Saturday, March 25, 2006

Esther Kaplin, Lisa Jervis, Christine Cegelis and more on RadioNation With Laura Flanders this weekend

Kat here. Maria's entry got caught in one of those publishing loops that lasts an hour and Ruth was working very hard on her entry and revising it until moments ago. Which means Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders is about to start (the news break you've missed if you were waiting for the announcement and you probably missed nothing by missing the news break).

C.I. noted an e-mail Friday:

And all of you can listen to RadioNation with Laura Flanders this weekend. Broadcast each Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 to 10:00pm EST on the Air America Radio Network, and available for listening online, RadioNation also produces a one-hour version, which is provided free to noncommercial community and college stations.
This weekend's shows feature Chicago congressional candidate Christine Cegelis talking about what her narrow loss to Tammy Duckworth in the Democratic primary there means for growing progressive grassroots party activists, Nation contributor Esther Kaplan and Bitch magazine's Lisa Jervis dissecting the media outlets that wage the Right's war on women, Nation writer David Moberg discussing GM's historic buyouts, Grist magazine's Kathryn Schultz detailing the link between poverty and pollution, and playwright Peter Morris on Guardians', a new play on politics, morality and Abu Ghraib. All that and more, on RadioNation w/ Laura Flanders this weekend.

Esther Kaplin, Lisa Jervis and Christine Cegelis are the guests I'm most interested in hearing from although all sound interesting. (I know Jervis' writing and Kaplin is a fascinating writer as well.)

Oh, C.I. passed on that Katrina vanden Heuvel will be a guest on ABC's This Week tomorrow for anyone who can stomach the Sunday Chat & Chews. No offense to vanden Heuvel but I avoid them. If you don't, check out This Week.

Ruth's Public Radio Report

Ruth: Another lengthy report and I will try to keep it more brief next Saturday. There was a great deal to note and most of it has not been included due to space limitations. If you have written about a radio program that I have not noted, please e-mail to remind me. For two weeks now, I have wanted to include a quote by Jane Fonda so I am on my own waiting list if that helps anyone. I will start with the latest from CounterSpin and I have provided commentary on one guest. Those are my opinions, not facts or "facts." Feel free to disagree. The segment is worth listening to but I do find the guest's statements and the writing the guest was on to discuss worthy of note. I disagree with her and think many second-wave feminists will. Before the interviews, Janine Jackson and Steve Rendall took a look at recent news coverage. I usually note one item but there were two items on Iraq that I really wanted to be sure the community was aware of.

Steve Rendal had the first item:

To mark the three year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war FAIR assembled some of the worst examples of the media spin, bold declarations that the war would take only days, that it was over after just a month, and so on. But to some media big shots, that didn't seem, well, fair. Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz wrote on March 20th that once the war started going badly, something Kurtz suggests is arguable, it was unsurprising that QUOTE "those who opposed it from the start would begin kicking sand in the face of those who backed it from the start. Had the war been a smashing success, accusing fingers would undoubtedly be pointing in the opposite direction." It would be nice if the act of holding pundits accountable for their words would not be maligned as 'sand kicking.' especially by someone who fancies himself a media critics. As for what would have happened if the war had gone well, as FAIR documented many proponents of the war were calling for opponents of the war to apologize almost from the start. Kurtz repeated his point on the March 19th broadcast of CNN's Reliable Sources, asking ABC reporter Jake Tapper if it was fair to note how wrong the war's proponents had been? But is it really something to debate? Whether or not it's fair to raise questions about pundits
full throated support for a war that has killed at least tens of thousands of people and costs hundreds of billions of dollars? Tapper for his part seemed to think it wasn't. So it seems like some in the mainstream media don't mind all the chatter that goes on in the newspaper pages and TV studios. What's really not acceptable is when someone tries to hold them accountable for what they've said.

Janine Jackson followed that with this commentary:

And speaking of those war pundits, in the run up to the war the mainstream media pushed anti-war voices to the very margins. Instead relying on officials and other war supporters. Three years on the predictions made by those early advocates have proven off the mark. And support for the war has plummeted. You might think then that the media would now find room for more anti-war voices especially on public broadcasting.
But on the third anniversary of the invasion one of public TV's most prominent programs marked the occasion instead with a panel that skewed heavily in favor of pundits who supported the war in the first place. The March 20th broadcast of The Charlie Rose Show featured six panelists, four of whom were supporters of the Iraq war. Iraq exile Kanan Makiya,
former Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb, journalist George Packer and academic Fouad Ajami. The other two panelists were conservative scholar Francis Fukuyama
Francis who was an early advocate of regime change in Iraq but was apprehensive about this war and Jessica Tuchman Matthews of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who was skeptical about the war. What's more none of the six experts featured on The Charlie Rose Show supported immediate withdrawal of US forces in Iraq at a time when polls show 20 to 30% of the public support that position and many more call for a timetable. At one point panelist Gelb admitted QUOTE "We now all think Iraq was a mistake in retrospect some few before but not many." While hearing from war advocates who now have second thoughts might be somewhat interesting wouldn't it make more sense to feature anti-war advocates, activists or scholars, the so-called "few" who were correct in warning about the dangers of the Iraq invasion?

Mr. Rendall interviewed Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies to address Bully Boy's press conference this week. The press applause for the Bully Boy focused on "strategies" he used in the press conference as opposed to the "substance" of his remarks. Ms. Bennis noted:

What was evident from this press conference is that Helen Thomas remains the dean of the White House press corps and really the only one with guts in this crowd. The other thing that was so striking was the number of lies that Bush was able to tell in very quick succession, right at the beginning, in answering Helen Thomas's question. It starts with, as you mentioned, his claim that Saddam Hussein had kept US inspectors out of Iraq. Well that was certainly not true. The inspectors were on the ground and the heads of both UN inspections teams had actually already said that they were getting full compliance from the Iraqis and, indeed, that they just needed a couple more months to finish their work. Bush lied about some other things too. His beginning statements were all about Afghanistan which was really interesting given that the question was all about the war in Iraq, because he was answering about how 'they' attacked 'us.' He said, 'They attacked us, Helen, and after September 11th, everything changed.' And she said, "Mr. President, we're talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan.' And he gestured to her with a shaking finger as if he were a third grade teacher an unruly student and I must say that I found it interesting that none of the other journalists responded to that.

On the question of "Can you envision a time when American troops will no longer be in Iraq?" and the response by the Bully Boy "That will be up to future presidents . . .," Ms. Bennis noted that there were no headlines proclaiming "Bush says that we will be in Iraq permanently." The press played it as if he had stated we would be out in 2009 when that is not what he stated. "What he said is the answer is no. . . . That will be up to someone else, meaning under my watch, they will be there."

Ms. Jackson interviewed Garance Franke-Ruta about a study Ms. Franke-Ruta had done of New York Times columns on abortion. Ms. Franke-Ruta found that columns written by males, the scope was all columns and not just the ones written by the paper's regular columnists, male columnists were weighing in more often on the topic then women and that they were weighing in against abortion. One issue that was not discussed in depth was the fact that women are rarely to be found on the op-ed pages of the New York Times. As was pointed out here when William Safire was retiring, the assumption seemed to be White Male Conservative retires, we must get another one. But, again, as pointed out here, centrist White Male Bill Keller had already been replaced as a columnist by White Male Conservative David Brooks. The issue of gender, or race, was not one the Times appears to have factored into their "qualifications," only political stance.

Janine Jackson did raise this issue and also noted that "on some issues" like reproductive rights, you would expect women to be more visible since women are the ones having abortion. Ms. Franke-Ruta offered comments about "the academy" and how women are not represented in large numbers there or in government. Ms. Franke-Ruta noted that the paper prefers people from those institutions, without questing the preference. However, it is also true that the paper uses other writers as well. For instance, the paper regularly runs humorous columns written by writers. Once a year, readers may get Nora Ephron weighing in on a topic, the rest of the time, humor is provided by men. When those males include Kevin Nealon, I think the notion of 'outside recognition' needs to be questioned. On all areas and topics, the paper prefers to go with men. It has nothing to do with "the academy" unless Mr. Nealon has been announced as the replacement of Larry Summers and I missed that breaking news.

Ms. Franke-Ruta also seemed unaware of the infamous comments made by editor Gail Collins when Maureen Dowd was on vacation that she felt no need to replace Ms. Dowd, the only female with a regular column in the paper, with a woman. Ms. Collins, who was noted as a "first" by Ms. Magazine immediately prior to making those inane comments and who has written about women's history, made it clear that she did not grasp the issue of representation or why it mattered. When John Tierney was selected to replace William Safire Ms. Collins lack of awareness was only underscored.

Ms. Collins statements regarding a replacement for Dowd underscored that nothing changes when a woman "breaks the glass ceiling" if the woman has no interest in being anything other than a "first." (As Ava and C.I. noted in a TV review, "sometimes a first can be a worst.") Why are women absent from the topic of abortion in the columns of the New York Times? The issue goes to why women are absent as columnists period.

Ms. Franke-Ruta seems largely unaware of second wave feminism. The issue of lack of representation of female voices is an issue that those of us who were part of the second wave raised regularly. If she is aware of that wave, she seems unaware that the press often responded, particularly on abortion, that a woman could not or would not be seen as "objective" writing on such a topic. To fight the current battles, an awareness of feminist critique that has come before would be a large assistance to her study.

Ms. Franke-Ruta did note current facts in her comments and her study, which also notes the 90s, provides some interesting numbers. The interview Ms. Jackson did is recommended but in terms of anything beyond number crunching, what Ms. Franke-Ruta is providing struck me as Intro to Feminism -- a six week course that did not even last a full semester. This is a historical issue that has historical feminist criticism as well as an inane press response (e.g. media voices stating that women would not be seen as "objective" when covering abortion). One of the things that the second wave of feminism provided was a light on the contributions of feminists who had come before. That, at this late date, Ms. Franke-Ruta seems to be left with re-inventing the wheel. "Reinventing the wheel" is a feminist term itself, used to note how history strips women of accomplishments and when modern day feminists begin critiquing an issue they are often unaware that the issue has been widely critiqued prior.

Ms. Franke-Ruta's study found that 124 columns on abortion have been run by the Times and of those eighty-three percent were written by men (mostly by pro-life men). To offer that more men come from government and the academy is not a "defense" I can get behind. We were making this same argument on representation (on abortion and other topics) decades ago and women were far less represented in the academy and government then. As I searched the reaction to Ms. Franke-Ruta's study I saw a lot of commentary that suggested that she is not alone in thinking this is a new development. This is not a new development.

The fact that the issue was better represented in the late seventies, for instance, not dealt with in the current study, is a direct result of the pressure brought by feminist activists in earlier times and, back then, we did not fall back on excuses of "representation" in the academy or government. As Ms. Jackson notes, if an abortion is had it is had by a woman. The nonsense of "official voices" being more likely to be "male" need not apply to this topic. The "experts" on this issue are indeed women. Excuses, for that is all they are now and all they were then, of the need for "officials" is nonsense and should be called out now as it was earlier.

We were not "experts" then. That was the argument. We applied pressure and we got results. Ms. Franke-Ruta's "explanation" of official-dom was weak and counter to the feminist movement which has always, not just in the second wave, questioned the very notion of "experts" and who decides whom is an expert.

Ms. Franke-Ruta's premise appears to rest on acceptance of the Times' notion of who is allowed to speak and who is not. She questions only the gender of the speaker. (In her article, for instance, she argued that pro-life women in office could be found. An interesting angle considering that her own numbers demonstrate that it is the pro-choice voice has been lost on the pages of the paper.) That is a fatal flaw and feminists should not fall for it or endorse it. Last night, I read the article and, while enjoying the numbers, was not that impressed with her commentary. Women will continue to be shut out with that "expert" premise. Though women have achieved within government positions and on campuses, the next line of defense to hold them out would be, "Yes, but the males we provide space to have longer records." The finish line will continue to move, as we have seen happen more recently.

The New York Times relies on "officials" for their sources in reporting. It relies on them for their columns. To accept the Times' premise in any form is to turn back the clocks. My own impression of Ms. Franke-Ruta's statements is that she was choosing her words carefully in the interview. When abortion is under attack, caution is not the position to take. Nor do I think feminism takes the approach of, "Okay, you can use your elite posturing to make decisions on which voices are included, but we have a few voices that meet your requirements." Gloria Steinem, to name but one prominent and well respected feminist, has never felt the need to meet the establishment idea of "officialdom." Quite the contrary, she has written in an accessible voice to make sure that all voices could take part in the discussion. That is at the heart of the feminism.

What I heard in Ms. Franke-Ruta's voice and read in her comments was a defense of the status quo that wanted to just open the gates a little. Again, Ms. Jackson noted that abortion is a procedure that only women will have. The idea of "experts" based upon who served for what administration or who is teaching and published by what college is not even pertinent to Ms. Franke-Ruta's study when the paper chooses to run a column by a man who wishes, several years prior, that his former lover had not had an abortion. He is writing of a personal experience, there is no "expertise" there.

What the New York Times practices is a form of gatekeeping. At a time when men can write from personal experience but women cannot, the notion of "experts" should be dismissed quickly. That Ms. Franke-Ruta does not dismiss it, that she accepts it and appears to endorse it, goes to the problems with her study. She has done a fine job crunching the numbers; however, she has no real recommendations and either is unaware of or silent on past history.

Ms. Jackson is my favorite interviewer and commentator on CounterSpin. I feel like she pans for gold (and finds it) in her interviews. She did so again this week.

On Wednesday, KPFA's The Morning Show presented non-experts in the sense that the paper of record judges "experts." Faiza Al-Araji and her son Raed were interviewed by Andrea Lewis about the changes in Iraq since the invasion. Both have left the country due to the continued violence and the disengration of rights, particularly women's rights. Ms. Al-Araji is part of speaking tour and the dates for her engagements and those of other Iraqi women can be
found at Global Exchange. These are the type of voices that are shut out in the reporting of the New York Times and on the paper's op-ed pages. Fortunately, Ms. Lewis and The Morning Show never assume that government officials are the go-to people or, indeed, voices that are ever shut out of a debate. Along with the regular labor discussion on Wednesday, the broadcast also featured an interview with author Jane Smiley about, among other topics, her most recent book Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel.

Monday on WBAI, Law and Disorder tackled a number of topics. First up was the case of Zacarias Moussaoui. The hosts, Michael Ratner, Dalia Hashad, Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian, discussed the efforts by the Justice Department that have undermined the legal principles that are supposed to apply in a court of law. As Mr. Ratner explained, for the government to win the sentencing phase (the government wants the death penalty), they must demonstrate that had Mr. Moussaoui shared knowledge, 9-11 would have been preventable. This is the prosecution's argument. To back up that argument, they have resorted to coaching witnesses. At the same time that the government ignored basic rules by coaching and manipulating testimony, the defense has not been allowed to cross examine witnesses held in custody by the United States. Ms. Hashad noted that judge had instructed the prosecution that testimony was not to be shared among the prosecution witnesses, nor were they to be coached. This is a basic and did not need a judge to explain it. However, even with the instruction on something so basic, the government has been caught coaching witnesses which should lead to the death penalty being tossed out. (A point that has been addressed on other broadcasts of this program.) Mr. Smith pointed out that the prosecution was shaping ("tailoring") witness testimony by sharing the testimonies of other witnesses. With regards to Carla J. Martin, who was caught coaching witnesses, there was much to say.

Ms. Hashad noted, "She not only told them what was going on in the courtroom but she outlined the prosecutor's opening statement It's like a roadmap . . . she outlined for them and gave them talking points basically coaching them . . . . Among lawyers this is something you just never do. . . She's not relieved of her job. She's on administrative duty that she still has her law license, she should be disbarred."

Mr. Smith agreed that it was "crazy that she still has her law license" and then quoted William Kunstler on his experiences in Judge Hoffman's court in the sixties (The Chicago Eight case that became the Chicago Seven):

I learned that the government would stop at nothing including subordination of perjury, fabrication of documents, eavesdropping on attorney-client conference, the denigration of both defendants and their counsel. After Chicago, which was my personal rubican, many of my friends and foes alike tried to convince me that what took place ... was simply aberrational . . . But as time went by, I came to understand that, in cases that worried or upset the establishments, no gutter was too low. I also became conscious of the sad fact that prosecutors and law enforcement agents on both the state and federal level would resort to any dirty trick no matter how heinous to do their master's dirty bidding as well as satisfy their own ambitions.

Two young women, Ann and Laurie, were guests who discussed their rebuttal campaign to the MTA's "If you see something say something" campaign. Ann and Laurie have created postcards and posters showing things you should have seen and should have said something about. Such as the draping of an American flag over the statue of Saddam Hussein that was a part of the pys-ops operation aimed as much at Americans as at Iraqis. As Laurie noted, "in the newspapers we are seeing things everyday . . . about what's happening in the white house that we should be worried about" and their campaign attempts to target that and not enstill fear in one another among the public.

Though they do not have a website, they can be contacted at

Also on the broadcast was Caroline Fredrickson, of the ACLU, who discussed the Patriot Act reauthorization and hoped that people would continue to stay involved in the process despite the fact that the Congress refused to listen. Instead of focusing on that discussion, I would prefer to note a development that I am sure will be addressed on a future Law and Disorder show. Yesterday Charlie Savage broke news with "Bush Shuns Patriot Act RequirementIn addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding:"

When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.
The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.
Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.
In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

These signing statements, used to lay the groundwork to circumvent the law, have been addressed on past episodes of Law and Disorder and I'm sure the news above, which broke on Friday, will be addressed on a future Law and Disorder.

"All Along The Watchtower" was played during the broadcast. Terrance e-mailed to ask who was the man performing Jimi Hendrix's song? That was Bob Dylan who wrote the song and recorded it. If Terrance wondered, chances are someone else did as well so I asked his permission to note this here. He agreed and said to use his name. It seems very recent to me, but in fact, it's almost forty years ago. I would not be surprised if others had the same question.

Thanks to C.I. and Rebecca who both listened to me read the above and suggested where I could cut because, thanks to their suggestions, this report is half as long as it would have been prior. There were many broadcasts that I wanted to note. I will note that Friday on WBAI, there was a special broadcast with the voices of veterans against the war. [Dallas note: Click here for the WBAI archives and scroll down to Friday's "Public Affairs Special" and click on either: Play or Download. The WBAI archives states it keeps programs for ninety days only so don't wait too long.]

But one thing that I have to include is KPFA's Guns and Butter. First off, Kat called this week to ask if it would be okay to discuss Wednesday's episode. I appreciate the courtesy call but it is more than fine for anyone to write about Pacifica programming and I wish more would. While talking to Kat, she noted the broadcast from the week before which I missed due to my grandson's peditrician appointment. Kat has covered this week's broadcast and I am going to note the week's before.

This broadcast aired Joan Mellen's speech on "How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy's Assassins Has Led to Today's Crisis of Democracy." My granddaughter Tracey and I listened to this together and we recommend that you do as well. Tracey noted that not only did a writer for The Nation trash Professor Mellen in an article but he also attempted to do so in his response to letters complaining about the article. Professor Mellen's speech is reality-based and I would not say the same regarding the writer for The Nation. The best I will say for that man is "CIA apologist" and I will leave my worst to your imaginations since C.I. tries to keep this site "work safe" for those reading on computers at work.

Professor Mellen was on Law and Disorder discussing her then upcoming book in November. I enjoyed her appearance and purchased the book. She makes a strong case in A Farewell to Justice but for those who have not read it (and I know at least two members are on waiting lists for it at their libraries), I would urge you to listen to her speech. It addresses the issues. By contrast, the writer's rebuttal to letters instead attempted to make a case on what he stated was a mispelled name. A mispelled name? Well case closed, the Warren Commission is right!

Not quite. In his first attempt at gatekeeping, the writer resorted to "red" smears and attacks. He is still not able to muster the facts to refute Professor Mellen's argument. He is able to bend and slant and does so freely. To be sure that his is not the last word, you can listen to Ms. Mellen's speech.

If you want to listen to a gatekeeper, just follow the C.I.A. apologist. If you want to hear serious explorations of topics, listen to Guns and Butter. Bonnie Faulkner hosts the program which airs Wednesdays at four p.m. Eastern Time on KPFA. Each week, she tackles subjects that gatekeepers would prefer to keep the gates closed for. This is a popular program with several members of the community. Apologists will not enjoy the show. Those who want to hear topics explored in a manner beyond the official, case-closed verdict that you can find in the mainstream media.

Programming notes for next week. First, Larry Bensky and KPFA will be covering Tuesday's **NSA Hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee** I assume that other Pacficia stations will carry this or some coverage of it as well but I have only heard it noted on KPFA. [Dallas note: Houston's KPFT will air the coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.]

Rachel asked that this program airing on WBAI tomorrow be noted and the time is Eastern:

11:00-noon: The Next Hour
Elizabeth Nunez hosts this hour on the National Black Writers Conference. Her guests include science fiction and fantasy eminence Sheree Renee Thomas; award-winning author and journalist Herb Boyd; and scholar Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY.

Sunday on KPFA, time listed is Pacific Time, Larry Bensky's Sunday Salon will feature:

Activism: The Tricks of the Trade. Tune in for expert advice on organizing and running successful campaign. Guests include: Attorney and organizer Dotty LeMieux, Jakada Imani, of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Books Not Bars campaign, and Danielle Mahones, Executive Director, Center for Third World Organizing.
And, in our second hour... Round three of the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings into the Bush/National Security Agency Domestic Surveillance scandal is coming up on March 28th. We'll check in with experts about what to expect.
Listen to past shows, get contact and reference info for guests, see announcements of upcoming programs, and more at:

Also on KPFA Sunday, Cindy asked that I note the following which airs at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time:

Act One Radio Drama
"Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine"By Lynn Nottage. Knocked-up and seriously broke, successful publicist Undine, played by Charlayne Woodard, is plunged into a topsy-turvy world of welfare mothers and drug addicts, and forced to confront the family she left behind. It's a darkly comic rags-to-riches-to-rags tale of falling down and reaching up to find the goodness within. Daniel Breaker, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Melle Powers and Myra Lucretia Taylor also star.

[C.I. note: NSA Hearing Tuesday. Post corrected and correction indicated by "**."]

Bush insinua que soldados estadounidenses permaneceran en Irak al menos hasta 2009

Maria: Buenos dias. De parte de "Democracy Now!" once cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana. Paz.

Bush insinúa que soldados estadounidenses permanecerán en Irak al menos hasta 2009
El Presidente Bush señaló que los soldados estadounidenses probablemente permanecerán en Irak al menos hasta el año 2009. Bush dio una conferencia de prensa en la Casa Blanca el martes, la segunda de este año, y dijo que la retirada de los soldados estadounidenses de Irak será una decisión que deban tomar los futuros presidentes estadounidenses y gobiernos iraquíes. Bush también defendió el trabajo del Secretario de Defensa Donald Rumsfeld, en medio de crecientes pedidos de que renuncie. Pero Bush dejó abierta la posibilidad de futuros cambios, cuando dijo: "No voy a anunciarlo ahora".

Más de 80 muertos en Irak en los últimos dos días
En otras noticias sobre Irak, al menos 80 personas murieron en los últimos dos días en una serie de tiroteos desde vehículos, explosiones de bombas en carreteras y ejecuciones. En uno de los ataques más letales, un bombardero suicida se inmoló frente a la principal unidad de crímenes del Ministerio del Interior, matando a 25 personas.

Estados Unidos rodeó a todos los hombres adultos en localidad iraquí
Mientras tanto, en el oeste de Bagdad, más de 1.000 soldados estadounidenses rodearon una localidad cerca de Abu Ghraib. Luego que el pueblo fue acordonado, los soldados estadounidenses registraron todas las casas y reunieron a todas los hombres adultos del pueblo. Soldados esposaron e interrogaron a cada uno de los hombres de la localidad. Luego de interrogarlos, cada hombre fue marcado con una X en el cuello. Un coronel estadounidense defendió la operación alegando: "Lo que estamos haciendo es construir una guía Michelin para el área".

Adiestrador de perros del ejército condenado a seis meses de prisión por abuso en Abu Ghraib
Mientras tanto, un adiestrador de perros del ejército fue condenado a seis meses de prisión por abusar de detenidos iraquíes en la cárcel de Abu Ghraib. El Sargento, Michael Smith, fue fotografiado mientras utilizaba perros sin bozal para aterrar a los detenidos. Smith podría haber sido condenado a ocho años y medio en prisión, pero su condena fue mucho menor. Smith es el décimo soldado de bajo rango condenado por participar en el difundido abuso en Abu Ghraib. Hasta la fecha, ningún oficial de alto rango ni nadie en el comando civil ha sido responsabilizado por lo que ocurrió en la prisión.

Bush dice que no vinculó a Saddam con atentados del 11 de septiembre
Mientras las encuestas siguen indicando una disminución del nivel de aprobación de su mandato y de la guerra en Irak, el Presidente Bush pidió paciencia el lunes. Bush habló en Ohio y dijo que podía "entender que la gente fuera descorazonada", pero imploró a los estadounidenses que vieran los signos de progreso. Durante el período de preguntas, se interrogó al Presidente sobre las afirmaciones previas a la guerra de que Saddam Hussein estaba vinculado a los atentados del 11 de septiembre. Bush respondió: "En primer lugar, si me permiten aclarar un malentendido, creo que nunca dijimos, al menos estoy seguro de que yo nunca dije que había una conexión directa entre los atentados del 11 de septiembre y Saddam Hussein". Los críticos de Bush atacaron inmediatamente los comentarios del Presidente. En una carta al Congreso, entregada hace tres años, el Presidente Bush escribió: "La utilización de fuerzas armadas contra Irak es consecuente con que Estados Unidos y otros países continúen tomando las acciones necesarias contra los terroristas y organizaciones terroristas internacionales, entre ellas a las naciones, organizaciones o personas que planearon, autorizaron, llevaron a cabo o contribuyeron en los ataques terroristas que ocurrieron el 11 de septiembre de 2001".

Padre de contratista asesinado entre los 50 arrestados en protesta contra la guerra
Volvemos a Estados Unidos. Continuaron las protestas en contra de la guerra para conmemorar el tercer aniversario de la invasión a Irak. En Washington, cientos de personas marcharon frente al Pentágono, cargando un falso ataúd que pretendían entregarle al Secretario de Defensa, Donald Rumsfeld. La policía colocó un vallado en la calle para prohibir la entrada de los manifestantes. Aproximadamente 50 personas fueron arrestadas cuando lograron cruzar el vallado. Entre las personas arrestadas se encontraba Michael Berg, cuyo hijo Nicolas Berg, fue decapitado por secuestradores iraquíes en 2004. Antes de ser arrestado, Michael Berg dijo: "Mi hijo fue asesinado en venganza por las atrocidades que los estadounidenses cometieron en la prisión de Abu Ghraib; asesinando, violando, y torturando a los prisioneros. Así que decir 'miren qué horrible lo que le hicieron a mi hijo' ciertamente me da derecho a vengarme, bueno hay personas que pueden decir lo mismo porque hay personas en Irak que perdieron a sus hijos e hijas en esa prisión y hay 100.000 personas muertas en Irak, y piensen en todas las familias allí que consideran que tienen derecho a vengarse. No creo que se justifique la venganza bajo ningún concepto. La venganza en un ciclo sin fin y debe detenerse en algún punto, y se detiene conmigo".

Continúan protestas contra la guerra en todo el mundo mientras la ocupación de Irak ingresa en su cuarto año
Mientras que el domingo comenzó el cuarto año de ocupación estadounidense en Irak, se llevaron a cabo protestas contra la guerra en todo el mundo. Decenas de miles de personas salieron a las calles a protestar en ciudades de Estados Unidos, Canadá, Asia, Europa y Australia. En Irak, manifestantes protestaron en Basora y Bagdad contra la actual ocupación estadounidense.

Video iraquí provoca investigación de crímenes de guerra de infantes de marina estadounidenses
En otras noticias sobre Irak, imágenes de un video grabado por un joven estudiante de periodismo iraquí provocaron la investigación de cerca de una docena de infantes de marina estadounidenses por cometer posibles crímenes de guerra. El video fue filmado luego que una bomba al costado de una carretera mató a un infante de marina estadounidense en Haditha. Más tarde, soldados estadounidenses atacaron casas en esa área y mataron a 15 civiles. En un principio, el Pentágono atribuyó la responsabilidad de las muertes al atentado con bombas que mató al soldado. Pero unos meses después se abrió una investigación cuando un periodista de la revista "Time" le entregó la grabación a las Fuerzas Armadas. El video muestra a las víctimas tiradas en las casas bombardeadas. Tres niños murieron.

Informe: Estados Unidos acusado de matar a civiles iraquíes cerca de Balad
Mientras tanto, la policía iraquí acusó a soldados estadounidenses de asesinar a 11 civiles en un ataque llevado a cabo la semana pasada. Según un informe de la policía iraquí obtenido por la agencia de noticias "Knight Ridder", los residentes de la localidad fueron asesinados luego que soldados estadounidenses los llevaron a una habitación en una casa cerca de la ciudad de Balad. Entre los muertos se encontraban dos niños, un bebé de seis meses y una anciana. El informe dice que los soldados quemaron tres vehículos, mataron a los animales de los habitantes e hicieron explotar la casa. Un comandante de la policía local dijo que todas las víctimas fueron halladas con las manos esposadas y con heridas de bala en la cabeza.

Corte Suprema se niega a otorgarle a puertorriqueños derecho a votar en elecciones presidenciales
En Washington, la Corte Suprema rechazó un esfuerzo por otorgarle a residentes de Puerto Rico el derecho a votar en las elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses. El analista de política puertorriqueño Juan Manuel Garcia-Passalacqua, dijo: "Ningún territorio de Estados Unidos ha podido participar en las elecciones presidenciales de Estados Unidos de América", dijo el analista político puertorriqueño Juan Manuel Garcia-Passalacqua. "Ese hecho solo sirve para subrayar que Puerto Rico es ahora visto por la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, como una colonia miserable de Estados Unidos".

Los Angeles se prepara para protesta masiva contra proyecto de ley de inmigración
En Los Angeles, organizadores de protestas prevén que 500.000 personas se manifestarán el sábado contra una nueva ley contra inmigrantes que está siendo considerada por el Congreso. La Cámara de Representantes aprobó una legislación que criminalizaría a 11 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados y convertiría en delito que los curas, monjas, trabajadores de la salud y otros trabajadores les ofrezcan ayuda. El Senado está considerando una legislación similar. El Foro Nacional de Inmigración calificó al proyecto de ley como la legislación de inmigración más restrictiva de los últimos 70 años. El proyecto de ley generó oposición masiva por parte de las comunidades de inmigrantes de todo el país. El jueves en Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 30.000 personas participaron en una marcha llamada "Un día sin latinos". Fue la protesta más grande de la ciudad en años. Docenas de comercios latinos cerraron por la protesta. En Chicago, hace dos semanas 300.000 personas colmaron las calles.

Maria: Good morning. Now in English, here are eleven news stories from Democracy Now! Peace.

Bush Suggests Troops To Remain in Iraq Until At Least 2009
President Bush has indicated US troops are likely to stay in Iraq until at least 2009. Speaking at a White House press conference Tuesday -- his second this year -- Bush said whether US troops are withdrawn from Iraq will be up to future US presidents and Iraqi governments to decide. Bush also defended the job performance of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld amid growing calls for his resignation. But Bush left open the possibility for future changes, saying "I'm not going to announce it right now."

Iraq Death Toll Tops 80 Over Past Two Days
In other news from Iraq, at least 80 people have died over the past two days in a series of drive-by shootings, roadside bombings and executions. In one of the deadliest attacks, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the major crimes unit of the Interior Ministry killing 25.

U.S. Rounds Up All Adult Males in Iraqi Village
Meanwhile to the west of Baghdad, over 1,000 U.S. troops have surrounded a village near Abu Ghraib. After the town was cordoned off, U.S. soldiers conducted house-to-house searches and rounded up the entire adult male population of the town. Soldiers handcuffed and then interrogated every man in the village. After questioning, each man was marked with an X on the back of their necks. One U.S. colonel defended the operation saying "What we're doing is building a Michelin guide to the area."

Army Dog Handler Sentenced to Six Months For Abu Ghraib Abuse
An Army dog handler has been sentenced to six months in prison for abusing Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison. The sergeant, Michael Smith, was photographed using un-muzzled dogs to terrify detainees. He could have been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison but he was given a far shorter sentence. Smith is the 10th low-ranking soldier convicted of taking part in the widespread abuse at Abu Ghraib. To date no high-ranking officer or anyone in civilian command has been held accountable for what happened at the prison.

Bush Says He Didn’t Link Saddam Hussein to 9/11
As poll numbers continue to show decreasing public support for his presidency and the war in Iraq, President Bush appealed Monday for patience. Speaking in Ohio, Bush said he could "understand people being disheartened" but implored Americans to see signs of progress. During the question period, the President was asked about the pre-war claim Saddam Hussein was linked to the 9/11 attacks. Bush responded: "First-just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said, at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein."
Critics immediately lashed out at the President’s remarks. In a letter to Congress delivered three years ago today, President Bush wrote: "The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

Father of Slain Contractor Among 50 Arrested at Anti-War Protest
Back in the United States, anti-war protests continued to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. In Washington, hundreds of people marched on the Pentagon, carrying a mock coffin they intended to give to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The demonstrators were met with a steel barrier erected by police to bar their entry. About 50 people were arrested when they managed to cross the fence. Among them was Michael Berg, whose son Nicolas Berg was beheaded by Iraqi kidnappers in 2004. Before his arrest, Michael Berg said: "My son was killed out of revenge for the atrocities that Americans committed at the Abu Ghraib prison; murdering, raping, and torturing prisoners there. So for me to say look how horrible what they did to my son certainly I'm entitled to revenge well there are people who can say the same thing because there are people over there in Iraq who lost their sons and daughters in that prison and there are a 100,000 people in Iraq dead and think of all the families there that think they're entitled to revenge. I don't think revenge is justified under any circumstances. revenge is an endless cycle and it has to stop somewhere and it stops with me."

Anti-War Protests Worldwide as Occupation Enters Fourth Year
As Iraq entered its fourth year under US occupation Sunday, anti-war protests were held around the world. Tens of thousands of people took the streets in cities across the US, Canada, Asia, Europe and Australia. In Iraq, protesters demonstrated in Basra and Baghdad to protest the ongoing U.S. occupation.

Iraqi Video Leads to War Crimes Investigation of US Marines
In other Iraq news, video footage shot by a young Iraqi journalism student has led to the investigation of close to a dozen US marines for committing possible war crimes. The video was taken after a roadside bomb killed one US marine in Haditha. US troops then raided homes in the area, killing 15 civilians. The Pentagon initially blamed their deaths on the roadside bomb attack that killed the soldier. But an investigation was opened a few months later when a Time magazine reporter gave the videotape to the military. The video shows the victims lying in their bullet-ridden homes. Three children were killed.

US Accused of Killing Iraqi Civilians Near Balad
Meanwhile, Iraqi police have accused US troops of murdering 11 civilians in a raid just last week. According to an Iraqi police report obtained by the Knight Ridder news agency, the villagers were killed after US troops herded them into one room of a house near the city of Balad. The dead included two young children, a 6-month-old infant and an elderly woman. The report says the troops burned three vehicles, killed the villagers' animals and blew up the house. A local police commander said all the victims were found handcuffed with gunshot wounds to the head.

Court Rejects Giving Puerto Ricans Right to Vote for President
In Washington the Supreme Court has rejected an effort to give residents of Puerto Rico the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections. "No territory of the United States has ever been able to participate in the presidential elections of the United States of America," Puerto Rican political analyst Juan Manuel Garcia-Passalacqua. "That fact only serves to underscore that Puerto Rico is now in the thinking of the United States Supreme Court a miserable colony of the United States."

Los Angeles Prepares For Massive Protest Against Immigration Bill
In Los Angeles protest organizers are predicting as many as 500,000 people will demonstrate on Saturday against a new anti-immigrant law being considered by Congress. The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would criminalize 11 million undocumented immigrants and make it a crime for priests, nuns, health care workers and other social workers to offer them help. The Senate is considering similar legislation. The National Immigration Forum has described the bill as the most restrictive immigration legislation in 70 years. The bill has generated mass opposition from immigrant communities around the country. On Thursday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as many as 30,000 people took part in a march titled "A Day Without Latinos." It was the city's biggest protest in years. Dozens of Latino businesses shut down for the protest. In Chicago, as many as 300,000 people filled the streets two weeks ago.

NYT: SITE gives Dexy translations, he gives them play -- None dare call it reporting

Dexter Filkins files "Iraq Qaeda Chief Seems To Pursue A Lower Profile" in this morning's New York Times. Files from where? Readers may wonder since it's a front page article without a dateline. So let's give it the byline and dateline it's earned: "By DEXTER FILKINS and RITA KATZ, SITE Institute, March 24."

Without a dateline, but never without experts, wherever he goes, Dexter always packs his cliches and his experts. This time he tells us that "experts believe" and "American and Iraqi officals . . . are divided." An unnamed "American intelligence official" gives him an actual quote.

In paragraphs sixteen and seventeen of the twenty-five paragraph article (check my math), Filkins finally has names. Rita Katz comes stumbling in in paragraph sixteen. Ms. Katz is identified by Filkins as "the director of SITE Institute, which tracks violent Islamist groups" and someone who wrote "an opinion article in The Boston Globe."

Katz, though Filkins doesn't tell you this, has also written at least three times for The National Review. Katz has been sued by several groups who accuse her of falsely labeling them terrorist groups, another fact that Filkins doesn't provide to readers. She is also an Iraqi exile which Filkins forgets to tell readers. He also can't state she is a supporter of the Patriot Act. She has stated that the US had "success" in Afghanistan. (That laughable comment alone should prevent the Times from quoting her.) Despite Bully Boy's famous/infamous statement on his so-called war on terror ("I don't think you can win it."), Katz firmly believes that you can.

Dexy loves Rita. But when he noted her on December 2, 2005, he was able to note that she and her organization were "now working under a United States government contract to investigate militant groups." Today she's just an independent "expert" -- not affiliated with anything but the 'truth.' It's a loose affiliation, not unlike Dexy's affiliation with reporting.

Well Dexy's had go-go boy gone wild times in the Green Zone and apparently never learned the language so he has to depend on Katz and her organization "which provided the translations of his statements . . ." Him being Zarqawi, whose alleged statements are the focus of Dexy's article. She gives him translations (which he can't evaluate) and he gives her quote play. Rita Katz used to be "anonymous" but when she went on 60 Minutes in 2003, she was "Sarah." Anonymous is one thing, false alias, however, should give the press pause. Not Dexy. Dexy runs with the administration doggies.

Hadassah, in a profile on Katz, notes that she "honed her skills while working at the Investigative Project think tank run by counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson." Again, that should give the press pause. From Eyal Press' "Neocon Man" (The Nation):

Steven Emerson, another self-styled terrorism expert, who gained notoriety in the immediate aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing for suggesting that it bore a "Middle Eastern trait."

If Emerson is new to you, check out John F. Sugg's "Steven Emerson's Crusade: Why is a journalist pushing questionable stories from behind the scenes?" (FAIR's EXTRA!) and "Steve Emerson Eats Crow" (CounterPunch).

That is Katz's mentor. Also in Hadassah, she dismisses her mother's contradictions of her own version of life in Iraq and her father, who was not around after Katz turned six, with "It doesn't matter. These are my memories." Which is probably her explanation for her work on terrorism as well. (Note that Katz's father was executed in Iraq and Katz wouldn't learn of that until over a decade later.) (Also note that the "utlra-Orthodox" market is not the only apparent "goldmine" for Katz.)

From Sugg's "The FBI is on My Trail" (CounterPunch):

Emerson's researcher -- until a rupture two years ago -- was the truly weird Rita Katz, who claimed in her book Terrorist Hunter that federal agents were bowled over by her sexual appeal. She also wrote that an individual left Tampa the "next day" after a leader of the Islamic Jihad was assassinated. The truth is that he left almost a half-year before then, but Katz's deception puts a far more sinister cast on events in Tampa. At the very least, it arguably was intended to mislead the public -- and the press.

Neocon, apparently, means never having to say you're wrong or sorry.

Like Emerson, Katz believes the terrorists are among us. Like Emerson, Katz is seen by many as anti-Islam. Fortunately for her Dexy has no qualms about using her (or research she provides him with) for the basis of his thinly sourced story.

The other named source appears only in paragraph seventeen, Bruce Hoffman of the RAND Corporation. Possibly if Hoffman had fed Dexy documents (go-go boys from the Green Zone don't like working), he, like Katz, could pop back up later in the article.

Did the Times verify the translations Katz provided? There's nothing to indicate that they did.

Oh, come on, we're talking about Dexter Filkins, the guy who supposedly was in Falluja during the November 2004 massacre but didn't bother to tell readers about the slaughter, the use of white phosphorus or any number of things. (He did go rah-rah-rah war and that earned him an award. History, and his peers, have already questioned that award.) Dexy swallows everything that's fed to him by administration sources. So today he writes about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, not as a journalist, but as a White House flack. (Is he auditioning for Scotty's job?)

There's no reality here. Filkins writes of facts that aren't facts, never qualifies any of his assertions and continues to be the Judith Miller of the New York Times (a position he's held since before Miller left the paper). Today's talking point, ironically as the White House wants to get the public back behind the illegal war, is that big-bad Zarqawi is on the prowl.

Since he's been reported dead numerous times by the media and since his own importance is questioned even by the administration (which frequently hides behind him), it's amazing to read the "Only from the mouth of Dexy" reporting until you grasp that Dexy's done no reporting. He's using the translations handed to him by a proponent/activist/cheerleader of the so-called war on terror.

Filkins knows nothing (a given for Dexy) yet presents it as fact (ditto). And the Times front pages it because they are oh-so-sensitive about the criticism that continues to mount over their "award winning" "reporter." Amy Goodman and David Goodman have noted a previous Times reporter who helped sell the 'nukes are good weapons' nonsense after the United States dropped the bombs on Japan. I'm not sure if they noted that a brother-in-law of the Ochs family was involved in that as well. (Noted in their book Exceptions to the Rulers, it's not noted in the article.) (From behind the scenes, of course.) Will we, years from now, discover that an Ochs or a Sultzberger is advising the US government on their so-called war on terrorism? Don't be surprised.

In the meantime Dexy's given free reign to rant and rave over some documents he was handed by a questionable organization, documents translated by that organization. This is the sort of thing that brought down Judith Miller. This is the sort of thing that the Times swore never again to. (Yeah, right.) So Dexy is this year's Judith Miller. (With apologies to Francisco -- but Juan Forero can remain "the littlest Judith Miller" -- just think of Dexy as the full size Miller.) 'Til Tuesday had a wonderful song entitled "David Denies" (lyrics by Aimee Mann, music by 'Til Tuesday, on the album Welcome Home) and possibly Mann could redo it as "Dexy Denies"?

Reality, from Dahr Jamail's "The Zarqawi Phenomenon" (

The Bush administration has regularly claimed that Zarqawi was in -- and then had just barely escaped from -- whatever city or area they were next intent on attacking or cordoning off or launching a campaign against. Last year, he and his organization were reputed to be headquartered in Fallujah, prior to the American assault that flattened the city. At one point, American officials even alleged that he was commanding the defense of Fallujah from elsewhere by telephone. Yet he also allegedly slipped out of Fallujah either just before or just after the beginning of the assault, depending on which media outlet or military press release you read.
He has since turned up, according to American intelligence reports and the U.S. press, in Ramadi, Baghdad, Samarra, and Mosul among other places, along with side trips to Jordan, Iran, Pakistan and/or Syria. His closest "lieutenants" have been captured by the busload, according to American military reports, and yet he always seems to have a bottomless supply of them. In May, a news report on the BBC even called Zarqawi "the leader of the insurgency in Iraq," though more sober analysts of the chaotic Iraqi situation say his group, Jama'at al-Tawhid wal Jihad, while probably modest in size and reach is linked to a global network of jihadists. However, finding any figures as to the exact size of the group remains an elusive task.
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell offered photos before the U.N. in February, 2003 of Zarqawi's "headquarters" in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, also claiming that Zarqawi had links to Al-Qaeda. The collection of small huts was bombed to the ground by U.S. forces in March of that year, prompting one news source to claim that Zarqawi had been killed. Yet seemingly contradicting Powell's claims for Zarqawi's importance was a statement made in October, 2004 by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who conceded that Zarqawi's ties to Al Qaeda may have been far more ambiguous, that he may have been more of a rival than a lieutenant to Osama bin Laden. "Someone could legitimately say he's not Al Qaeda," added Rumsfeld.

This entry's late in going up due to going through the e-mails and a call from Ruth. She is working on her latest report and wanted to discuss a few issues which led to us having a long (and enjoyable) conversation about feminism without either of us realizing that we'd be on the phone for hours. Ruth's latest will go up today. Maria's already sent in her contribution and Kat will offer the lineup for RadioNation with Laura Flanders. In terms of the delay, I'll take responsibility for sleeping an hour extra this morning and for searching desperately through this morning's paper for something to focus on other that Filkins; however, that's what the e-mails are about so we've made him the focus of this entry. Rebecca will be posting today (at her site Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude and has already called this morning to see if I needed her to do an entry here since there was nothing up).

As Mike noted yesterday:

How about the joint entry that Wally and Cedric did today? (Links take you to the post at each of their sights and it's pretty funny so check it out.)

They teamed up for a joint entry yesterday so be sure to check that out. As far as I know, Trina's intending to post today and Betty's working on a Saturday entry as well so check out their sites later today. Also be sure to read Seth's "Gaytime TV? ."

The e-mail address for this site is

[Ava note: I've added the link to Filkins' "reporting" to this entry. And bold faced Francisco's name.]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Democracy Now: Sam Gardiner, Andrew Buncombe, protests in Paris ...

Iraq Death Toll Tops 80 Over Past Two Days
In other news from Iraq, at least 80 people have died over the past two days in a series of drive-by shootings, roadside bombings and executions. In one of the deadliest attacks, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the major crimes unit of the Interior Ministry killing 25.
U.S. Rounds Up All Adult Males in Iraqi Village
Meanwhile to the west of Baghdad, over 1,000 U.S. troops have surrounded a village near Abu Ghraib. After the town was cordoned off, U.S. soldiers conducted house-to-house searches and rounded up the entire adult male population of the town. Soldiers handcuffed and then interrogated every man in the village. After questioning, each man was marked with an X on the back of their necks. One U.S. colonel defended the operation saying "What we're doing is building a Michelin guide to the area."
New Study Criticizes Power of Israeli Lobby in Washington
And a dean at Harvard University and a professor at the University of Chicago are coming under intense criticism for publishing an academic critique of the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington. The paper charges that the United States has willingly set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of Israel. In addition the study accuses the pro-Israeli lobby, particularly AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- of manipulating the U.S. media, policing academia and silencing critics of Israel by labeling them as anti-Semitic. The study also examines the role played by pro-Israeli neo-conservatives in the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of iraq. The authors of the study, Stephen Walt, a dean at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and John Mearsheimer of University of Chicago are now themselves being accused of anti-Semitism. In Washington, Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel of New York described the professors as "dishonest so-called intellectuals" and "anti-Semites." Harvard professor, Ruth Wisse called for the paper to be withdrawn. Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz described the study as trash that could have been written by Neo-Nazi David Duke. The New York Sun reported Harvard has received several calls from 'pro-Israel donors' expressing concern about the paper. Harvard has already taken steps to distance itself from the report. Earlier this week it removed the logo of the Kennedy School of Government from the paper and added a new disclaimer to the study. The 81-page report was originally published on Harvard's website and an edited version appeared in the London Review of Books. The controversy comes less than a year after Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz attempted to block the publication of Norman Finkelstein's book "Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History."
Sioux Tribal Leader to Allow Abortions on Tribal Land in S. Dakota
In South Dakota, the leader of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation has reportedly announced plans to allow Planned Parenthood to open a clinic on the reservation in defiance of the state's new ban on abortion. Cecilia Fire Thunder, who is a former nurse, said the clinic will be allowed to open because the state has no jurisdiction over tribal lands.
The four items above are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Mayra, Rachel, Micah and FranciscoDemocracy Now! ("always informing you," as Marcia says):
Headlines for March 24, 2006

- Freed Peace Activists Plan To Head Home From Iraq
- U.S. Rounds Up All Adult Males in Iraqi Village
- Massive Protests Against Immigration Bill Continue
- U.S. Mutual Fund Backs Divestment From Sudan
- Puerto Rico Sues U.S. Officials Over Ojeda Rios Killing
- New Study Criticizes Power of Israeli Lobby in Washington
IRS Audited Greenpeace At Request of ExxonMobil-Funded Group

The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that a little-known watchdog group, largely subsidized by ExxonMobil, was responsible for getting the IRS to audit the environmental organization Greenpeace. We speak with the reporter who broke the story and the head of Greenpeace USA.
The PsyOps War: A Look at the Lincoln Group and the U.S. Military's Planting of Stories in the Iraqi Press

The Pentagon defends its policy of paying Iraqi news organizations to publish pro-American articles secretly written by the U.S. military. Its contractor, the Lincoln Group is being paid over a hundred million dollars to write and plant stories. We speak with reporter Andrew Buncombe of the London Independent and retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner.
Mass Protests Continue in France to Oppose Controversial Labor Law

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in France to oppose a controversial new law that makes its easier for employers to fire young workers. We go to Paris to speak with a student protester at the Sorbonne and a journalist who covers politics and social movements in France. [includes rush transcript]
Let's begin by noting Iraq.  Reuters notes that a bomb went off outside a mosque in Khalis killing at least five people while wounding at least twelve more. Forbes notes a home invasion (I'm terming it that based on the lack of details) in Mahmudiya has left four dead and the mother of the family wounded. CNN reports that a bakery ("south of Baghdad") was where four people died and one was wounded in attack.  The attackers
deposited a package which exploded killing at least one police officer.  The violence continues but Bully Boy and Rumsfeld would rather we talk about anything else.
The peace march goes on and is actually called "Latino Moritorium March" (thanks to Sabina for noting that). Click here for the route.
Oliver notes "231-Mile March for Peace to Go From Tijuana to San Francisco" (San Francisco Indybay Media):
On Saturday, March 25, locals will be meeting in Watsonville at 10am (Saint Patrick's Church) to join the march for Peace and Immigrant Rights. They will march to Pajaro and carpool/bus from there to Salinas. Read more, including info about the march route and initiators. The march is in need of help such as funding, volunteers, media, organizers, and donations.
Charlie wasn't able to find anything on the march but he did find something new about one of the particpants, Aidan Delgado.  From Carol Mallett-Rifkin's "Robert Cray blends past and present with some social commentary at The Orange Peel" (Citizen-Times):
QUESTION: I have been listening to your new record and watching the video. It's hard to get past the powerful images in "Twenty" of a soldier who dies in Iraq and the field full of tagged empty boots.
ANSWER: I wrote the song and then a friend of my wife Sue's (Sue Turner-Cray) named Renee said, 'We've got to do something with this song.' One by one pieces started to fall together. Renee knew somebody who worked for the American Friends Service Committee who does the exhibition "Eyes Wide Open" with the boots. She heard actor Aidan Delgado -- he actually was a soldier who served in Iraq in Nasiriyah and at Abu Ghraib prison -- available and got him to play the part of the soldier in the video. My wife produced the video. The idea for the song came about from what you see and read every day, about the soldiers. I was feeling bad for the soldiers and innocent civilians who are dying.
Robert Cray's "20" is from the album of the same name and lyrics to the title track can be found here:

Standing out here in the desert
Trying to protect an oil line
I'd really like to do my job but
This ain't the country that I had in mind
They call this a war on terror
I see a lot of civilians dying
Mothers, sons, fathers and daughters
Not to mention some friends of mine
Some friends of mine
Was supposed to leave last week
Promises they don't keep anymore
Got to fight the rich man's war
From peace march to peace mom, Billie notes Cindy Sheehan's "Volunteers for Endless War" (BuzzFlash):
Being on the road constantly and being in the trenches for peace leave me little time (and, if truth be told, little inclination) to keep up with George's dishonest and oftentimes incoherent ramblings; nonetheless, this week two of his more calculated comments caught my attention.
The first comment was on the White House lawn on Sunday, March 19 th, the 3rd anniversary of the invasion. By the way, the White House website has entitled this speech as "The President's remarks on the third anniversary of the liberation!!!! (italics and exclamation points added by me) of Iraq." A few sentences in his short remarks were:
Ours is an amazing nation where thousands have volunteered to serve our country. They volunteered to -- many volunteered after 9/11, knowing full well that their time in the military could put them in harm's way.
Notice how many times George says a variation on the word "volunteer:" three times in one sentence. This caught my eye because right-wing warniks who don't want to take any responsibility for supporting George's war of terror and it's accompanying mayhem are always reminding me that Casey "volunteered." And you know what? The warniks got me there! Casey did volunteer. He volunteered in May of 2000, to, first of all, serve his country and, second of all, get the benefits that his recruiter deceived him about. The biggest lie that Casey's recruiter told him was that "even if there is a war, you won't see combat…you scored so high on the ASVAB test, you will only go to war in a support role." The tragic thing about this false promise is that Casey, a Humvee mechanic, was killed in combat five days after he arrived in Baghdad. The truly alarming and upsetting thing about the false promise made to Casey, though, is that recruiters are using that same lie today to potential volunteers while our country is in the middle of an occupation where many of our troops are being deployed for their third and fourth tours of duty.
Bully Boy's statements and actions?  Zach notes Robert Parry's "9/11 & Bush's 'Negligence'" (Consortium News):
Amid this bureaucratic inertia, Bush's role was crucial. As President, he was the best-positioned official to force the various parts of the government to undertake a top-down review of what was known, what evidence was being missed, what could be done.
Richard Clarke, who had been President Bill Clinton's counterterrorism chief and stayed in that job after Bush took office, said the Clinton administration reacted to such threats with urgent top-level meetings to "shake the trees" at the FBI, CIA, Customs and other relevant agencies.
Clarke said senior managers would respond by going back to their agencies to demand a search for any overlooked information and to put rank-and-file personnel on high alert, as happened when an al-Qaeda plot to bomb Millennium celebrations was thwarted in 1999.
"In December 1999, we received intelligence reports that there were going to be major al-Qaeda attacks," Clarke said on CNN's "Larry King Live" two years ago. "President Clinton asked his national security adviser Sandy Berger to hold daily meetings with the attorney general, the FBI director, the CIA director and stop the attacks.
"Every day they went back from the White House to the FBI, to the Justice Department, to the CIA and they shook the trees to find out if there was any information. You know, when you know the United States is going to be attacked, the top people in the United States government ought to be working hands-on to prevent it and working together.
"Now, contrast that with what happened in the summer of 2001, when we even had more clear indications that there was going to be an attack. Did the President ask for daily meetings of his team to try to stop the attack? Did (national security adviser) Condi Rice hold meetings of her counterparts to try to stop the attack? No."
In a March 19, 2006, speech in Florida, former Vice President Al Gore also noted this contrast between how the Clinton administration reacted to terrorist threats and how the Bush administration did in the weeks before Sept. 11.
"In eight years in the White House, President Clinton and I, a few times, got a direct and really immediate statement like that (Aug. 6, 2001 warning), in one of those daily briefings," Gore said.
"Every time, as you would want and expect, we had a fire drill, brought everybody in, (asked) what else do we know about this, what have we done to prepare for this, what else could we do, are we certain of the sources, get us more information on that, we want to know everything about this, and we want to make sure our country is prepared.
"In August of 2001," Gore added, "such a clear warning was given and nothing -- nothing -- happened. When there is no vision, the people perish." [To see Gore's speech on C-Span, click here.]
Negligence?  Bully Boy?  (Ask with feigned shock.)  Doug notes Peter Phillips' "Impeachment Movement Gains National Momentum" (CounterPunch):
If a national movement calling for the impeachment of the President is rapidly emerging and the corporate media are not covering it, is there really a national movement for the impeachment of the President?
Impeachment advocates are widely mobilizing in the U.S. Over 1,000 letters to the editors of major newspapers have been printed in the past six months asking for impeachment.  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter writer George Matus says, "I am still enraged over unasked questions about exist polls, touch-screen voting, Iraq, the cost of the new Medicare, who formulated our energy policy, Jack Abramoff, the Downing Street Memos, and impeachment."  David Anderson in McMinnville, Oregon pens to the Oregonian, "Where are the members of our congressional delegation now in demanding the current presiden'ts actions be investigated to see if impeachment or censure are appropriate actions?"  William Dwyer's letter in the Charleson Gazette says, "Congress will never have the courage to start the impeachment process without a groundswell of outrage from the people."
City councils, boards of supervisors, and local and state level Democrat central committees have voted for impeachment.
World Water Day was this week and Erika notes "Women's Groups Speak Up at World Water Forum" (Feminist Wire Daily):
At the Fourth Annual World Water Forum, held this past week in Mexico City, the Women's Caucus called on the conference attendees to uphold women's human right to water by including women in decisions related to water usage and sanitation and by taking gender issues into consideration when making policy. They cited the United Nations General Comment 15 to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which says that "The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights." The Women's Caucus proposed many recommendations for action, including: recognizing women as full partners in water and sanitation efforts; recognizing intentional contamination or withholding of water as a crime against humanity; developing gender equity policies for institutions that deal with water; and creating gender-sensitive and gender-balanced responses to water crises.
Marcia notes Cedric's "Will Interview With The Vampire become the new Catcher in the Rye?" (Cedric's Big Mix) where Cedric's discussing a news item from yesterday's Democracy Now!:
American Arrested for Bolivian Bombing
In Bolivia, an American man has been arrested along with an Uruguayan woman for bombing two hotels in La Paz. Two people died and at least seven were injured in the blasts. The attacks were denounced by the Bolivian government. President Evo Morales said "This American was putting bombs in hotels. The U.S. government fights terrorism, and they send us terrorists." Police initially identified the American as 24-year-old Claudio Lestad of New Orleans but he reportedly used several other names. Police said the he might be mentally ill.

Here was my first thought: black ops operation. I still think that's possible. The 24 y.o. could be CIA. "Claudio Lestad"? Made up name. That's so obvious. I thought I had to be remembering wrong so I called Ty who loves horror and science fiction novels. He's read all of Ann Rice.
"Claudio" equals "Claudia" the young girl who's turned to a vampire by . . . Lestat. "Lestad" equals "Lestat." And where did it take place? New Orleans. It's a cover of some kind and a pretty obvious one -- unless the guy's mentally ill but being mentally ill might not be a liability in working for the CIA. But Claudio Lestad is totally made up. Will Interview With The Vampire, by Ann Rice, become the new Catcher in the Rye?
I never read Interview With The Vampire, but I did see the movie. I'm guessing that name was pretty obvious, pretty obviously a phoney, to most people.
Lily agrees with Rebecca about one of the funniest moments on TV this week.  From Rebecca's "news roundup and grace (will & grace) socks it to the repubes" (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude):
grace hired a middle eastern woman. the woman was worse than karen when it came to working and grace didn't feel like she could fire her because the woman was middle eastern. however, grace found out that the woman was jewish and was thrilled because that meant that she, grace - who is jewish, could fire her. which she did.

with karen after, grace pinned her reluctance (before learning that the woman was jewish) on 'liberal guilt.' that's all the set up to grace's lines.

here it is:

sometimes i wish i were a republican. then i wouldn't have to worry about anyone's feelings; i'd just have to worry about being indicted.
On the March 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, the national political correspondent for National Public Radio and a member of Special Report's "All-Star Panel," again asserted, in defiance of NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin, that "whenever there's any kind of a contest or a contrast between the person at the podium in the White House briefing room and the press corps, the press corps generally loses. ... I think that happened in this case, too." Liasson was referring to the testy exchange between President Bush and Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas at Bush's March 21 news conference. Liasson offered this opinion despite repeated criticism by Dvorkin, who recently admonished NPR reporters for going on programs "that are looking to appear fair and balanced" and expressing their opinions rather than simply recounting what their reporting shows.
This is not the first time that Liasson has claimed that the press looks bad in televised confrontations with the administration, nor is it the first time that Liasson has offered an opinion in defiance of admonitions by Dvorkin. On the September 7, 2005, edition of Special Report, discussing a heated exchange between NBC News chief White House correspondent David Gregory and White House press secretary Scott McClellan, Liasson said: "Look, any time there's a contentious exchange in the White House press room, it makes the press look bad." She made this comment despite Dvorkin's July 2003 admonition that "NPR reporters ... should not be in the business of making their own opinions known about matters of public controversy. When they do, the public quickly senses that NPR compromises its ability to report in a fair manner."
The coverage goes on to note Mara Lie-Liasson's trashing of Democrats in July of 2003.  She didn't learn from that scolding.  (Nor was that her first time forgetting "reporter" versus "opinion columnist."  She's also attacked Amy Goodman while being given her platform on Fox "News.")  So exactly what is NPR going to do?  Mara is a bad reporter on NPR and one whose actions on Fox "News" have called her reporting skill and the quality of her reports into question.  When is NPR going to actually do something about it? 
Never.  They've done nothing all this time.  They never will.  Remember that when they hit you up for money (members who formely pledged to NPR but have switched to Pacifia Radio have noted repeated letters asking them to please send money to NPR).
Two more radio items.  First, Ruth asked that we note the new episode of CounterSpin is available online today.  She has an e-mail from a member who can listen on Friday if reminded.  So that's your reminder. (Ruth says there's a lot in this week's episode including a discussion on the way the New York Times' covers abortion on the op-ed page.)
Second, Molly, noting that Eddie is a huge Randi Rhodes fan, wanted to highlight her weekly e-mail (which you can sign up for the weekly e-mail at Randi's site online -- as Molly has):
It has been a real interesting few days for Americans who rely on a vital, aggressive free press.
Bush has been out in force delivering his matinee "Happy War" talks which are designed to direct and intimidate the corporate media, not to actually be seen by the American public (hence the time of day he does them).
And it works. The media has actually taken to scolding themselves for barely reporting car bombs and IED stories instead of all the "good news" in Iraq.
Here's a newsflash: Car bombs & IED's ARE the good news in Iraq. Until Americans start seeing the babies melted by white phosphorus or shot in head or blown apart by artillery... Until we see the tens of thousands of American kids coming home with fewer body parts than they went there with, or the torture videos, or the flag draped coffins, or learn about the suicides and life-long damage done to our troops in a WAR OF CHOICE…
Until we understand that war is the ugliest man-made thing there is and Bush chose it unnecessarily, then he should thank God that the pathetic media is ONLY reporting car bombs and IED's.
And the soulless right-wing freaks that shill for this president are beyond redemption. Here's one that I played on my show Thursday:
- Laura Ingram selling out her country for her political party on NETWORK TV.
Fortunately, even with the mainstream media held tightly in the grip of the corporate elite, a few small voices still make it through...
- Keith Olbermann responds to Ingram on BASIC CABLE.
Even though we truth tellers are out numbered 1000:1 in the media nowadays, the truth always has a way cutting through the BS.
So the fight then becomes a simple race against the clock...the longer it takes to get the truth out there, the more lives we lose to the lies.
Keep up the fight and thank you soooo much for listening.
We'll throw in two more links from the e-mail Molly forwarded.  First up, Randi's putting her weight behind a good cause:

Join Randi in helping to rebuild lives by building homes in the areas devastated by Katrina.


Randi's debut on Lou Dobbs showers viewers with truth, intelligence and can't-miss chemistry between the The Dobbs and our Randi.
The Randi Rhodes Show can be heard on Air America, Monday through Friday.  (Eddie would add "But not live in Dallas!"  And Eddie's not the only member in that area complaining about the way the Dallas station has played with the schedule.)
If you hear it live, the show begins at three p.m. eastern time and ends at seven p.m. eastern time.  Regardless of whether or not you have an Air America Radio station in your area, you can listen to the show online either at the AAR site or at Randi's site.
The News Dissector Danny Schechter has an upcoming book presentation.  We'll note this again (and how often will depend upon how many times I'm reminded):
If you are in New York City, please come out for a talk I will be giving on my new book WHEN NEWS LIES: Media Complicity and The Iraq War at Housing Works' handsome Used Book Café on Cosby Street just below Houston, one block east of Broadway at 7 PM March 29. CSPAN will be in the house broadcasting so it is especially important to have a crowd. Please tell your friends. It is free.
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