World Bank backs Caspian oil pipeline

October 30, 2003 at 9:06 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

For
those of you keeping track of global oil & gas developments (and I sincerely
hope that’s all of you), here’s a biggie that, naturally, we’re having to get
from the UK press. (When oh when will somebody in the US media grow a nut and
start covering this stuff? It’s only our global future we’re talking about
here!) Oh well, at least it’s shorter and cheaper than building a pipeline
across Afghanistan, like we were planning two years ago. Once we get this one,
we’ll pretty much have Saudi Arabia surrounded–right where we want ’em.

 


World Bank
to back controversial Caspian pipeline


Rob Evans and Owen Bowcott
Wednesday
October 29, 2003
The Guardian



A controversial scheme
led by the oil giant BP to build a huge, strategically important pipeline is
about to win crucial backing, according to a leaked document.

Despite widespread criticism, the World Bank is due to approve at a meeting
tomorrow a $250m (£149m) loan to a consortium to build a pipeline from Baku in
Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea to the Turkish port of Ceyhan via Georgia.

A new round of tax cuts for corporations

October 30, 2003 at 11:55 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


It certainly is dubious wisdom to commit to another $128 billion in tax cuts
right as the US national deficit reaches an all-time high, but this is
egregious. It includes $40 billion for multinationals’ overseas operations
(huh??), and, naturally, giveaways to oil and gas companies. Amazing
chutzpah–we’re virtually paying corporations to move jobs overseas, while
staggering levels of unemployment reign. Good thing those Congressmen aren’t
like the rest of us: when we can’t balance our checkbooks, we can’t do
things like buy food. They get to walk away from it after 2 or 4 years and
just pass the debt to the next guy.


http://www.tompaine.com/op_ads/opad2.cfm/ID/9255


http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/10/28/tax_cut/

–C

US companies exempted from law for Iraq profiteering

October 29, 2003 at 8:08 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

The
boldness of the neo-cons just notched up again. Not only are they handing out
contracts in Iraq directly to their friends in industry, and taking control
of Iraq’s oil, they have now exempted themselves from the rule of law,
by Bush’s executive order. They know no shame.

 

–C

 

—–Original Message—–
Order
13303 exempts the activities of US oil companies or individuals from US legal
investigation.

This article should
be read in conjunction with a recent order by the CPA, endorsed by the
US-appointed Council, allowing profits from Iraqi oil production to be remitted
abroad, (ie to the US). Occupiers are strictly prohibited from doing this
(economic profiting/looting, call it what you will) under the Geneva Convention,
hence the legal fiction of having the order endorsed by the Council.




A licence to loot








Richard Calland: CONTRETEMPS


28 October 2003
13:00








Tom Devine is a decent American. A fighter
for what he calls “free speech dissent” — whistle-blowing to you and me
— he conceals the steel of a lifelong professional commitment to
whistle-blowers beneath a gentle, soft-spoken exterior. It seems like he
could not hurt a fly. But when he talks about Executive Order 13303 a
quiet rage gathers about him.

Signed by United States President
George W Bush in May, the order attracted only scant media attention when
it was finally reported in August. Given that the order is a blank cheque
for corporate anarchy in Iraq this is very curious indeed.

A Web
search reveals that apart from alternative media such as the Los Angeles
Independent Media Centre, by and large the mainstream US media chose not
to take the issue on, and with rare exceptions, the international media
likewise.

Either the executive order is unworthy of attention and
comment or it offers the most abundant proof of what Bush is up to in
Iraq. I will let you decide.

The order prohibits the operation of
the judicial process in respect of both the Development Fund for Iraq and
“all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests”. Section 1(b)
shields these interests “of any nature whatsoever” if it “arises from” or
is “related to” the “sale or marketing of … all Iraqi petroleum and
petroleum products … that are or hereafter come within the possession or
control of United States persons”.

Section 3 confirms that
“persons” includes entities such as corporations. In other words, it takes
the opera- tion of all US corporations involved in the Iraqi oil business,
however indirectly, outside of the law.

That means all corporate
activities with roots or any connection to Iraqi oil. It includes commerce
such as plastics in the petrochemical industry or anything else for which
Iraqi oil becomes relevant, thus blending Iraqi oil with domestic supplies
or industry.

It is truly astounding. As a lawyer you sometimes
interpret a legal document and then decide that you have given it a
meaning that it can not possibly have. So you reread. This was such an
occasion. But it is so.

The order covers everything from
extraction through to transportation, advertising, manufacture, customer
service, corporate records and payment of taxes.

As Devine’s
report for his pressure group, the Government Account-ability Project,
puts it, “the executive order cancels the concept of corporate
accountability and abandons the rule of law. Translated from the legalese,
this is a licence for corporations to loot Iraq and its
citizens.”

It means that the oil industry is magically exempt from
liability for a vast range of things, including health and safety
violations, child labour, minimum wage and other employment rights such as
equal opportunity, consumer fraud, clean environment duties, and
shareholder accountability, to name but a few.

For US companies
such as Bechtel and Halliburton, there is a double beauty to this beast.
They have become merrily endowed with US government contracts,
post-invasion, and are now immune from the entire system of administrative
law that ordinarily applies to protect the public interest of the
taxpayer.

The Development Fund for Iraq, which is the financing
arm for post-war economic activity, is the other beneficiary of this
outrageous liability waiver. As Devine notes, this means that World Bank
and other capital from international financial institutions will be exempt
from enforcement of any congressional or other checks and balances imposed
by US law.

Against this backdrop, US rhetoric about democracy and
the rule of law is as laughable as it is nauseating. Last week Joseph
Wilson, the former ambassador/Bush administration spy turned
whistle-blower who has emerged to haunt the Bush administration over its
“evidence” of an Iraqi threat, was honoured at a ceremony in the National
Press Club in Washington DC with the first Ridenhour Award for
Truth-Telling.

The awards were established in honour of Ron
Ridenhour, the Vietnam veteran who in 1969 wrote a letter to the Congress
and the Pentagon describing the horrific events at My Lai — the infamous
massacre of the Vietnam War. His action brought the outrage to the
attention of the American public and the world.

My friend Lala
Camerer, who now works in DC for the Centre for Public Integrity,
describes the occasion to me thus: “It was humbling to watch Wilson, once
very much part of the establishment, and now effectively shunned by former
colleagues, be honoured by a crowd made up of largely investigative
journalists and public information advocates.

Especially moving,
says Camerer, was the moment when Wilson, overcome by emotion, apologised
to his wife saying tearfully: “If I could give you back your anonymity, I
would. I am truly sorry. It seems that the political agenda is more
important than American national security or your life.”

Under Executive Order 13303 someone like
Wilson would have no protection for blowing the whistle on any unlawful
act committed by an American company involved in the Iraqi oil business.


When, a month ago, I wrote of the grand and dangerous delusions of
modern US imperialism, and of its real purpose and intent, I was greeted
with the predictable howls of zealous outrage from a range of American
apologists and Zionist surrogates. A gruesome axis, with intertwined
motives and interests, they simply can’t face the truth. But Executive
Order 13303 cannot be denied. It is the truth.

Joseph Stiglitz,
the Nobel Prize-winning economist, now argues that the rest of the world
must unite in its opposition to the US government. The headline of a
recent profile in the British media described Stiglitz as a whistle-blower
because of his damaging insider critique of his former employer, the World
Bank, and especially the International Monetary Fund.

It has
suddenly become terribly acceptable, trendy even, to be a whistle-blower;
Devine’s life’s work has not been in vain.

That is as it may be,
but Stiglitz is no Ché Guevara. When moderates like him start arguing for
a global opposition to the US then I think it is safe to conclude that
Executive Order 13303 is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our
opposition is not to the American people any more than it is with
Zimbabweans in the case of President Robert Mugabe, though the American
people are undoubtedly far more culpable for the rise to power of its
rogue leadership.

The question is how exactly do you take on
Goliath? Seeing and telling the truth represents a start. Protesting is a
further vital step. Conveniently, Israel will provide a key stimulant for
mobilisation. The so-called “security wall” it is constructing must become
the new Berlin Wall — a symbol of contemporary oppression and injustice.
Then we will all have at least one focal point for our opposition.

US Soldiers to America: Bring Us Home Now

October 27, 2003 at 11:47 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

The contrast between what
the Bush administration is telling us about the conditions in Iraq, and the
state of the troops’ morale, and what the troops themselves are saying, could
hardly be more stark. Chalk up another great lie for the Bush
administration.

Here is an interview with a high-ranking enlisted man,
with over 20 years’ of service. The Army put a gag order on him, but he spoke
out anyway out of conscience. It’s shocking. I hope everyone will read
it.
US Soldiers to America: Bring Us Home Now
By Jay
Shaft
http://truthout.org/docs_03/101703E.shtml  

For more on how the troops really feel
about being in Iraq, check out today’s Daily Mislead:


http://www.misleader.com/daily_mislead/Read.asp?fn=df10172003.html

October 17, 2003 | Daily
Mislead Archive


Bush Administration PR Campaign Undermined by Reports of Low Morale Among
Troops



The Bush
administration’s recently launched public relations campaign to promote success
in Iraq is being undermined by recent reports of low morale among U. S. troops
in Iraq.

Letters praising the Bush Administration’s post-war operations
are appearing in local and regional newspapers, but at least eleven letters,
ostensibly written by troops from 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Infantry Regiment,
were essentially identical.1 President Bush himself is actively
trying to counter news of unhappiness among the troops left behind in Iraq,
saying conditions are “a lot better than you probably think. Just ask people
who’ve been there.”2

When military journalists for Stars and
Stripes interviewed soldiers on the ground, however, they reported that American
dignitaries touring Iraq are given a false picture because of the tight controls
placed on the visits. “The phrase ‘Dog and Pony Show’ is usually used,” the
military newspaper reported. “Some troops even go so far as to say they’ve been
ordered not to talk to VIPs because [military] leaders are afraid of what they
might say.”3

Half the soldiers who spoke to Stars and Stripes
described their unit’s morale as low.4

The results of the
Stars and Stripes survey are consistent with other anecdotal evidence. Several
families of Iraq-based troops say the letters sent home by their sons and
daughters plead for shipments of basic necessities, especially bottled
water.5 As few as 20 percent of the soldiers have access to purified
water, according to these reports, and entire units are coming down with
dysentery.6

One soldier’s mother says she has yet to receive
a response after five months of trying to get the Defense Department to deliver
500 air-conditioning units donated for the relief of soldiers in Iraq, despite
high-level intervention by U. S. Senator Joe Biden.7

Sources:



  1. Bush Courts Regional Media: President Aims to Bypass Large News
    Outlets’ ‘Filter’ on Iraq
    ,” Washington Post, 10/14/03.
  2. Presidential Speech, 10/9/03.
  3. Stars and Stripes Interview, 9/9/03.
  4. Many Troops Dissatisfied, Iraq Poll Finds,” Washington Post,
    10/16/03.
  5. Operation: We Love Our Soldiers, 7/21/03.
  6. “US House set to approve President Bush’s $87 billion package for
    reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq,” NPR, 10/9/03.
  7. “Is the Pentagon Shortchanging Soldiers in Iraq?” CNN, 10/15/03.


>===========================================================

Subscribe
to the Daily Mislead! Go to http://www.misleader.org and enter
your e-mail address in
the “Receive the Daily Mislead” box in the
top-left corner of the
page.

Handouts for Halliburton

October 24, 2003 at 12:28 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

The hypocrisy of
the Bush administration rages on. The below issues of the Daily Mis-lead
highlight it perfectly.

“The negative publicity [about Halliburton] has
also embarrassed the administration, given President Bush’s pledge in the wake
of earlier corporate scandals that ‘corporate leaders who violate the
public trust should never be given that trust
again.'”


So we have the Halliburton
subsidiary, Kellog, Brown & Root, inflating costs and settling a criminal
suit for overcharging the government, while at the same time, we have given them
no-bid contracts in Iraq, and put them in charge of guarding our own military
bases!

 

“One of the talking points in Lesar’s
memo, sent last Friday, was that ‘Halliburton makes our troops more comfortable
in a difficult environment by bringing shelter, supplies, clean uniforms and
mail from home.’ According to published reports, however, as few as 20
percent of American soldiers in Iraq have access to purified water and entire
units are suffering from dysentery. One senior military commander wrote
that soldiers were ‘using hoses from an Iraqi latrine stall to get water enough
to maintain their hygienic needs.'”

 

This is why we must bring troops home
from Iraq ASAP. We are simply overextended. The “squalor” of the Georgia base,
the unliveable conditions of Iraq occupation (inadequate shelter, water, food),
the slashing of benefits to vets, the slashing of health care to active duty
soldiers (and expecting them to pay for their own food each day that they’re in
sick bay) and so on are all symptomatic of an overextended system. Not to
mention being unable to provide security at our our own military bases.


And I believe that our failure to
acknowledge that we’re overextended isn’t just a short-term budgetary problem.
It’s also an indicator that we’re passing a critical point in our ambitions of
global Pax Americana. It’s where our foreign entanglements so weigh us down, and
so drain our economy, that it leaves our protectorates in a position of not
having to spend for their own defense, and so they can improve the fundamental
health of their own economies, while we eventually lose our competitive
edge. It’s exactly what happened when the British Empire and Roman Empire
overextended themselves.

 

Yesterday, Rumsfeld himself
acknowledged the problem in his now-famous leaked memo that we are in for a
long, hard slog in the war on terrorism. With the criminal enterprise of
Halliburton right by our side.

 

Is there no end to this? When will America start acting for its own best
interest, rather than doing whatever it takes to push through the neo-con
agenda? When will we force Bush to live up to his promises to put an end to
government largess for corporate criminals?

 

–C

—–Original Message—–
From: The Daily Mislead [mailto:latest@daily.misleader.org]
Sent:
Friday, October 24, 2003 5:44 AM
Subject: Email Reveals Halliburton’s Answer
To Accusations


===============================
THE DAILY
MIS-LEAD
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6980
===============================
INTERNAL EMAIL REVEALS HALLIBURTON’S
STRATEGY TO COMBAT ACCUSATIONS OF
OVERCHARGING THE GOVERNMENT

Negative
publicity from the Bush administration’s award of a $7 billion
no-bid
contract to a Halliburton subsidiary with a history of overcharging
the
government has led Halliburton CEO David Lesar to direct his employees
to
counter with a letter-writing campaign, according to an internal
company
e-mail provided to The Daily MisLead.

Read the full Mis-Lead
–>
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6981

===========================================================

===============================
THE DAILY
MIS-LEAD
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6795
===============================
WITH U.S. TROOPS STILL IN THE MIDEAST,
PRIVATE FIRMS MUST GUARD MILITARY
BASES AT HOME

One of George Bush
Jr.’s campaign promises was to “rebuild the military
power of the United
States,” which Dick Cheney, his vice-presidential
candidate, claimed had
lapsed because of “multiplying missions and unclear
goals.”  
However, Bush’s multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have
overtaxed
the military even more and now have led to hiring more civilian
contractors
for such basic duties as guarding U.S. military bases.

Read the full
Mis-Lead –>
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6796


===============================


THE DAILY MIS-LEAD


http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6667


===============================


PRESIDENT’S SPENDING FOR EX-SOLDIERS FALLS SHORT OF PROMISE TO GIVE THEM


“PRIORITY” TREATMENT


Two years ago, President Bush said, “Veterans are a priority for this


administration…and that priority is reflected in my budget.” But, a


year ago, when he had a chance to approve $275 million for medical care
of


veterans, he said, “We’ll spend none of it.”


Read the full Mis-Lead –>


http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1307348&l=6668



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Greg Palast: ARNOLD conspired with Ken Lay in 2001 to rape California

October 24, 2003 at 9:13 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


My apologies to those of you who aren’t interested in California politics.
But for those of you who are, here’s one more reason to keep Ahnold out of
Sacramento. Aside from being simply not fit to run the world’s fifth largest
economy, he’s also setting up to be another perfect foil (just like Dubya
and Reagan) for the criminal machinations of big business behind the scenes.


Vote NO on the recall, and yes for Bustamonte.


–CGreg Palast: ARNOLD conspired with Ken Lay in 2001 to rape California

ARNOLD UNPLUGGED
It’s hasta la vista to $9 billion if the Governator is selected

by Greg Palast
Friday October 3, 2003

It’s not what Arnold Schwarzenegger did to the girls a decade back that
should raise an eyebrow. According to a series of memoranda our office
obtained today, it’s his dalliance with the boys in a hotel room just
two years ago that’s the real scandal.

The wannabe governor has yet to deny that on May 17, 2001, at the
Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles, he had consensual political intercourse
with Enron chieftain Kenneth Lay. Also frolicking with Arnold and Ken
was convicted stock swindler Mike Milken.

Now, thirty-four pages of internal Enron memoranda have just come
through this reporter’s fax machine tell all about the tryst between
Maria’s husband and the corporate con men. It turns out that
Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter as part of a
campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other
power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in
illicit profits they carried off.

Here’s the story Arnold doesn’t want you to hear. The biggest single
threat to Ken Lay and the electricity lords is a private lawsuit filed
last year under California’s unique Civil Code provision 17200, the
“Unfair Business Practices Act.” This litigation, heading to trial now
in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion
they filched from California electricity and gas customers.

It takes real cojones to bring such a suit. Who’s the plaintiff taking
on the bad guys? Cruz Bustamante, Lieutenant Governor and reluctant
leading candidate against Schwarzenegger.

Now follow the action. One month after Cruz brings suit, Enron’s Lay
calls an emergency secret meeting in L.A. of his political
buck-buddies, including Arnold. Their plan, to undercut Davis
(according to Enron memos) and “solve” the energy crisis — that is,
make the Bustamante legal threat go away.

How can that be done? Follow the trail with me.

While Bustamante’s kicking Enron butt in court, the Davis
Administration is simultaneously demanding that George Bush’s energy
regulators order the $9 billion refund. Don’t hold your breath:
Bush’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is headed by a guy proposed
by Ken Lay.

But Bush’s boys on the commission have a problem. The evidence against
the electricity barons is rock solid: fraudulent reporting of sales
transactions, megawatt “laundering,” fake power delivery scheduling and
straight out conspiracy (including meetings in hotel rooms).

So the Bush commissioners cook up a terrific scheme: charge the
companies with conspiracy but offer them, behind closed doors, deals in
which they have to pay only two cents on each dollar they filched.

Problem: the slap-on-the-wrist refunds won’t sail if the Governor of
California won’t play along. Solution: Re-call the Governor.

New Problem: the guy most likely to replace Davis is not Mr.
Musclehead, but Cruz Bustamante, even a bigger threat to the power
companies than Davis. Solution: smear Cruz because — heaven forbid!
he took donations from Injuns (instead of Ken Lay).

The pay-off? Once Arnold is Governor, he blesses the sweetheart
settlements with the power companies. When that happens, Bustamante’s
court cases are probably lost. There aren’t many judges who will let a
case go to trial to protect a state if that a governor has already
allowed the matter to be “settled” by a regulatory agency.

So think about this. The state of California is in the hole by $8
billion for the coming year. That’s chump change next to the $8
TRILLION in deficits and surplus losses planned and incurred by George
Bush. Nevertheless, the $8 billion deficit is the hanging rope
California’s right wing is using to lynch Governor Davis.

Yet only Davis and Bustamante are taking direct against to get back the
$9 billion that was vacuumed out of the state by Enron, Reliant,
Dynegy, Williams Company and the other Texas bandits who squeezed the
state by the bulbs.

But if Arnold is selected, it’s ‘hasta la vista’ to the $9 billion.
When the electricity emperors whistle, Arnold comes — to the Peninsula
Hotel or the Governor’s mansion. The he-man turns pussycat and curls
up in their lap.

I asked Mr. Muscle’s PR people to comment on the new Enron memos — and
his strange silence on Bustamante’s suit or Davis’ petition. But
Arnold was too busy shaving off his Hitlerian mustache to respond.

See follow up to this article at Greg Palast.

To receive more of Greg’s investigative reports, go to:
Greg Palast

Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy” as well as “Regulation and Democracy” (with
Theo MacGregor and Jerrold Oppenheim), the United Nations guide to
utility deregulation. Read Palast’s commentaries at
www.GregPalast.com. Reprints permitted. Contact:
media@gregpalast.com. The Enron memos were discovered by the
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Los Angeles,
www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

The real reasons behind the \"war on terrorism\"

October 24, 2003 at 12:29 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Of all the things I’ve read and forwarded to this list in
the last two years, this I think does the best job yet of pulling together all
the threads we’ve discovered into a unified cloth. Michael Meacher, the
British environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, discusses the neo-con
agenda, 9/11, the war on terrorism, the war on Iraq, the peak oil problem, and
just about everything else of substance, all in a mere five pages. Do read
and forward it!

 

Once again, kudos to the Guardian for doing the best and
most difficult journalism about the U.S.. If only our domestic media were so
bold.

 

This war on terrorism is
bogus

The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal
pretext to use force to secure its global domination
Michael
Meacher
Saturday September 6, 2003
The
Guardian



-C

Ken Lay dictates terms to the SEC

October 23, 2003 at 1:52 pm
Contributed by:



Folks,

 

In an
incredible display of chutzpah, Ken Lay is now going to tell the SEC how and
when they can have the documents they have requested in their investigation:

 

“Former Enron Corp. Chairman
Ken Lay on Tuesday asked a judge to force federal regulators to either live
without 870 pages of documents he has or accept them on Lay’s terms.”

 

These
guys really DO think they’re above the law, don’t they? (Anybody else reminded
of 18 1/2 minutes of missing tape?)

 

Lay tries to
dictate terms on documents
SEC says papers can’t be withheld
By
MARY FLOOD
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2171868   
 

–C 

Justice is for…Democrats

October 23, 2003 at 12:48 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

I’ve
been thinking these same thoughts a lot lately. I wish I had written this piece,
by a Buzzflash reader. American justice is clearly only for those without the
money and Republican connections to shield them from it. So much for Dubya’s
pledge to restore honor and justice to America.

 


 


October 22, 2003


Equal Justice For All?


A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY


A young man tries to prove there are faults in our transportation system,
despite the millions of tax dollars spent, identifying himself and advising the
authorities of his acts. Results: He has been arrested and charged.

A
Republican commentator (in other words, an administration mouthpiece) publishes
the name of a CIA agent leaked by an administration high official endangering
our national security. Results: Novak hides in his “journalistic right to
reserve his sources” and the leaker….I guess will get a bonus.

A
Republican with his own money buys a recall of the governor in California; is
told by his party to let another Republican win (spending lots of his own money,
maybe even illegally) admits that he has been a sex offender. Results: He is
elected as governor of California and even one Senator is considering changing
the Constitution to allow a foreigner to become President and his sex offenses
were simply “old news”.

A Republican admits buying illegal prescription
drugs and that he is a junkie. Results: He goes to rehab and has not been
charged with a crime. He is being praised for his courage because he told (after
knowing there was an investigation of his supplier) and we all should “admire”
his COURAGE and pray for his recovery.

A Republican preacher tells his TV
audience that the Department of Defense should be “nuked”. Results: Ashcroft’s
silence; apparently, this is not an offense bigger than trying to show the
faults of our country’s faulty transportation security.

A Republican
administration takes us to war based on altered intelligence reports and using
to their own political agenda the victims of 9/11. Results: The loss of lives
and maiming of so many of our young military men and women and innocent Iraqi
civilians and an outrageous cost to taxpayers hard earned
money.

Republicans fleecing America with no bid contracts for the
reconstruction of a country we did not have to illegally invade. Result: More
contracts without accountability, no bidding and secrecy.

Republican
corporations avoiding taxes with off-shore offices. Results: Benefits from
governmental millionaire contracts.

Republican CEOs bankrupting
corporations to their benefit and of their cronies. Results:
Very few have
been prosecuted and are enjoying the billions stolen from stock and pension
holders without any fear or remorse.

A Republican lawmaker kills a
motorcyclist because of his reckless driving. Results: He is back in Capitol
Hill supporting his pResident.

AMAZING?

A loyal American and
BuzzFlash reader


A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY






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\"Lie after lie after lie\" – Molly Ivins

October 23, 2003 at 12:28 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Molly Ivins sums up the lies that got
us into Iraq, and wonders how long it will be before the administration tries to
“run the same play” to go after Iran, despite the effectiveness of the U.N.’s
efforts there on weapons inspections.



Lie after lie after
lie

Molly Ivins – Creators Syndicate
10.23.03 –
SEATTLE


–C

Michael Moore on the Bush – Saudi alliances

October 23, 2003 at 12:23 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


In this excerpt from
Michael Moore’s new book, Dude, Where’s My Country?, he takes on the
subject of “the unholy alliance between the Bushes and the Saudis.” As you know
from my previous posts, I regard this alliance as the proverbial great,
pink elephant standing in the room that nobody’s acknowledging. I’m very glad to
see Moore taking up this issue. I just hope that the major media will finally
get around to it as well.


The image of Prince Bandar bin
Sultan, or “Bandar Bush” as George H.W. Bush likes to call him, standing on the
Truman Balcony of the White House, smoking cigars with Dubya, a mere 48 hours
after the 9-11 attacks, while bin Laden’s relatives were quickly shuttled out of
the country with Bush’s approval, should be burned into the mind of every
American.

George of
Arabia

The unholy alliance between the Bushes and the
Saudis

By
Michael Moore 
http://www.rollingstone.com/features/featuregen.asp?pid=1992


Good reading.


–C

William Rivers Pitt – Anyone But Bush

October 22, 2003 at 1:00 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Continuing this week’s theme about
“Bush-haters,” William Rivers Pitt explains that it’s not just about hatred of a
man, or even his party; it’s about hating the lies that destroy our democracy.

 

”  The above is
representative: George W. Bush has lied about September 11, the Iraq war, the
economy, his record as governor of Texas, his relationship with corporate
criminals, and his own military record.  In short, he has lied day after
day after day about all of the issues he and his administration claim to hold
dear.

”  I do not hate George W. Bush merely for the sake of hatred, or
because he is a Republican.  I hate him because he is a cancer that is
rotting out the guts of this country.  I hate him because he would not know
the truth if it crawled up his leg and grabbed him by the nose.  Truth does
not advance the profit motive.”



Anyone But
Bush
By William Rivers Pitt

Wednesday 22 October
2003

 

–C

13 of 16 Bush Cabinet Members Have Ties to \’Class Action\’ Targeted Companies

October 22, 2003 at 1:00 pm
Contributed by:

and  continuing to vote with my dollars..

Folks,

 

This
is a familiar theme by now: the Bush administration, in its pro-business zeal,
isn’t only making it easier for business to take advantage of the American
people, it’s actively working to prevent the people from suing businesses who
break the law and plunder their investments. Deliberations on this bill are
starting now; contact your Congressmen!

 



WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ — A new report, “Class Action Cabinet,”
released today by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) shows
that 13 of 16 Bush Cabinet members have been employed by, served on the board
of, or have significant financial interest in corporations that have been
targeted by consumer class-action lawsuits. Deliberations on the bill could
start as early as tomorrow.


Condoleeza Rice and Andrew Card, top advisors to President Bush, though not
part of the Cabinet, were also found to have ties to companies targeted by class
action lawsuits as was President Bush himself.


The report by the consumer advocacy group comes as the US Senate is set to
debate Bush-backed legislation, S 274, to limit consumers’ rights to file class
action lawsuits. 


–C 

Why Condi and Not Rummy?

October 21, 2003 at 1:57 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

If
you’re anything like me, you thought it curious that Condi Rice was put in
charge of Iraq recently, taking over Donald Rumsfeld’s duties there. The Bush
administration never really explained why they did it, as strange as it was.

 

Well,
this might just explain why. In short, because this way, no one will ever be
able to find out where all those billions in “reconstruction” money went.

 

Why Condi and Not
Rummy?


October 20,
2003

A BUZZFLASH READER
CONTRIBUTION
by One Citizen

 

Cartoonists weigh in

October 21, 2003 at 1:29 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Isn’t
it about time we heard from those veteran political cartoonists, Tom Tomorrow
and Garry Trudeau?

 


 

Molly Ivins on \"Bush-haters\"

October 20, 2003 at 3:48 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Molly
Ivins takes issue with the term “Bush-hater,” as only she can.

 

Hatred of Bush? Not
here

Oct.
19, 2003

Molly
Ivins


 

 

\"Piss on my Leg\" – Stan Goff, Counterpunch

October 20, 2003 at 3:46 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Believe it or not, I often resist the
temptation to forward to my list some of the more vitriolic or leftist
commentary that I read. (I can see you Republicans shaking your heads already,
but it’s true!) But this piece was too pithy to pass up.

 

The key bit of new informaiton I got
from this was about the Rendon Group, which exists  to “manage perceptions”
of Americans about the war on Iraq. That is, if you’re looking for the agents
who have manufactured consent for this war, then look no further.

  Rendon Group was founded by the fomrer Democratic Party operator,
John Rendon (Anyone is still clinging to lesser-evilism, take note.). Rendon
Group worked alongside Hill & Knowlton during Gulf War I, inside Kuwait,
where they learned quickly how to mine America’s consumerist witlessness. Rendon
even boasted about it to the National Security Council, saying, “”If any of you
either participated in the liberation of Kuwait City … or if you watched it on
television, you would have seen hundreds of Kuwaitis waving small American
flags. Did you ever stop to wonder how the people of Kuwait City, after being
held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held
American flags? And for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries?
Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs.”

Piss On My Leg
By
Stan Goff
Counterpunch

Friday 17 October 2003

–C

More about voting machine scandals

October 20, 2003 at 3:45 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

The problems with electronic voting
machines are finally starting to come to light in the major press, and not a
moment too soon. If we have any hope of preserving our democracy, we must
fix this problem before the next presidential election. Please
contact your Congressmen and tell them that, at the very least, you demand a
printed paper verification of your vote, and that you would prefer all-paper
ballot voting. All-electronic voting is not ready for prime time, not
by a long shot. Take it from experts in the computer industry, who are
overwhelmingly against it.

 

Here are some more very important
articles on the subject:

 

All the President’s
votes?

A quiet revolution is taking place in
US politics. By the time it’s over, the integrity of elections will be in the
unchallenged, unscrutinised control of a few large – and pro-Republican –
corporations. Andrew Gumbel wonders if democracy in America can
survive.

14 October 2003


[Yes, that’s right, as usual, the
most important stories about US politics are from the UK press.]

The venerable Electronic Frontier
Foundation is going to bat for us on it:


Security Researchers Discover
Huge Flaws in E-Voting System

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Supports E-Voting Law

Thursday, July 24, 2003


Meanwhile, Diebold is trying to
muzzle Indymedia for their coverage of the story:


ISP Rejects Diebold Copyright
Claims Against News Website

EFF Defends Right to Publish Links to
Electronic Voting Memos

Thursday, October 16,
2003


 

Please educate yourself about this
issue, and contact your Congressmen!

 

–C

Sick, wounded U.S. troops held in squalor

October 18, 2003 at 10:22 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

Is this what the Bush
administration means by “supporting our troops” as we round up $87 billion to
spend on Iraq’s infrastructure? Is this what their vaunted patriotism looks like
on the ground?

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20031017-024617-1418r

“FORT STEWART, Ga., Oct. 17 (UPI) —
Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S.
soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement
barracks here while they wait — sometimes for months — to see doctors.
[…]


Soldiers make their way by walking or
using crutches through the sandy dirt to a communal bathroom, where they have
propped office partitions between otherwise open toilets for privacy. A row of
leaky sinks sits on an opposite wall. The latrine smells of urine and is full of
bugs, because many windows have no screens. Showering is in a communal, cinder
block room. Soldiers say they have to buy their own toilet paper.”


And this doesn’t even begin to cover
all the reports of “strange ailments” that many veterans are experiencing, which
many believe are due to the use of depleted uranium in US shells, chemical
weapons that the US (not Iraq) used in the war,
and the effects of the anthrax vaccines they were all required to take
.


–C

US Soldiers to America: Bring Us Home Now

October 17, 2003 at 11:47 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

The contrast between what
the Bush administration is telling us about the conditions in Iraq, and the
state of the troops’ morale, and what the troops themselves are saying, could
hardly be more stark. Chalk up another great lie for the Bush
administration.

Here is an interview with a high-ranking enlisted man,
with over 20 years’ of service. The Army put a gag order on him, but he spoke
out anyway out of conscience. It’s shocking. I hope everyone will read
it.
US Soldiers to America: Bring Us Home Now
By Jay
Shaft
http://truthout.org/docs_03/101703E.shtml  

For more on how the troops really feel
about being in Iraq, check out today’s Daily Mislead:


http://www.misleader.com/daily_mislead/Read.asp?fn=df10172003.html

October 17, 2003 | Daily
Mislead Archive


Bush Administration PR Campaign Undermined by Reports of Low Morale Among
Troops



The Bush
administration’s recently launched public relations campaign to promote success
in Iraq is being undermined by recent reports of low morale among U. S. troops
in Iraq.

Letters praising the Bush Administration’s post-war operations
are appearing in local and regional newspapers, but at least eleven letters,
ostensibly written by troops from 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Infantry Regiment,
were essentially identical.1 President Bush himself is actively
trying to counter news of unhappiness among the troops left behind in Iraq,
saying conditions are “a lot better than you probably think. Just ask people
who’ve been there.”2

When military journalists for Stars and
Stripes interviewed soldiers on the ground, however, they reported that American
dignitaries touring Iraq are given a false picture because of the tight controls
placed on the visits. “The phrase ‘Dog and Pony Show’ is usually used,” the
military newspaper reported. “Some troops even go so far as to say they’ve been
ordered not to talk to VIPs because [military] leaders are afraid of what they
might say.”3

Half the soldiers who spoke to Stars and Stripes
described their unit’s morale as low.4

The results of the
Stars and Stripes survey are consistent with other anecdotal evidence. Several
families of Iraq-based troops say the letters sent home by their sons and
daughters plead for shipments of basic necessities, especially bottled
water.5 As few as 20 percent of the soldiers have access to purified
water, according to these reports, and entire units are coming down with
dysentery.6

One soldier’s mother says she has yet to receive
a response after five months of trying to get the Defense Department to deliver
500 air-conditioning units donated for the relief of soldiers in Iraq, despite
high-level intervention by U. S. Senator Joe Biden.7

Sources:



  1. Bush Courts Regional Media: President Aims to Bypass Large News
    Outlets’ ‘Filter’ on Iraq
    ,” Washington Post, 10/14/03.
  2. Presidential Speech, 10/9/03.
  3. Stars and Stripes Interview, 9/9/03.
  4. Many Troops Dissatisfied, Iraq Poll Finds,” Washington Post,
    10/16/03.
  5. Operation: We Love Our Soldiers, 7/21/03.
  6. “US House set to approve President Bush’s $87 billion package for
    reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq,” NPR, 10/9/03.
  7. “Is the Pentagon Shortchanging Soldiers in Iraq?” CNN, 10/15/03.


===========================================================

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