International Observers 2004
Voting in Jacksonville, FL,
6/16/03 - 9/30/03
5/16/03 - 6/15/03
Black Youth Vote
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Black America News
Mississippi lynching exposes Black struggle for land 9/29/2004 SF Bay View: "Veal’s relatives are emphatic that his death was a lynching. “They hang one and scare the rest. That’s the way they do it in Mississippi,” family member Willie Bradley told Brooklyn’s Daily Challenge newspaper.
Veal had returned to his home from Seattle to help his family fight a land-grab attempt by whites who alleged title and timber rights to acres that had been in Veal’s family for three generations, since the late 19th century.
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesperson Warren Stain declared the death as “consistent with suicide.” But there are serious and troubling contradictions to this explanation, including the fact that Veal had been hooded in a pillowcase before his death (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)."
Growing Pessimism on Iraq - Doubts Increase Within U.S. Security Agencies 9/29/2004 Washington Post
Annexation feud splits N.C. town 9/27/2004 News Observer, NC: "Sylvia Willis, 64, sitting in the next room, says she has no response to her husband's criticisms. But she admits to feeling sometimes like an outsider in town government.
She says the town clerk padlocked the door to the room that holds the town records before giving her a key to town hall. Board members say it has always been locked.
The mayor says she doesn't want to open "old wounds" by talking about the events of 1999. She refuses to say that the town has made no progress on race relations since then.
"The few little people that were annexed, that's progress," Sylvia Willis says. "Things don't happen overnight. I know that there will be change, because it's written in the book, in the Bible. It might not be in my day, but it will come." "
Cuban Poetess to Receive Award from US University 9/25/2004 Prensa Latina: "Morejon, director of the Caribbean Studies Center ascribed to Havana´s Casa de las Americas, told Prensa Latina that the award will be handed to her in an international conference on literature written by women of African descent.
Invited by African-American Affairs Institute at New York University, the prolific writer will also read poems and launch her most recent collection of poems, published by US´ Wayne State University, in Detroit State.
With the title "Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Writers Scrutinizing Globalization," the meeting, scheduled for October 12 through 16, will gather prestigious writers throughout the world in panels, presentation of films and video, workshops and open tribunes."
"I Think a Lot of Guys will Break Down in Iraq" - Destroying the National Guard 9/24/2004 Counterpunch: "For many Guardsmen, deployment to Iraq means economic ruin. They have mortgage payments, car payments, credit card debt, all calculated on their civilian salaries. Suddenly, for a year or more, their pay drops to that of a private. The families they leave behind face the loss of everything they have. What militia wouldn't desert in that situation?
The real scope of the damage of Mr. Rumsfeld's decision to send the Guard to Iraq--40% of the American troops in Iraq are now reservists or Guardsmen--will probably not be revealed until units return. One of the few already back saw 70% of its members leave the Guard immediately.
What the Washington elite that wages cabinet wars does not understand, or care about, is the vital role the National Guard plays on the state and local levels. Once the Guard has been destroyed, who will provide the emergency services communities need when disaster strikes? One would think that in a so-called "war against terror," where the danger to the American homeland is readily acknowledged, someone in the nation's capital would care about the local first line of defense."
Gullahs Struggle to Keep Heritage and Land 9/23/2004 Black America Web: "Maneuvers that are being used to force Gullahs out include, among other things, a comprehensive land use plan that disrupts many of their ways of life. For example, Mack said, the plan forbids people who live on the marsh from building boardwalks from their homes. It also has resulted in a lot of the fishing areas that older people once used being closed off.
Then in August, she said, a new policy was put in place that allows members of the public to speak for no more than three minutes at school board meetings.
While such a policy is commonplace in most areas, and while Campbell said it was established to aid in keeping order at the meetings, Mack said it has a disproportionate impact on Gullahs. Only one of the 11 board members represents St. Helena, she said, and their issues are too varied and complicated to be tethered to such rules.
“The people from Hilton Head aren’t ignored and underserved. They have money, so they don’t have to worry about this,” Mack said. “We have to show up in numbers and with loud voices because we’re ignored and underserved.” "
All-White High School Reunion Saddens Some 9/23/2004 AP: "The reunion Saturday is only for those who graduated from Washington High School before it opened its doors to black students in the fall of 1969.
Some black leaders say the all-white reunion is sad and painful evidence that 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed school segregation, some things have not changed all that much in this community on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay."
Rosa Parks’ Dementia could Raise Greater Awareness 9/23/2004 Black America Web
Celia Cruz Removed From U.S. Blacklist 9/23/2004 AP: "Salsa queen Celia Cruz was removed from a U.S. list of suspected communists in 1965 after she performed and raised money for groups trying to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro, according to newly released immigration documents.
U.S. officials suspected in the 1950s that Cruz, who died last year of a brain tumor, supported Castro's communist government. She was refused a visa at least twice starting in 1952 because U.S. law at the time forbade entry to foreigners affiliated with communists… "The record indicates that in July 1960 she fled as a defector from the Communist regime of Cuba," according to an Oct. 28, 1965, immigration service memorandum. "Since that time she has actively cooperated with anti-Communist, anti-Castro organizations through artistic performances and by campaigning for funds for those organizations." "
Bacardi charged in Texas election scandal 9/23/2004 Miami Herald: "A Texas grand jury has indicted Bacardi USA on charges of making a $20,000 illegal campaign contribution to Texas Republican state legislative candidates in 2002, in a case linked to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political fund-raising activities.
Miami-based Bacardi was named in the indictment along with seven other companies, including Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and three top political aides to DeLay.
The House majority leader was not indicted. But a money laundering allegation in a congressional ethics complaint filed against DeLay involves the same $190,000 in political contributions that led to indictments of the aides."
Three Years and Counting? How Time Flies 9/23/2004 Counterpunch: "That September 11th changed the world has become a cliché. It does not occur to these people that, if Bin Laden and the Mullah Omar could get away with *that*, the world must have changed already. A lot. Yet this is staring us in the face. Iraq: could the world have conceived, in 1947, that US troops could not hold Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich? That American leaders could only sneak into Germany on furtive, unscheduled peek-a-boo missions? That the American occupation officials, hardly daring to emerge from their fortified ghetto, could not control most of Berlin? Afghanistan: could anyone have imagined an America as feckless in its response to Pearl Harbor as to the even greater humiliation is suffered on September 11th? The very country that was supposed to feel the full weight of American wrath now houses a puppet semi-government which cannot even control its own capital, and a scattering of American troops bring no results other than their own occasional deaths. The United States has fallen far. The inability to see the significance of the change is almost as spectacular as the change itself."
Council's Plan - Racial exclusion only exacerbates city's problems 9/22/2004 Detroit Free Press: "The Detroit City Council showed its penchant for making matters worse when it moved to bolster black economic development with a plan that touts racial separation, blames immigrants for stealing resources and jobs, and tells city leaders to be wary of nonblacks moving into the city."
Rosa Parks' Lawyer Says She Has Dementia 9/22/2004 AP: "Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has dementia and should not be forced to answer questions in her lawsuit against a rap group, her doctor has told a federal magistrate."
Marion Barry victorious in comeback bid 9/22/2004 AP
A Blood That Flows Together 9/21/2004 BET: "Although most African Americans are oblivious to these historic connections with Native peoples, the Black American-Native American connection cannot be denied. Consider the many notable African Americans with Indian ancestry, including Frederick Douglass, Coretta Scott King, Langston Hughes and Crispus Attucks – as well as the more than 15 million Blacks living in the United States today."
Quick exit from Iraq is likely 9/20/2004 Chicago Sun Times: by Robert Novak
Why We Cannot Win 9/20/2004 Lew Rockwell: "Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naïve young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region."
Black Farmers Deserve Justice and Opportunity 9/20/2004 Black America Web
Do tell: Black women spill beans on their sex lives 9/19/2004 Sun Times
Strains Felt By Guard Unit on Eve Of War Duty 9/19/2004 Washington Post: ""Our morale isn't high enough for us to be away for 18 months," said Pfc. Joshua Garman, 20, who, in civilian life, works in a National Guard recruiting office. "I think a lot of guys will break down in Iraq." Asked if he is happy that he volunteered for the deployment, Garman said, "Negative. No time off? I definitely would not have volunteered."
A series of high-level decisions at the Pentagon has come together to make life tough for soldiers and commanders in this battalion and others. The decisions include the Bush administration's reluctance to sharply increase the size of the U.S. Army. Instead, the Pentagon is relying on the National Guard and Reserves, which provide 40 percent of the 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Also, the top brass has concluded that more military police are needed as security deteriorates and the violent insurgency flares in ways that were not predicted by Pentagon planners."
The Black Belt that should have been 9/19/2004 The Farmer: "In studying the history of Black land ownership I became fascinated with those 45 years after slavery when Black people amassed over 16 million acres of land. As cruel as slavery was, it had not broken Black people to the point that they had given up on being free, independent and productive. Most of the land was in what is called the Black Belt. Twenty to thirty percent of the farm land in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Arkansas was owned by Blacks in 1910. Forty to fifty percent of the farm land in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia was owned by Blacks. Fifty to sixty percent was owned by Blacks in South Carolina, while over sixty percent of the farm land was owned by Blacks in Mississippi… However, the most startling thing that I discovered was the number and type of inventions that Blacks had patented in the brief period from 1865 to 1899 such as the: baby buggy, bicycle frame, chamber commode, clothes dryer, door knob, egg beater, electric lamp bulb, elevator, fire extinguisher, fountain pen, golf tee, guitar, horse shoe, ironing board, lawn mower, lawn sprinkler, mail box, mop, peanut butter, pencil sharpener, phone transmitter, refrigerator, stove, street sweeper, tricycle, and typewriter.
All of these things are taken for granted today, yet play an essential part in modern life… When I looked at this graph my mind was blown away with the level of creativity that Blacks exemplified in the two decades between 1880 and 1900. This twenty year period accounted for almost 70 inventions compared to less than 10 for the period between 1900 and 1920. What happened to dampen this quick rise of Black creativity? The answer lies in the increased brutality and lawlessness perpetrated against Blacks during this period.
After Blacks were sold out by the Republican Party after the 1876 elections which is known as the Hayes Compromise, the Northern troops were pulled out of the South allowing the KKK to have its way with Blacks. A string of crucifixions called lynching reached a crescendo by the 1890s terrorizing Black people literally out of their minds. Between 1889 and 1930 at least 3,000 Blacks were lynched, some specifically targeted because they owned land or had businesses. All attempts of passing anti-lynching legislation failed as the federal government sat holding its hand… Not surprisingly, the level of creativity dropped after 1900 and after 1910 the acreage of Black owned farm land also began to drop. The "poison" of fear produced by terrorism had produced its desired affect. Today, many Black youth have been lead to believe that the failure of Blacks to rise was because they did not have the intelligence or internal fortitude to be independent and prosperous. However, an analysis of America’s history of psychological terrorism gives a more rational explanation for the stunted development of Black people in the US."
More on 9/11 Report: Who Paid the Hijackers? Al-Hawsawi? Mahmoud Ahmad? 9/18/2004 Peter Dale Scott: "Instead, following a previous reversal in the US media, the financial role attributed earlier to Sheikh Saeed is now given to "Mustafa al Hawsawi," the name (or pseudonym) used for the financial transactions. The Report treats Shaikh Saeed and al-Hawsawi as two people, whereas earlier they had been identified as the same.
In this way the Report fails to confront the extent to which al-Qaeda may have been a by-product of past US covert operations in Afghanistan with the Pakistani ISI. This would mean that the CIA, far from being too weak, has engaged in reckless covert adventures abroad that were out of its competence and depth."
Far graver than Vietnam 9/16/2004 Guardian: "Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale."
The mother of all coverups 9/16/2004 Salon: "But there is one sanctuary where the Warren Report is still stubbornly upheld and where its manifold critics can expect their own rough treatment: in the towers of the media elite… One of the great ironies of history is that while the media elite was busily trying to shore up public confidence in the Warren Report, the political elites were privately confiding among themselves that the report was a travesty, a fairy tale for mass consumption. Presidents, White House aides, intelligence officials, senators, congressmen, even foreign leaders -- they all muttered darkly among themselves that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, a plot that a number of them suspected had roots in the U.S. government itself. (In truth, some high media dignitaries have also quietly shared their doubts about the official version. In 1993, CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who did much along with his network to enforce the party line on Dallas, confessed to Robert Tannenbaum, the former deputy chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, "We really blew it on the Kennedy assassination.") "
Taliban operating in Iraq, Taylor says 9/16/2004 CBC: ""The Americans have no idea what kind of an anthill they're sitting on" he told CBC Newsworld. Taylor based his conclusions on observations he made after being kidnapped in Iraq on Sept. 7 and released five days later, near Mosul in northern Iraq. He said he was put in a taxi to Turkey.
He said he was handed from group to group that shared hostages and weapons, including one he called the Taliban, the militants who controlled Afghanistan until the U.S. drove them out.
He said the groups operated "with the full co-operation of the police." "
There’s another ill wind in the Caribbean 9/14/2004 Philadelphia Tribune: "Many living in Caribbean Basin nations share the ill-wind view of the Bush administration, according to Eugene Godfried, a reporter for Radio Havana in Cuba who was born on the Caribbean island of Curacao.
“The Bush administration has a very negative perception in the Caribbean. Many see the Bush administration as absurd and warmongering,” Godfried said during an interview at the Convention Center when he was in Philadelphia covering the NAACP Convention in July.
“The Bush administration is seen as a repetition of European colonialism,” continued Godfried, a brown-skinned, middle-aged man with a soft smile and serious aspect.
“European colonialism destroyed the indigenous people in the Caribbean. There were mass killings and enslaving of people to control the natural resources of the Caribbean,” Godfried noted.
“What is happening in Iraq today is the same as Europeans in the Caribbean, beginning in the 15th Century. Bush invaded Iraq to control its oil.” "
Racial profiling rife in US 9/13/2004 News 24, South Africa
'Why I turned against America' 9/12/2004 Mail & guardian, SA: Black soldiers are a particular target. 'To have Negroes occupying us is a particular humiliation,' Abu Mujahed said, echoing the profound racism prevalent in much of the Middle East. 'Sometimes we aborted a mission because there were no Negroes.'
Amid Cheers, Terrorists Have Landed in the U.S. 9/12/2004 LA Times: "I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world," Bush recently said in an interview.
But the decision to allow members of the Posada gang into this country, and the televised spectacle of Miamians applauding their return, sends a different and dangerous message: In a swing state, some terrorists are not only acceptable but welcome."
Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con 'crazies' row 9/12/2004 Guardian: "Provocatively, the phrase 'fucking crazies' will be quoted on the jacket of the book, according to a source at the publisher. 'We were surprised to receive calls from the offices of Jack Straw and Colin Powell within 24 hours of each other,' the source said."
White House Draws Fire From Congress, Officials Over Leak of FBI Probe - Wexler: Community 'Broadbrushed' 9/10/2004 Forward: "Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank said that the investigation "does appear to be an effort to discredit, to get Aipac." He said: "I'm troubled by it. It's a very inappropriate effort to criminalize a policy debate. It's John Ashcroft, and the president and [Vice President Dick] Cheney."
Also voicing criticism were the two Jewish Republican senators, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Specter told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Ashcroft should launch an investigation into the leaks. "I know Aipac; I know its integrity," he said. "It's a smear." Coleman said that "the real issue here is preventing leaks — of classified materials and about ongoing investigations." The Minnesota senator argued that
"to leak details about an ongoing FBI investigation and the alleged role of Aipac is premature at best and a smear campaign at worst." "
Federal gang bill is ‘open warfare,’ says activist 9/10/2004 Final Call
Appeals court denies reinstatement of Tulsa race riot lawsuit 9/10/2004 AP
Time to consider Iraq withdrawal 9/10/2004 Financial Times, UK
Think Tank Blasts Bush Commission Report on Cuba 9/9/2004 AntiWar: "The changing politics of the Cuban-American community was underlined just last week when the executive director of its most prominent anti-Castro lobby group, the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), Joe Garcia, abruptly resigned his post to join the New Democrat Network (NDN).
"Joe is going to send a message to Cuban-Americans that they are welcome in the Democratic Party," said Simon Rosenberg, NDN's executive director."
Spy-scandal lobby blitz - AIPAC secures wide backing after secrets charges 9/8/2004 The Hill: "But Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, gave an indication of how the FBI probe might be politicized on Capitol Hill. In a letter to Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chairman of the committee, Conyers asked for a formal congressional investigation.
“It now appears that these allegations may be only the tip of the iceberg of a broader effort of the Pentagon employees working in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, to conduct unauthorized covert activities, without the knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency,” Conyers wrote.
Republicans, however, cautioned that Democrats would suffer political consequences if they sought to demonize or slur AIPAC, especially in conjunction with the Iraq war."
Suicide? 9/8/2004 Progreso Weekly: "José Martín, a Cuban émigré, was a babalawo (priest) in the Yorubá religion, 55 years old, with two sons and a wife in Miami. He also owned a travel agency specializing in Cuba that provided enough income for a decent living and especially allowed him to travel to the island with the frequency he required. In Cuba lived his autistic son and his elderly, ailing father. Like any other émigré of any other nationality, he had a need to help both, especially his beloved son. To Martín, it must have been extremely painful to sit before a son who looked at him but didn't see him, to whom he talked but received no reply, who may have been totally unaware of Martín's presence because of the mysterious turns of the disease.
At the end, both sides of the Straits of Florida pulled at Martín's heart as if he were on a torture rack and broke it. And because Martín owned a revolver, he committed suicide on Friday the 27th of August… According to Bush's new dispositions, Martín would be unable to visit his family until the year 2007. Would the cancer afflicting his father wait three years? Would his son remain immersed in the depths of his autism? Martín would be unable to buy his son the paper and crayons with which the boy could draw the shadows and lights of his inner world, one of his typical rituals, as his friends say."
Fox News Radio Affiliate Sponsoring Right Wing Film Festival 9/7/2004 Davey D's
Treason in high places: Pentagon zionists, AIPAC and Israel 9/7/2004 Rebelion: knowledgeable discussion of the following topic - "The FBI investigation into Israeli espionage agents in the Pentagon is part of a major struggle between prominent Zionists in the Pentagon and the US security apparatus. Ever since the Bush regime came to power there has been a fierce political and organizational war between the Pentagon Zionists and their militarist collaborators, on the one hand, and the professional military and intelligence apparatus, on the other."
The State of Affairs for Blacks 9/6/2004 Network Journal: "When the Black Data Processors Association convened in Dallas this past August for its annual conference, high on its agenda were entrepreneurship and career vitality. Given projections for the industry’s growth, the underrepresentation of African-American professionals and entrepreneurs in the field and the outsourcing of IT jobs offshore, those priorities were right on target for the 29-year-old group, the premier association for African-American information technology professionals."
One Who Won't Be Returning 9/5/2004 Indiana Gazette: "He was such an excellent pilot that he was chosen to fly President Bush onto the deck of the USS Lincoln, where the president gave his famous speech declaring the end of combat in Iraq." Killed in Iraq.
Prison abuses 'had precedents' 9/3/2004 The News, Australia: "AT LEAST five US officials given the job of organising Iraq's prison system following the war have been linked to abuses of inmates at jails in the US, German NDR public television said today.
In an advance extract of its Panorama program, the station said that the US Justice Department had sent the men to Iraq knowing they were suspected of links to abuses."
Mumia and the NAACP: Finally, a Call for Justice 9/2/2004 Black Commentator: "In a historic move, the 95th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on July 15 for the first time took a strong stand in defense of celebrated Pennsylvania death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. The hard work and hardball tactics of activists committed to Mumia's freedom turned up the heat on the leadership of the venerable organization, who have been blocking resolutions of support for Mumia for years."
Former Atlanta mayor denounces indictment as 'witch hunt' 9/2/2004 CNN
Blue Wall of Silence, Insensitivity doing great harm in police "killing" incident 9/2/2004 Monroe Free Press, Louisiana
‘They just kept shooting him and shooting and shooting’ 9/2/2004 SF Bay View: “This boy had his hands in the air,” Mother Boyd concluded. “This boy was crippled. And they just kept shooting him and shooting and shooting. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.”
Conyers Calls for Hearings on ‘Spy’ Case 9/2/2004 NY Sun: "In an August 31 letter that his staff made public yesterday, Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat of Michigan, wrote that it was not yet known whether the analyst in question, Larry Franklin “was acting at the behest of his superiors,” speculating that a “rogue element in the American government may have been working with a foreign government.”
The letter was released as the New York Sun learned that the FBI investigation into Mr. Franklin and the alleged leaking of a draft Iran policy paper may be significantly scaled back.
According to sources familiar with the investigation,the U.S.district attorney in charge of the probe, Paul McNulty, has ordered the FBI not to move forward with arrests that they were prepared to make last Friday when the story broke on CNN and CBS. “He put the brakes on it in order to look at it,” a source familiar with the investigation told the Sun. “To see what was there. Basically the FBI wanted to start making arrests and McNulty said ‘Woa, based on what? Let’s look at this before you do anything.’”
Families of Victims Shot By Cops Forge Activist Bonds 9/2/2004 Pacific News: "It was a triumph for the grass-roots movement to stop needless police shootings and may mark a turning point in police accountability in the San Francisco Bay Area. A new fraternity of families -- Latino, black and Asian -- who have lost loved ones to police shootings cheered the indictment."
Statement by ANSWER Boston on the Harassment of Activists by Homeland Security 9/1/2004 Axis of Logic
Officials Say Publicity Derailed Secrets Inquiry 8/30/2004 NYT: "The Pentagon official under suspicion of turning over classified information to Israel began cooperating with federal agents several weeks ago and was preparing to lead the authorities to contacts inside the Israeli government when the case became publicly known last week, government officials said Sunday."
And Now a Mole? In the Pentagon, a suspected spy allegedly passes secrets about Iran to Israel 8/30/2004 Newsweek: "...officials familiar with the case suggest that the political damage to Bush and the Pentagon may prove to be more serious than the damage to national security."
In Western Iraq, Fundamentalists Hold U.S. at Bay 8/29/2004 NYT: "American efforts to build a government structure around former Baath Party stalwarts - officials of Saddam Hussein's army, police force and bureaucracy who were willing to work with the United States - have collapsed. Instead, the former Hussein loyalists, under threat of beheadings, kidnappings and humiliation, have mostly resigned or defected to the fundamentalists, or been killed. Enforcers for the old government, including former Republican Guard officers, have put themselves in the service of fundamentalist clerics they once tortured at Abu Ghraib.
In the past three weeks, three former Hussein loyalists appointed to important posts in Falluja and Ramadi have been eliminated by the militants and their Baathist allies. The chief of a battalion of the American-trained Iraqi National Guard in Falluja was beheaded by the militants, prompting the disintegration of guard forces in the city. The Anbar governor was forced to resign after his three sons were kidnapped. The third official, the provincial police chief in Ramadi, was lured to his arrest by American marines after three assassination attempts led him to secretly defect to the rebel cause."
FBI Probe Targets Pentagon Official
Analyst Allegedly Gave Data to Israel 8/28/2004 Washington Post: "The FBI is investigating a mid-level Pentagon official who specializes in Iranian affairs for allegedly passing classified information to Israel, and arrests in the case could come as early as next week, officials at the Pentagon and other government agencies said last night.
The name of the person under investigation was not officially released, but two sources identified him as Larry Franklin. He was described as a desk officer in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia Bureau, one of six regional policy sections. Franklin worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency before moving to the Pentagon's policy branch three years ago and is nearing retirement, the officials said. Franklin could not be located for comment last night… Even so, the case is likely to attract intense attention because the official being investigated works under William J. Luti, deputy undersecretary of defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs. Luti oversaw the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans," which conducted some early policy work for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
That office is one of two Pentagon offices that Bush administration critics have claimed were set up by Defense Department hawks to bypass the CIA and other intelligence agencies, providing information that President Bush and others used to exaggerate the Iraqi threat… Franklin's name surfaced in news reports last year that disclosed he and another Pentagon specialist on the Persian Gulf region had met secretly with Manucher Ghorbanifar, a discredited expatriate Iranian arms merchant who figured prominently in the Iran-contra scandal of the mid-1980s.
That meeting, according to Pentagon officials, took place in late 2001. It had been formally sanctioned by the U.S. government in response to an Iranian government offer to provide information relevant to the war on terrorism. Franklin and the other Pentagon official, Harold Rhode, met with the Iranians over three days in Italy. Ghorbanifar attended these meetings. Rumsfeld has said that the information received at the meetings led nowhere."
FBI espionage probe goes beyond Israeli allegations, sources say 8/28/2004 Knight Ridder: "In addition, one said, FBI investigators in recent weeks have conducted interviews to determine whether Pentagon officials gave highly classified U.S. intelligence to a leading Iraqi exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, which may in turn have passed it on to Iran. INC leader Ahmed Chalabi has denied his group was involved in any wrongdoing.
The linkage, if any, between the two leak investigations, remains unclear.
But they both center on the office of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, the Pentagon's No. 3 official.
Feith's office, which oversees policy matters, has been the source of numerous controversies over the last three years. His office had close ties to Chalabi and was responsible for post-war Iraq planning that the administration has now acknowledged was inadequate. Before the war, Feith and his aides pushed the now-discredited theory that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaida."
FBI probes DOD office 8/28/2004 UPI: "Yet according to Green, in March 1983, Feith, then a Middle East analyst on the National Security Council, was fired by Judge William Clark, who had replaced Richard Allen as national security adviser, because Feith "had been the object of an inquiry into whether he had provided classified material to an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington" and that the FBI "had opened an inquiry."
Former Counterterrorism Chief Vince Cannistraro confirmed that Feith was fired from the NSC for leaking classified data to Israel.
In 1982, Feith went to work for Pentagon official Richard Perle, according to Green and confirmed by U.S. intelligence sources.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who an administration official described as having played a "large role in getting Feith" his current job, was working for the Arms Control and Disarmament agency in 1978 and was the subject of an investigation that alleged he had provided "a classified document on the proposed sale of U.S. weapons to an Arab government to an Israeli government official" via "an AIPAC intermediary," according to Green. The probe was eventually dropped."
New super strain of coca plant stuns anti-drug officials 8/27/2004 Scotsman: "This is a very tall plant," said Colonel Diego Leon Caicedo of the anti-narcotics police. "It has a lot more leaves and a lighter colour than other varieties."
A toxicologist, Camilo Uribe, who studied the coca, said: "The quality and percentage of hydrochloride from each leaf is much better, between 97 and 98 per cent. A normal plant does not get more than 25 per cent, meaning that more drugs and of a higher purity can be extracted."
FBI looks at Pentagon worker in Israel spy probe 8/27/2004 CNN: "The suspect could have been in a position to influence Bush administration policy toward Iran and Iraq, the senior official said."
FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case 8/27/2004 CBS News: "The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.
CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."
This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."
The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?
With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy."
U.S. Denies Role in Cuban Exiles' Pardon 8/27/2004 Washington Post: "Bush administration officials denied any role yesterday in the politically fortuitous pardon of four Cuban exiles by the outgoing Panamanian government. Three of the exiles -- who were convicted in connection with a plot to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro at a summit of Latin American leaders in 2000 -- were immediately flown to Miami.
President Bush, whose Cuba policies have stirred anger among Cuban Americans in Florida, will hold a campaign rally in Miami today. The Cuban American vote was crucial to Bush's 537-vote margin in Florida in 2000, and his political advisers have worried that poor turnout among Cuban Americans could swing the state to Democrat John F. Kerry."
End of the siege: the smoke clears in Najaf 8/27/2004 CSM: "Militarily, the Americans emerge victorious, having pushed Sadr back to within a few hundred meters of the outside wall of the shrine. Politically, however, the siege has been disastrous. Shiite opinion toward the Americans, even among moderates of the Sistani camp, is almost universally negative, reminding Iraqis that their country remains a morass of failing infrastructure and poor security."
Big Apple keeps eye on pair of Hub anarchists 8/27/2004 Boston Herald: "A report in the New York Daily News citing unnamed police sources, said Toure, a Black Panther with arrests for bank robbery and gun charges, has been ``training younger militants.'' The report also said Picariello has been ``recruiting others into extreme measures.'' New York police refused comment on the report… Jamie Bissonette, who has worked with Toure at AFSC for several years, called the charges ``completely off-the-mark.'' She said neither Toure nor anyone from AFSC is going to New York.
``He's not involved in electoral politics,'' she said.
Dustin Langley, of ANSWER in New York, called the charges against Picariello ``ludicrous'' and said police are practicing ``fear-mongering'' to distract the public from a dispute over protest sites."
How Torture Came Down From the Top 8/27/2004 Washington Post: "There it details how President Bush, on the advice of his White House counsel and attorney general, decided in February 2002 that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to captured members of al Qaeda and Afghanistan's Taliban. This, despite the objections of the State Department and "many service lawyers," who worried that the decision "would undermine the United States military culture, which is based on a strict adherence to the law of war."
In October 2002, Schlesinger recounts, authorities at the Guantanamo Bay prison "requested approval of strengthened counter-interrogation techniques," and in December, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld authorized a number of harsh methods. He was challenged by the military lawyers whom he had failed to consult, and the policy was revised in April 2003."
Police on guard vs. violent tactics 8/26/2004 NY Daily News
GOP Protester Has Terror Bombing Rap Sheet 8/26/2004 NewsMax
Black and Indian Power
The Meaning of Hugo Chávez 8/24/2004 Counterpunch
"The Cops Are Like A Big Gang" - Witnessing Police Brutality in Los Angeles 8/21/2004 Counterpunch
U.S. tries GPS-aided supply drops to counter anti-trucker terror 8/18/2004 World Tribune: This article in a paper located in CIA HQ's backyard of Northern Virginia shows how stretched and under attack US supply lines are in Iraq. Unlike Viet Nam, where the whole coast could be used for re-supply, all supplies go through one southern port and other routes from Jordan and Turkey are higly vulernable to low-tech attacks.
Dick Cheney, Hugo Chavez and Bill Clinton’s band 8/18/2004 SF Bay View: "77 percent of Venezuela’s farmland is owned by 3 percent of the population, the ‘hacendados.’
I met one of these farmlords in Caracas at an anti-Chavez protest march. Oddest demonstration I’ve ever seen: frosted blondes in high heels clutching designer bags, screeching, “Chavez - dic-ta-dor!” The plantation owner griped about the “socialismo” of Chavez, then jumped into his Jaguar convertible."
All power to the people 8/18/2004 SF Bay View: "Chávez has understood the potential power of women as primary carers. Four months of continuous lobbying got women the constitution they wanted. Among its anti-sexist, anti-racist provisions, it recognizes women’s unwaged caring work as economically productive, entitling housewives to social security.
No surprise then that in 2002 women of African and indigenous descent led the millions who descended from the hills to reverse the coup - by a mainly white elite and the CIA - thereby saving their constitution, their president, their democracy, their revolution."
C.I.A. Officer Denounces Agency and Sept. 11 Report 8/17/2004 NYT: "In the Sept. 11 commission's final report, "you never mention that the D.C.I. starved and is starving the bin Laden unit of officers while finding plenty of officers to staff his personal public relations office, as well as the staffs that handled diversity, multiculturalism, and employee newsletters," he wrote in a letter that was sent July 31.
He also said that the United States gave short shrift to protecting American lives before the Sept. 11 attacks so that it could pursue the sale of fighter jets to an unnamed Arab government, which other officials identified as the United Arab Emirates."
Dick Cheney, Hugo Chavez and Bill Clinton's Band - Why Venezuela has Voted Again for Their 'Negro e Indio' President 8/16/2004 Baltimore Chronicle: "What the affable president sees in his reflection, beyond the ribbons of office, is a "negro e indio" -- a "Black and Indian" man, dark as a cola nut, same as the landless and, until now, the hopeless. For the first time in Venezuela's history, the 80% Black-Indian population elected a man with skin darker than the man in the Jaguar."
INTERNATIONAL FORECASTER: Widening margin of victory for Chavez Frias 8/15/2004 Vheadlines: "Racist antipathies will be raging in Washington as this man of black and indian heritage takes them to the political cleaners and ends their hopes of recolonizing Venezuela ... this will be the one-worlders' third defeat from this noble adversary."
Among Black Journalists Goals, not Celebrity, is what Counts 8/13/2004 Black America Web
Mysterious September 11 Breakfast Meeting on Capitol Hill 8/12/2004 Centre for Research on Globalisation: "On the morning of September 11, the three lawmakers Bob Graham, Porter Goss and Jon Kyl (who were part of the Congressional delegation to Pakistan) were having breakfast on Capitol Hill with General Ahmad, the alleged "money-man" (to use the FBI expression) behind the 9/11 hijackers. Also present at this meeting were Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Maleeha Lodhi and several members of the Senate and House Intelligence committees. This meeting was described by one press report as a "follow-up meeting" to that held in Pakistan in late August."
A Harsh Light On Associate 82 8/9/2004 Newsweek: "A Harsh Light On Associate 82 - A declassified Pentagon report claims Uribe once worked for Pablo Escobar"
Cross-burning at home of activist family 8/8/2004 Final Call: "CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (FinalCall.com) - George and Samimah Aziz-Hodge woke up on the morning of July 14 to the frightening sight of an image of a cross burned on the lawn in front of their Country Club Estates home. The couple is the only Black family in the neighborhood and have lived in the area a little less than one year."
UNITY Report: Washington press corps lacking in diversity 8/5/2004 AtUnity.org: "The study found that just 10.5 percent of Washington’s newspaper press corps are journalists of color. This represents 60 out of 574 press corps members.
The 2000 Census revealed that minorities represent 30.9 percent of the U.S. population and are rapidly increasing."
Live From Unity 2004: 7,000 Journalists of Color Gather For Largest Media Conference in the Country 8/4/2004 Democracy Now
Frank ‘Big Black’ Smith, hero of Attica, passes 8/4/2004 SF Bay View: "Curtis Mullins announced by email, “Big Black (Frank Smith) passed Saturday evening, July 31, at 10:45 p.m. He helped so many inside and outside of the joint. May his memory forever be impressed in our psyche of his struggle to liberate humanity from the grip of madness.”
That Big Black should be remembered during Black August is appropriate. The Attica prison rebellion in New York in September 1971 was sparked by the assassination of George Jackson."
Black August resistance needs you now! 8/4/2004 SF Bay View
LAPD beating victim sues city, community rallies in support 8/3/2004 Final Call
Once deemed a bad guy, Uribe is now a top ally 8/3/2004 Newsweek: "The declassified Defense Department intelligence report, dated September 1991, reads like a Who's Who of Colombia's cocaine trade. The list includes the Medellin cartel's kingpin, Pablo Escobar, and more than 100 other thugs, assassins, traffickers and shady lawyers in his alleged employ. Then there's entry 82: "Alvaro Uribe Velez—a Colombian politician and senator dedicated to collaboration with the Medellin cartel at high government levels. Uribe was linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the U.S. ... Uribe has worked for the Medellin cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria." Escobar died in a 1993 police raid. Two years ago this week, Uribe became president of Colombia."
How to Lose the War on Terror - A CIA bin Laden expert’s lament 8/2/2004 The American Conservative: "One of the striking things about the Iraq War is the extent to which American foreign-affairs professionals—intelligence analysts, diplomats, and high-ranking military officers—recognize it is a tragically misguided venture. Among the most recent to speak out is the CIA officer formerly charged with analyzing Osama bin Laden. Known only as “Anonymous,” he is the author of the new book Imperial Hubris —a scathing look at the way the United States has conducted the War on Terror thus far. TAC editors Philip Giraldi (a CIA veteran with extensive Mideast experience), Kara Hopkins, and Scott McConnell recently visited with the author. Here are excerpts of the conversation."
The African Cuban Diaspora’s Cultural Shelters and Their Sudden Disappearance in 1959 8/1/2004 AfroCubaWeb: by Eugène Godfried - "Thus, it is a deliberate choice to employ the method of interviews with distinguished personalities who were directly involved in the activities of those ‘Sociedades de Negros’, ‘Societies of Blacks’. Nowadays, we depend on oral history to be able to look into this past in order to comprehend the present Cuban society. It is also high time that grassroots sections among cultural workers and activists in Cuba themselves speak their mind to brothers and sisters all over the world. In so doing, a longstanding silence around this eye – catching subject will be transformed into a vibrant exchange between Cubans and friends from all around the world."