Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting the Pentagon has been extensively monitoring the events and gatherings of peaceful anti-war groups across the country. A military database obtained by the network lists small activist meetings and events among 1,500 suspicious incidents over a 10-month period. The events included a gathering at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Florida, to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. In total, the database listed over four dozen anti-war meetings or protests.
European Investigation Finds Evidence of CIA Abductions
In Europe, an investigation into the existence of secret CIA prisons has found evidence that reportedly bolsters recent allegations U.S. operatives kidnapped and transferred detainees on European soil. In an interim report submitted Tuesday, Dick Marty, the Swiss parliamentarian heading the investigation for the Council of Europe, wrote : "the information gathered to date reinforced the credibility of the allegations concerning the transport and temporary detention of detainees -- outside all judicial procedure -- in European countries." Marty also criticized Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not giving an adequate explanation during a visit to Europe last week.
Marty said he has asked Romania and Poland for specific information concerning allegations the countries played host to the secret prisons. Both countries have denied this charge. Marty said he believes the secret prisons have been shut down and moved to North Africa.
Jailed Environmental Activist Accused of Additional Crimes
And one of the six environmental activists arrested last week in connection to a series of arsons in the Pacific Northwest has been accused of several additional crimes. Chelsea Gerlach of Portland, Oregon, awaits trial on charges she took part in the destruction of an Oregon power transmission tower in 1999. At a bail hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said Gerlach took part in half a dozen other crimes, including a firebombing at a Colorado ski resort and an arson at an Oregon meatpacking plant. Gerlachs attorney dismissed the charges as baseless, and said the evidence against her amounts to only two statements from informants.
Nicole asks that everyone think of all the allegations against Jose Padilla and the trumpeting of them in the press versus what the government's currently claiming about Padilla. Nicole picked out the item on the enivornmentalists. All three items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and the other two items were selected by Lloyd and Usha. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):
- World Reacts to Execution of Stanley Tookie Williams
- European Investigation Finds Evidence of CIA Abductions
- Report: New Interrogation Techniques May Conflict With Torture Ban
- Campaign Period Ends in Iraq as Voting Opens Thursday
- Search of Iraq Prisons Yields 120 Abused Prisoners
- Pentagon Running $300 million Foreign Psy-Ops Operation
- Pentagon Monitoring Anti-War Events Across the Country
- Jailed Environmental Activist Accused of Additional Crimes
In Lebanon, tens of thousands of people have turned out for the funeral of prominent anti-Syrian publisher and lawmaker Gibran Tueni. Tueni was killed, along with three others, in a massive car bomb in Beirut on Monday. The blast came just hours before a UN inquiry team said it had fresh evidence to reinforce earlier findings of Syrian involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. We go to Beirut to speak with veteran Middle East Correspondent Robert Fisk. [includes rush transcript]
1,000 days ago today, the U.S. invasion of Iraq officially began. Since then, over 2,300 coalition troops and as many as 100,000 Iraqis have been killed. Zero weapons of mass destruction have been found and the cost of the war has topped $200 billion dollars. We speak with Iraqi humanitarian Sami Rousuli in Karbala and Robert Fisk in Beirut.
On the 1,000th day of the U.S. war on Iraq, we look at a subject that usually receives little attention -- the Iraqi civilian death toll since the war began. We speak with Dr. Les Roberts, the lead researcher of a study released last year on the number of deaths in Iraq, which put the toll at more than 100,000.
The World Trade Organization has entered its second day of its ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. South Koreans have led attempts to reach the convention center by swimming across Hong Kong Bay. They have been blocked off by heavily armed police barricades and beaten back by riot police with pepper spray and batons. We speak with Anuradha Mittal, an expert on world trade issues in Hong Kong.
President Bush took to the nations airwaves on March 19, 2003 to declare that the war to disarm Iraq had begun. Bush claimed the United States was entering the conflict reluctantly but that the war was needed to prevent Iraq from having what he called weapons of mass murder.
The Independent newspaper of London has published a series of statistics to mark what has happened in the 1,000 days since then:
- Sami Rousuli, he was living in Minnesota at the time of the invasion but has since returned to Iraq to live. He now heads up the Muslim Peacemaker Team. He joins us from Karbala.
- Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for the Londons Independent who has reported extensively from Iraq during the war.
Dear Mr. Inskeep:
Yesterday, on your National Public Radio Show, Morning Edition, you asked an "expert" to comment on G.W. Bush's evident ignorance. Your stooge pundit, Michael O'Hanlon, was satisfied with George's guestimate that 30,000 Iraqi civilians and combatants have been killed during 32 months of invasion and occupation. He suggested that G.W's figure doesn't include Iraqi crime victims. This proposes a mortality rate for Iraqis from combat alone that is lower than Washington D.C.'s homicide rate during the year of the latest stats, 2002. A war zone also safer than Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans before Katrina. Perhaps a paid professional at NPR, who isn't busy doing the bidding of a White House propagandist, would wonder what's wrong with this picture and do some minimal investigation. Such as the most globally respected survey, an independent and heroic study on the casualties in Iraq, peer reviewed and published in The Lancet. A curious child could get those US city homicide figures and do the math!
I witnessed Shock and Awe in Baghdad and the tsunami of lies discounting those deaths. The bombing then was brutal and the occupation since has been a serial massacre. Iraq today is our massive Guernica. It is obscene that this war president continues in denial that he has, conservatively, caused the death of 150,000-200,000 Iraqi men, women and kids. And this after, conservatively again, more than 500,000 died under Clinton's promoting of UN sanctions. How can you National Public Radio people live with your complicity in hustling such horrific crimes and distortions about them.
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