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Impeach Bush

Eagleburger would support impeachment if Bush invades Syria
Daily Times (PK) Pakistan/Daily Mirror (UK)
By James Hardy
April 17, 2003

A former US foreign policy chief said that the President Bush should be impeached if he attacks Syria. Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of State under George Bush Senior, said American public opinion would not tolerate action against Syria or Iran.

He was speaking as Colin Powell, the current Secretary of State, ramped up the pressure on Syria not to shield Saddam Hussein or his cronies. Washington hawks are spoiling for a fight with Syria and Iran following the collapse of the Iraqi regime.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said there was "no question' that Syria was harbouring senior Iraqi figures. But Mr Eagleburger, who accused Syria of having an outrageous record on terror, said an extension of the war was unthinkable.

"You saw the furore that went on before the President got sufficient support to do this,' he said. "This is still a democracy and public opinion rules. If George Bush decided he was going to turn troops on Syria now and then Iran he'd be in office about 15 minutes.

"If President Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be impeached. You can't get away with that sort off thing in a democracy.' Foreign Office minister Mike O'Brien arrives in Damascus today to tell Syria it has nothing to fear if it shuns terror and refuses to harbour Iraqi leaders. President Assad denies any links to terror groups. —Daily Mirror

Commentary:
If you want to hear the interview by James Cox with Lawrence Eagleburger go to BBC Radio 4's ,'The World This Weekend.'


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National museum plundered by looters
An Impeachable Offense
San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press Writer
HAMZA HENDAWI,
(04-12) 23:07 PDT BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) --

The copper head of an Akkadian king, four millennia old. Gone. Golden bowls and colossal statues. Gone. Ancient manuscripts and bejeweled lyres. All gone.

Art experts around the world joined the custodians of Baghdad's Iraq National Museum in expressing anguish and indignation at the two-day pillage that emptied one of the world's great treasure troves -- and at the American military officers who stood by and watched it happen.

"These are the foundational cornerstones of Western civilization," said John Russell, a professor of art history and archaeology at the Massachusetts College of Art.

In a frenzied rampage that began Thursday, the thieves took everything: Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections that chronicled and celebrated the Cradle of Civilization. Despite pleas for help, museum employees say American troops nearby did virtually nothing to disperse the pillagers.

His voice shaking in anger, museum employee Ali Mahmoud tried to characterize the magnitude of the loss: "This is the property of this nation and the treasure of 7,000 years of civilization."

"What does this country think it is doing?"

Others blamed the troops that refused to step in.

"It is all the fault of the Americans. This is Iraq's civilization. And it's all gone now," said one museum employee, who was reduced to tears by the looting. She refused to give her name.

Gordon Newby, a historian and professor of Middle Eastern studies at Emory University in Atlanta, said the museum's most famous holding may have been tablets with Hammurabi's Code -- one of mankind's earliest codes of law. It could not be determined whether the tablets were at the museum when the war broke out.

Other treasures believed to be housed at the museum -- such as the Ram in the Thicket from Ur, a statue representing a deity from 2600 BC -- are no doubt gone, perhaps forever, he said.

"This is just one of the most tragic things that could happen for our being able to understand the past," Newby said.

Left behind were row upon row of empty glass cases -- some smashed up, others left intact -- heaps of crumbled pottery and hunks of broken statues.

Sensing its treasures could be in peril, museum curators secretly removed antiquities from their display cases before the war and placed them into storage vaults -- but to no avail. The doors of the vaults were opened or smashed, museum workers said.

McGuire Gibson, a University of Chicago professor and president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad, was infuriated.

He said he had been in frequent and frantic touch with U.S. military officials since Wednesday, imploring them to send troops "in there and protect that building."

The Americans could have prevented the looting, agreed Patty Gerstenblith, a professor at DePaul School of Law in Chicago who helped circulate a petition before the war, urging that care be taken to protect Iraqi antiquities.

"It was completely inexcusable and avoidable," she said.

U.S. military leaders have said they are doing their best to preserve Iraq's cultural heritage. They announced Saturday they will launch joint patrols with Iraqi police forces to stem the wave of looting.

Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, speaking at U.S. Central Command in Qatar, said order will be restored when the rampage burns out.

"We believe that it is tapering off," Brooks said. "I think we all just need to be patient and recognize that this is not something that happens overnight."

Among the museum's treasures was the copper head of an Akkadian king, at least 4,300 years old. Its eyes were gouged out, nose flattened, ears and beard cut off, apparently by subjects who took their revenge on his image -- much the same way as other Iraqis mutilated statues of Saddam.

Some of the gold artifacts may be melted down, but most pieces will find their way into the hands of private collectors, said Russell.

The chances of recovery are slim; regional museums were looted after the 1991 Gulf War, and 4,000 pieces were lost.

"I understand three or four have been recovered," he said.

Samuel Paley, a professor of classics at the State University of New York, Buffalo, predicted whatever treasures aren't sold will be trashed.

The looters are "people trying to feed themselves," said Paley, who has spent years tracking Assyrian reliefs previously looted from Nimrud in northern Iraq. "When they find there's no market, they'll throw them away. If there is a market, they'll go into the market."

Koichiro Matsuura, head of the U.N.'s cultural agency, UNESCO, on Saturday urged American officials to send troops to protect what was left of the museum's collection, and said the military should step in to stop looting and destruction at other key archaeological sites and museums.

©2003 Associated Press

Commentary:
Since 4000 pieces were looted the last time we had a recession (oops, war), the US knew or should have known that these sites had to be protected. Worth noting is the US did protect Iraq's oil wells. Under International Law (read the next article for more) the US was obligated to secure important sites and maintain law and order. It did neither. Instead, the US military sat back and watched. The leader of that military, George W. Bush should be removed from office for violating International Laws.


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The Hague Convention and looting
An Impeachable Offense
USA Today
By Tony Mauro
Posted 4/14/2003 7:09 PM

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered the nation a remarkable civics lesson the other day. Asked about the widespread lawlessness, looting and anarchy racing through Iraq, Rumsfeld said, in effect, no big deal. "Freedom's untidy," Rumsfeld said. "And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

Those are stirring words that will no doubt be thrown back at law enforcement officials after every episode of civil unrest in this country. The "Rumsfeld defense" will become a tool in the arsenal of any halfway decent lawyer: "Freedom is untidy, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, and somehow that guy's television set ended up in the back of my client's pickup truck. Is America great, or what?"

It's just the latest of Rumsfeld's boneheaded remarks about life and diplomacy and war that we've been treated to during his entertaining Pentagon briefings. But this riff was particularly misguided, because once again it shows a disregard for international law that, in the long run, jeopardizes the legitimacy of our war effort in Iraq.

We've been hearing a lot in the past few weeks about the law of war — a seeming oxymoron if there ever was one. But there are rules of conduct in wartime, and guess what? There is also a law of occupation that governs what happens after one side wins.

Nearly a century ago, rules were established to ensure that even in defeat, a vanquished state's sovereignty, safety and security are not obliterated or ignored. The Hague Convention of 1907 states that the winner on the battlefield "shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country." The Geneva Conventions of 1949 — the laws we've been hearing a lot about in the context of the treatment of prisoners of war — echo and reinforce the Hague pronouncement.

These legal obligations require more than a "stuff happens" shrug of the shoulders from Secretary Rumsfeld. And certainly, even since Rumsfeld spoke, coalition forces, as well as relief organizations, have begun to deal with the chaos and supply shortages in Iraq. But his attitude seems to exemplify the United States' on-again, off-again attitude toward the obligations of international law.

Just a week or so ago, the United States was invoking the law of war to show the world that Iraq was not playing fair — in its handling of prisoners of war, its fake troop surrenders, its use of human shields, its disguise of soldiers in civilian clothing.

The Bush administration reacted with horror to the Iraqi TV video in which frightened American troops who had been captured were questioned on the air. The display, according to the Pentagon, violated the Geneva Convention rule against exposing prisoners of war to "insults and public curiosity." These complaints may wither quickly, especially now that those U.S. prisoners have been found alive. But in the modern information age, putting enemy prisoners on TV — which American media also did — cannot by itself constitute a violation.

More substantively, the United States has another problem when it comes to complaining about the handling of prisoners of war: U.S. forces have displayed the Taliban and al-Qaeda members being detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The administration claims the Geneva Conventions do not apply because these men are "unlawful combatants" and not, strictly speaking, prisoners of war. Yet it has complained that Iraq ignored the same rules.

Our choice to play word games and selectively ignore the international law that we seek to impose on others will haunt us in the prosecution of war criminals after the Iraq conflict. Government lawyers and human-rights organizations are gathering extensive evidence about Saddam Hussein's repressive regime in anticipation of Nuremberg-style war trials that could lead to the execution of top Iraqi officials and also, not coincidentally, give the world after-the-fact evidence of the justification for war.

But the United States may have trouble finding a hospitable forum for holding the trials. The Bush administration already has denied the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court, launched under the auspices of the United Nations last year. And that was even before the administration shoved the U.N aside on its way to war against Iraq.

Convening a U.S. military tribunal to try the Iraqi leaders is another option under discussion. But world opinion would never regard such a proceeding as fair or legitimate. It would only feed our international image as a know-it-all state that passes judgment unilaterally on the rest of the world.

What about trying Iraqi leaders in Iraq? Even if formerly exiled Iraqis and Iraqi-Americans ran the trials, they might be an unbearable burden and distraction for a new government trying to pick up the pieces of war. After World War II, German Nazi war criminals were tried in Nuremberg, Germany — but not at the hands of German prosecutors or judges.

Given the administration's penchant for embracing only those parts of international law that serve its purposes, it is easy to imagine that the Bush administration will steer clear of the law of occupation as well. Already, the U.S. mantra is that liberation, not occupation, is what the war was all about.

By its inconsistent approach to international rules of behavior, the United States has made its complaints about the Iraqi regime less credible and more complicated to adjudicate. It could regain some ground by fully acknowledging its obligations under the law of occupation. The administration may have succeeded on the battlefield, but it still needs to understand that if it expects others to play by the rules, it must do so, too.

Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for American Lawyer Media and Legal Times, is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


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Writer Cancels Over Cooperstown 'Bull Durham' Snub
azcentral.com
April 11, 2003 15:09 EDT

NEW YORK - Sportswriter Roger Kahn has canceled an appearance at baseball's Hall of Fame after the museum scrubbed a 15th anniversary tribute to the film ``Bull Durham'' because of the anti-war stance of its stars.

Kahn sent a letter to Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey on Thursday to protest the Cooperstown, New York, museum's snub of Tim Robbins and his longtime partner, Susan Sarandon.

``By canceling the Hall of Fame anniversary celebration of ``Bull Durham'' for political reasons, you are, far from supporting our troops, defying the noblest of the American spirit,'' wrote Kahn, who was to speak there in August about his new book.

``You are choking freedom of dissent. How ironic. In theory, at least, we have been fighting this war to give Iraqis freedom of dissent. But here you, through the great institution you head, have moved to rob Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and (writer-director) Ron Shelton of that very freedom.''

Petroskey, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan, had told Robbins in a letter that he canceled the April 26-27 event because ``as an institution, we stand behind our president and our troops in this conflict.''

Kahn's 17th book, ``October Men,'' is about the 1978 New York Yankees. He is best known for ``The Boys of Summer,'' about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s. That 1972 book has sold about 3 million copies

Copyright 2003, azcentral.com. All rights reserved. USA Today | Gannett Co. Inc. | Gannett Foundation | Real Cities Network

Commentary:
As I said previously, these Bush supporters make Saddam blush with pride.


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Ad urging Bush impeachment prompts angry response
CNN
Tuesday, April 8, 2003 Posted: 5:25 PM EDT (2125 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- A full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for the impeachment of President Bush has provoked dozens of angry responses from readers, the paper reported Tuesday.

The paper said the ad was the brainchild of former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, long a figure on the American left who is opposed to U.S. intervention in the Persian Gulf, and his group, VoteToImpeach.org. The ad, which cost about $45,000, appeared on Monday in the Chronicle, the city's leading newspaper. A similar one appeared last month in The New York Times.

"The U.S. Constitution provides the means for preventing George W. Bush from engaging in a war of aggression against Iraq, and from advancing a first strike potentially nuclear preemptive war," VoteToImpeach says on its Web site. "It's called impeachment."

The Chronicle reported the ad prompted dozens of angry responses in a city that has seen the most vocal anti-war movement nationwide.

"We consider it an outrage that you accepted the advertisement to impeach our United States president," one reader said.

Clark, who was attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson, set up a "tribunal" after the 1991 Persian Gulf War that found then-President George Bush, the incumbent president's father, guilty of war crimes. On behalf of several anti-war groups, Clark also flew to Baghdad in February to meet Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Commentary:
So the next time this happens don't forget how it works. When hundreds of liberals (or anti-war Americans) send money to votetoimpeach.com to pay for these ads it's not news, but when dozens of conservatives (or pro-war nuts) get angry it is.

If you still think the media is liberal you're either brain-dead, a moron or you've been listening to waaaay too much Rush Limbaugh.


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Pentagon Defends Use of Civilian Clothes
Seattle Post-Intelligencer/AP
By PAULINE JELINEK
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

Friday, April 4, 2003 · Last updated 2:37 p.m. PT

Editor's Note: One of the problems I've had with this little war is how the US press describes events. After 9/11 there was some discussion about what a terrorist is and it seemed obvious that anyone wearing civilian clothes and fighting a war was a terrorist..

However, there's no logic in that argument since the US uses the CIA and Special Ops in the same manner as Saddam used his soldiers...that is some wear/wore civilian clothes and engaged in acts of war against Iraq. Can you imagine the stupidity of putting Special Ops in military clothing? If you can, then you can also understand how stupid it is to demand Iraq do the same.

The US has placed untold numbers of people in Iraq in civilian clothes to do military acts. The obvious question is why aren't US special Ops called "war criminals" like Iraqi's who do the same? The reason is simple, the US doesn't really believe in any "rules of war" or "rules of law" anymore. The press knows this and so we're told almost daily how evil Saddam's soldiers are/were, while at the same time we're asked to ignore how the US does the same things we're accusing the other side of doing. The era of propaganda is here to stay for a very long time. Know this, remember it and deal with it.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Friday defended the use of some civilian clothes by U.S. special operations forces, a tactic used to help them blend in with the local population.

Alleging war crimes, Bush administration officials complained bitterly last week that Iraqi paramilitary forces dressed as civilians, faked surrenders and used other battlefield ruses to kill American soldiers.

Asked at a Pentagon press conference why it is OK for American commando troops to take off their uniforms, but a crime when the Iraqis did it, Defense Department spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said she thought American forces wear something that distinguishes them from civilians, but deferred the question for a later answer.

The issue is a subject of disagreement among Pentagon legal advisers and policy makers. Some officials have said for some time that it is a gray area that needs to be settled as a policy, another defense official said on condition of anonymity.

Special operations forces are often allowed what the military calls "relaxed grooming standards."

In the fight against Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, for example, special forces wore long hair and beards to blend in with the local Muslim population.

Many wore only parts of their uniform - for instance camouflaged pants with a T-shirt and baseball cap or a camouflaged jacket with an Arab head wrap or scarf.

At the press conference with Clarke, Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the war crime is determined by what the soldier does as well as what he wears.

"I'm not a lawyer, so I might get part of this wrong, but part of it is ... what you do when you're not in uniform," he said. "If a force is going to engage in combat, it's going to fight, it must wear a uniform or some kind of uniform - law of land warfare says arm bands or some distinctive marking that allows combatants to be identified from civilians."

After the press conference, officials said U.S. special forces in Iraq "are wearing uniforms," but declined to say if they are full uniforms or modified.

The discussion came as an Army legal official told a House panel that Fedayeen militia members captured in Iraq would likely not be entitled to the protection of prisoner-of-war status. That would mean they could face criminal charges for attacking American soldiers.

W. Hays Parks, special assistant for law of war matters for the Army's Judge Advocate General, said that to get POW protections, fighters must meet certain criteria, such as having a formal association with a government, carrying arms openly and wearing distinctive clothing.

He said that among the examples of Iraqi violations of the Geneva convention have been the broadcast of videotapes of dead and captured U.S. soldiers, the use of white flags to fake surrenders and then attack Americans, and the dressing of forces as civilians to lure invading troops into ambushes.

©1996-2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer


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Weapons Inspectors: US violates UN Resoultion 1441
The Guardian (UK)
Nicholas Watt, Owen Bowcott and Richard Norton-Taylor
Saturday April 12, 2003

Britain and the United States have bypassed the United Nations to establish a secret team of inspectors to resume the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
It is a sign of the desperation in London and Washington to find a "smoking gun" to justify the war that the Anglo-American team has already conducted three inspections in the past two weeks.

No banned weapons have so far been found.

The decision to set up a new group of inspectors, dubbed US-movic because they are an American-led rival to Unmovic, will infuriate the UN.

Kofi Annan, the secretary general, pointedly reminded Britain and the US this week that Unmovic still has a mandate to carry out inspections.

Last night the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, added his criticism by saying that war against Iraq was a foregone conclusion months before the first shot was fired.

In a scathing attack on Britain and the US, Mr Blix accused them of planning the war "well in advance" and of "fabricating" evidence against Iraq to justify their campaign.

Mr Blix told the Spanish daily El Pais: "There is evidence that this war was planned well in advance. Sometimes this raises doubts about their attitude to the [weapons] inspections."

He said Iraq was paying "a very high price _ in terms of human lives and the destruction of a country" when the threat of banned weapons could have been contained by UN inspections.

The role played by the new inspectors, who set up a base in Kuwait a week before the war began, was disclosed to the Guardian by David Kay, the former head of Unscom, the arms inspections team which left Iraq in 1998 after Iraq accused it of being infiltrated by spies.

No mention has been made of the new group by ministers or military spokesmen, who have indicated that weapons inspections are carried out by military forces. But the group, headed by Charles Duelfer, a former deputy head of the Unscom weapons inspectors, has travelled extensively in Iraq.

It is understood that Mr Duelfer's team was called in to inspect weapons and papers found at an airbase in Iraq's western desert two weeks ago. In the past week it has made two separate visits to sites on the road between Kuwait and Baghdad.

US and British special forces are also engaged in fierce exchanges in largely unnoticed fighting in Qaim, a strategic town on the border with Syria.

British defence officials were unusually coy last night about the fighting, which involved units of Iraq's Special Republican Guard, according to senior US military sources.

One explanation is that Iraqi forces are trying to protect either material which could be used for chemical or biological weapons or evidence of Iraq's attempts to develop a nuclear bomb. Another is that they are defending senior members of the regime trying to escape to Syria.

The failure to find any weapons of mass destruction after three weeks of war has raised questions about the casus belli. But British intelligence officials said it might be months before evidence was uncovered.

A cabinet minister has told the Guardian that Saddam Hussein's failure to use chemical weapons was not an indication of their absence. They had been dismantled and their contents hidden around the country.

"The regime has not had time to reassemble the things," a British official said.

"You will not find a factory of gleaming missiles," a source said. "They would have been broken down ages ago."

Mr Kay described the new inspectors as a "robust group of people". "There are special forces teams that carry out [immediate] inspections. But they are not as technically based as the Kuwait team, who are heavily science-based civilians."

A spokesman for Mr Blix, Ewen Buchanan, said the US-led team had tried and failed to recruit some of his staff.

Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University, said the existence of the secret team would lead to a major dispute. "You are more likely to find what you want if you do it yourself," he said. "If this team finds a smoking gun, people will not believe it."

The disclosure is likely to embarrass British ministers, who are officially committed to allowing Unmovic a role.

Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, would only say yesterday that Britain and the US had set up a "machinery" for resuming inspections. "It may take some time," he added.

The US-Kurdish advance in the north meanwhile brought the front to within 60 miles of Tikrit, where some of Saddam's backers were believed to be taking refuge. Coalition aircraft have been striking Republican Guard positions in the area, and roadblocks have been erected to prevent Iraqi leaders from reaching the city to stage a last stand

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Commentary:
We'll never accuse the Bush crowd of being in favor of the "rule of law." 1441 gives the UN the sole power to do weapons inspections. The US and Britain are violating that Resolution, like so many other resolutions (like 687 which forbids any country from entering the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait).

The US and Britain are international criminals. Now we wait to see how the world treats us...as vermin or victors.


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Germany Rejects US Request to Forgive Iraq Loans
The Guardian (UK)
Larry Elliott, economics editor
Saturday April 12, 2003

The US was embroiled in an acrimonious dispute with Europe last night over writing off Saddam Hussein's huge international debts as the weekend meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund shaped up to be among the most fractious in their 59-year history.

Germany flatly rejected calls by US treasury secretary John Snow to forgive Iraq's loans, while the European Central Bank took pre-emptive action against an anticipated attack from Washington on the weakness of the eurozone economy.

As finance ministers and central bank governors from the G7 nations met for dinner last night, the World Bank was dragged into the increasingly poisonous row caused by the unwillingness of Paris and Berlin to support military action against Iraq.

James Wolfensohn, the World Bank president, refused to bow to US pressure to send a fact-finding mission to Iraq without the blessing of France and Germany, saying that any assessment of the cost of reconstruction would only take place once it had been given multilateral support by the bank's shareholders.

British sources said they were still hopeful that the weekend meetings of the World Bank and IMF - the first high level international gathering since the breakdown of talks at the UN security council a month ago - would back Gordon Brown's plans to double global aid flows to $100bn a year.

The chances of significant progress on aid or providing a kick-start to the stalled global trade talks in Geneva were fading last night as a result of stalemate over the role of the international community in a post-war Iraq and rows over whether Europe or the US was to blame for the fragility of the global economy.

A spokesman for the German finance ministry gave a cool response to the call for Iraqi debt forgiveness. "It only makes sense to address this question with other countries in the Paris Club [of creditor nations]," Jörg, Müller said. Germany is owed $4bn by Iraq - a small proportion of the country's debts, which according to some estimates could be as high as $130bn.

"I don't think we have reached the point yet when we can carefully look at and answer this question", Mr Müller said.

The World Bank's vice-president for the middle east and north Africa, Jean-Louis Sarbib, said yesterday it would take several months for a team to work out Iraq's needs because the regime had stopped publishing economic statistics, the last IMF mission was in 1983 and information from aid agencies was scarce.

France and Germany, backed by Britain, are strongly opposed to US attempts to send a World Bank mission to Baghdad without a fresh UN resolution. The US has been arguing that the World Bank could begin work immediately on assessing Iraq's need for aid and was irritated by Mr Wolfensohn's refusal to act unilaterally - a decision Mr Snow called baffling.

Mr Wolfensohn said on Thursday that the World Bank was ready to help but could only lend to a recognised government, adding that that was "a decision for the UN to take in principle". UN sanctions made sending even a fact-finding team "problematical".

With the IMF backing, US calls for Europe to do more to expand its economy, the EU last night hit back, warning of the dangers posed by America's trade and budget deficits and resisting calls for the G7 communiqué to include calls for policies to boost growth.

IMF managing director Horst Köhler said this week economic policies should support activity, warning Europe against tightening fiscal policy in order to keep budget deficits below the 3% stability and growth pact ceiling.

UK Treasury sources said they were encouraged by the US's willingness to discuss Mr Brown's plans to sell government bonds to finance aid flows. But going into the weekend Britain was supported by only one other G7 member - France.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Commentary:
It's becoming increasing clear that the US has lost superpower status, but more time is needed to be sure. If problems like this continue, then any win in Iraq was actually a loss for the US world-wide. It'll be interesting to see what UN members are prepared to do in sanctions against this president.

It's damn hard to be 'leader of the free world' when no one trusts us or is willing to follow.


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Scalia: Trying to Interpret The Constitution Risky
Washington Post/Associated Press Saturday, April 12, 2003; Page A05

OXFORD, Miss., April 11 -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said it is dangerous to read between the lines of the 214-year-old Constitution, however tempting it may be.

Strict adherence to the words used by the authors still answers most modern problems, Scalia said.

Scalia, speaking at the University of Mississippi on Thursday, said he considers himself an "originalist" or a "textualist." He said he uses an 18th-century dictionary to make sure he understands just what the 1789 document's words meant to the men who wrote them.

"Over the last 50 years, the court has felt free to give the Constitution new meanings that weren't in the text originally," he said.

He cited grandparents' rights, abortion rights and the former ban on the death penalty as foreign to the Constitution's text. Eventually, such interpretations can render the document meaningless, Scalia said.

Scalia warned against the allure of a "living Constitution."

"It's a lovely thought, a lovely phrase, but it will destroy us or destroy the Supreme Court as we've known it," said Scalia, who was appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Scalia said democracy offers legislatures, not courts, the chance to address any issue.

"Persuade your fellow citizens and pass a law," he said.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Let me have at his little man. First off rights don't have to be enumerated in the constitution for them to exist. What part of the Ninth Amendment doesn't he understand?

The ninth says; "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people."

So when the good justice says the right to privacy is foreign to the Constitution, that's because rights don't have to be enumerated. The idea that another generation will subjected to lies such as this is appalling.

Next, there's nothing in the Constitution giving the Court the POWER to decide what is constitutional or not. They simply gave themselves this power without our consent. So much for him being a "originalist." Article 3, Section 2, reads in part "The judicial power shall extend to all ‘cases,' in law and equity, arising under this Constitution. It does not say the court has the power to make a law unconstitutional.

Finally, let's never forget this court, under Scalia's direction ordered an end to the vote counting before any evidence was before the court in Bush vs. Gore on the horrible Saturday when Democracy ended in the US. Regardless of what you think of that incident, in what part of the Constitution does it say the Courts have ANY power in election disputes, much less the power to decide something before any evidence is presented or heard?

Using Scalia's argument there's no need for a Congress to decide election disputes (as it says in the Constitution and other laws). Let one of the campaigners take their case to the Court and the Congress and laws made by her become irrelevant.


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Janet Rehnquist found guilty
By LARRY MARGASAK
The Associated Press
Saturday, April 12, 2003; 2:06 AM

WASHINGTON - Janet Rehnquist, the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, received a government handgun and law enforcement credentials even though she was not legally entitled to them, an internal investigation concluded.

The daughter of Chief Justice William Rehnquist was guilty of "administrative failures," the investigation found. The Justice Department reviewed the findings and said it would not prosecute.

No administrative punishment is required against Rehnquist because she recently announced her resignation, said Mark Everson, deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The investigation was conducted by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, an organization of inspectors general who serve as internal watchdogs in their agencies. Everson chairs the council.

The report, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, has not been released.

"The IG did not meet the training and job classification requirements" that allow some HHS investigators to carry weapons, the report said.

HHS spokesman Tony Jewell had no comment on the allegations against Rehnquist. He did say her predecessor had similar credentials authorizing a firearm. Another top HHS official disputed that.

Jewell praised Rehnquist's work as inspector general overall.

"She recovered record dollars in fighting fraud," he said. "That's what she was hired to do and she did it extremely, extremely well."

Rehnquist has had a controversial tenure since taking office in August 2001. She intervened to delay an audit of Florida's pension money at the request of the office of Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother. Most of her professional staff members either quit or were forced out after she took office.

Congressional investigators also are looking into her conduct.

She has announced she's quitting June 1 to spend more time with her teenage daughters and pursue other professional opportunities.

Rehnquist told investigators she had the unloaded gun in her office less than a day. It was taken away from her by officials responsible for HHS firearms and replaced by a laser gun, which required no permit, the report said.

She also wrongly obtained the law enforcement credential that allowed her to enter her government building without going through security, according to the report.

The report found as well that Vicki Shepard, deputy inspector general for investigations who obtained the gun and credentials for Rehnquist, also had an unauthorized weapon. Everson, the White House official, suggested that HHS officials consider whether action should be taken against Shepard.

Shepard told investigators she was unaware that she was not authorized to carry a weapon.

Federal law makes it illegal to knowingly possess a firearm in a federal facility, although there's an exception for law enforcement officers.

According to the report, HHS special agent Edward Landicho, a firearms instructor, was told by Shepard that Rehnquist "was interested in learning how to shoot a firearm. On June 3, 2002 ... Shepard directed him to provide a ... firearm for IG Rehnquist to use for practice to improve her shooting."

The agent said the next day, he informed his supervisor that in her absence he had given Rehnquist the gun. The supervisor immediately retrieved the weapon and substituted the laser gun that is used as a pointer for conference presentations.

Shepard told investigators the IG was not authorized to carry a firearm but said she defined "carrying" as physically carrying a loaded gun. Since Rehnquist's gun was never loaded, the IG never "carried" the weapon from her office, Shepard said.

Rehnquist told the investigators she thought she could use the firearm to practice discharging the clip and for sight alignment. She did not recall requesting the firearm and believed she had it less than 24 hours.

"IG Rehnquist believed that as inspector general of a law enforcement agency she was responsible for overseeing investigations and, therefore, authorized to possess a firearm," the report said.

The report added that Shepard insisted that credentials be given to Rehnquist even after being told she was not entitled to them. Shepard said her boss needed them to access special areas "in the event of a terrorist incident," the investigation said.

Associated Press writer Laura Meckler contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Rehnquist is the daughter of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Is there anyone it this crowd that believes in the "rule of law." Had she been appointed by Bill Clinton, the press and the republican party would have had a field day destroying her. Lucky she's a republican so the hate-mongers at Fox News don't have at her. In fact, this story of the completed investigation of her illegal and criminal acts isn't on the Fox website. Balanced and fair reporting? You decide.


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