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Impeach Bush

Clinton/Dole: the UN
CBS News
March 16, 2003

(CBS) In the second in a series of two-minute debates for the CBS News magazine 60 Minutes, former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole differ on the United Nations. Following is a transcript of their March 16 contribution.

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SENATOR DOLE: People make jokes about the U.N. but it's hard to top the real thing.

Until just last month, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was scheduled to chair the U.N.'s disarmament conference. Even France couldn't stomach that.

And how about the UN's Human Rights team being edited by Moammar Khadafi's Libya? And, can you believe, last summer Syria chaired the Security Council?What's next, a Saudi Arabian Conference on Women's Rights?

Can we really count on the U.N. to defend the civilized world?

President Bush has given it every chance, and it buckles every time.

The US and its allies should act on their own. President Clinton, you didn't seek U.N. approval in 1998. What's changed?

Isn't it time to create another role for the U.N.? Somebody suggested luxury Manhattan condos. That's not a bad idea. I hear you're looking for one.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Senator, I know your crowd is for privatizing Social Security, so I'm not surprised you also want to privatize the U.N.

No one says the U.N. is perfect, but perfect or not isn't it good for America -- in a war against terror -- to have allies?

Yes, it can be frustrating -- like when I had to work with a Republican Congress.

But the U.N. has already passed a strong resolution on Iraq. And while legally, President Bush doesn't need another one, wouldn't it be better to have one, adopting Prime Minister Blair's disarmament deadlines?

That might cause Saddam to disarm without military action. At least we'd have more support if invasion comes.

SENATOR DOLE: I just don't agree.

Our troops are in harm's way. Waiting for the U.N. to make up its mind is not worth risking American lives.

You had eight very long years to work with the U.N. to disarm Iraq, and Saddam is still there and still has his weapons.

That doesn't make any sense to me.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Come on senator, when I was President, you didn't say we should invade Iraq.

By the time I left office, tough sanctions, inspections and air strikes had left him far weaker than he was in the Gulf War, as I think we'll see if there's military action.

No question: he must be disarmed. But let's do it in a way that unites -- not divides -- the world and gives us a last chance to avoid a bloody conflict.

© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Commentary:
A few quick points.. The obvious first. Republicans said President Clinton gutted the military. That's Bill Clinton's military that's kicking Saddam's butt, not Bush's. Second, if there was a cut in military spending during the Clinton years it was done by a republican controlled congress. So, the next time you hear this crap, disregard it.

Second, President Clinton was able to get UN support for his war in Kosovo. He also got support from Russia, France and NATO.

Third, 1441 was passed only after the US promised the UN there were no hidden triggers for war. That was a lie and Bush. Clinton is incorrect when he assumes that lie doesn't have meaning before the UN or the world.

Finally, Bush has divided Americans and the world. So much for his promise to work with both.


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Clinton/Dole: tax cuts
CBS News
March 23, 2003

(CBS) This is the first in a series of two-minute debates between former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole for the CBS News magazine 60 Minutes.
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Former President Clinton and 1996 GOP rival, Bob Dole, took to the airwaves on Sunday night to debate President George W. Bush's proposed tax cut. Here's the transcript of their appearance on 60 Minutes:

CLINTON: Senator Dole, if there is military action in Iraq, victory will probably come quickly, because we're stronger and Iraq is weaker than in the 1991 Gulf War. But it won't be cheap. The conflict and rebuilding Iraq afterward will cost many billions. We're already running big deficits thanks largely to the tax cut two years ago – nearly half of which went to the top one percent – like you and me. Now when we're cutting back on everything from homeland security to education and with Iraq still to pay for, your party wants another big tax cut. Never before have we had a big tax cut in times of national crisis. Lincoln didn't. FDR didn't. With over 200,000 young Americans in the Persian Gulf, we shouldn't. It's wrong and it's bad economics.

DOLE: Mr. President, two of the most dangerous words in the English language are "either/or.' Just a week ago critics were saying the United States could fight either al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein, but not both. Tell that to Khalid Sheihk Mohammed, the terrorist we just captured. Mr. President, this is a different kind of war. This is global – a war to protect American lives and preserve the American way of life – which means among other things the freedom to save or invest our own money, instead of Washington taking it from us. Only in Washington is it an "investment' when the government spends your money. For President Bush to practice the economics of "either/or' would not only invite political attack from your friends who want his job – it would risk winning the battle and losing the war.

CLINTON: Senator, we're approaching a $400 billion deficit, and you're saying "either/or' – either victory in Iraq and tax cuts, or homeland security, education and keeping social security and Medicare strong. Leadership is about choosing. So let's give up our tax cut.

DOLE: With all due respect, Mr. President, much of our current problems can be traced to the economic hangover of the 90s. The Bush tax cut has barely kicked in. But I'll tell you what: I'll gladly donate my tax cut to a worthy charity, if you will. Maybe even to the Clinton Library.

© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Commentary:
President Clinton nails this one as usual. Never before has a president asked so little of us during a (so-called) time of war. Instead of raising taxes and making us pay for what we're spending Bush is doing the opposite...cutting taxes and making the next generation pay.

Dole says our current problems are caused by the hangover from the 1990's. Good grief. This might work for morons but we had a recession and 99% of the time the economy grows. But it's the only thing conservatives have...they blame every screw up on democrats and I suppose if you're really, really stupid, you might believe them.

The last time we had a recession with little or no recovery was during Bush 1. He did war too and like his father, let the economy rot. Once this is over we need to boot his sorry ass out of the White House.


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For Bush, Time to Mend Economy Is Running Out
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 5, 2003; Page A01

The Labor Department's report yesterday that the U.S. economy shed 108,000 jobs in March underscored an emerging threat to President Bush's reelection prospects: He is running out of time to restore jobs and economic growth.

The job losses in March, more than double the number analysts had expected, mean nearly 2.1 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office. Though the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent in March, the private sector has lost more than 2.6 million jobs during Bush's term -- a drop that has been offset only by increased government hiring.

For Bush, this is not a short-term problem. He enjoys broad popularity as a war leader, and victory in Iraq would likely give him another boost. But, as happened to President George H.W. Bush in 1992, such support can diminish fast in a sluggish economy. Although the election is 19 months away, it can take a long time to restore growth and jobs.

Administration economists, and many outside of government, had hoped that a quick victory in Iraq would give a boost to the stock market and to consumer confidence, reigniting the economy. Some still expect this scenario. But increasingly, they are describing the economic problems as broader and more difficult to solve, regardless of how soon the war ends.

"The problem is not with the concern about the Iraq war. The problem is the underlying weakness with the economy," Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said in Orlando on Thursday. Asked about the possibility of a return to recession, he said that "we need to guard against it" because of a "clear weakness."

As a general rule, administration officials and private economists say, the economy needs to be growing by more than 3 percent -- and possibly well above -- for jobs to be added. Economists and political strategists also assume that such growth must be firmly in place by the second quarter of an election year for voters to feel the effects by Election Day. And, Bush aides say, because it takes nine months for the full benefit of a new economic stimulus plan to be felt, policymakers have little time to spare.

"The rule of thumb is second-quarter GDP [gross domestic product] growth in the presidential election year has to be above 3 percent," said Kenneth M. Duberstein, who was a chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan. "That's why everything this year is driven toward next year's second-quarter GDP."

If Bush's $726 billion tax cut is enacted in June, it will come just in time for the all-important 2004 second quarter.

"Given where the economy is and where it looks like the economy is going to be in the near future, our instructions are to get this growing as soon as possible," a senior administration official said yesterday.

Some believe the time has passed to influence the 2004 economy. "If you're talking about boosting the economy in a year, it's too late for that," said the Urban Institute's Rudolph G. Penner, director of the Congressional Budget Office during the Reagan administration. By historical measures, it takes two quarters of growth of about 3 percent to produce a large increase in jobs. That means Bush would need the economy to be humming by the fourth quarter of this year.

There is still a chance that could happen. The firm Macroeconomic Advisers wrote in a report last week that it expects 4.4 percent growth in the second half of this year because "a favorable outcome in Iraq . . . will be followed by improvements in business, investor and consumer confidence."

But that notion is much disputed. "I have no evidence that the start or finish of the war with Iraq has anything to do with the economy," said John H. Makin, a conservative economist with the American Enterprise Institute. As a result, Makin said, "there really is some urgency for this White House."

The cost of the war in Iraq has led to an effort to halve Bush's $726 billion tax cut, but even if he gets all of it, Makin said, it will inject only about $70 billion into the economy. Deduct from that cutbacks in state and local government spending, and the stimulus to the economy "will be well below half one percent" of the gross domestic product. "That's not a magical elixir, and people aren't in a mood to spend it, anyway," he said.

Some say Bush should restructure his tax cut to drop the dividend tax elimination, which accounts for half of the package but provides a negligible economic boost in the short term. "Rather than shoehorning the dividend plan in, they should be trying to shoehorn in the most amount of economic stimulus," said Bill Dudley, chief U.S. economist for Goldman Sachs.

Still, Dudley said, "I don't see any sign that they're changing their approach. The policies don't change even when circumstances change, and the economy is a good bit weaker than many people thought three or six months ago."

Although the White House has not made any adjustment to its tax plan since Bush unveiled it at the start of the year, the president and his aides have acknowledged a change in economic conditions. They have largely dropped talk about a fundamentally "sound" and "strong" economy in favor of gloomier language.

The same day the Treasury secretary was talking about the "underlying weakness with the economy," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer spoke of "bad reports" and "bad news": declining business activity and rising unemployment.

Democrats are hoping to exploit the economic weakness. After yesterday's jobs report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it was evidence that Bush's "misguided economic plan has simply not worked" and blamed him for "the worst record on job creation of any president in nearly 60 years." Democrats point to disproportionately high job losses in "swing" electoral states such as Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

The administration's calculations show that the tax cut Bush is proposing would add 450,000 jobs this year -- slightly fewer than the number lost in the past two months -- and 1.4 million next year, just more than two-thirds of the number lost since he took office. A senior administration official yesterday called that a conservative forecast, arguing that the dividend tax cut would give a short-term boost to stocks, raising confidence.

But there are many problems outside of Bush's control. On Monday, the closely watched Blue Chip compilation of economists' forecasts will be released, and "people have had to mark down forecasts," said Randell E. Moore, the survey's editor.

First came the bad winter weather in February, then what Moore calls the "CNN effect" of the war in March. "Maybe the second-half [of 2003] excuse is going to be SARS," Moore said, referring to the contagious lung disease that first appeared in Asia and has hurt travel and commerce. "It could have an incredible effect," he said.

The end of heavy fighting in Iraq will help somewhat. "There's still the expectation among private-sector economists that a good part of what's holding back the economy is uncertainty about the war," Moore said. But even then, he added, a number of economists believe "there will be a sharp headwind."

The nation is using only 75 percent of its industrial capacity, the lowest level in 20 years. Working through that excess capacity -- and adding the jobs to do so -- "will take some time," he said.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
I still get a kick out of conservatives. When President Clinton wanted a small $16 billion stimulus package they were 100% against it. Cost too much they said.

Never mind, fall back a little. During the Reagan years, republicans couldn't wait to get the economy growing with MORE government. Reagan created more debt than all previous president combined and without that debt he would have never been reelected.

Bush already has a massive tax cut (really a tax increase) under his belt and according to conservative beliefs tax cuts stimulate the economy. Well guess what...they don't. The US needs a stable political climate for the US economy to grow and that's incompatible with Bush's war agenda.

Knowing that the economy is in the dumps, Bush has only once choice...distract us with war. He's doing a reasonably good job at it, but the damage to our economy will be with us forever.

The Reagan and Bush debt are tax increases, not tax cuts. When Americans figure out there is NO such thing as a tax cut when we have deficits, conservatism will go away.


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A morally hollow victory
Mary Riddell
Sunday April 6, 2003
The Observer

War in North Korea is now almost inevitable because of the country's diplomatic stalemate with America, a senior UN official claims.
Ahead of this week's crucial talks between members of the UN Security Council, Maurice Strong, special adviser to the Secretary General Kofi Annan, was gloomy on the chances of a peaceful settlement.

'I think war is unnecessary, it's unthinkable and unfortunately it's entirely possible,' he said.

Strong, who has just returned from a private mission for Annan in North Korea and is due to report to UN officials in New York tomorrow, said he felt both North Korea and America seemed to think they had time on their side but were both on a slide towards war.

On Wednesday the UN security council will hear America's demand for sanctions against North Korea, which it accuses of planning to develop nuclear weapons.

The Communist state has already said it would regard any such move as an 'act of war' and yesterday further warned that it would ignore any UN resolutions on the issue. It believes its dispute is solely with the US and wants direct talks with Washington - something the American government has refused to even consider.

'The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is not something that should be discussed at the United Nations,' said the state KCNA news agency in Pyongyang.

North Korea fervently believes it is next on America's list for pre-emptive strikes, says Strong. It takes George Bush's rhetoric in his 'axis of evil' speech as a very real threat to its national security. Washington says it seeks a diplomatic end, but has not ruled out a military solution.

'There is such a complete breakdown of trust and confidence between these two countries that they are now unable to read the intentions of the other so there is real potential now for this to escalate into conflict,' Strong said.

He said the North Koreans were prepared for war but 'anxious for peace'. The stand-off between the two nations first flared in October when US officials said North Korea had admitted having a secret nuclear programme in violation of a 1994 agreement. As punishment, Washington and its allies suspended promised oil shipments.

North Korea retaliated by taking steps to reactivate mothballed facilities capable of making nuclear bombs and withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also deported UN monitors.

It claims it pulled out of the treaty because non-nuclear countries were supposed to be protected by nuclear powers like the US, not threatened.

Meanwhile, North Korea accused Japan yesterday of plotting a pre-emptive strike following recent calls from Tokyo to beef up the country's defence capabilities against the Communist nation.

Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba said on Friday that Japan had a right to launch a strike on foreign soil if an attack is deemed imminent.

In the last two months Pyongyang has tested at least two short-range missiles. In 1998 it launched a ballistic missile over Japan's main island into the Pacific Ocean, showing that any target in Japan was within its range.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Commentary:
Bush can hardly go running to the UN after violating the will of the Security Council in Iraq. The solution again, is very simple...get rid of Bush and the problem with N. Korea will go away. Remember, there was no problem with Iraq since the Clinton agreement in the 90's. It wasn't until this moron started his first strike, evil axis nonsense that N. Korea decided to call Bush's bluff. So far, N. Korea has whomped Bush's butt.


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North Korea/US on a slide towards conflict
Tracy McVeigh
Sunday April 6, 2003
The Observer

War in North Korea is now almost inevitable because of the country's diplomatic stalemate with America, a senior UN official claims.
Ahead of this week's crucial talks between members of the UN Security Council, Maurice Strong, special adviser to the Secretary General Kofi Annan, was gloomy on the chances of a peaceful settlement.

'I think war is unnecessary, it's unthinkable and unfortunately it's entirely possible,' he said.

Strong, who has just returned from a private mission for Annan in North Korea and is due to report to UN officials in New York tomorrow, said he felt both North Korea and America seemed to think they had time on their side but were both on a slide towards war.

On Wednesday the UN security council will hear America's demand for sanctions against North Korea, which it accuses of planning to develop nuclear weapons.

The Communist state has already said it would regard any such move as an 'act of war' and yesterday further warned that it would ignore any UN resolutions on the issue. It believes its dispute is solely with the US and wants direct talks with Washington - something the American government has refused to even consider.

'The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is not something that should be discussed at the United Nations,' said the state KCNA news agency in Pyongyang.

North Korea fervently believes it is next on America's list for pre-emptive strikes, says Strong. It takes George Bush's rhetoric in his 'axis of evil' speech as a very real threat to its national security. Washington says it seeks a diplomatic end, but has not ruled out a military solution.

'There is such a complete breakdown of trust and confidence between these two countries that they are now unable to read the intentions of the other so there is real potential now for this to escalate into conflict,' Strong said.

He said the North Koreans were prepared for war but 'anxious for peace'. The stand-off between the two nations first flared in October when US officials said North Korea had admitted having a secret nuclear programme in violation of a 1994 agreement. As punishment, Washington and its allies suspended promised oil shipments.

North Korea retaliated by taking steps to reactivate mothballed facilities capable of making nuclear bombs and withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also deported UN monitors.

It claims it pulled out of the treaty because non-nuclear countries were supposed to be protected by nuclear powers like the US, not threatened.

Meanwhile, North Korea accused Japan yesterday of plotting a pre-emptive strike following recent calls from Tokyo to beef up the country's defence capabilities against the Communist nation.

Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba said on Friday that Japan had a right to launch a strike on foreign soil if an attack is deemed imminent.

In the last two months Pyongyang has tested at least two short-range missiles. In 1998 it launched a ballistic missile over Japan's main island into the Pacific Ocean, showing that any target in Japan was within its range.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Commentary:
For those of you still trying to catch up on N. Korea, here's the deal. Bush created his "first strike doctrine in late Sept. of 2002. A few days later N. Korea, fearing an Iraq-like attack said it had nukes. No one knows for sure, but it was highly unlikely they'd tell us that for no good reason.

Bush then gave them two more months of oil (under the Clinton agreement) until the conservatives in his party threw a tissy fit.

Since then N. Korea has done everything in its power to get nukes. It doesn't really want them, but knowing they're on Bush's hate list, forces them to defend themselves from this insane and childish president.

The article says neither side can read the other anymore. Good grief. Bush is a moron, first strike caused this problem, get rid of both and the problem goes away.


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Secret Evidence Casts Doubt on Moussaoui 9/11 Trial
CNN News
Saturday, April 5, 2003 Posted: 7:05 PM EST (0005 GMT)

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- The judge presiding over the only U.S. criminal trial stemming from the September 11 terrorist attacks said Friday that government secrecy casts doubt on the trial's future.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, overseeing the stalled trial of admitted al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui, said in an otherwise routine order issued Friday that she is "disturbed by the extent to which the United States' intelligence officials have classified the pleadings, orders and memorandum opinions in this case."

Brinkema's comment came at the end of an order instructing the government to respond to Moussaoui's latest handwritten jailhouse motion, which happens to be sealed from public view in accordance with her court procedures.

Brinkema has agreed to unseal Moussaoui's often inflammatory motions only after his inappropriate comments are crossed out and after prosecutors have had an opportunity to delete comments that could be interpreted as communications to cohorts who share his violent anti-American views.

Moussaoui, 34, a French-Moroccan and self-described "mujahedeen," or Muslim holy warrior, is charged with conspiring with al Qaeda and the 19 hijackers who killed more than 3,000 people in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.

Moussaoui maintains his innocence and is representing himself, though he is being assisted by a team of court-appointed defense attorneys. The government is seeking the death penalty.

In a motion filed Thursday, Moussaoui asked for complete transcripts of two recent closed-door court hearings to help prepare his defense, saying he continues to be in the dark of "the facts underlying the government's theory of the case," according to Brinkema.

Brinkema then said she "agrees with the defendant's skepticism of the government's ability to prosecute this case in open court in light of the shroud of secrecy under which it seeks to proceed."

Justice Department confident in system

The Justice Department expressed confidence the Moussaoui prosecution could proceed under existing legal procedures for handling classified information.

"We regularly hold terrorists and spies accountable in court while safeguarding both national security and due process," said Justice Department spokeswoman Barbara Comstock.

"We are confident in the system of justice to try these cases under the procedures adopted by Congress and regularly upheld by the courts."

The judge's comment came just as the issue of trial secrecy and the defendant's access to key al Qaeda captives is being litigated before her and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

 
Zacarias Moussaoui is charged with conspiring in the September 11 terrorist attacks.   
The government has asked the appeals court to lock out the media and the public from oral arguments scheduled next month.

In so-far secret filings, the government is appealing an order by Brinkema -- made under seal but confirmed by sources familiar with the case -- granting Moussaoui access to Ramzi Binalshibh, a key member of the September 11 hijackers' Hamburg cell who allegedly wired $14,000 to Moussaoui in August 2001 to help him pay for flight school.

Binalshibh was captured in Pakistan last September and is being detained at an undisclosed location.

Moussaoui would also like to depose other key al Qaeda captives -- Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the main planner of September 11; Mohamed al-Hawsawi, an alleged paymaster of the hijackers; and Abu Zubaydah, a recruiter who oversaw the training camps -- in an effort to exonerate himself of the most serious charges.

Mohammed, during his interrogations, told investigators Moussaoui was not selected to carry out the September 11 plot, but was to conduct a separate attack, according to sources.

The government forcefully opposes Moussaoui's applications and, citing national security, has strictly denied terrorism suspects or attorneys any access to such top al Qaeda captives; nor does the government want them to testify in open court.

The Bush administration also is weighing whether to declare Moussaoui an "enemy combatant" to make him eligible for a military tribunal.

In addition to the arguments before the appeals court over access to captives, several news organizations, citing the First Amendment and the public's right to know, petitioned Brinkema on Wednesday to open parts of the court record -- several dozen motions, orders and transcripts -- that remain sealed.

From CNN's Phil Hirschkorn and Terry Frieden.

Commentary:
We're told Moussaoui's comments are "often inflammatory." but we're provided no evidence to back it up. Once again sheep, believe what you're told, and don't ask question.

I'm thinking if I was arrested and jailed and didn't have the right to see the charges or evidence against me, I'd be a tad bit torked too.

Also, if I was in the Justice Dept. and could do whatever I wanted, with no proof, no evidence and do it all in secret I'd probably think the current systems works just fine too. The problem is the damn constitution. The man is allowed a public trial, allowed to see evidence against him and allowed to question anyone the government uses in their charges against him. Being denied all these rights, we wonder what's left of the constitution. It appears not much.


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USA and UK lied to UNO
Pravda (RU)
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

01:55 2003-04-03

The list of crimes committed by the United States of America and the United Kingdom does not cease to grow. Before the criminal attack against Iraq, a sovereign nation and member of the UNO, in which war crimes and murder are being committed on a daily basis, these two countries had desperately tried to create a causus belli where none existed.

First, we were presented with Colin Powell-s ?hard evidence¦ based on British intelligence reports, which proved to be a lifted document written twelve years previously, complete with spelling mistakes. This may have fooled the Bush administration, but no-one else.

Now it is discovered in Niger that the Bush and Blair governments had lodged a complaint with the International Atomic Energy Agency, claiming that Niger had violated international law by selling uranium to Iraq, as part of a claim that since Iraq was illegally developing its nuclear weapons programme, which Colin Powell declared to be ?active¦ on more than one occasion, it was in material breach of UN Resolutions. What more convincing evidence that documents, presented to the IAEA, confirming that the sales had been made?

These documents were presented to the UN Agency between December 2002 and March 2003. They indicated that there had been contacts between the governments of Niamey and Baghdad to arrange for the exportation of uranium. However, there is one small problem: Mohammed El Baradei, Director of the IAEA, declared that these documents were falsified.

In December 2002, the Bush administration declared in public that two years previously, the governments of Niger and Iraq had signed an agreement in which 500 metric tonnes of concentrated uranium (yellowcake) would be sold to Iraq, while the British government supplied ?Niger State Documents¦, complete with the official stamp of the country and signatures of ministers.

In 1981 and 1982, Niger had exported yellowcake to Iraq for its nuclear power programme. However, at that time, it was not illegal v the UNO banned trade in nuclear materials with Iraq only in 1991.

The documents presented by the USA and UK insinuated that the trade had gone on well into the 1990s, a claim which was branded as a ?lie¦ by the former Minister of Mines and Energy of Niger, who added that his country always cleared exports with the IAEA and anyway, no sales could have been made without the knowledge of the French company, Cogema.

After having studied the documentation presented by the US and British governments, Mohamed El-Baradei concluded that it was not authentic and for this reason ?the specific allegations are unfounded¦. In other words, the USA and UK falsified the documents in Washington and London and presented them to the UNO.

The line of thinking is as follows: Niger is the third largest producer of uranium after Canada and Australia. Being a Moslem country, it was obviously collaborating with Iraq. We have seen this black-and-white line of reasoning before in the Bush administration.

By ?not authentic¦, Mohamed El-Baradei was referring to the fact that the standard letter types had been invented, they were not the same as those used by the government in Niger, and the signatures were totally different from those of the politicians whose signatures had been forged. The ?form, format, content and signatures¦ were all falsified.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.Ru

Commentary:
Not much new here. Most informed Americans know Bush and Powell can't be trusted. Pravada has one thing wrong though. They don't lie because they think they can get away with it. No one at the UN is that stupid. They lie so the American media reports it and gets us to go along with their illegal war.

Journalists being as lazy as they are spend countless hours repeating the Bush lies, then when the truth comes out, it's hardly worth a side note. How many times have you heard someone in the media call Bush or Cheney or Powell a liar? I'm guessing, zero. Yet, the world knows they can't be trusted. That same press had no problem calling Clinton or Gore liars, even when they misspoke.

Do you get it? The current conservative media is lazy, filled with propaganda and will do just about anything to protect the man they helped become president.

The solution is two-fold. We need a media that cares what the truth is and second we need a new president who will tell it.


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No Terror Threats
By CURT ANDERSON
Washington Post/The Associated Press
Friday, April 4, 2003; 9:16 AM

WASHINGTON - Although no credible domestic terror threats have emerged since war with Iraq began, federal law enforcement officials say the United States will remain at high terror alert status while hostilities continue.

Authorities are convinced there continues to exist a "hidden network of cold-blooded killers," as Attorney General John Ashcroft recently put it. But officials who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity acknowledged being pleasantly surprised that the war has not so far triggered a response by terror groups or "lone wolf" extremists.

The Bush administration raised the terror alert from yellow, or elevated, to orange, the second-highest level on a five-color scale. The move came on March 17 when President Bush completed his speech giving Saddam Hussein and his two sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face a U.S.-led invasion.

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Iraqi officials and other Muslim extremists have sought to make the war a pretext for attacks on America, renewing calls for a jihad, or holy war.

But so far, no attacks on American soil have occurred and no evidence of plans to conduct terrorism have been uncovered. Still, law enforcement officials said it makes sense to keep government at a heightened state of vigilance.

Efforts to identify and disrupt those who might try to harm America continue. As of Thursday, the FBI had interviewed more than 9,000 of the 11,000 Iraqis living in the country who officials believe recently traveled to Iraq or have some ties to the Iraqi military. About 40 have been detained, almost all for visa violations. None has been arrested on criminal charges or as suspected terrorists.

"Within a matter of days, we'll have that completed," FBI spokeswoman Susan Dryden said.

Some Iraqis suspected of links to terrorist groups or sympathetic to Saddam have been under increased surveillance in the United States since the war began.

Law enforcement officials say there has been no spike in terrorist "chatter" picked up by U.S. intelligence services that could signal an attack. One tip early in the war that Iraqis armed with chemical weapons would try to slip across the U.S. border from Mexico turned out to be unfounded.

Overseas, Jordanian officials said earlier this week that four Iraqis were arrested as part of a plot to bomb a luxury hotel in Amman frequented by Americans and other westerners and to poison water used by U.S. troops. Authorities say another unspecified Iraqi plot was thwarted in Yemen.

In the United States, the Iraqi interviews have produced information of direct help to U.S. troops on the battlefield, law enforcement officials say. Ashcroft said in congressional testimony Tuesday that this includes the locations of bunkers, tunnel systems, telecommunications networks, manufacturing plants and military installations.

"We appreciate the valuable information we have gained from the cooperation of the Iraqi community in the United States," Ashcroft said.

Al-Qaida remains the greatest threat to the United States, one that officials have repeatedly said may bear no relationship to the war in Iraq. The FBI continues a worldwide search for a suspected al-Qaida operative, Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, who lived in Florida and has ties to other known or suspected terrorists.

The FBI also continues to search for a Pakistani woman, Aafia Siddiqui, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate wanted for questioning about possible links to terrorist activities. The FBI described as incorrect several reports this week that she had been detained in Karachi, Pakistan.

On the Net:

FBI: http://www.fbi.gov

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
The article speaks for itself. After the government warned us of terrorist threats for months, they've been proven wrong again. I have a suggestion. How about reporting facts instead of guesses? Far too often the press reports something as being factual (there will be terrorist attacks) based on nothingness. This mindless drivel has to stop before I start watching TV news again.


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Kerry Angers GOP in Calling For 'Regime Change' in U.S.
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 4, 2003; Page A10

Republicans jumped on Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday in the wake of reports that the Democratic presidential candidate had told a New Hampshire audience that "we need a regime change in the United States."

Kerry, who supported the resolution authorizing President Bush to go to war against Iraq but was sharply critical of the way Bush handled the diplomacy before the war, had largely refrained from criticism since U.S. troops launched their operations March 19. But according to newspaper accounts, the Massachusetts senator delivered a stinging rebuke Wednesday during a campaign trip.

Kerry said that, after talking to foreign diplomats and world leaders recently, he had concluded that "it will take a new president" to repair the damage Bush has done because other leaders are not "going to trust this president, no matter what."

"What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States," Kerry said.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) led the chorus of GOP critics who attacked Kerry for challenging Bush during wartime. "Senator Kerry's remark, equating regime change in Iraq with regime change in the United States, is not what we need at this time," Hastert said. "What we need is for this nation to pull together, to support our troops and to support our commander in chief."

Democrats pointed out that during the Kosovo air campaign, both Hastert and DeLay criticized President Bill Clinton. DeLay was quoted in an interview with The Washington Post as saying, "We have a president I don't trust, who has proven my reason for not trusting him: He had no plan. We have a civil war that was falsely described as a huge humanitarian problem, when in comparison to other places, it was nothing."

Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs responded to GOP criticism by saying: "Clearly, Senator Kerry intended no disrespect or lack of support for our commander in chief during wartime, but the point of this campaign is, obviously, to change the administration of this government. And unlike many of his Republican critics, Senator Kerry has worn the uniform, served his country, seen combat, so he'd just as soon skip their lectures about supporting our troops."

Gephardt's Funds Rank Third

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) reported yesterday that he raised $3.6 million for his presidential campaign during the first three months of the year, putting him in third place among candidates who have issued statements about their first-quarter fundraising.

Although Gephardt built a national fundraising network during his years as House Democratic leader, he raised significantly less money for his presidential campaign than Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). Edwards led the Democratic pack with $7.4 million, with Kerry at $7 million.

Gephardt's report left him slightly ahead of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), who raised $3 million, but some Democrats said yesterday they were surprised that Gephardt raised just $1 million more than former Vermont governor Howard Dean, whose lack of a fundraising base has been considered a potential problem for his candidacy.

Gephardt transferred $2.4 million from his congressional campaign committee account and, after deducting expenditures for the quarter, reported that he has about $5 million in the bank. "We are on pace to meet our 2003 goal and will have all the resources we need to run a winning campaign," campaign manager Steve Murphy said.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
I don't care what Hastert or Delay think about anything. This article is included to show how bad the media has become. The story about Kerry calling for "regime change" wasn't a story until republicans said it was. A search at Google showed no stories about this comment until AFTER republicans started their whining. The Boston Globe had a story on it but it wasn't on google, not even in google news, which includes over 4000 news organizations. It's that bad folks.

Kerry doesn't have a chance in the next election unless he can convince the republicans to keep complaining about what he's saying. That's they only way the press will cover what he's saying.


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Arab Media Portray War as Killing Field
New York Times
By SUSAN SACHS
April 4, 2003

AIRO, April 3 — It was a picture of Arab grief and rage. A teenage boy glared from the rubble of a bombed building as a veiled woman wept over the body of a relative.

In fact, it was two pictures: one from the American-led war in Iraq and the other from the Palestinian territories, blended into one image this week on the Web site of the popular Saudi daily newspaper Al Watan.

The meaning would be clear to any Arab reader: what is happening in Iraq is part of one continuous brutal assault by America and its allies on defenseless Arabs, wherever they are.

As the Iraq war moved into its third week, the media in the region have increasingly fused images and enemies from this and other conflicts into a single bloodstained tableau.

The Israeli flag is superimposed on the American flag. The Crusades and the 13th-century Mongul sack of Baghdad, recalled as barbarian attacks on Arab civilization, are used as synonyms for the American-led invasion of Iraq.

Horrific vignettes of the helpless — armless children, crushed babies, stunned mothers — cascade into Arab living rooms from the front pages of newspapers and television screens.

For Arab leaders and Arab moderates, supported by Washington, the war has become a political crisis of street protests, militant calls for holy war and bitter public criticism of their ties to the United States.

They had hoped for a short war with a minimum of inflammatory pictures of Iraqi civilian casualties. Instead, the daily message to the public from much of the media is that American troops are callous killers, that only resistance to the United States can redeem Arab pride and that the Iraqis are fighting a pan-Arab battle for self-respect.

"The media are playing a very dangerous game in this conflict," said Abdel Moneim Said, director of the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "When you see the vocabulary and the images used, it is actually bringing everybody to the worst nightmare — the clash of civilizations."

Sensationalism has not gripped all media. Some mainline government-owned newspapers like the staid Al Ahram in Egypt and two of the privately owned international Arabic papers based in London, Al Hayat and Asharq Al Awsat, have reported the war in neutral language. They show bandaged victims in Iraqi hospitals but not the gory pictures of ripped bodies that fill the pages of their competitors.

Government control of the media is not the issue in any case, since nearly all newspapers in the Arab world, including those with the most savage coverage of the American invasion, publish at the pleasure of the governments.

In most countries, the government appoints all newspaper editors, including the so-called opposition press. Even a privately owned paper like Al Watan in Saudi Arabia must toe the government line in reporting on domestic politics and personalities.

The biggest influence on much of the media coverage has come from the satellite news channel Al Jazeera, which started broadcasting from Qatar in 1996. It made its name with on-the-spot coverage of the Palestinian uprising that gave viewers an unblinking look at bloody and broken bodies.

Many governments, aware that Al Jazeera is widely considered by Arab audiences to be credible, have allowed their own stations to run Jazeera footage of the war to demonstrate their own anti-war credentials. (On Wednesday, Al Jazeera announced that it was suspending its reporting from Iraq after the Iraqi government barred two of its correspondents in Baghdad.)

The rage against the United States is fed by this steady diet of close-up color photographs and television footage of dead and wounded Iraqis, described as victims of American bombs. In recent days, more and more Arabic newspapers have run headlines bluntly accusing soldiers of deliberately killing civilians.

Even for those accustomed to seeing such images from Arab coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the daily barrage of war coverage in newspapers and on hourly television reports has left many Arabs beside themselves with anger.

"He is `Shaytan,' that Bush," shouted Ali Hammouda, a newsstand operator in Cairo, using the Arabic word for Satan and pointing to a color photograph in one of his newspapers.

(Page 2 of 3)


The image, published in many Arabic papers, showed the bodies of a stick-thin woman and a baby, said to be victims of American shelling in central Iraq. They were lying in an open wooden coffin, the baby's green pacifier still in its mouth.

"Your Bush says he is coming to make them free, but look at this lady," Mr. Hammouda exclaimed. "Is she free? What did she do? What did her baby do?"

Fahmi Howeidy, a prominent Islamist writer in Cairo, says the reactions are not necessarily pro-Saddam. "Of course we think Saddam Hussein will not continue in power, but if he resists for weeks, at least he will defend his image as a hero who could resist U.S. and British power," Mr. Howeidy said.

"If this happens, we can expect chaos in the Arab world, because we don't know how the people who already criticize Arab regimes will express their anger after that," he added.

"Maybe there would be an extremist group or a single person who would do something against the government. We don't know about the army, but maybe there are people who feel humiliated."

Since the war began, much of the Arabic press and the private Arab satellite stations have displayed no squeamishness about what they show. War is carnage, the editors have said, so why mute the screams or hide the entrails of the wounded and dead?

"Arabs, like anybody else, don't like the sight of blood or pictures of corpses, but it's a matter of principle that we have the right to know what's happening," said Gasa Mustafa Abaido, an assistant professor of communications at Ain Shams University in Cairo. "What we see in the media is an indirect way for the governments and the public to reject the war."

The images, however, are not presented as fragmentary evidence of the evils of war but as illustrations of a definitive black-and-white view of the war and the United States. The way they are presented, and the language that accompanies them, amplifies their impact.

President Bush, in one Egyptian weekly newspaper, is shown on each page of war coverage in a Nazi uniform. American and British forces are called "allies of the devil." Civilian casualties are frequently reported as "massacres" or, as another Egyptian paper said, an "American Holocaust."

A popular Arabic Web site, one of many to display the most gruesome images of the war, showed a picture of a little girl bleeding from her eye, the same image that was used by many newspapers in the region. The caption reads: "My dead mother is liberated and so am I."

Al Manar, a satellite channel run by the Muslim militant group Hezbollah, broadcasts pictures of wounded children in tandem with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's declaration that American weaponry is the most precise in the history of warfare.

The Arab media's reporting of the war may also drown out the more moderate voices that avoid brutal imagery and metaphors of endless victimization.

"In the longer run, these images can breed a certain type of people, not the ones who are looking to develop our societies but those who think how to sacrifice themselves," said Dr. Said, of the Al Ahram Center in Cairo.

As an Arab moderate who calls for liberal reforms and "renaissance," he said, "I personally find great difficulty communicating that language to the public. People are infuriated and helpless, and they feel that the more radical language gives them a sense of comfort."

Anti-American sentiment among Arabs, largely based on the belief that United States policy is tilted sharply in favor of Israel, was present long before the war on Iraq. Widespread sympathy for the Iraqi people, fed by the images of the wounded and dead, has intensified that sentiment.

In the antiwar demonstrations, protesters have repeatedly called on their leaders to take action against the United States, either by tossing out American diplomats or refusing to let Arab airspace be used for military flights.

Arab leaders, pragmatists by necessity, have tried to accommodate those feelings, while also trying not to jeopardize their defense and foreign aid arrangements with Washington.

(Page 3 of 3)


"Most people realize that it's not in our national interest to burn our bridges with the U.S.," a senior Jordanian official said. "But people are frustrated. That's the main thing, and that's something we are all aware of."

The concern was underlined on Wednesday, when King Abdullah II of Jordan told the state news agency, Petra, that the television reports of Iraqi civilian casualties in the war made him "pained and saddened."

"No country has supported Iraq like Jordan," the king said. "We had said `no' to attacking Iraq when many said `yes.' "

Similarly, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt spoke out in his own defense this week in a speech to army officers. He said Egypt used its "entire weight" to influence the United States in an effort to avert the war but failed.

While they are concerned about rising public anger, it is unlikely that any Arab leaders worry about antiwar protesters storming their palaces or offices. Changes of government in the region have not occurred that way.

Rather, the leaders fear that others might exploit any instability.

In an outcome played out in Turkey in 1980 when terrorists threatened the government, antiwar protests could evolve into rolling antigovernment riots, the army would be called in to restore order, and some generals might decide to take power on the pretext of ensuring national stability.

In Saudi Arabia and its smaller Gulf neighbors, diplomats and other political analysts imagine a challenge from anti-Western or fundamentalist cliques of princes within the ruling families.

All that is speculation. But if the war in Iraq does not end soon, many Arab intellectuals say, its iconic images could set off a dangerous backlash of extremism.

A prolonged war, accompanied by gut-wrenching images of Iraqi casualties blamed on the cruelty of American forces, could also immobilize fledgling reform movements.

"Some people said, before the invasion of Iraq, that solving the Saddam problem would make the reputation of the U.S. better," said Turki al-Hamad, a Saudi commentator who advocates democratic reforms in the kingdom. "Now if the United States said 2 plus 2 is 4, no one would believe them."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Commentary:
"Why do they hate us?" The answer is simple. The US media sanitizes our killing machine and makes our war makers into gods while the rest of the civilized world sees the truth. We didn't have terrorism on US soil until after Desert Sprinkle. The war makers don't realize they created terrorists. Rally around the flag as we kill thousands of innocent women and children. Then watch to see if their families love or hate us.

The last line in the article is telling; "Now if the United States said 2 plus 2 is 4, no one would believe them."

Our UN Ambassador said there were "no hidden triggers" for war in 1441. He lied. Bush said Saddam would use WMD's on the US if we attacked him. He hasn't. The CIA and the FBI have warned us about terrorist attacks so many times it's laughable. They've never been right. Those who terrorize America are members of the Bush Regime and overthrowing them won't cost us $100 billion.


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