Impeach Bush

Bill Frist lie: Four vaccine producers world-wide
Wasington Post/AP (World Health Org. for truth)
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2003; 3:54 AM

WASHINGTON - More than 200 lawsuits filed by families who believe their children were injured by vaccines would be sent to a special federal fund under legislation before the Senate.

The bill, being considered by a Senate committee Wednesday, would throw their claims out of court.

Backers of the bill, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, say these cases always had been supposed to go to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, but lawyers had found a way to skirt the system.

The issue became contentious late last year when Republicans quietly slipped the change at the last minute into homeland security legislation. Under pressure, lawmakers undid the move in subsequent legislation, but vowed to try again using standard legislative procedures.

The measure was to be considered Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Democrats led by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., tried to reach an agreement with Frist, R-Tenn., but had not resolved their differences as of late Tuesday.

Childhood vaccines are safe for the almost all children who receive them, but a small number are injured each year. Under current law, injured families must file claims first with the compensation fund, where cases are independently evaluated, before going to court. Average awards are just under $1 million.

If someone's claim is denied, or if the monetary award is considered unsatisfactory, a lawsuit may be filed in federal or state courts.

Some families have found a way to skip the compensation fund and go directly to court by claiming their children were harmed by a vaccine's ingredients, rather than by the vaccine itself.

Specifically, many contend their children's autism is caused by a preservative called thimerosal, which contains mercury and once was used in the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

The Institute of Medicine, which gives expert advice to Congress, reviewed the issue and in 2001 said it found no proof that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine or by thimerosal. The report did say a link between thimerosal and an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders is medically plausible.

In any case, Frist, a physician, argues that these cases should have gone through the compensation fund first, like other vaccine-related claims. He blames trial lawyers for exploiting a loophole in the law and says his bill would help stem "out-of-control lawsuits."

He said there are only two vaccine manufacturers in the United States and just four worldwide because vaccines produce so little profit. The threat of lawsuits will drive even more companies out of the business, he argued.

"That exposure over time simply drives off any prudent manufacturer," he said.

Last week, Sen. Edward Kennedy, the committee's top Democrat, derided the bill for nullifying families' court cases overnight.

"Whether you believe these claims have merit or not, this massive pre-emption of the states and the rights of families who believe their children were injured by vaccines cannot be justified without giving them adequate alternatives," he said in a statement last week.

A Republican aide, describing the bill, said it would improve the fund for families filing claims in several ways. He said it would increase maximum amounts available for pain and suffering from $250,000 to $350,000, would increase the statute of limitations for filing claims from three years to six years after the onset of the injury and for the first time would allow parents to file independent claims based on their children's suffering.

One issue that had yet to be resolved was whether families that have lost in court on technical grounds could go into the fund. Dodd was pushing for a one-year amnesty that would allow all families to file compensation claims.

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is financed by a 75-cent fee on each childhood vaccine administered.

On the Net: Compensation program:

© 2003 The Associated Press

Republicans learned a long time ago (during the Clinton years) that reporters are very, very lazy and all they have to do is say something, no one verifies its accuracy and it's printed (and repeated thousands of times). The power of a lie.

The World Health Organization lists companies that make vaccines and there are a hell of a lot more than four that Senator Frist lies about.

Rule of thumb: If a republican says it, it's most likely not true. Also, since the government is spending around $10 billion for new vaccines a lot more companies want a piece of the action. DuPont for example is going to make vaccines soon, so his argument has no merit whatsoever.

United Nations Prequalified Vaccines
WHO list of vaccines for purchase by UN agencies
As of April 2003
Aventis Pasteur, Canada DTP, measles
Aventis Pasteur, France DT, dT, DTP, OPV, TT, measles, MMR, Hib, yellow fever, meningococcal A + C
Biken, Japan measles
Bio Farma, Indonesia DT, DTP, OPV, TT, TT filled in Uniject, measles
Biomanguinhos, Brazil yellow fever
Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cuba Hepatitis B (recombinant)
Cheil Jedang, Korea Hepatitis B (plasma derived)
Chiron Behring, Germany DTP, Rabies
Chiron Behring, India Rabies
Chiron Vaccines, Italy DTP,  MMR (measles, mumps,
rubella combination), MR (measles, rubella combination), OPV,  measles, Hib, DTP-Hib
CSL, Australia DT, DTP, TT
Evans Vaccines (formerly Medeva, U.K. yellow fever
GlaxoSmithKline, Belgium Hepatitis B, Hib, OPV, meningococcal A  + C, DTP-Hep B, DTP-Hep B to be combined with Hib (pentavalent), measles, MMR
GreenCross Vaccine Corporation, Korea Hepatitis B (recombinant)
Institut Pasteur Dakar, Senegal yellow fever
Lucky Goldstar, Korea Hepatitis B (recombinant)
Merck and Co. Inc, USA Hepatitis B, Liquid Pedvax HIB
National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Intervax, Bulgaria BCG
SBL Vaccin AB, Sweden Inactivated oral cholera
Serum Institute of India DT, dT, DTP, TT, MR, measles
Shantha Biotechnics Private Ltd., India Hepatitis B (recombinant)
Statens Seruminstitut, Denmark BCG
Wyeth Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics, USA Hib

Noam Chomsky: US uses coercion not diplomacy
by Noam Chomsky and VK Ramachandran
April 02, 2003

Noam Chomsky , University Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founder of the modern science of linguistics and political activist, is a powerhouse of anti-imperialist activism in the United States today. On March 21, a crowded and typical  -   and uniquely Chomskyan  -   day of political protest and scientific academic research, he spoke from his office for half an hour to V. K. Ramachandran on the current attack on Iraq.

V. K. Ramachandran :Does the present aggression on Iraq represent a continuation of United States' international policy in recent years or a qualitatively new stage in that policy?

Noam Chomsky : It represents a significantly new phase. It is not without precedent, but significantly new nevertheless.

This should be seen as a trial run. Iraq is seen as an extremely easy and totally defenceless target. It is assumed, probably correctly, that the society will collapse, that the soldiers will go in and that the U.S. will be in control, and will establish the regime of its choice and military bases. They will then go on to the harder cases that will follow. The next case could be the Andean region, it could be Iran, it could be others.

The trial run is to try and establish what the U.S. calls a "new norm" in international relations. The new norm is "preventive war" (notice that new norms are established only by the United States). So, for example, when India invaded East Pakistan to terminate horrendous massacres, it did not establish a new norm of humanitarian intervention, because India is the wrong country, and besides, the U.S. was strenuously opposed to that action.

This is not pre-emptive war; there is a crucial difference. Pre-emptive war has a meaning, it means that, for example, if planes are flying across the Atlantic to bomb the United States, the United States is permitted to shoot them down even before they bomb and may be permitted to attack the air bases from which they came. Pre-emptive war is a response to ongoing or imminent attack.

The doctrine of preventive war is totally different; it holds that the United States  -   alone, since nobody else has this right  -   has the right to attack any country that it claims to be a potential challenge to it. So if the United States claims, on whatever grounds, that someone may sometime threaten it, then it can attack them.

The doctrine of preventive war was announced explicitly in the National Strategy Report last September. It sent shudders around the world, including through the U.S. establishment, where, I might say, opposition to the war is unusually high. The National Strategy Report said, in effect, that the U.S. will rule the world by force, which is the dimension  -   the only dimension  -   in which it is supreme. Furthermore, it will do so for the indefinite future, because if any potential challenge arises to U.S. domination, the U.S. will destroy it before it becomes a challenge.

This is the first exercise of that doctrine. If it succeeds on these terms, as it presumably will, because the target is so defenceless, then international lawyers and Western intellectuals and others will begin to talk about a new norm in international affairs. It is important to establish such a norm if you expect to rule the world by force for the foreseeable future.

This is not without precedent, but it is extremely unusual. I shall mention one precedent, just to show how narrow the spectrum is. In 1963, Dean Acheson, who was a much respected elder statesman and senior Adviser of the Kennedy Administration, gave an important talk to the American Society of International Law, in which he justified the U. S. attacks against Cuba. The attack by the Kennedy Administration on Cuba was large-scale international terrorism and economic warfare. The timing was interesting  -   it was right after the Missile Crisis, when the world was very close to a terminal nuclear war. In his speech, Acheson said that "no legal issue arises when the United States responds to challenges to its position, prestige or authority", or words approximating that.

That is also a statement of the Bush doctrine. Although Acheson was an important figure, what he said had not been official government policy in the post-War period. It now stands as official policy and this is the first illustration of it. It is intended to provide a precedent for the future.

Such "norms" are established only when a Western power does something, not when others do. That is part of the deep racism of Western culture, going back through centuries of imperialism and so deep that it is unconscious.

So I think this war is an important new step, and is intended to be.

Ramachandran :Is it also a new phase in that the U. S. has not been able to carry others with it?

Chomsky : That is not new. In the case of the Vietnam War, for example, the United States did not even try to get international support. Nevertheless, you are right in that this is unusual. This is a case in which the United States was compelled for political reasons to try to force the world to accept its position and was not able to, which is quite unusual. Usually, the world succumbs.

Ramachandran :So does it represent a "failure of diplomacy" or a redefinition of diplomacy itself?

Chomsky : I wouldn't call it diplomacy at all  -   it's a failure of coercion.

Compare it with the first Gulf War. In the first Gulf War, the U.S. coerced the Security Council into accepting its position, although much of the world opposed it. NATO went along, and the one country in the Security Council that did not  -   Yemen  -   was immediately and severely punished.

In any legal system that you take seriously, coerced judgments are considered invalid, but in the international affairs conducted by the powerful, coerced judgments are fine  -   they are called diplomacy.

What is interesting about this case is that the coercion did not work. There were countries  -   in fact, most of them  -   who stubbornly maintained the position of the vast majority of their populations.

The most dramatic case is Turkey. Turkey is a vulnerable country, vulnerable to U.S. punishment and inducements. Nevertheless, the new government, I think to everyone's surprise, did maintain the position of about 90 per cent of its population. Turkey is bitterly condemned for that here, just as France and Germany are bitterly condemned because they took the position of the overwhelming majority of their populations. The countries that are praised are countries like Italy and Spain, whose leaders agreed to follow orders from Washington over the opposition of maybe 90 per cent of their populations.

That is another new step. I cannot think of another case where hatred and contempt for democracy have so openly been proclaimed, not just by the government, but also by liberal commentators and others. There is now a whole literature trying to explain why France, Germany, the so-called "old Europe", and Turkey and others are trying to undermine the United States. It is inconceivable to the pundits that they are doing so because they take democracy seriously and they think that when the overwhelming majority of a population has an opinion, a government ought to follow it.

That is real contempt for democracy, just as what has happened at the United Nations is total contempt for the international system. In fact there are now calls  -   from The Wall Street Journal ,people in Government and others  -   to disband the United Nations.

Fear of the United States around the world is extraordinary. It is so extreme that it is even being discussed in the mainstream media. The cover story of the upcoming issue of Newsweek is about why the world is so afraid of the United States. The Post had a cover story about this a few weeks ago.

Of course this is considered to be the world's fault, that there is something wrong with the world with which we have to deal somehow, but also something that has to be recognised.

Ramachandran :The idea that Iraq represents any kind of clear and present danger is, of course, without any substance at all.

Chomsky : Nobody pays any attention to that accusation, except, interestingly, the population of the United States.

In the last few months, there has been a spectacular achievement of government-media propaganda, very visible in the polls. The international polls show that support for the war is higher in the United States than in other countries. That is, however, quite misleading, because if you look a little closer, you find that the United States is also different in another respect from the rest of the world. Since September 2002, the United States is the only country in the world where 60 per cent of the population believes that Iraq is an imminent threat  -   something that people do not believe even in Kuwait or Iran.

Furthermore, about 50 per cent of the population now believes that Iraq was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. This has happened since September 2002. In fact, after the September 11 attack, the figure was about 3 per cent. Government-media propaganda has managed to raise that to about 50 per cent. Now if people genuinely believe that Iraq has carried out major terrorist attacks against the United States and is planning to do so again, well, in that case people will support the war.

This has happened, as I said, after September 2002. September 2002 is when the government-media campaign began and also when the mid-term election campaign began. The Bush Administration would have been smashed in the election if social and economic issues had been in the forefront, but it managed to suppress those issues in favour of security issues  -   and people huddle under the umbrella of power.

This is exactly the way the country was run in the 1980s. Remember that these are almost the same people as in the Reagan and the senior Bush Administrations. Right through the 1980s they carried out domestic policies that were harmful to the population and which, as we know from extensive polls, the people opposed. But they managed to maintain control by frightening the people. So the Nicaraguan Army was two days' march from Texas and about to conquer the United States, and the airbase in Granada was one from which the Russians would bomb us. It was one thing after another, every year, every one of them ludicrous. The Reagan Administration actually declared a national Emergency in 1985 because of the threat to the security of the United States posed by the Government of Nicaragua.

If somebody were watching this from Mars, they would not know whether to laugh or to cry.

They are doing exactly the same thing now, and will probably do something similar for the presidential campaign. There will have to be a new dragon to slay, because if the Administration lets domestic issues prevail, it is in deep trouble.

Ramachandran :You have written that this war of aggression has dangerous consequences with respect to international terrorism and the threat of nuclear war.

Chomsky : I cannot claim any originality for that opinion. I am just quoting the CIA and other intelligence agencies and virtually every specialist in international affairs and terrorism. Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy , the study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the high-level Hart-Rudman Commission on terrorist threats to the United States all agree that it is likely to increase terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The reason is simple: partly for revenge, but partly just for self-defence.

There is no other way to protect oneself from U.S. attack. In fact, the United States is making the point very clearly, and is teaching the world an extremely ugly lesson.

Compare North Korea and Iraq. Iraq is defenceless and weak; in fact, the weakest regime in the region. While there is a horrible monster running it, it does not pose a threat to anyone else. North Korea, on the other hand, does pose a threat. North Korea, however, is not attacked for a very simple reason: it has a deterrent. It has a massed artillery aimed at Seoul, and if the United States attacks it, it can wipe out a large part of South Korea.

So the United States is telling the countries of the world: if you are defenceless, we are going to attack you when we want, but if you have a deterrent, we will back off, because we only attack defenceless targets. In other words, it is telling countries that they had better develop a terrorist network and weapons of mass destruction or some other credible deterrent; if not, they are vulnerable to "preventive war".

For that reason alone, this war is likely to lead to the proliferation of both terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Ramachandran :How do you think the U.S. will manage the human  -   and humanitarian  -   consequences of the war?

Chomsky : No one knows, of course. That is why honest and decent people do not resort to violence  -   because one simply does not know.

The aid agencies and medical groups that work in Iraq have pointed out that the consequences can be very severe. Everyone hopes not, but it could affect up to millions of people. To undertake violence when there is even such a possibility is criminal.

There is already  -   that is, even before the war  -   a humanitarian catastrophe. By conservative estimates, ten years of sanctions have killed hundreds of thousands of people. If there were any honesty, the U.S. would pay reparations just for the sanctions.

The situation is similar to the bombing of Afghanistan, of which you and I spoke when the bombing there was in its early stages. It was obvious the United States was never going to investigate the consequences.

Ramachandran :Or invest the kind of money that was needed.

Chomsky : Oh no. First, the question is not asked, so no one has an idea of what the consequences of the bombing were for most of the country. Then almost nothing comes in. Finally, it is out of the news, and no one remembers it any more.

In Iraq, the United States will make a show of humanitarian reconstruction and will put in a regime that it will call democratic, which means that it follows Washington's orders. Then it will forget about what happens later, and will go on to the next one.

Ramachandran :How have the media lived up to their propaganda-model reputation this time?

Chomsky : Right now it is cheerleading for the home team. Look at CNN, which is disgusting  -   and it is the same everywhere. That is to be expected in wartime; the media are worshipful of power.

More interesting is what happened in the build-up to war. The fact that government-media propaganda was able to convince the people that Iraq is an imminent threat and that Iraq was responsible for September 11 is a spectacular achievement and, as I said, was accomplished in about four months. If you ask people in the media about this, they will say, "Well, we never said that," and it is true, they did not. There was never a statement that Iraq is going to invade the United States or that it carried out the World Trade Centre attack. It was just insinuated, hint after hint, until they finally got people to believe it.

Ramachandran :Look at the resistance, though. Despite the propaganda, despite the denigration of the United Nations, they haven't quite carried the day.

Chomsky : You never know. The United Nations is in a very hazardous position.

The United States might move to dismantle it. I don't really expect that, but at least to diminish it, because when it isn't following orders, of what use is it?

Ramachandran :Noam, you have seen movements of resistance to imperialism over a long period  -   Vietnam, Central America, Gulf War I. What are your impressions of the character, sweep and depth of the present resistance to U.S. aggression? We take great heart in the extraordinary mobilisations all over the world.

Chomsky : Oh, that is correct; there is just nothing like it. Opposition throughout the world is enormous and unprecedented, and the same is true of the United States. Yesterday, for example, I was in demonstrations in downtown Boston, right around the Boston Common. It is not the first time I have been there. The first time I participated in a demonstration there at which I was to speak was in October 1965. That was four years after the United States had started bombing South Vietnam. Half of South Vietnam had been destroyed and the war had been extended to North Vietnam. We could not have a demonstration because it was physically attacked, mostly by students, with the support of the liberal press and radio, who denounced these people who were daring to protest against an American war.

On this occasion, however, there was a massive protest before the war was launched officially and once again on the day it was launched  -   with no counter-demonstrators. That is a radical difference. And if it were not for the fear factor that I mentioned, there would be much more opposition.

The government knows that it cannot carry out long-term aggression and destruction as in Vietnam because the population will not tolerate it.

There is only one way to fight a war now. First of all, pick a much weaker enemy, one that is defenceless. Then build it up in the propaganda system as either about to commit aggression or as an imminent threat. Next, you need a lightning victory. An important leaked document of the first Bush Administration in 1989 described how the U.S. would have to fight war. It said that the U.S. had to fight much weaker enemies, and that victory must be rapid and decisive, as public support will quickly erode. It is no longer like the 1960s, when a war could be fought for years with no opposition at all.

In many ways, the activism of the 1960s and subsequent years has simply made a lot of the world, including this country, much more civilised in many domains.

While I disagree with certain aspects of this article, such as the Cuban missile crisis, the rest seems to make a lot of sense. I don't see an obvious flaw in his premise or logic. Taking on weak countries seems to be a Bush forte though, not necessarily something the US will do forever. Besides, how many excuses for wars can a president manufacture? I suppose we'll see.

If Bush had balls (and he doesn't) he'd pull the US out of the UN and go to war with North Korea. He won't do either. Another Korean war could cause thousands or perhaps millions of deaths so Wimpy won't do that, and pulling out of the UN, when Bush needs the world to pay for his war clean-up won't happen either.

You can bet your bottom dollar thought that Bush won't raise taxes to pay for his wars and instead will pass the bill to the next president, the next congress and the next generation.

The good thing about all this is the republicans can buy power, but they're not morally right. And in the end, Americans will eventually earn how much these tax cuts and wars cost. Then they will turn away from conservatism forever.


Reporters Without Borders accuses US military of firing at journalists
Reporters without borders (
April 08, 2003

Reporters Without Borders called today on US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide evidence that the offices of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera and the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad were not deliberately fired at by US forces earlier in the day in attacks that killed three journalists.

"We are appalled at what happened because it was known that both places contained journalists," said the organisation's secretary-general Robert Ménard. "Film shot by the French TV station France 3 and descriptions by journalists show the neighbourhood was very quiet at that hour and that the US tank crew took their time, waiting for a couple of minutes and adjusting its gun before opening fire."

"This evidence does not match the US version of an attack in self-defence and we can only conclude that the US Army deliberately and without warning targeted journalists. US forces must prove that the incident was not a deliberate attack to dissuade or prevent journalists from continuing to report on what is happening in Baghdad," he said.

"We are concerned at the US army's increasingly hostile attitude towards journalists, especially those non-embedded in its military units. Army officials have also remained deplorably silent and refused to give any details about what happened when a British ITN TV crew was fired on near Basra on 22 March, killing one journalist and leaving two others missing.

"Very many non-embedded journalists have complained about being refused entry to Iraq from Kuwait, threatened with withdrawal of accreditation and being held and interrogated for several hours. One group of non-embedded journalists was held in secret for two days and roughed up by US military police," Ménard said.

Ukrainian cameraman Taras Protsyuk (35), normally attached to Reuters office in Warsaw, and José Couso, a Spanish cameraman for the Spanish TV station Telecinco, were killed in today's attack on the Palestine Hotel. Three other journalists were wounded when their rooms were hit by a shell fired by the US tank.

Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the US Third Infantry Division, admitted that the tank had fired a shell at the hotel. He claimed it was in response to rocket fire and other shooting from the hotel.

Al-Jazeera cameraman Tarek Ayoub was also killed today in US bombing of the pan-Arab TV station's offices elsewhere in the city.

Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press freedom throughout the world, as well as the right to inform the public and to be informed, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Reporters Without Borders has nine national sections (in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), representatives in Abidjan, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Montreal, Moscow, Nairobi, New York, Tokyo and Washington and more than a hundred correspondents worldwide.

US versions of the truth and the truth are never the same thing these days. This was murder, plan and simple--a war crime. Those involved in this decision should be removed from power immediately and if Bush ordered it, he MUST be impeached and removed from office.

We also get a better idea of why embedded reporters are pro-US no matter what the facts are (read the article that follows for more information on how the press lies). If they're not pro-US, they'll get killed by the US.


Media Lies: Fire a warning shot at family vehicle
April 04, 2003

A recent Washington Post article describing the killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers at a checkpoint outside the Iraqi town of Najaf proved that "embedded" journalists do have the ability to report on war in all its horror. But the rejection by some U.S. outlets of Post correspondent William Branigin's eyewitness account in favor of the Pentagon's sanitized version suggests that some journalists prefer not to report the harsh reality of war.

The Pentagon version was the one first reported in U.S. media-- sometimes in terms that assumed that the official account was factual. "What happened there, the van with a number of individuals in it...approached the checkpoint," reported MSNBC's Carl Rochelle (3/31/03). "They were told to stop by the members of the 3rd Infantry Division. They did not stop, warning shots were fired. Still they came on. They fired into the engine of the van. Still it came on, so they began opening fire on the van itself."

Fox's John Gibson (3/31/03) presented the story in similar terms: "We warn these cars to stop. If they don't stop, fire warning shots. If they don't stop then, fire into the engine. If they don't stop then, fire into the cab. And today some guys killed some civilians after going through all those steps."

But later on the night of March 31, the Post released its story on the shooting that would appear in the April 1 edition of the paper. Branigin's report described U.S. Army Capt. Ronny Johnson's attempts to avoid the incident as he directed his troops via radio from the checkpoint:

"Fire a warning shot," he ordered as the vehicle kept coming. Then, with increasing urgency, he told the platoon to shoot a 7.62mm machine-gun round into its radiator. "Stop [messing] around!" Johnson yelled into the company radio network when he still saw no action being taken. Finally, he shouted at the top of his voice, "Stop him, Red 1, stop him!"

That order was immediately followed by the loud reports of 25mm cannon fire from one or more of the platoon's Bradleys. About half a dozen shots were heard in all.

"Cease fire!" Johnson yelled over the radio. Then, as he peered into his binoculars from the intersection on Highway 9, he roared at the platoon leader, "You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!"

The Post's account is significant because it suggests that, in fact, military procedures may not have been properly followed at the checkpoint. Several U.S. papers, including the New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times and San Francisco Chronicle, managed to include the discrepancy between the official Pentagon account and the Post's eyewitness description in their reports on the Najaf killings in their April 1 editions. The New York Times, however, did not, instead running a story that only presented the official version, under a headline that stated as a definite fact that adequate warning had been given before soldiers opened fire: "Failing to Heed Warning, 7 Iraqi Women and Children Die."

While it's possible that the New York Times, unlike other East Coast papers like the Daily News and the Globe, had a deadline that did not allow it to include information from the Branigin article, the Times ran a follow-up article on April 2-- "U.S. Military Chiefs Express Regret Over Civilian Deaths"-- that still omitted any mention of the description of the incident in the Washington Post. The piece, by Christopher Marquis, described the victims as being "killed when their van apparently failed to stop after orders by American guards." It rehearsed the official version of events ("that soldiers fired warning shots to stop the van, then fired into the engine, but that the van continued forward, forcing troops to fire into the passenger compartment") and quoted Gen. Richard Myers on "our policy of doing all we can to spare civilian lives"-- all without mentioning the contradictory firsthand account from the Post.

The Times was not the only outlet that either overlooked or chose to ignore the reporting that undermined the official story on the killing. NPR's Nick Spicer reported on the April 1 All Things Considered-- which aired at least 18 hours after the Post story broke-- that "what we're hearing here at CENTCOM is that troops fired a warning shot as a vehicle approached a checkpoint. The vehicle did not stop. It then fired at the engine block. The vehicle continued. And then they fired in the passenger compartment and they killed seven women and children." Branigin's account was ot mentioned.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution summarized the story thus on April 2: "Seven Iraqi women and children are killed at an Army checkpoint 20 miles north of Najaf after they failed to heed warning shots." The Houston Chronicle reported on April 1, without qualification, that "U.S. troops...opened fire on a civilian vehicle that refused their order to halt and ignored warning shots." Although the story cited the Washington Post on the number of people killed in the incident, it ignored the parts of the Post account that contradicted the official account that the Chronicle treated as fact.

Even the Washington Post itself, in an April 2 story by a different reporter, failed to mention Branigin's reporting when it reiterated the official description of the incident: "At another checkpoint on Monday, U.S. troops blasted an approaching vehicle carrying as many as 16 people, most of them women and children, in the belief that an attack was underway. Ten people in the vehicle died. Soldiers said later that they fired warning shots that were ignored."


To read the Washington Post's report on the shooting, go to:

Once again the media is well aware of the truth, aware of the real fact, but instead of telling us the truth, they choose to lie. But more importantly, the military knows people make up their minds about such stories in the first 24-hours. As long as they can keep the spin going that long they've got you hooked. The military screwed up and should have the courage to admit it. Only after they admit mistakes can they be credible.


Pro-Torture Pundits
Fair . org
By Steve Rendall

After suggesting in a November 5 column that the U.S. consider subjecting terror suspects to torture, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter is trying to change his story.

Responding to a critical letter to the editor in Newsweek's November 19 issue, Alter claimed, "At both the beginning and the end of my column, I wrote that I oppose legalizing physical torture."

Alter's column did say that legalizing physical torture wouldn't work in the U.S. Instead, he suggested we consider using "legal" forms of psychological torture at home, while "transferring some suspects to our less squeamish allies." In other words, send them overseas for the real thing.

That may sound like a distinction without a difference, but apparently Alter believes that getting others to commit crimes against humanity on your behalf gets you off the hook, legally and morally.

It doesn't. Torture is illegal under both international and U.S. law. In signing the Convention Against Torture in 1994, the U.S. bound itself to oppose torture overseas and at home. Article 4 of the Convention obligates all state parties to ensure that all acts of torture are criminal offenses under domestic legislation. And even if the U.S. had not signed the Convention, it would still be subject to customary international laws forbidding torture. According to Human Rights Watch, violations of such laws are "subject to universal jurisdiction, meaning that any state can exercise its jurisdiction, regardless of where the crime took place, the nationality of the perpetrator or the nationality of the victim" ("The Legal Prohibition Against Torture,"

Sending suspects abroad to be tortured? Again, it's illegal all around. In addition to the Convention Against Torture, which expressly forbids sending a person anywhere "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture," U.S. statutory law prohibits transporting persons for torture. Citing Title 18, Section 242 of the United States Code, legal writer Karen L. Snell notes (The Recorder, 10/31/01): "The use of pressure tactics, including torture by proxy, not only renders evidence obtained inadmissible in court. It's also a crime. And it is not just the person who physically or mentally assaults a suspect who is guilty. Any person who aids, abets, counsels or conspires to commit such acts is a criminal."

And what about psychological torture? International law makes little distinction between physical and psychological torture. Article 1 of the Convention defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession."

Pro-torture parade

Alter is only one of several pundits who seemed compelled to advocate torture in various forms--regardless of U.S. or international law.

In the November 8 Los Angeles Times, legal scholar and columnist Alan Dershowitz suggested that torture is not unconstitutional--as long as "the fruits of such techniques" are not used against the subject in a criminal trial, since that would violate the subject's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Because torture is not unconstitutional and just may be necessary in extreme cases, argues Dershowitz, it ought to be supervised by special judge-administered "torture warrants."

Dershowitz's narrow legalistic argument fails to address other constitutional protections against torture routinely cited by legal scholars (not to mention statutory prohibitions against torture found in international and U.S. laws). In fact, U.S. courts have found constitutional protections against torture not only in the right against self-incrimination, but also in the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable search or seizure, the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel or unusual punishment, and the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments' guarantees of due process ("The Legal Prohibition Against Torture,

No pretensions to legal scholarship attended the pro-torture shoutfest that took place on the McLaughlin Group's November 9 show, where four out of five of the panelists endorsed torture. The Washington Times' Tony Blankley and MSNBC's Laurence O'Donnell joined host John McLaughlin and National Review editor Rich Lowry in approval of torture. Only Newsweek's Eleanor Clift objected. (When Clift asked her co-panelists where they would send suspects for torture, McLaughlin shouted, "The Filipinos!" while Lowry barked, "The Turks!")

On October 26 CNN news anchor Paula Zahn pressed Philadelphia police commissioner John Timoney, trying to get him to endorse extra-legal means in the case of terror suspects. When she asked him if "beatings" might be appropriate, Timoney stood his ground: "No. No. This is America, you know."

A day later on CNN's Crossfire (10/27/01), conservative Tucker Carlson was succinct: "Torture is bad. Keep in mind, some things are worse. And under certain circumstances, it may be the lesser of two evils. Because some evils are pretty evil."

Yes, they are. That's why torture is considered a crime against humanity, and why no exceptions are provided for it in the Convention, which reads: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Unreliable confessions

On the Wall Street Journal's editorial page (10/25/01), historian Jay Winik cited a case in which Philippine authorities tortured a suspected terrorist, reportedly thwarting plans to crash U.S. jetliners. Without technically endorsing torture, Winik mused, "One wonders, of course, what would have happened if [the terrorist] had been in American custody?"

This evident confidence in the efficacy of torture seems to be shared by many pro-torture pundits, though as Human Rights Watch points out, "the unreliability of forced confessions was one of the principal reasons that U.S. courts originally prohibited their use." As early as the 18th Century, political philosopher Cesare Beccaria warned that the victim of torture "will accuse himself of crimes of which he is innocent" (and will falsely implicate others "yet more readily"). Former FBI official Oliver Revell concurs: "People will even admit they killed their grandmother, just to stop the beatings" ("The Legal Prohibition Against Torture,"

One remarkable thing about the recent interest in torture is that it comes almost entirely from pundits--virtually no politicians, federal officials or law enforcement agents have come forward to say that torture was a tool they needed. One exception was found in an October 21 Washington Post news article, in which unnamed FBI officials expressed frustration at their inability to get information from four suspects they believed were linked to the September 11 attacks. One FBI agent told the Post, "We are known for humanitarian treatment, so basically we are stuck.... Usually there is some incentive, some angle to play, what you can do for them. But it could get to that spot where we could go to pressure....where we won't have a choice, and we are probably getting there."

According to a later USA Today article (12/7/01), however, "U.S. agents now doubt that any of the more than 600 people who have been detained at one time or another in the September 11 probe actually was involved in the hijacking probe." If the pro-torture pundits had had their way, that's a conclusion that might have been reached only after torturing the detainees--or perhaps they could have been sent overseas to have false confessions wrung out of them.

The America I grew up in doesn't exist anymore. There was a time when the "rule of law" was widely respected. Today, those who support torture really favor the end of US and International Law. Either that, or they're idiots. You decide.

It appears the terrorists have already won. The US and our ideals have been reduced to meaningless words on a piece of paper. We can blame the press, our president, the times or us....but there's no denying this absolute truth...the more conservative we become the more likely we are to be evil.


Why U.N. inspectors left Iraq--then and now
1998 2002

-- Sheila MacVicar, ABC World News This Morning, 12/16/98

The U.N. orders its weapons inspectors to leave Iraq after the chief inspector reports Baghdad is not fully cooperating with them.

-- --John McWethy, ABC World News This Morning, 8/12/02

To bolster its claim, Iraq let reporters see one laboratory U.N. inspectors once visited before they were kicked out four years ago.

--Katie Couric, NBC's Today, 12/16/98/

The Iraq story boiled over last night when the chief U.N. weapons inspector, Richard Butler, said that Iraq had not fully cooperated with inspectors and--as they had promised to do. As a result, the U.N. ordered its inspectors to leave Iraq this morning

--Maurice DuBois, NBC's Saturday Today, 8/3/02

As Washington debates when and how to attack Iraq, a surprise offer from Baghdad. It is ready to talk about re-admitting U.N. weapons inspectors after kicking them out four years ago.

--AP, 12/16/98

The chief U.N. weapons inspector ordered his monitors to leave Baghdad today after saying that Iraq had once again reneged on its promise to cooperate--a report that renewed the threat of U.S. and British airstrikes.

--AP, 9/7/02

Information on Iraq's programs has been spotty since Saddam expelled U.N. weapons inspectors in 1998.

--Los Angeles Times, 12/17/98

Immediately after submitting his report on Baghdad's noncompliance, Butler ordered his inspectors to leave Iraq.

--Los Angeles Times, 9/10/02

It is not known whether Iraq has rebuilt clandestine nuclear facilities since U.N. inspectors were forced out in 1998, but the report said the regime lacks nuclear material for a bomb and the capability to make weapons.

--Bob Edwards, NPR, 12/16/98

The United Nations once again has ordered its weapons inspectors out of Iraq. Today's evacuation follows a new warning from chief weapons inspector Richard Butler accusing Iraq of once again failing to cooperate with the inspectors. The United States and Britain repeatedly have warned that Iraq's failure to cooperate with the inspectors could lead to air strikes.

--Daniel Schorr, NPR, 8/3/02

If he has secret weapons, he's had four years since he kicked out the inspectors to hide all of them.

--Jane Arraf, CNN, 12/16/98

This is the second time in a month that UNSCOM has pulled out in the face of a possible U.S.-led attack. But this time there may be no turning back. Weapons inspectors packed up their personal belongings and loaded up equipment at U.N. headquarters after a predawn evacuation order. In a matter of hours, they were gone, more than 120 of them headed for a flight to Bahrain.

--John King, CNN, 8/18/02

What Mr. Bush is being urged to do by many advisers is focus on the simple fact that Saddam Hussein signed a piece of paper at the end of the Persian Gulf War, promising that the United Nations could have unfettered weapons inspections in Iraq. It has now been several years since those inspectors were kicked out.

--USA Today, 12/17/98

Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov criticized Butler for evacuating inspectors from Iraq Wednesday morning without seeking permission from the Security Council.

--USA Today, 9/4/02

Saddam expelled U.N. weapons inspectors in 1998, accusing some of being U.S. spies.

--New York Times, 12/18/98

But the most recent irritant was Mr. Butler's quick withdrawal from Iraq on Wednesday of all his inspectors and those of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iraqi nuclear programs, without Security Council permission. Mr. Butler acted after a telephone call from Peter Burleigh, the American representative to the United Nations, and a discussion with Secretary General Kofi Annan, who had also spoken to Mr. Burleigh.

--New York Times editorial, 8/3/02

America's goal should be to ensure that Iraq is disarmed of all unconventional weapons.... To thwart this goal, Baghdad expelled United Nations arms inspectors four years ago.

--Washington Post, 12/18/98

Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night--at a time when most members of the Security Council had yet to receive his report.

--Washington Post editorial, 8/4/02

Since 1998, when U.N. inspectors were expelled, Iraq has almost certainly been working to build more chemical and biological weapons,

-- Newsday, 12/17/98

Butler abruptly pulled all of his inspectors out of Iraq shortly after handing Annan a report yesterday afternoon on Baghdad's continued failure to cooperate with UNSCOM, the agency that searches for Iraq's prohibited weapons of mass destruction.

--Newsday editorial, 8/14/02

The reason Hussein gave was that the U.N. inspectors' work was completed years ago, before he kicked them out in 1998, and they dismantled whatever weapons they found. That's disingenuous.

©Copyright by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

Propaganda, lies or simple mistakes? It really doesn't matter. These people make a living reporting the truth and using words, yet they don't have a clue what the facts are. There's nothing more dangerous than a lazy or stupid reporter. Perhaps that's the appeal of Fox News. Brainless-wonders show off their limited intellect, knowledge and fabrications before a wanting audience.

I'd be curious when all these reporters started spouting the "party line." Was it before or after Bush was elected? You have two choices. Stop listening, watching or reading the news, or stop believing what they say. It's up to you.


Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to Patriot Act
New York Times
Online April 07, dated Apr 04, 2003

ANTA CRUZ, Calif., April 4 — The humming noise from a back room of the central library here today was the sound of Barbara Gail Snider, a librarian, at work. Her hands stuffed with wads of paper, Ms. Snider was feeding a small shredding machine mounted on a plastic wastebasket.

First to be sliced by the electronic teeth were several pink sheets with handwritten requests to the reference desk. One asked for the origin of the expression "to cost an arm and a leg." Another sought the address of a collection agency.

Next to go were the logs of people who had signed up to use the library's Internet computer stations. Bill L., Mike B., Rolando, Steve and Patrick were all shredded into white paper spaghetti.

"It used to be a librarian would be pictured with a book," said Ms. Snider, the branch manager, slightly exasperated as she hunched over the wastebasket. "Now it is a librarian with a shredder."

Actually, the shredder here is not new, but the rush to use it is. In the old days, staff members in the nine-branch Santa Cruz Public Library System would destroy discarded paperwork as time allowed, typically once a week.

But at a meeting of library officials last week, it was decided the materials should be shredded daily.

"The basic strategy now is to keep as little historical information as possible," said Anne M. Turner, director of the library system.

The move was part of a campaign by the Santa Cruz libraries to demonstrate their opposition to the Patriot Act, the law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that broadened the federal authorities' powers in fighting terrorism.

Among provisions that have angered librarians nationwide is one that allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to review certain business records of people under suspicion, which has been interpreted to include the borrowing or purchase of books and the use of the Internet at libraries, bookstores and cafes.

In a survey sent to 1,500 libraries last fall by the Library Research Center at the University of Illinois, the staffs at 219 libraries said they had cooperated with law enforcement requests for information about patrons; staffs at 225 libraries said they had not.

Ms. Turner said the authorities had made no inquiries about patrons in Santa Cruz. But the librarians here and the library board, which sets policies for the 10 branches, felt strongly about the matter nonetheless. Last month, Santa Cruz became one of the first library systems in the country to post warning signs about the Patriot Act at all of its checkout counters.

Today, the libraries went further and began distributing a handout to visitors that outlines objections to the enhanced F.B.I. powers and explains that the libraries were reviewing all records "to make sure that we really need every piece of data" about borrowers and Internet users.

Maurice J. Freedman, president of the American Library Association and director of the library system in Westchester, N.Y., said only a handful of libraries had posted signs or handed out literature about the Patriot Act. Warning signs are posted in the computer room at a library in Killington, Vt., and the library board in Skokie, Ill., recently voted to post signs, Mr. Freedman said.

Many other libraries, he said, including those in Westchester, decided that warnings might unnecessarily alarm patrons.

"There are people, especially older people who lived through the McCarthy era, who might be intimidated by this," he said. "As of right now, the odds are very great that there will be no search made of a person's records at public libraries, so I don't want to scare people away."

At the same time, though, thousands of libraries have joined the rush to destroy records.

A spokesman for the Justice Department said libraries were not breaking the law by destroying records, even at a faster pace. The spokesman, Mark Corallo, said it would be illegal only if a library destroyed records that had been subpoenaed by the F.B.I.

Ms. Turner, the library director here, said librarians did not want to help terrorists, but she said other values were at stake as well.

"I am more terrified of having my First Amendment rights to information and free speech infringed than I am by the kind of terrorist acts that have come down so far," Ms. Turner said.

Library officials here said the response to the warning signs had been overwhelmingly positive, and visitors interviewed today had nothing but praise. Several of them noted, however, that Santa Cruz was not necessarily a microcosm of America.

Santa Cruz is a community well known for its leftward leanings and progressive politics. Last fall, city officials allowed marijuana for medicinal purposes to be distributed from the steps of City Hall. The City Council also passed a resolution condemning the Patriot Act.

"That is the nice thing about living in this town," said Elizabeth Smith, a waitress, who dropped by the central library today to use the Internet. "They call something like this to our attention that is being ignored in so many other parts of the country."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Damn it's good to be an American. Even Librarians are against this tyrant and his Nazi-like control over everything. Now all we need is every library in the country to do the same. Then let it spread to everything else. We can kill the Patriot Act by destroying every piece of information the government wants. Stalin and Lenin would be proud of Bush's America.


Taliban Reviving, Afghan Gov't Faltering
CBS News
April 07, 2003

(CBS) Security forces swept through remote hills in northwestern Afghanistan on Monday in search of several hundred suspected Taliban fighters blamed for launching a recent wave of attacks.

The fighters' names and native villages were discovered on lists found in the pockets of five senior Taliban commanders captured during fighting in Badghis province last week, said Abdul Wahed Tawaqli, spokesman for the governor of neighboring Herat province.

Those captured included Mullah Badar, a former governor of Badghis under the Taliban, whose government was ousted by U.S. forces and Afghan opposition groups in 2001.

"In the pockets of these senior commanders, we found lists detailing the names and native villages of those who've been attacking us," Tawaqli said. "We've been looking for them house by house, one by one."

Afghan authorities say Taliban remnants are reorganizing in an effort to destabilize the fledgling government of President Hamid Karzai.

Southern Afghanistan in particular has been wracked by several attacks in the last few weeks by suspected Taliban fighters, including the murder of a Red Cross worker Ricardo Munguia and an ambush on a U.S. military convoy that killed two American servicemen.

Before executing the International Red Cross worker, the Taliban gunmen made a satellite telephone call to their superior for instructions: Kill him?

Kill him, the order came back, and Munguia, whose body was found with 20 bullet wounds last month, became the first foreign aid worker to die in Afghanistan since the Taliban's ouster from power 18 months ago.

There is little to stop them. The soldiers and police who were supposed to be the bedrock of a stable postwar Afghanistan have gone unpaid for months and are drifting away.

Officials announced a landmark program Sunday to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate an estimated 100,000 fighters across Afghanistan over the next three years.

The U.N.-sponsored program with start in July and last up to three years, the government said.

But officials admitted it will not be an easy task: Most of Afghanistan has long been ruled by warlords with vast private armies who have frequently battled one another.

At a time when the United States is promising a reconstructed democratic postwar Iraq, many Afghans are remembering hearing similar promises not long ago.

Instead, what they see is thieving warlords, murder on the roads, and a resurgence of Taliban vigilantism.

"It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to fix the problem," said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar. "What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business."

Karzai said reconstruction has been painfully slow — a canal repaired, a piece of city road paved, a small school rebuilt.

"There have been no significant changes for people," he said. "People are tired of seeing small, small projects. I don't know what to say to people anymore."

When the Taliban ruled they forcibly conscripted young men. "Today I can say 'we don't take your sons away by force to fight at the front line,'" Karzai remarked. "But that's about all I can say."

From safe havens in neighboring Pakistan, aided by militant Muslim groups there, the Taliban launched their revival to coincide with the war in Iraq and capitalize on Muslim anger over the U.S. invasion, say Afghan officials.

Abdul Salam is a military commander for the government. Last month he was stopped at a Taliban checkpoint in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar and became a witness to the killing of Munguia, a 39-year-old water engineer from El Salvador.

International workers in Kandahar don't feel safe anymore and some have been moved from the Kandahar region to safer areas, said John Oerum, southwest security officer for the United Nations. But Oerum is trying to find a way to stay in southern Afghanistan. To abandon it would be to let the rebel forces win, he says.

The Red Cross, with 150 foreign workers in Afghanistan, has suspended operations indefinitely.

Today most Afghans say their National Army seems a distant dream while the U.S.-led coalition continues to feed and finance warlords for their help in hunting for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.

Karzai, the president's brother, says: "We have to pay more attention at the district level, build the administration. We know who these Taliban are, but we don't have the people to report them when they return."

Khan Mohammed, commander of Kandahar's 2nd Corps, says his soldiers haven't been paid in seven months, and his fighting force has dwindled. The Kandahar police chief, Mohammed Akram, says his police haven't been paid in months and hundreds have just gone home.

"There is no real administration all over Afghanistan, no army, no police," said Mohammed. "The people do not want the Taliban, but we have to unite and build, but we are not."

©MMIII CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From Impeach 33: "Meanwhile, in Afghanistan itself, the record is just as dismal. By using the heroin-financed gangsters of the Northern Alliance to overthrow the Taliban regime and pursue al-Qaida remnants ever since, the US has handed over most of the country to the same war criminals who devastated Afghanistan in the early 1990s."

Bush promised not to abandon Afghanistan. He did, and now look at the results. Bush's nation building isn't what it's cracked up to be. Why isnt' the press going after our liar in chief yet? They made this man and they can unmake him just as easily.


Clinton/Dole: Support our troops
CBS News
April 06, 2003

(CBS) In the latest in a series of two-minute debates for CBS News 60 Minutes, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and former President Bill Clinton talk about critics of the war in Iraq. Following is a transcript of their debate:


SENATOR DOLE: You know, it's a good thing the Iraqi civilian who risked his life and his family to help rescue Private Jessica Lynch didn't have American TV. That way, he didn't have to see people who should know better trashing the war.

To protect his identity, the Marines call him Mohammed. I call him a hero. He reminds us to focus on the big picture: getting rid of Saddam's regime. Liberating 25 million Iraqis while limiting our casualties, and theirs.

President Bush warned the fighting would be difficult. I just wish the critics, including retired brass, would let us win this war before being told how poorly it was managed.

Sure, critics have a role, but they should consider their impact on families across America. Like countless others, I've been there. I know how folks at home worry about loved ones in a combat zone. When I fought in WWII, I don't remember anybody second guessing General Eisenhower.

Let's give our leaders and courageous troops some slack. Be patient and supportive. They deserve it. Don't you agree, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I do agree, Senator. Our troops and commanders should have our support and our patience, especially in a conflict that's only two weeks old.

As my Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen said this week, it only took the critics about five days before they started questioning the military action I ordered in Kosovo. Senator Dole, you didn't join that chorus then, either, and I was proud to have your support.

Whatever our view of what happened leading up to this conflict, or what we should do when it's over, for now, we should want our men and women in uniform and their commander in chief to know that we are pulling for them, and praying for them to finish their jobs as soon as they can -- with as little loss of life as possible on both sides.

When it's done, our military will conduct a post-operation review as they always do. Others can do the same thing to see what lessons can be learned and to debate what comes next.

But now, it's enough to know that our military is the world's finest with wonderful young men and women of every race, religion and walk of life. They'll do what they've been asked to do and they do deserve our support. About that, there can be no debate.

© MMIII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This is one of the few times I think President Clinton is off his rocker. It might be because of all the opposition he felt from republicans when he put troops in harms way that makes him think we should support this war no matter what. You may recall republicans didn't support the troops or the president.

In my opinion this war is immoral and illegal and therefore I can't support it or the troops.


Clinton/Dole: Universal Healthcare in Iraq
CBS News
March 30, 2003

CBS) In the latest 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 consider domestic spending—on Iraq after the war and in the U.S. now. Following is a transcript of their debate:


PRESIDENT CLINTON: Universal health care. Rebuilding the nation's schools. Repair of the road and rail networks. Sounds like a Democratic domestic agenda, right? Actually, it's the Bush administration's plan for the re-construction of Iraq. Now, I'm all for rebuilding Iraq when Saddam's gone. But it's ironic that Republicans don't have plans to stop the rise of Americans without health care. They're not funding the "leave-no-child-behind" education bill. They want to cut 500,000 kids out of after-school programs. They've already eliminated school-repair funding and the program to put 100,000 more teachers in our schools. Let's invest in Iraq and America. We can't be strong abroad if we're not strong at home.

SENATOR DOLE: As far as I am concerned, Mr. President, the one who should be worried about his health care is Saddam Hussein. It amazes me that at the very time the country is uniting behind our troops overseas, you are suggesting ways to divide us at home. You can't have it both ways. This week, you say President Bush is not spending enough on domestic programs. Next week you'll be all over him on the deficit. There will be plenty of time this year to debate Medicare reform, tax cuts, and our energy strategy that your friends in Congress continue to block. For the moment though, our country's focus should be on Iraq, not Amtrak, on POWs, not HMOs. The education Americans care about most right now is how fast we can educate Iraqi soldiers to say ‘I surrender.' Hey, maybe there is a role for the French after all.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Senator, unlike some of your Republican friends during Kosovo, I support our troops in Iraq and our President. But your party is for better schools for Iraqi children and kicking half a million poor American children out of after-school programs. They even want to eliminate the program to put more police on the streets, our first responders in the war against terror. Debate on domestic issues isn't divisive. It's democracy.

SENATOR DOLE: Democracy is about choices, and playing politics now is the wrong choice. Mr. President, this is a real war. We have troops on the ground. While we're talking, they're fighting. They need our patience and our prayers.

© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

"Playing politics while we're at war is "wrong" so why did republicans play politics when President Clinton committed troops? Read the three articles called "support our troops" in Impeach 70.

Universal healthcare is ok for members of congress, the president, the military and Iraq, but not good enough for you and me. Conservatives remain consistently inconsistent.