the President of Venezuela demanded 30%, leaving Big Oil only 70%. Suddenly, Bill Clinton's ally in Caracas became Mr. Cheney's -- and therefore, Mr. Bush's -- enemy."
Pat Robertson: 'I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist' 8/23/2005 Greg Palast: "And he wasn't supposed to mention China. His fellow evangelists are none too happy about his contacts with Zhu Rongi, the communist dictator who gleefully jails Christian ministers. Volder defends Robertson's meetings with Zhu - and his association with deposed Congo strongman Sese Seko Mobutu - on the grounds that 'Pat would meet with the Devil if that is the only way to help suffering people'. The fact that the connections assisted in obtaining diamond and Internet concessions is secondary.
Let us return to the point on which we began: the Bank of Scotland's US consumer-bank holding company, which Robertson will head. When the bank gets going, it will launch through Robertson's accustomed routes: phone and mail solicitations.
This deal could make Pat Robertson the biggest financial spider on the World Wide Web. The Wall Street Journal believes the bank will be worth $3bn."
The Whiteness of Wi-Fi 8/23/2005 In These Times: "Like the railroad barons of DuBois' time, the CEOs and lobbyists of telecom and cable giants worked against the interest of Philadelphia's majority. Claiming unfair competition, representatives of big business lobbied Pennsylvania legislators to outlaw free municipal Wi-Fi for the 75 percent of Philadelphia's poor who Neff estimates have no access to the Internet. Media reform advocates and local officials defeated those efforts earlier this year in a victory that has become a benchmark for activists in other cities.
Like many in the media reform movement, DuBois might see the strategic import of securing universal Wi-Fi access in the City of Brotherly Love. Yet, unlike the members of the mostly white media reform movement (and unlike most U.S. "progressives"), he would work and live in Kensington or other poor, unwired neighborhoods and would organize there--just as he did when he helped establish the NAACP. Living and organizing among the poor informed his passion to fight what he called "the evil which a privileged few may exercise over the majority." "
Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president 8/22/2005 Media Matters: "He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Immigrants win Arizona ranch 8/19/2005 Southern Poverty Law Center: "Two Salvadorans illegally detained and assaulted on a Texas ranch as they crossed the United States border two years ago now own 70 acres that belonged to one of their attackers.
Fatima Leiva and Edwin Mancia have taken title to the property in connection with a Center lawsuit in which the pair claimed its owner, Casey Nethercott, illegally detained and assaulted them as they traveled through Jim Hogg County in south Texas."
Unhealthy Products Heavily Featured in Magazines Aimed at Minorities 8/17/2005 MedPage Today
Chavez makes US oil export threat 8/15/2005 BBC: "Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said.
He described recent US government actions as "aggressive" in a speech at a youth festival in Caracas.
As a result, Venezuelan oil "instead of going to the United States, could go elsewhere," he said.
Venezuela exports about 1.3 million barrels a day to the US and is the world's fifth largest oil producer."
AL QAEDA, U.S. OIL COMPANIES, AND CENTRAL ASIA 8/13/2005 Peter Dale Scott: longer version of Congressional briefing, extracted from the author's new book, The Road to 9/11
9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions - Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism: A briefing for Congressional staff, July 22, 2005 8/13/2005 Peter Dale Scott: published 7/22/05, has such gems as "In the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, Arab Afghans clearly assisted this effort of U.S. oil companies to penetrate the region. In 1991-92, Richard Secord, Heinie Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn, three veterans of U.S. operations in Laos and Iran-Contra, turned up in Baku under the cover of an oil company, MEGA Oil. MEGA never did find oil, but did contribute materially to the removal of Azerbaijan from the sphere of post-Soviet Russian influence.
As MEGA operatives in Azerbaijan, Secord, Aderholt, Dearborn, and their men engaged in military training, passed “brown bags filled with cash” to members of the government, and above all set up an airline on the model of Air America which soon was picking up hundreds of Mujahideen mercenaries in Afghanistan. (Secord and Aderholt claim to have left Baku before the Mujahideen arrived.) Meanwhile, Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Afghanistan, who at the time was still allied with bin Laden, was “observed recruiting Afghan mercenaries [i.e. Arab Afghans] to fight in Azerbaijan against Armenia and its Russian allies.” At this time, heroin flooded from Afghanistan through Baku into Chechnya, Russia, and even North America. It is difficult to believe that MEGA’s airline (so much like Air America) did not become involved.
The triple pattern of drugs, oil, and al Qaeda was seen again in Kosovo in 1998, where the Al-Qaeda-backed Islamist jihadis of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) received overt American assistance from the U.S. Government. Though unmentioned in mainstream books on the war, both the al Qaeda and drug backgrounds of the KLA are recognized by experts and to my knowledge never contested by them. "
Venezuela says Americans could be denied visas 8/12/2005 AP: "Rangel said DEA agents in Venezuela also worked with "unacceptable autonomy" while "detaining and interrogating Venezuelans" without notifying Venezuelan authorities.
The vice president said DEA agents maintained "strange ties" with drug traffickers in Venezuela, which often serves as a corridor for Colombian cocaine destined for the United States and Europe."
Chavez revokes US agent immunity 8/12/2005 BBC: "Caracas has withdrawn the diplomatic immunity of US anti-drugs officials working in Venezuela.
It follows a move by the US State Department to revoke the visas of six Venezuelan officials in Washington.
Both countries are locked in a row after President Hugo Chavez accused the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of spying on his government."
Assata Shakur’s appeal attorney explains her case
Lies are being manufactured to convert Assata into a terrorist to justify the $1 million bounty on her head
by Evelyn A. Williams 8/10/2005 SF Bay View: "New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, a longtime member of CANF (Cuban American National Foundation, representing Cuban exiles), said: “If Cuba’s citizenry could be informed of the $1 million bounty and the real story of Chesimard’s crimes, there is an increased likelihood of her being brought to justice…. We want the Cuban people to know the real story about Joanne Chesimard and not the deceptive representation advanced by the Castro regime. We want people to realize that she is not a hero and she is really a violent criminal who is wanted for killing a state trooper and escaping justice.”
By falsely asserting that Assata shot Foerster in the head while he lay helplessly on the ground, killing him “execution style,” the U.S. Justice Department hopes to strip Assata of any of the sympathy and political support she now receives in the United States and from the citizens of Cuba. By labeling her a cold-blooded cop killer, the hope is that the real circumstances of the NJ Turnpike as well as all the years prior to that event, during which time Assata was relentlessly hunted with the stated purpose of killing her on sight for having committed crimes of which the government knew she was innocent, will be forgotten."
Black August ‘05 Tribute to Assata, Mumia, Evelyn Williams, Esq., Lynne Stewart, Esq., and Zolo Azania
by Sundiata Acoli 8/10/2005 SF Bay View: "Lynne Stewart, Esq., our White comrade and a 65-year-old grandmother, not only commands our highest respect, but her present situation also demands our strongest support. She has been on the front lines over 30 years unflinchingly defending political people of all nationalities, particularly Black and other people of color, and oppressed peoples in general.
Because of Lynne’s staunch defense of unpopular political defendants, her own freedom now hangs in the balance. She was recently convicted of violating “special administrative measures” in her defense of the blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and now faces up to 30 years in prison. Her sentencing date is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2005.
Lynne urgently needs all the “letters to the judge” that we can write to try to convince him that Lynne’s age (65 and counting), her 30 years of service to communities that rarely see vigorous lawyering, and the weakness of the government’s charges and proof should lead to a sentence of no incarceration."
Tapes May Link Ga. Killings, Supremacist 8/5/2005 AP: "A white supremacist investigated for a child-killing spree that terrorized Atlanta's black community once praised the crimes in secretly recorded conversations obtained by The Associated Press.
Although Charles T. Sanders did not claim responsibility for any of the deaths, lawyers for Wayne Williams, the black man convicted in two of the murders and blamed for 22 others between 1979 and 1981, believe the evidence will help their bid for a new trial."
Nigerians Claim Chevron Paid Soldiers Following Attacks 8/4/2005 AP: "Chevron Corp. (CVX) paid Nigerian soldiers who guarded the company's oil rigs after they allegedly attacked two villages in the African nation, according to company documents that have surfaced during a lawsuit against the energy firm.
The invoice from a Nigerian navy captain asks San Ramon-based Chevron to pay 15,000 naira, about $165, to 23 soldiers who responded to "attacks from Opia village against security agents." The company paid within 24 hours, according to a copy of the receipt which bears a date and time stamp."
In Search of a Right - The 13-year struggle of targets in a racial dragnet reveals the elusive nature of justice 8/2/2005 Village Voice
Even when we leave Iraq, we face years of blowback 8/1/2005 Guardian: "The new prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, was feted on a recent trip to the White House, but his hosts conveniently chose to forget that fact that his Dawa party was suspected of involvement in a string of terrorist attacks against western interests, including the 1983 bombings of the US embassy in Kuwait and the US marine barracks in Beirut. The latter, the worst act of terrorism against the US prior to 9/11, killed 241 American peacekeepers. In those days Dawa acted under the guidance of the Iranian intelligence services… The recent victory for the hardline candidate in Iran's presidential elections and the regime's apparent determination to acquire nuclear weapons compounds the problem. Bogged down in Iraq and now entirely dependent on the goodwill of its Shia majority to make the place governable, America and Britain have left themselves with few credible options for containing Iran or even influencing its behaviour.
The invasion of Iraq has frequently been described as the biggest diplomatic blunder since Suez. This already looks like a considerable understatement. On a worst-case scenario that now seems possible, it could very well come to be seen as one of the greatest foreign-policy own goals of all time."
Operation Milagro is extended to people in the United States 8/1/2005 Granma: "President Hugo Chávez reiterated yesterday, Sunday, that this year, some 100,000 patients from Latin American are to undergo eye surgery in Cuba.
On the 230th edition of his weekly Sunday program, "Aló Presidente," the leader noted that Operation Milagro (Miracle) also covers poor patients from the Caribbean free of charge, and has even been extended to the United States, where, he said, there is an increasing number of poor people, given that the Bush government is cutting access to Social Security."
FBI seeks to probe senior Israeli diplomat in Pentagon spy case 7/28/2005 Haaretz: "The Federal Bureau of Investigation is demanding that Naor Gilon, head of the political department at the Israeli embassy in Washington, be interrogated in connection to the Pentagon spy case.
It is possible the FBI will also want to interrogate other Israeli diplomats in connection with Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin, an Iran expert under investigation for allegedly passing classified documents to Israel via the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The American request was discussed a few weeks ago at an interministerial meeting in Jerusalem. The consensus was that neither Gilon nor other officials should be allowed to undergo investigation by the FBI but that Israel would be prepared to respond in writing to questions."
London bombs: Ready to strike again 7/27/2005 London Times: "It emerged last night that Ibrahim, 27, was granted a British passport despite a criminal record for violence. It also emerged that his parents identified him to police after CCTV pictures of him were released.
He was jailed by Luton Crown Court for five years when he was 17 for being part of a gang that carried out a series of muggings at knifepoint at Hertfordshire railway stations. One former friend said that he turned to radical Islam while in prison.
He qualified for early release in 1998 and is then alleged to have met Richard Reid, the jailed “shoe bomber”, at two London mosques. Reid, who was also a petty criminal, tried to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic in 2001."
Condoleezza Rice at the Center of the Plame Scandal - The Source Beyond Rove 7/27/2005 Counterpunch: "In earlier findings in cases of reporters refusing to testify, DC Circuit Judge, David Tatel, a distinguished jurist known for his devotion to civil liberties and especially press freedoms, had stoutly maintained a federal privilege for the media, shielding it from being compelled to testify except under the most exceptional conditions. But in then later joining his colleagues in ordering Cooper and the New York Times' Judith Miller to testify, Tatel reviewed extensive secret information from the prosecutor, devoted eight blacked-out pages of his judgment to the material, and concluded that the privilege he had upheld throughout his career as a lawyer and judge had to give way before "the gravity of the suspected crime." No other element of the scandal bodes so ill for the Bush regime."
Safe from Attack? or Doomed After Next 9/11?
Is Iran Being Set Up? 7/27/2005 Counterpunch: "There's a list of charges against Iran, just like there was against Iraq. If they happen, President Bush will explain the Iran attacks as strikes reluctantly undertaken, as a last resort, to protect Americans from terrorist threats emanating out of Iran. The STRATCOM guys will know that's not true, and have to live with the knowledge.
Or else they can do what some have apparently done so far: speak out, if anonymously, and just maybe force their commanders to abort this criminal war against Iran."
Capacity crowds at Downing Street forums call for impeachment 7/27/2005 SF Bay View: "Hundreds of people were turned away today as capacity crowds packed public forums in U.S. cities to discuss the Downing Street Memo and related evidence that President Bush lied about the reasons for war. Halls were filled to capacity and beyond in LA, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Northampton, New York and elsewhere for events led by Congress members Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, John Conyers and Maurice Hinchey."
'Ghetto Talent Show,' Watermelon Eating Contest Outrages Community 7/26/2005 Yahoo News
Judge denies bond for Cuban, seeks Bay of Pigs info 7/26/2005 Reuters: "A U.S. immigration judge denied bail on Monday for an asylum-seeking former CIA operative from Cuba and asked for legal briefs on whether his role in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion was a terrorist act.
Lawyers for Luis Posada Carriles called the request "surprising" because they said if Posada is found to have engaged in terrorism, it would imply the CIA did also."
In Zimbabwe, displaced return home to rubble - Residents wary of rebuilding after razings in slums 7/24/2005 Boston Globe: "For 14 years, Porta Farm was Musaruro's modest sanctuary in a cruel country. The community, about 20 miles west of Harare, the capital, had a school for her children and later her grandson. The Manyame River had yielded just enough fish each year to support a populace of more than 10,000.
But on June 28, Musaruro watched helplessly as a government bulldozer smashed through her three-room house and a wooden cabin that together sheltered her family of nine. Then, the police trucked her and most other residents to a bleak camp miles away. According to news reports, the assault with heavy equipment left four people dead."
AT 75, TATA GÜINES BAPTIZES HIS DRUMS 7/24/2005 Cuba Now: "His career has been like star which never goes out: he has recorded with other famous artists, like Arturo Chico O’Farrill and Cachao, and –in 1946- he performed for the first time at New York’s Waldorf Astoria and the Palladium, where he met composer, band leader and trumpet player Mario Bauza, one of the most important musicians in the fusion of Jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
His stay in the United States included recordings with the Miles Davis, Dizzie Guillespie and Maynard Ferguson bands, an experience which prompted him to broaden the possibilities of the tumbadora in Latin Jazz.
Those moments were recalled during these days of celebration by Tata Güines, described by Chico Hamilton a half-century ago as “the fastest left-hand in tumbadora playing.”
So many years later, surrounded by relatives and journalists in Havana, he smiles proudly when he recalls other New York moments, like when he performed with Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra, Maynard Ferguson and Chico Hamilton in a show in which he played his first solo."
Zimbabwe opposition applauds UN report 7/23/2005 SABC: "The MDC says the crackdown was a punitive move against Zimbabwe's urban dwellers that have largely supported the opposition in elections since it was formed in 1999. Mugbe's government denies the charge, saying the drive was simply meant to remove slums that had become a haven for crime."
‘Hands Off Assata’ meeting held 7/23/2005 Worker's World
Black Congressional leadership drives demand for Downing Street Minutes investigation 7/22/2005 SF Bay View: "As some of you may have heard, many, many new organizations have joined us in our efforts or are about to join us in our efforts. Prominently, Moveon.org is collecting signatures for the letter. As of Friday morning, June 10, we topped a combined 500,000. At the end of May that number was zero. From zero to 500,000 in less than two weeks. Just think about that. (A million signatures are expected by Thursday.)"
What Is the Plan If There's Another 9/11? 7/22/2005 Justin Logan: "The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."
M1 of dead prez on the case of Assata Shakur 7/20/2005 SF Bay View
Bush Selects Conservative Judge to Replace O’Connor on Supreme Court 7/19/2005 Black America Web: "Black congressional leaders said Roberts’ overall conservative ideology and right-leaning judicial philosophy could threaten decades of civil rights protections for many black Americans and those who are disenfranchised."
Three Ways Bush Makes Castro Happy By Ann Louise Bardach 7/19/2005 LA Times: "Finally, there is the case of Ibrahim Ferrer, the 78-year-old Afro Cuban Grammy Award-winning sonero from the Buena Vista Social Club.Last year, Ferrer was nominated again and naturally wanted to attend the Grammy ceremony. But he was denied a U.S. visa on the grounds that he was a risk to national security. Yup, a geriatric, crooning security threat.
Hundreds of Cuban artists and scholars — many of them critics of Castro — have been barred from visiting the U.S. on the grounds of "national security" since the Bush administration instituted a litmus test demanded by Miami hard-liners."
Interior asks Congress for power to take Indian lands 7/19/2005 Indianz: "The Bush administration is once again asking Congress for authority to take "unclaimed" Indian lands and to eliminate its trust responsibility to tens of thousands of individual Indians.
In a letter to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the Interior Department urged Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to add provisions to a bill that is already on the Senate floor. Although the proposed changes were described as "technical," they would give the federal government powers that haven't been the subject of a hearing or prior public debate."
Tancredo: No apology - He believes bombing of Muslim holy sites has been discussed 7/19/2005 Rocky Mountain News: "Facing mounting criticism, Rep. Tom Tancredo on Monday refused to apologize for suggesting the United States could target Muslim holy sites if radical Islamic terrorists set off multiple nuclear attacks in American cities."
Africa Channel set for September digital launch 7/19/2005 Hollywood Reporter: "Our network will serve an important cultural need while providing diverse, entertaining programming that demystifies Africa to the American television audience," said Africa Channel CEO James Makawa said. "We also want to highlight that there is a lot of good stuff going on in Africa."
The channel's flagship series will include "Carte Blanche Africa," a weekly full-hour investigative program a la "60 Minutes"; reality shows "Big Brother Africa" and "All You Need is Love"; award-winning soaps "Generations" and "Isidingo"; as well as special annual events like modeling competition "M-Net's Face of Africa."
Original series on the channel include "Conversations With Felicia," hosted by African talk show icon Felicia Mabuza-Suttle; "AfricaMusic!" a VJ-hosted music series; and "Africa Today," a half-hour weekday wrapup of news, features and lifestyle reports from the continent hosted by Doreen Morris and former ABC News correspondent Kenneth Walker."
Exploitation Akin to Modern-Day Slavery is Alive and Well in Florida 7/19/2005 Black America Web: "Police who raided the camp found 148 rocks of crack cocaine, 20 cases of beer and dozens of cases of cigarettes. Former workers, such as Will Anderson, told the Florida Times-Union that the drugs were basically used as payola to workers, most of whom were transported to the camp from homeless shelters and other flophouses from throughout the state to harvest cabbages in the middle of nowhere.
Most were black men. Black men who couldn’t shake drug habits. Black men whose prior convictions made it tough for them to start over with a square job. Black men who were desperate.
Yet, what those men found at the camp wasn’t a way to amass cash, but another prison."
Buffalo, N.Y., activists rally against KKK racism 7/19/2005 Worler's World: "For months, African-American families in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood of Buffalo have withstood smashed windows, thrown bricks, racist slurs and death threats--from gangs of white racist youth. KKK graffiti deface the neighborhood.
A brutal beating of members of an African-American family was the last straw. They wanted to fight back, and reached out to anti-racist activists."
Federal Leak Case Has Formidable Grand Jury -- It’s Mainly Black Women 7/18/2005 Black America News: "Kymberly Smith, a black California prosecutor, said America’s justice system is plagued by stereotypes, and those of black women are certainly no exception. She echoed Jones' contention that, although it’s noteworthy that a high-profile grand jury consisted of black women who were knowledgeable about the issue, it's not a huge revelation."
Senator Who Alleged Profiling Meets Cops 7/18/2005 Black America Web: "A black state senator who says he was the victim of racial profiling and mistreatment when a white officer pulled over his car told a church congregation Sunday that he wants a uniform code of conduct for traffic stops.
"America has a problem," Sen. James Meeks told worshippers at the 10,000-seat House of Hope Church, where he serves as head pastor. "It should not be left to the individual discretion of each and every police officer on what to do and not to do.""
Muslim Lecturer Sentenced To Life - Followers Trained For Armed Jihad 7/14/2005 Washington Post: "A man convicted for what he said -- words that prosecutors said incited his followers to train for violent jihad against the United States -- had a few more things to say yesterday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria before he was sentenced to life in prison.
Ali Al-Timimi, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader, delivered an impassioned statement in which he asserted his innocence, read the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and said his religious beliefs do not recognize "secular law." He then compared himself to the Greek philosopher Socrates, who was sentenced to death for corrupting the young and dishonoring the gods of Athens."
Black Congressional Leadership Drives Demand for Downing Street Minutes Investigation 7/14/2005 Black Commentator
Hands Off Assata Seeks to Educate Black Community About Shakur Case 7/13/2005 Black America Web
UNESCO ratifies Osun Grove on heritage list this week 7/12/2005 Guardian, Nigeria: "AT it's 29th session which kicked of in Durbai, South Africa yesterday the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World
Heritage Committee (WHC) is expected to officially ratify Osun Grove in
Osun State as a global heritage site."
Coverup of the Number of US Soldiers Killed in Iraq 7/12/2005 El Diario, Puerto Rico: "Official US. government reports on soldiers under US command killed in Iraq are so fragmented that they account for less than half of the total number, according to information uncovered as part of an inquiry by the Government of Puerto Rico regarding the total number of Puerto Rican war casualties.
This analysis was confirmed by El Diario/La Prensa's review of multiple documents, including official reports issued by the US Department of Defense, the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior and more than 230 battlefront reports, which reveal that more than 4,076 troops under US command have been killed in 799 days of battle.
This information contrasts markedly with the limited information on casualties generally issued by US military authorities, which focus only on US uniformed troops. These total 1,649.
Military affairs expert Jose Rodriguez Beruff from the University of Puerto Rico said that the figures showing more than 4,000 dead indicate that, far from winning the war in Iraq, "what is happening is that the troops are being worn down." He said that traditional theorists calculate that for an armed invading force to win a guerrilla war, its casualties should be one to ten of its enemy's. In this case, that would require 40,000 casualties among the insurgents.
In addition, Rodriguez Reduff warned that the reports should be reviewed on an ongoing basis, as he suspects that the number of casualties is even higher."
White Mexican Racism Rears Its Ugly Head Again 7/7/2005 Black Commentator
Art Form: Erzulie - The Goddess of Love in the Haitian religion by Mari Hall 7/7/2005 Black Commentator
Gordon’s First Order of Biz as NAACP President: Increasing Membership 7/4/2005 Black America Web