Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Democracy Now: "Life at Guantanamo," Kent State remembered; Matthew Rothschild; Bill Scher; Bruce Dixon

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "Always worth watching")

Headlines for May 4, 2005
- 50 Die in Suicide Bombing in Iraqi City of Irbil
- Sunnis Boycott Swearing In Of New Iraqi Gov't
- Report: Insurgents Aided By Old U.S. Army Manual
- Families of Dead UK Soldiers Threaten to Sue Blair
- Report: Blair Committed to War in Iraq in July 2002
- U.S. Support For Iraq War At All-Time Low
- Civil Rights Commission To Close 1/3 of Offices
- Phoenix Man Shot w/ Taser Dies

Inside the Wire: A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo
We speak with former army sergeant, Erik Saar who served as an Arabic translator at Guantanamo Bay for six months. Among the abuses he says he witnessed was sexual abuse, mock interrogations, the use of dogs and a female interrogator smearing what looked like menstrual blood on a Muslim prisoner. He also says children were imprisoned at Guantanamo and that the military ordered them not to speak to the Red Cross.

Four Dead in Ohio: 35th Anniversary of Kent State Shootings
On May 4th, 1970 - 35 years ago today - National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed students at Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine others wounded. We commemorate the 35th anniversary by airing an excerpt of the documentary, "Kent State: The Day the War Came Home" that includes interview with students and National Guardsmen who were there.

Matthew Rothschild has a new "This Just In:"

Jeb Bush's anti-abortion crusade reached a new low in the last few days when the Florida Department of Children and Families stepped in to try to prevent a thirteen year old girl in state custody from getting an abortion.
The agency made two arguments. First, that the girl was too young and immature to decide whether or not to have the baby. But did anyone consider the possibility that maybe she was too young and immature to have the baby and to raise it? Not that the department had taken much of an interest in the girl's well being before, since she had run away from state homes several times, including for more than a month recently, and the state did not bother to report her missing to the police. It was while she was out that she evidently got pregnant.
Second, the Florida Department of Children and Families cited a state statute that forbids it from consenting to "sterilization, abortion, or termination of life supports." According to the Palm Beach Post, however, girls in foster care have long been having abortions without state interference. But this time, the head of the department, Lucy Hadi, personally intervened.

Please note, yesterday, I wrongly called Rothschild's "McCarthyism Watch," "This Just In." Rothschild writes both. Today is "This Just In." Yesterday was "McCarthyism Watch." (Yesterday's entry has been corrected.)

Lewis notes Bill Scher's Liberal Oasis:

Both Sen. Joe Biden and columnist Nick Kristof recently turned in generally good pieces, in the W. Monthly and NY Times respectively, criticizing aspects of Dubya's foreign policy.
But both pulled back from hitting Bush where it hurts, his true interests and goals.
Instead, when faced with the glaring hypocrisies in Bush’s foreign policy, they sought to rationalize them, leaving the reader to think Bush is merely a decent guy facing some tough calls.
For example, Kristof, who has been admirably putting pressure on Bush to do something about the genocide in the Sudan,
laid out why he thought Bush was hesitant.
Kristof called it a "legitimate" concern that "Sudan's leaders have increased their cooperation with the C.I.A. As The Los Angeles Times reported, the C.I.A. recently flew Sudan's intelligence chief to Washington for consultations about the war on terror, and the White House doesn't want to jeopardize that channel."
Uh, wouldn't that be completely illegitimate under the vaunted Bush Doctrine?
Instead of propping up one mass murderer to nab a second mass murderer (that was once harbored by the first, no less), shouldn't we be trying to lock up the first mass murderer too?

Trina e-mails to highlight Bruce A. Dixon's "Analysis Corporate Biopiracy and the Terminator Seed" (from The Black Commentator):

Ever since humans started farming about ten thousand years ago, farmers have saved the seed from one year's crop to produce the next, and freely exchanged seed with neighbors and friends. If the Bush administration and its friends at Monsanto and other "life-sciences" corporations get their way it will soon be illegal in much of the world.
"The problem with farmers exchanging seeds, and saving seeds and planting seeds," says Michael Dorsey, a professor of International Environmental Policy at Dartmouth University, "is that corporations don't make any money off it."
The latest move in the decades-long campaign by the corporate "life-science industry" to horn in on this ancient and unprofitable practice is the patenting and introduction of the so-called "
terminator seed." Arguably the most fiendish product yet devised by corporate genetic engineers, and in the United States, the least known, terminator gene technology prevents this year's crop from producing next year's seed, thus obliging otherwise ungrateful farmers to return to distributors for each year's seed. As patent holder, the US Department of Agriculture intends to license and implement this obscene technology worldwide, applying it to food crops including maize, wheat and rice, which are the staples of much of the developing world. The aim of US corporate biopirates is eventually to make impossible the saving and preserving of next year’s seed from this year's crop anyplace on earth, while guaranteeing themselves a no-risk profit any time a farmer plants anywhere in the world.

The e-mail address for this site is