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ISSUE: #. 53. Sept. 30, 2002

THIS WEEK: HALLIBURTON, CARLYLE SMELL PORKFESTIN IRAQ

ACTIVISTS TARGETED:

*PEACENIKS LAND ON FAA "TERRORIST" LIST!!
*NYPD EXPANDS POLITICAL SURVEILLANCE!!

ISRAEL TO STEP UP BLACK OPS?

IS RAMSEY CLARK THE A.N.S.W.E.R.?

CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY COLOR ADVISORY CODE: YELLOW


By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom, Subuhi Jiwani, and Sarah Ferguson, special correspondents




THE PALESTINE FRONT
1. Gaza Assassination Fails, Stone Throwers Shot
2. IDF Closes Security Liaison Office in Gaza
3. West Bank Occupation, Violence Continue
4. Death And Destruction in Kfar Labad
5. New Mossad Chief Goes to Washington
6. Israeli Professors Warn of "Transfer" During Iraq Attack
7. PA Intelligence Chief: Israel Planning "Transfer"
8. IDF Kills Another Palestinian Journalist

THE IRAQ FRONT
1. Don't Do it, Jar Jar!
2. British Dossier Fuels Paranoia
3. White House Figures to Profit from Spoils of War?
4. John Lennon Meets George Orwell
5. U.S. to Arm Iraq Opposition
6. Kurds Agree on Draft Constitution
7. Turks Bellicose--But Against Kurds, not Saddam
8. Dutch Arrest Norwegian Leader of Kurdish Jihad
9. Newsweek: Ashcroft Backed Iraq-Supported Terrorist Group
10. 400,000 March Against War in London
11. Vile Hypocrisy of A.N.S.W.E.R.
12. Air Strikes Stepped up
13. Turks Bust Uranium Shipment to Iraq?

THE SUBCONTINENT
1. Massacre In Gujarat, 30 Hindu Worshippers Dead
2. Islamic Militants Kill Seven Christians In Pakistan

SOUTHEAST ASIA
1. Fear in Jakarta

WATCHING THE SHADOWS
1. Congressional Reports Shed Light on 9-11 Snafus
2. Terror Alert Back to "Yellow"
3. Saudis Added to Fingerprinting Requirement
4. Mary Robinson: Terror War Masks Rights Abuses
5. Condi: U.S. "Very Special Country"
6. Moussaoui Gets Secret FBI Documents

THE WAR AT HOME
1. Peace Activists Targeted by "No-Fly" Blacklist
2. NYPD Political Snoops to Be Uncuffed?
3. Urban Warfare Exercises in Dayton
4. Deportee Held in Pakistan
5. Stateless Palestinian Re-Deported



THE PALESTINE FRONT

1. GAZA ASSASSINATION FAILS, STONE THROWERS SHOT
On Sept. 24, the Israeli army killed nine Palestinians in a large-scale raid on the Gaza Strip. More than 20 were hurt. Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles backed by helicopter gunships took part in the assault, killing three militants and six civilians. Fierce clashes were reported. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it blew up 13 metal workshops used to manufacture weapons. The workshops' owners denied they were used to make weapons. The home of a Hamas militant was razed. (Reuters, Sept. 25)

A Tel Aviv University political scientist said the raid presaged a more full-scale invasion of Gaza. "I would say this is inevitable even though it will be a disaster for both sides," said Reuven Pedhatzur. "This action was partly to prepare public opinion for a major attack and partly to say, 'We are doing something against terrorism.' " (CSMonitor, Sept. 26)

Three Palestinians were killed and 18 injured in an Israeli tank and helicopter assault on Chejaya, in northern Gaza Sept. 24. Explosions were heard as Israeli troops destroyed houses, witnesses said. (AFP, Sept. 24) Foundries and metal workshops were destroyed. (Xinhua, Sept. 24)

On Sept. 25, tanks, troops carriers and bulldozers raided an area near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, south of Gaza City. Three houses were destroyed and farmland razed. Also on Sept. 25, Fourteen Palestinian teenage stone-throwers were injured by Israeli fire, one critically. Four were injured near the central Gaza Strip settlement of Kfar Darom, ten near Beit Lahia. (AFP, Sept. 25) The IDF's website says the last few days have seen in increase in "Palestinian children organizing violent outbreaks against Israeli soldiers." It said about 100 kids took part. It shows a Palestinian youth using a "special slingshot." A second photo shows about 15 Palestinian teens either sitting or standing, idly watching something. Yet the caption reads: "Violent disturbances in Gaza."

Five teenagers were wounded when IDF troops opened fire on a group of stone-throwing youths near the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP, Sept. 24, 25)

Three Kassam rockets, products of Hamas' military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, hit a business in the industrial zone of the Israel town of Siderot in the Negev. Four employees were affected by fumes from the resulting fire. Another Israeli was slightly injured by mortar fire in the same area. (AFP, Sept. 26)

On Sept. 26, an apache helicopter fired at least one rocket on a target in northern Gaza City (AFP, Sept. 26) The attack was an attempted assassination on Hamas' military chief, Mohammed Deif. Deif escaped with injuries. Two Palestinian militants were killed and over 40 bystanders injured in the attack, including 15 youths. Six were listed in critical condition. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher condemned the assassination attempt. "We are against targeted killings. We are against the use of heavy weaponry in urban areas, even when it comes to people like Mohammad Def, who have been responsible for the deaths of American citizens." (Ha'aretz, Sept. 28) In two years of fighting, 78 Palestinian militants have been assassinated in Israel's policy of "targeted killings." Fifty-two innocent civilian bystanders have also been killed in those strikes. (AP, Sept. 26)

Also Sept. 26, a Palestinian gunman was killed while trying to infiltrate the Jewish settlement of Alei Sinai in the northern Gaza Strip, the army reported. (AFP, Sept. 26) The army entered Deir el-Balah, Beit Hanoun, and Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians were injured by shrapnel from tank shells in Deir el-Balah. (AFP, Sept. 27) At least 30 tanks and two armored bulldozers entered Beit Hanoun. The bulldozers were used to raze agricultural land near Beit Hanoun, adjacent to the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. (Reuters, Sept. 26)

On Sept. 27, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that four children were wounded by Israeli troops occupying eastern Gaza City. The agency said troops at the Al-Mintar crossing "opened random fire" on the children, all below 16. Also that day, 12-year-old Muhammad Abu-al-Tuyur was shot in the back in Khan Younis, and is in serious condition. Eyewitnesses reported Israeli forces stationed near the Jewish settlement of Neve Deqalim threw tear gas and opened fire at a funeral procession in Khan Younis. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Sept. 27)

An Israeli armored column raided Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip Sept. 27. The column met with stiff resistance from Palestinian gunmen. (Reuters, Sept. 27) Shots were fired Sept. 27 at IDF outposts near the Jewish settlements of Ganei Tal and Neveh Dekalim, the army said. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27)

Also on Sept. 27, Israeli troops fired heavy machine guns and tank shells on houses in Al-Satr al-Gharbi and Al-Dilta areas, south of Khan Yunis, according to WAFA. The Israelis were positioned near the Jewish settlement of Ganey Tal, and that the houses were seriously damaged. A 20-year old woman was injured when a shell hit her home. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Sept. 27)

A 25-year old unarmed Fatah supporter was killed by IDF machine gun fire as he stepped out of his home in Rafah on Sept. 28. Mohammed Abu Ahoueh, 19, was killed while throwing rocks in clashes with IDF troops near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim. The army said "the soldiers were forced to fire to protect themselves." as demonstrators neared their post. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 28)

On Sept. 29, an anti-tank grenade was fired at an IDF position near the Gush Katif settlement bloc's Neve Dekalim industrial park in the Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 29) (David Bloom) [top]

2. IDF CLOSES SECURITY LIAISON OFFICE IN GAZA
The IDF has closed down the Israeli-Palestinian Joint District Coordination Office (DCO) in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Brigadier General Abdel Razaq Al Majayda, chief of Palestinian public security. The Israelis closed down the office, dismissed all the Palestinian employees, and confiscated their arms and equipment.

His statement says the closure shows Israel is planning to carry out a large scale military operation in the Gaza Strip. It said the closure meant the last channel for contacts between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. (DPA, Sept. 29) See also: Israel Dismantles Security Liason Office In Beit Jala, WW3 REPORT# 41(David Bloom) [top]

3. WEST BANK OCCUPATION, VIOLENCE CONTINUE
An Israeli was killed and his three sons injured in Hebron on Sept. 23. The Israelis were walking from the main Jewish settlement enclave in the city to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, when a gunman opened fire from the direction of the Hebron's Casbah. (AP, Sept. 23) On Sept. 24, WAFA reported Israeli soldiers and settlers in action in Hebron. Soldiers "launched a large-scale arrest campaign in the city this evening", and "stormed citizens' houses in Al-Shaykh and Al-Ja'bari neighbourhoods". WAFA also reported, "The settlers assailed citizens and houses in the old town, in the environs of the Ibrahimi Mosque, and in Al-Laban market."

Xinhua reports at least 17 Palestinians were shot by IDF troops Sept. 24 in the village of Dura near Hebron. The crowd was demonstrating in support of Yasser Arafat. Earlier, the army had imposed a curfew on the town, and arrested young people during house-to-house searches, taking them to nearby detention centers. Xinhua says Israeli troops used rubber bullets and tear gas on students during raids on schools. Several houses and classrooms were reportedly were severely damaged. (Xinhua, Sept. 24)

Two Israelis were wounded by Palestinian gunfire while driving near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ateret, north of Ramallah Sept. 25. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25)

A 19-year old ultra-Orthodox Jewish man attacked a young Palestinian woman, injecting her with insulin in Jerusalem Sept. 26. She fainted as a result and was taken away for medical treatment. Police chased the man down, and found a knife and toy pistol on him. He refused to cooperate, saying only that he knew the woman was Palestinian. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)

Also Sept. 26, fourteen-month-old Palestinian Gharam al-Tel died from tear gas inhalation in Hebron. Israeli forces trying to impose a curfew used it, along with rubber bullets, on Palestinians who were resisting the order. (AFP, Sept. 26;Ha'aretz, Sept. 27) "The baby arrived at the hospital with serious respiratory difficulties and all efforts to revive her failed," said Alia hospital director Dr. Ismail Badir. "Tear gas is a full-fledged weapon, especially when used against infants and old persons," said Badir. The army said it could not confirm tear gas had caused the infant's death. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)

A Palestinian security source says Mahmud Idris, 52, was killed during an Israeli incursion into Jenin Sept. 26. Two other Palestinians were wounded. (AFP, Sept. 26)

On Sept. 27, two Palestinians were wounded in gunfights with the Israeli army in Jenin, according to Palestinian medical sources. Palestinian gunmen opened fire as six tanks went through the town. The IDF struck the two with heavy machine-guns. (AFP, Sept. 27) Also that day, gunfire and Molotov cocktails were directed at Israeli troops occupying Tul Karm. Explosives and Molotov cocktails were also thrown at the IDF in Jenin and Nablus. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27) Hamas militant Mahmoud Jamal Yagmur, 21, was reported to have been killed by Israeli troops as he tried to escape arrest at his home. (AFX, Sept. 27)

The IDF shot and killed Mahmoud Hasim, 50, during an operation in the Marah neighborhood of Jenin Sept. 27. Palestinians said a number of militants had been rounded up in the operation, but Hasim had nothing to do with any organization. He was shot through his apartment window. An IDF spokesman said, "armed Palestinians opened fire at a group of soldiers in the city, and an innocent man was killed in the fire exchange." (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)

A Jewish settler and her three children were wounded in an attack by Palestinian gunmen on an Israeli vehicle near the Jewish settlement of Beit Hagai in the southern Hebron hills . (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27)

Also on Sept. 27, Palestinian doctors told AP a 15-year old Palestinian youth was in critical condition after being shot in the head. He was shot while throwing rocks and bottles at Israeli troops. The army was not aware of any injuries, and said soldiers fired in the after firecrackers were thrown at them. (AP, Sept. 27)

Mohammed Jamal Yamour, 21, a leading Hamas activist, "was killed after troops surrounded his house in the Farash neighborhood on Hebron and opened fire," according to Ha'aretz. Israel Radio said Yamour was shot while trying to escape from his home, armed with a machine gun. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 28)

The Israeli army says it found a Kassam rocket ready to launch between the West Bank Jewish settlement of kedumim and the village of Jatt. This is the first time a Kassam has been found in the West Bank. Also on Sept. 29, An Israeli was injured in a shooting attack near the Jewish settlement of Avnei Hefetz near Tul Karm . (Ha'aretz, Sept. 29)

One IDF soldier was killed and two wounded in clashes with Palestinian gunmen in Nablus on Sept. 30. The IDF directed tank fire at the house where they thought the shots came from. The house caught fire, and residents asked the army if they could leave the area. The IDF allowed them to leave only after several hours, by which point ten of them needed to be treated for smoke inhalation at an area hospital.

Two Palestinian boys were killed Sept. 30. Thirteen-year-old Rami al Barbara was shot dead in the Balata refugee camp adjacent to Nablus. Ten-year-old Mahmoud al Za'alul was killed in clashes between the IDF and Palestinian gunmen in Downtown Nablus. The army said troops were returning fire. About 25 area residents were wounded in the resulting firefight. (Ha'aretz, Oct. 1) (David Bloom) [top]

4. DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN KFAR LABAD
An Israeli commando and a Palestinian militant were killed Sept. 27 in what Amos Harel of Ha'aretz called an IDF "search-and-capture" mission near Tul Karm. Captain Harel Marmelstein of Israel's elite naval commandos led a team searching for Nashat Abu Jabara, a Hamas militant wanted by Israel for sending suicide bombers out on their missions. Jaber was seen, unarmed in a wadi lined with olive trees in the village of Kfar Labad, east of Tul Karm. A chase ensued, and he retreated to a cave, under fire. Abu Jabara pulled out a machine gun he had hidden in the cave, and when Marmelstein passed by the entrance, Abu Jabara shot him above his protective vest, critically wounding him. Two other soldiers were wounded by Abu Jabara 's fire. The IDF returned fire and shot TOW anti-tank missiles at the cave, killing Abu Jabara, according to the IDF. The army then destroyed Abu Jabara's home. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)

An International Solidarity Movement (ISM) contingent based in Tul Karm arrived in Kfar Labad to find villagers anxiously waiting to enter the scene of the fighting, to evactuate possible casualties. Several houses were occupied by the Israeli army, who detained their occupants, including small children. An army captain told some of the people that "he killed Abu Jabara with his own hands and that he will come back and they will see what he will do." After unsuccessfully lobbying the soldiers to let them enter the area of the fighting, the ISM volunteers joined a group of villagers that decided to risk sneaking into the scene. After walking ten minutes through the olive groves, they found Abu Jabara's body. The ISM writes, "Abu Jabara was apparently killed by a close range shot into the back of his head, as indicated by the size of the hole and a bullet case lying next to the body. His arms and legs were smashed and bowed from the body." Other traces of blood and first aid gloves nearby seemed to indicate an effort to rescue Marmelstein, who died after being evacuated.

Abu Jabara's body was taken to the village, and a procession of several hundred people joined the mourners on the way to the family home. The procession was disrupted when the IDF, driving by in jeeps, threw sound bombs at the mourners. Later in the afternoon, the army returned to the village, and took over Abu Jabara's house. His family was given 10 minutes to gather their things and leave. A huge explosion destroyed the house, damaging several others. The Israeli troops clapped and screamed, and blared their sirens. (ISM, Sept. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

5. NEW MOSSAD CHIEF GOES TO WASHINGTON
On Sept. 10, Maj-Gen. Meir Dagan was appointed to be the new chief of the Mossad, Israel's secret intelligence service. Jane's Foreign Report in a Sept. 19 article says Dagan has been in Washington discussing Iraq with US officials. Under discussion was how Israel's special operations units could operate on the ground in Iraq, and how the [US] air force can use its bombs and missiles to weaken Iraqi forces in advance of a US-led invasion. Intelligence sharing on Iraq was also discussed.

Dagan is described as a "black ops chief." His appointment is seen as a signal of a return to more aggressive covert actions against the Palestinians, and probably the Hezbollah as well. In the 1970's, while serving under Sharon, he headed a unit called Sayaret Rimon ("Hand Grenade Deep Reconaissance Unit") considered a successor to Sharon's own 101 Squad. Between July and December 1971,Sayerat Rimon acted with the Shin Bet to hunt down and capture kill approximately 750 Palestinian militants. (Jane's, Sept. 19) In January, when Dagan's appointment was first discussed, Jane's wrote: "Our prediction. If Dagan gets the top job in the Mossad, more Palestinians on Israel's target list will find their life expectancy much reduced."(Jane's, Jan. 31)

A report in the Sept. 15 UK Sunday Times says Dagan is to reactivate a special operation squad, codenamed Caeserea. Caesarea agents, some of the elite of the Mossad, were responsible for hunting down and killing the perpetrators of the murder of 11 Israeli atheletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. Its agents also snatched Nazi "Final Solution" top bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960. The Times says it is Dagan's intention to liquidate the commanders, controllers and financiers of Israel's enemies wherever they reside, not just in the occupied Palestinian territories. "There is no reason why we should not do the same abroad. They will have nowhere to hide," said one source familiar with Dagan's plans to change Mossad. "Gone are the days of black tie parties around the globe and fat expense accounts. Whatever we can't shoot will be closed down."

Dagan is reportedly determined to resurrect the reputation of the squad after its bungled assassination of Hamas big Khaled Masha'al in Jordan some five years ago. "We'll trim years of useless fat and rebuild the famous Mossad muscles," promised one source. "We have a war to win, and there's no reason why the Abdullahs and Mohammeds in Damascus, Tehran and Beirut should sleep better than their brothers in Gaza."

The Caesarea squad consists of no more than 30 agents. They are former commandos, whose faces are unknown even to other Mossad agents. Often they live as "sleepers" in foreign capitals, doing nothing in a four-year tour of duty, awaiting orders to perform an assassination, or hire a vehicle for a secret commando operation, for example. (UK Sunday Times, Sept. 15)

In Lebanon in the 1980's, serving under Sharon, Dagan commanded the Lebanon Liaison Unit (Yakal), and also the special forces Unit 504, a military intelligence unit that runs agents in Arab countries. On Jan. 24, Elie Hobieka, a former Lebanese Minister and head of the pro-Israel Christian Lebanese Forces (Phalangist) militia, was assassinated in a car bombing. Hobieka's forces carried out the 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, and an Israeli commission found Sharon indirectly responsible. Hobieka had said he was willing to testify against Sharon at a war crimes trial in Belgium, claiming he had "irrefutable proof" of his innocence in the killings, but added "I was carrying out orders." He said he had "revelations" about the killings, and that "I am saving them for the trial."

No one claimed responsibility for the killing. But Jane's reported in January, "Some sharp- eyed observers claim that Dagan disappeared from view during the past three months and reappeared in public a day after the assassination of Lebanese Maronite Christian militia leader, Elie Hobeika. Where was Dagan over the past three months? What was he doing?" (Jane's, Jan. 31; BBC, Jan. 24)

Dagan recently told friends a story from his days of fighting in Lebanon. He described the aftermath of a clan vendetta, in which the family patriarch was murdered with the blow of an axe to his head. His brain spilled out into the floor of the lounge.

"Around him lay the rest of the family, the women raped before they were murdered," recalled Dagan. "Before I could say a word one of the murderers went up to the father's body and took a bite of the brain, and chewed and swallowed it. So welcome to the Middle East, my dear friends."

Dagan's conclusion: "In this part of the world the rules of the game are different. If you are not strong and tough someone, some day, will eat your brain." (UK Sunday Times, Sept. 15) (David Bloom) [top]

6. ISRAELI PROFESSORS WARN OF "TRANSFER" DURING IRAQ ATTACK
A letter to the UK Guardian from Israeli Academics:

"Urgent warning: The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity.

"We, members of Israeli academe, are horrified by the US build-up of aggression towards Iraq and by the Israeli political leadership's enthusiastic support for it. We are deeply worried by indications that the "fog of war" could be exploited by the Israeli government to take further action against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing.

"The Israeli ruling coalition includes parties that promote 'transfer' of the Palestinian population as a solution to what they call "the demographic problem". In a recent interview in Ha'aretz, chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon suggested that more radical 'treatment' may be necessary in the occupied territories. Prime minister Sharon has backed this 'assessment of reality'. Escalating racist demagoguery concerning the Palestinian citizens of Israel may indicate the scope of the crimes that are possibly being contemplated.

"We call upon the international community to pay close attention to events that unfold within Israel and in the occupied territories, to make it absolutely clear that crimes against humanity will not be tolerated, and to take concrete measures to prevent such crimes from taking place." Prof Avraham Oz, Prof Linda Ben-Zvi (Tel Aviv), Prof Daniel Boyarin (Berkeley), Prof Rene Levy (Lausanne), Dr Ilan Pappé and 94 others University of Haifa (UK Guardian, Sept. 28) See the complete list of signatories (150 so far) (David Bloom) [top]

7. PA INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: ISRAEL PLANNING "TRANSFER"
Amin al-Hindi, head of the Intelligence Service, warns that Israel is intending to carry out a population transfer in the northern section of the West Bank in the event of a US-led attack on Iraq. The report, in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam Sept. 20, quotes al-Hindi saying: "We have obtained information that Israel intends to take harsh measures [against the Palestinians], while exploiting the fact that the world's attention is focused on the military operation in Iraq. One measure would be a transfer in the northern part of the West Bank." He added, "We have discussed this issue with Jordan." Egypt and Jordan, he noted, have reiterated their total rejection of any "transfer" of the Palestinian people. (BBC Monitoring: al-Ayyam, Sept. 20) (David Bloom) [top]

8. IDF KILLS ANOTHER PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST
Voice of Palestine journalist and presenter Issam Hamza Tillawi was shot dead by an Israeli sniper in the back of the head while reporting on a Palestinian demonstration in Ramallah, on the night of Sept. 21-22. "Israeli army troops benefit from a feeling of almost total immunity," said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) secretary-general Robert Menard, in a letter to Israeli defence minister Benyamin Ben Eliezer condemning the killing of Tillawi. Tillawi was the third journalist killed in less than seven months in the occupied Palestinian territories. "Meanwhile, Palestinian journalists risk their lives every day by doing their job with very little proper equipment, notably without the bulletproof vests the foreign media have," Menard wrote. "We remind the Israeli army that, like all the world's armies, it is bound by the Geneva Conventions to protect civilians, which include journalists." The chief editor of the Voice of Palestine, who was with Tillawi, said he was wearing a vest clearly marked with "press." Tillawi was running away from tear gas when he was killed. Witnesses say the shot that killed him came from a sniper at the top of a building. RSF says 46 journalists have been wounded since Sept. 2000 in the West Bank and Gaza, the vast majority from IDF fire, but claims Israeli never seriously investigates the incidents or punishes those responsible. (RSF, Sept. 25)( See WW3 REPORT #42) (David Bloom) [top]

THE IRAQ FRONT

1. DON'T DO IT, JAR JAR!
Backing down from a draft Congressional resolution on Iraq that would give the White House authorization to use military force to "restore international peace and security in the region," the Bush administration dropped that wording, and also agreed to a condition requiring the president to report back to Congress within 90 days of initiating military action. (NYT, Sept. 27) The loudest dissent in Congress is coming from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who said: "I do not accept the idea that trying other alternatives is either futile or perilous, that the risks of waiting are greater than the risks of war. The United States may precipitate the very threat that we are intent on preventing: weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists." (Newsday, Sept. 29) [top]

2. BRITISH DOSSIER FUELS PARANOIA
A 50-page dossier of evidence against Saddam Hussein released by the British government finds that Iraq has "military plans" for the use of chemical and biological weapons, and could launch them on 45-minutes notice. It also claimed Iraq is five years away from producing a nuclear weapon, and has constructed engine test equipment for a missile capable of striking British military bases in Cyprus, NATO members Greece and Turkey, Iraq's Arab neighbors and Israel. (BBC, Sept. 24) The report did not note that little would be so likely to actually spark such a scenario as a massive military attack on Iraq. [top]

3. WHITE HOUSE FIGURES TO PROFIT FROM SPOILS OF WAR?
In another sign of foreign cynicism over the Bush Administration's war plans for Iraq, the UK Independent reported Sept. 15 that "Fortunes of War Await Bush's Circle" in the wake of the proposed assault on Saddam Hussein. Vice President Dick Cheney's former firm, Halliburton--currently embroiled in an Enron-like accounting scandal--stands to make millions in oil-related contracts should US air strikes target Iraq's oil fields, as they did during the Gulf War.

The article notes that when the UN relaxed its sanctions against Iraq in 1998 and permitted Iraq to buy spare parts for its oil fields, it was Halliburton, under Cheney's leadership, that cleaned up on the contract to get Saddam Hussein's oil pipes flowing at full capacity again. Two Halliburton subsidiaries earned almost $24 million working with the man Vice President Cheney now calls a "murderous dictator" and "the world's worst leader."

While Cheney has severed all formal ties with Halliburton--he cashed in $36 million in stock options and other benefits at the height of the market in August 2000--his friends and family who still have holdings could well be the beneficiaries of America's looming war with Iraq. If air strikes and a possible ground invasion take place, someone is going to have to mop up the damage. Halliburton, with its previous experience in Iraq and unparalleled political connections, would be in prime position for the job, the Independent notes.

There are also uncomfortably cozy ties between the government and the Defense industry. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's college wrestling buddy is Frank Carlucci-- a former defense secretary himself--who now heads the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based venture capital consortium which has a big interest in the military contracting firm United Defense as well as several key US naval ports. Carlyle's board includes George Bush the elder, former secretary of state James Baker, and former British Prime Minister John Major--not to mention its well-reported former ties to the bin Laden family and Saudi royalty. On Sept. 29, the UK Observer reported on a controversial plan by the British government to sell a major stake in its top weapons defense lab to the Carlyle Group. Comparing the deal to something out of a Tom Clancy novel, the paper reports that Carlyle is on the verge of purchasing QinetiQ, a government-funded research lab which produces the kind of top-secret weapons hardware you might expect to find in a James Bond movie. In recent years, QinetiQ has come up with a plastic tank that can evade radar detection, and a low-cost mini spy satellite for use by the Army and private companies--and is rumored to have been one of the contributing developers of the US National Security Agency's Echelon communications tracking system.

British defense experts and MPs have assailed the plan to privatize QinetiQ, warning that the Blair Administration risks sacrificing the crown jewels of the UK defense industry to foreign interests. There are fears that UK expertise will be sucked overseas, and that the mission of QinetiQ, which acts as independent adviser to the government on defense, will be compromised by private interests. Carlyle has pledged that its institutional investors who buy into QinetiQ will be drawn chiefly from the UK and Europe, to alleviate concerns of US dominance. (Sarah Ferguson) [top]

4. JOHN LENNON MEETS GEORGE ORWELL
Pushing a UN Security Council resolution which would impose a deadline for military action against Iraq, President Bush told reporters: "I'm willing to give peace a chance to work. I want you to know that behind the rhetoric of war is a deep desire for peace." The "chance" he is willing to give in the draft now being circulated is seven days for Saddam to let inspectors in and 30 days for a full inspection of Iraq's capacity for weapons of mass destruction. (Washington Times, Sept. 28) [top]

5. U.S. TO ARM IRAQ OPPOSITION
The Bush administration is expected to seek congressional approval to provide military training for up to 10,000 members of the Iraqi opposition, according to both White House and Iraqi opposition sources. Wrote the LA Times Sept. 25: "To pay for the training, the White House now intends to notify Congress that it wants to use the $92 million yet to be allocated from the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act. The measure allows the Pentagon to provide training, non-lethal goods and services to seven opposition groups. After the White House notification, Congress then would have 15 days to ask questions or challenge the president's decision. Of the original $97 million approved by Congress, the Clinton administration allocated $5 million. So far, only $800,000 has been spent. About 130 Iraqis have been trained, but all in medical, computer and communications skills." [top]

6. KURDS AGREE ON DRAFT CONSTITUTION
Iraq's two main Kurdish factions, who run the northern enclave beyond Baghdad's control, have agreed on a draft constitution to govern their territory in the post-Saddam order. The prospect of "regime change" in Iraq has prompted the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to put aside their historic tensions and present a united front. The charter envisions the oil-rich city of Kirkuk as regional capital. A joint committee set up after talks between KDP leader Massoud Barzani and PUK chief Jalal Talabani agreed on a set of amendments to a constitution drawn up by Barzani earlier this year, KDP Ankara representative Safeen Dizayee said. "The draft constitution outlines the structure of a regional administration in the northern region, including legislative, judiciary and executive responsibilities," he told Reuters Sept. 25. [top]

7. TURKS BELLICOSE--BUT AGAINST KURDS, NOT SADDAM
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Turkey could "react" to an attempt by Iraqi Kurds to take possession of the oil-rich area of northern Iraq in a the post-Saddam era. Ecevit, in an interview on CNN-Turk TV days before a planned visit by Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, also spoke out against military action against Iraq. Turkish officials are also concerned that the Iraqi Kurds could seize Kirkuk, 150 miles north of Baghdad, in the aftermath of a US campaign. The oil-rich province lies just beyond the current borders of the Kurdish autonomous zone. Asked what Turkey would do if Kurds laid claim on Kirkuk, Ecevit said: "We would of course react to any action that would go against Turkey's legitimate interests." He added: "But I hope that such a reaction won't be necessary." (AP, Sept. 28)

"We will not tolerate in any way the formation of a new state in northern Iraq," Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish foreign minister and deputy prime minister told the Financial Times Sept. 24. Adding that he had made this clear in meetings last week with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, he added: "Of course the Americans understand our position," he said. Meanwhile, the Turkish Daily News wrote Sept. 20 that "Kurdish separatist terrorists" in northern Iraq have declared "defense zones" and have warned Turkey's government they will defend them against any attack. [top]

8. DUTCH ARREST NORWEGIAN LEADER OF KURDISH JIHAD
Kurdistani Nawa, a Kurdish-language paper in northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous zone, reported Sept. 25 that Mulla Kreiker, a Norwegian arrested two weeks ago by Dutch authorities on charges of leading the Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist rebel group in Iraq, that he told his followers in Lamarkazi village last November that he knows Osama bin Laden and other key figures in al-Qaeda. The paper, mouthpiece of the Kurdistani National Federation, which opposes the Iraqi regime, quoted Kreiker as saying: "I have visited several countries and have come to know about Islamic intellectuals like Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, who are Muslim men and sincere." He added that "Ansar al-Islam" are proud of their "Jihad" role in Afghanistan. [top]

9. NEWSWEEK: ASHCROFT BACKED IRAQ-SUPPORTED TERRORIST GROUP
When the White House released its Sept. 12 "white paper" detailing Saddam Hussein's "support for international terrorism," it caused more than a little discomfort in some quarters of Washington, wrote Newsweek in a special report Sept. 26. The White House document, "A Decade of Deception and Defiance," made no mention of any Iraqi links to Osama bin Laden. But it did detail Saddam's backing of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO)--an Iranian opposition group that has also gathered much support on Capitol Hill in recent years. One of those supporters is Attorney General John Ashcroft, who went to bat for the MKO as a Republican senator from Missouri. State Department officials first designated the MKO a "foreign terrorist organization" in 1997, accusing the Baghdad-based group in a string of bombings, guerilla raids and assassinations of Iranian leaders. Officials say the MKO was linked to the murder of several US military officers and civilians in Iran in the 1970s, when it was fighting the US-backed regime of the Shah. But the MKO, which commands an army of 30,000 from bases in Iraq, now operates in Washington out of a small office in the National Press Building under the name the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The State Department says the National Council of Resistance is a "front" for the MKO, and in 1999 placed it on the terrorist list as well. But National Council officials portrayed the groups to Washington lawmakers as a "democratic" opposition to the Iranian regime, which is itself a top sponsor of global terrorism. Alireza Jafarzadeh, the National Council's chief Washington spokesman, insists the MKO "targets only military targets."

These arguments won sympathy from Ashcroft--and more than 200 other members of Congress. When the National Council of Resistance staged a September 2000 rally outside the UN to protest a speech by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, Missouri's two Republican senators--Ashcroft and Chris Bond--issued a joint statement of solidarity that was read aloud to a cheering crowd. A delegation of about 500 Iranians from Missouri attended the rally--and a photo of a smiling Ashcroft was later included in a briefing book used by MKO officials to promote their cause in Washington. That same year, Sen. Ashcroft wrote a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno protesting the detention of an Iranian woman, Mahnaz Samadi, who was a leading spokeswoman for the National Council of Resistance. A Justice Department spokeswoman told Newsweek that Ashcroft's letter to Reno was the result of a "straightforward, constituent-type inquiry," adding that the current attorney general would never "knowingly" back any terrorist group. [top]

10. 400,000 MARCH AGAINST WAR IN LONDON
Up to 400,000 took part in a London protest against military action in Iraq, marching past Parliament and up Whitehall to a rally in Hyde Park. Among the speakers addressing the rally, organized by the Stop the War Coalition and Muslim Association of Britain, were London Mayor Ken Livingstone, ex-MP Tony Benn, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and Peter Price, the Bishop of Bath. (BBC, Sept, 28) [top]

11. VILE HYPOCRISY OF A.N.S.W.E.R.
US activists are gearing up for a similar (if considerably less timely) march in Washington DC set for Oct. 26. But the politics behind it are slimy. At the center of the Oct. 26 mobilization is Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER). At the center of ANSWER, in turn, is the International Action Center (IAC), which is a front for the ultra-orthodox, cultish Soviet-nostalgist and genocide-apologist Workers World Party (WWP). The use of elaborate front-group shell-games is the WWP's time-honored tactic, but it is clear who is really in charge in the Oct. 26 coalition. ANSWER is dominated by the same Stalinist cult that has repeatedly attempted to monopolize anti-war opposition in this country and turn it into a morally bankrupt cheerleader for whatever despot happens to be on the White House shit-list this month--Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Manuel Noriega, etc.

Despite the fiction that IAC is just one member of the ANSWER "coalition," the ANSWER representatives who release statements for the group and talk to the press on its behalf are invariably IAC members--and, in fact, WWP cadre. At the NYC Muslim Day Parade on Sept. 29, ANSWER had a table set up at Madison Square Park, alongside the speakers' podium. The Workers World newspaper was prominently displayed at the table--and no others. Many well-intentioned Muslims who oppose aggression against Iraq gathered around the table to sign up for the ANSWER mailing lists and take leaflets for the Oct. 26 rally. Absent from the literature table was anything indicating IAC's enthusiastic support for Serb fascism in its genocidal wars against Albanian and Bosnian Muslims--or that IAC figurehead Ramsey Clark is a founding member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (hardly a favorite figure among New York area Muslims). (See WW3 REPORT #31)(Bill Weinberg on the scene)

See also " Ramsey Clark: Stalinist Dupe or Ruling Class Spook?", The Shadow

Infoshop: What You Should Know about the Workers World Party and the International Action Center

The Nation on ANSWER and the A20 mobilization [top]

12. AIR STRIKES STEPPED UP
US and British aircraft attacked four of the six main Iraqi air defense command posts in 48 hours as the allies stepped up air raids on Saddam Hussein's military bases. A Pentagon official said two strikes were in response to Iraq's firing anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles at allied planes patrolling the "no-fly zones." In Baghdad, the government said Basra's civilian airport was attacked by what it described as "US ravens of evil." (UK Daily Telegraph, Sept. 27) [top]

13. TURKS BUST URANIUM SHIPMENT TO IRAQ?
Turkish police announced they have seized over 30 pounds of suspected weapons-grade uranium--enough for two Hiroshima-sized bombs--just 150 miles from the border with Iraq. An investigation has been launched to determine of the uranium was destined for Saddam Hussein's regime. The announcement was made on the same day the US and UK governments agreed on a draft resolution to the UN Security Council which would give Iraq 30 days to declare it had destroyed its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons or face military action. Officers in the southern Turkish province of Sanliurfa, which borders Syria and is about 155 miles from the Iraqi border, were acting on a tip when they stopped a taxi and discovered the uranium in a lead container hidden under the vehicle's seat. Two men were detained accused of smuggling the material. Officials at Ankara's Atomic Energy Institute would not confirm they had been informed of the find, and police officials in Sanliurfa and Ankara declined to comment. (The Scotsman, Sept. 29) [top]

THE SUBCONTINENT

1. MASSACRE IN GUJARAT, 30 HINDU WORSHIPPERS DEAD
The Hindu nationalist BJP-led government in New Delhi dispatched 3,000 troops to the state of Gujarat after the Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar, the state's major commercial city, was besieged by suspected Islamic militants for several hours from early afternoon on Sept. 24 to dawn on Sept. 25. A total of 30 Hindu worshippers were killed, when militants attacked the crowd with Kalashnikovs and grenades. An overnight gun battle with the Indian army resulted in the death of two gunmen, two policemen and one commando. No organizations have claimed responsibility for the attack and the gunmen have yet to be identified.

Brigadier Raj Sitapathy, who led the operation against the militants, claimed that that the gunmen were affiliated with the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Lashar-e-Toiba and that they were carrying letters, which poured "venom" on India. The Indian media reported that the militants were carrying Urdu notes in their pockets; it identified them with a previously unknown outfit called Tehreek-e-Kasis. Indian President Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who visited the scene, appealed to the country to maintain calm, promising a full investigation into the attack. Contrary to this approach, hardline government officials such as deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani have accused Pakistan of the attack without providing any evidence. With reference to Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff's speech at the United Nations in New York September 12, Advani said, "Our enemy has been speaking of Gujarat in recent times and even last week our enemy spoke of Gujarat in the United Nations, so it seems that the plan was on for quite some time."

In response to these accusations, Pakistani Information Minister, Nisar Memon told BBC that his country condemned that attacks, and disputed the accusations. "It is ridiculous and in fact preposterous to even suggest something like that. It is quite clear that they [the Indians] have lost all sense of balance and proportion ." (BBC, Sept.25, ; UK Independent, Sept.26),

Hindu Nationlist groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council and Shiv Sena announced a 'Bharat Bandh' or All-India strike to protest the attacks on Sept. 27. The army was dispatched to several major cities in the country to prevent any communal backlash from the Hindu majority. In Ahmedabad, residents living in minority-dominated neighborhoods were seen returning to Haj House, a relief camp where many had taken shelter from the massacre carried out by Hindu militants in Febuary-March 2002. (The Hindu, Sept. 27) (Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

2. ISLAMIC MILITANTS KILL SEVEN CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN
On Sept. 25, two unidentified gunmen shot seven Pakistani Christians in the head in the offices of Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) in Karachi. One other person is in critical condition. IPJ is a humanitarian organization run by left-wing Pakistani Christians, which has worked for the last 30 years to obtain employment rights for municipal and textile workers and has never been involved in religious party politics in Pakistan. While Karachi police have yet to identify the gunmen, they suspect that militants, who oppose the U.S. presence in neighboring Afghanistan, carried out the attacks. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said that the victims were found with their hands tied and their mouths covered with tape.

This shooting appears to be the first attack on Christians in Karachi, however, it is not the first one of its nature in Pakistan. In the last year, attacks on Christians throughout Pakistan have left 30 dead. These included an attack on a missionary school in Murree, an attack on a hospital in Taxila, a grenade attack on a church in Islamabad and shots fired on a church in Punjab province. Karachi's US consulate was attacked in June and French naval engineers in the city were also attacked in May.

Shahbaz Bhatti, leader of the All-Pakistan Minority Alliance, a group of minority political parties, told BBC online, "We [Christians] have become increasingly victimized since the launch of the international war on terror. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the international community to ensure that the government protects us."

The Archbishop of Karachi, Simeon Pereira, told BBC Online that the attacks were not related to terrorism rather to an earlier attack made on the institute's former chairperson, Ivan Moon. Moon died four months ago, after being poisoned in his office by another unidentified individual. The attack on the IPJ, however, raises fears among the Christian community in Karachi and elsewhere in Pakistan about future violence. "We have police protection posted outside our churches day and night. The Christian community is not panicking at the moment, but I don't know what might happen as a result of the latest killings. People will suspect it was a terrorist attack." (BBC, Sept. 25)

Civil society organizations including political, professional and labor organizations observed "black day" in Karachi on Sept. 27 to mourn the deaths of seven Christians in Karachi. They hoisted black flags in their offices and wore black armbands. (Dawn, Sept.28) On Sept. 29, hundreds of Christians took out a rally in Karachi after offering prayers to the deceased Christians in Saint Xavier's Church. Protestors contended that Christians were patriotic and peaceful citizens, who had never harmed anyone, yet they had become the targets of terrorists; they demanded the arrest of those responsible for the shooting and protection from the government. (Dawn, Sept. 30) (Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

SOUTHEAST ASIA

1. FEAR IN JAKARTA
A hand grenade that killed one man when it exploded prematurely in the Indonesian capital Sept. 23 was intended to be thrown at a house belonging to the US Embassy, the country's national police chief Dai Bachtiar told reporters. The pre-dawn explosion went off in a car carrying four people in a residential neighborhood of central Jakarta. One person was killed, the driver was detained and two passengers got away, police said. Bachtiar said that the arrest of one suspect led police to the city of Bogor, 60 kilometers south of Jakarta, where more weapons and explosives--including TNT and two pistols--were found during raids on two homes. The US Embassy was closed on Sept. 10 for six days due to what Ambassador Ralph Boyce called a "credible and specific threat" that he suggested was linked to al-Qaeda. (AP, Sept. 23) [top]

WATCHING THE SHADOWS

1. TERROR ALERT BACK TO "YELLOW"
President George Bush downgraded the nationwide "high risk" terror alert by one notch, dropping the color advisory code from orange back to yellow. Officials said the decision follows the arrests of a suspected terrorist cell in Buffalo. But Attorney General John Ashcroft said: "I want to emphasise that we are not saying there is no risk." (Ananova , Sept. 24)

The move is particularly surprising given that there seems to be no evidence linking the Buffalo suspects to any terrorist activity. See WW3 REPORT #52 [top]

2. CONGRESSIONAL REPORTS SHED LIGHT ON 9-11 SNAFUS
Reversing his previous position, President Bush says he will now back holding an independent investigation into intelligence failings in the months leading up to the 9-11 attacks. The run-around follows revelations that an FBI agent in New York was denied permission to pursue one of to-be 9-11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdar--even though he was being tracked by the CIA. "Someday, someone will die, and... the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain problems," the agent warned his superiors in an e-mail. CIA agents identified Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi as "terrorists" after they attended an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000. But the agency failed to share the information, and the two men were able to enter the US and live openly using their real names in California. The men were able to board a major airline flight, and--with three accomplices--fly into the Pentagon. "Everything that could have gone wrong, did," a CIA officer was quoted by the AP as saying during the congressional hearings . (BBC, Sept. 21)

The preliminary findings of a Senate-House intelligence panel investigating the 9-11 attacks show that some intelligence analysts had focused on the possibility that terrorists might use "airplanes as weapons" in the attacks, a congressional official told the Washington Post. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in mid-May that prior to the attacks, analysts did not seriously consider the use of planes as bombs and therefore were surprised by the method of attack on Sept. 11. "All this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking, " Rice said at a May briefing on what President Bush knew before the attacks. On Aug. 6, 2001, President Bush received a daily intelligence briefing that covered bin Laden's use of hijacking as a terror method. Following disclosure of the briefing in the media this spring, Rice told a press conference: "I will say that, again, hijacking before 9-11 and hijacking after 9-11 do mean two very, very different things." (WP, Sept. 17)

In a 30-page report, Eleanor Hill, staff director of the joint House and Senate intelligence committee investigating 9-11, cited 12 examples of intelligence on the possible use of airliners as weapons. They stretch from 1994 to August 2001, when word came of a plot by Osama bin Laden to fly a plane into the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. One 1998 Federal Aviation Administration report warned that "a group of unidentified Arabs" planned to fly an explosive-laden plane into the World Trade Center. (UK Independent, Sept. 19)

US officials have identified at least 70,000 suspected terrorists worldwide, and say an unknown number of al-Qaeda-trained operatives have been attempting for at least five years to infiltrate the country to launch "spectacular" attacks, according to two new congressional reports based on declassified intelligence and law enforcement information. The reports say the State Department's watch list of dangerous individuals contains the names of 70,000 "members of foreign terrorist organizations, known hijackers, car bombers, assassins or hostage-takers." (LAT, Sept. 22) [top]

3. SAUDIS ADDED TO FINGERPRINTING REQUIREMENT
A program that requires photo-and-fingerprint registration of foreign visitors from many Middle Eastern countries is being expanded to include men from Saudi Arabia. A key US ally, Saudi Arabia was previously excluded from the post-9-11 policy, despite the fact that it was home to 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers. (AP, Sept. 23) [top]

4. MARY ROBINSON: TERROR WAR MASKS RIGHTS ABUSES
Departing UN human rights chief Mary Robinson accused governments of hiding behind the War on Terrorism to violate rights and crush opposition. "Suddenly the T-word is used all the time," Robinson said. "Everything is justified by that T-word," the former Irish president told the AP Sept. 7. "I hope that countries will put human rights back on the agenda because it tended to slip after September 11." [top]

5. CONDI: U.S. "VERY SPECIAL COUNTRY"
Speaking in defense of the new White House national security policy of pre-emptive strikes and global military supremacy, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told PBS's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" Sept. 25: "The United States is a very special country in that when we maintain this position of military strength that we have now, we do it in support of a balance of power that favors freedom." [top]

6. MOUSSAOUI GETS SECRET FBI DOCUMENTS
The US government has mistakenly given secret FBI documents to Zacarias Moussaoui--the only man charged so far in connection with the 9-11 attacks. Moussaoui, who is representing himself, is not allowed to see classified documents, although the court-appointed lawyers assisting him are cleared to see them. Once the goof was discovered, federal officers searched Moussaoui's cell in Alexandria, VA, to retrieve the material in late August and early September. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema cited the grave nature of the security breach in ordering the documents to be retrieved. "We find that significant national security interests of the United States could be compromised if the defendant were to retain copies of this classified information," the judge said in her order. (BBC, Sept. 7) [top]

THE WAR AT HOME

1. PEACE ACTIVISTS TARGETTED BY "NO-FLY" BLACKLIST
A federal "No Fly" list, intended to keep terrorists off planes, is snaring peace activists at US airports, sparking complaints that civil rights are being violated. Congress mandated the list as part of last year's Aviation and Transportation Security Act, after two 9-11 hijackers on a federal "watch list" used their real names to board the jet that hit the Pentagon. "The problem is that this list has no public accountability: People don't know why their names are put on or how to get their names off," said Jayashri Srikantiah, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. "We have heard complaints from people who triggered the list a first time and then were cleared by security to fly. But when they fly again, their name is triggered again."

Various federal agencies--including the CIA, FBI, INS and State Department--contribute names to the list. But no one at those agencies could tell reporter Alan Gathright of the San Francisco Chronicle who is responsible for managing the list. Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Steigman initially said his agency did not have a no-fly list, but modified his response after conferring with colleagues, saying his agency only relays names collected by other agencies to airlines and airports. "We are just a funnel," he said, estimating that fewer than 1,000 names are on the list. "TSA has access to it. We do not maintain it." He couldn't say who does. He added that he could not state the criteria for placing someone on the list, because it's "special security information not releasable [to the public]." But FBI spokesman Bill Carter said it is the TSA that oversees the list: "You're asking me about something TSA manages. You'd have to ask TSA their criteria as far as allowing individuals on an airplane or not."

"What's scariest to me is that there could be this gross interruption of civil rights and nobody is really in charge," said Sarah Backus, an organizer of a Wisconsin group that missed a flight to DC to meet with Congressional representatives after being snared by the list. "That's really 1984-ish."

"I think it's a combination of an attempt to silence dissent by scaring people and probably a lot of bumbling and inept implementation of some bad security protocols," said Rebecca Gordon, 50, a veteran San Francisco activist and co-founder of War Times, a national anti-war publication. Gordon and fellow War Times co-founder Jan Adams, 55, were briefly detained and questioned by police at San Francisco International Airport Aug. 7 after checking in for a flight to Boston. They were eventually allowed to fly, but their boarding passes were marked with a red "S"--for "search," causing further delays.

Gordon, Adams and several other detained activists acknowledged minor past arrests or citations for nonviolent sit-ins or other protests. FBI spokesman Carter said individuals would have to be "involved in criminal activity"--not just civil disobedience--to be banned from airlines. But Carter added: "When you say 'activists,' what type of activity are they involved in? Are they involved in criminal activity to disrupt a particular meeting? ... Do you plan on blowing up a building? Do you plan on breaking windows or throwing rocks? Some people consider that civil disobedience, some people consider that criminal activity."

Sister Virgine Lawinger, a 74-year-old Catholic nun, does not fit the image of the kind of "air pirate" lawmakers had in mind when they passed the law. Lawinger, one of the Wisconsin activists stopped at the Milwaukee airport on April 19, said she didn't get upset when two sheriff's deputies stopped her for questioning. "We didn't initially say too much about the detainment, because we do respect the need to be careful [about airline security]," the nun told the Chronicle. "They just said your name is flagged and we have to clear it. And from that moment on no one ever gave me any clarification of what that meant and why. I guess that was our frustration." Five months later, the 20 members of Peace Action Wisconsin still haven't been told why they were detained. When FBI Director Robert Mueller was asked about the incident at a congressional hearing by Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold in May, he responded: "We would never put a person on the watch list solely because they sought to express their First Amendment rights and their views." (SF Chronicle, Sept. 27) [top]

2. NYPD POLITICAL SNOOPS TO BE UNCUFFED?
New York City officials say seventeen-year-old restrictions on NYPD political surveillance must be lifted to aid the War against Terrorism. The city government's legal arm, the Corporation Counsel, filed papers in federal court seeking to ease the so-called Handschu Agreement, which requires police surveillance of political groups to be monitored by a three-member authority. Under the city proposal, the Handschu Authority--established in 1985 in the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the police--would still deal with complaints about police political investigations, but would no longer regulate or veto such probes. The papers argue that the NYPD "had no conception of the challenge it would face in protecting the city and its people from international terrorism." The Handschu Agreement came out of a 1971 lawsuit over police surveillance of the Black Panther Party and other activists. Attorney Jethro Eisenstein, who represented the plaintiffs in the case, said the Handschu Agreement doesn't hinder police. "There is nothing in the Handschu guidelines that prevents an investigation--including an undercover investigation--of suspected terrorism," Eisenstein said. "The history of this country in times of war is that, frequently, civil liberties have been dramatically curtailed. Looking back on those periods, there has been a lot to be ashamed of."

The court papers say the New York police are the only ones in the country operating under anything like the Handschu Agreement--which also limits intelligence sharing with other law-enforcement agencies. Similar restrictions on Chicago police were lifted in January 2001, the papers say. (New York Post, Sept. 26)

The Handschu Agreement was part of a 1985 settlement in a class action suit brought by Barbara Handschu, Abbie Hoffman and 14 other plaintiffs on behalf on New York City political activists. The suit targetted the intelligence-gathering activities of the NYPD's notorious "Red Squad"--known in the 1960s as the Bureau of Special Services (BOSS), and today officially designated the Public Security Section of the Department's Intelligence Division. The agreement establishes a three-person Handschu Authority made up of the NYPD's First Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters and a civilian appointed by the mayor. Under the agreement, public protests can be videotaped only if there is a likelihood of criminal activity. The use of video tapes must be reported to the Handschu Authority within 48 hours.

See The Shadow, Nov. 1999 [top]

3. URBAN WARFARE EXERCISES IN DAYTON
Units at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base held a special "readiness exercise" for the 9-11 anniversary dubbed TRUEX XLIII (Training in an Urban Environment Exercise), in which several hundred soldiers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit fired machine-gun blanks and maneuvered helicopters in several Dayton neighborhoods over a two-week period. Several city residents objected to the training exercise at a city commission meeting. City Manager Jim Dinneen said he spoke with the commander of the expeditionary unit at the request of Commissioner Dean Lovelace to see if the city could block the exercise from taking place. "He made it clear we can't reject this," Dinneen said. (Dayton Daily News, Sept. 7) [top]

4. DEPORTEE HELD IN PAKISTAN
Pakistani national Nasir Ali Mubarak, who disappeared after being deported to Pakistan on Aug. 29, finally contacted his wife and older brother by telephone late in the week of Sept. 16. Mubarak said he was at a military hospital in an undisclosed location in Pakistan, where he was told he was being detained at the request of the FBI. Michael Mason, who heads the FBI's Sacramento office, called the assertion "categorically" untrue. But Mason added that he was "not satisfied that [Mubarak] had nothing to do with terrorism"--although he was deported only for having violated the terms of his student visa.

The FBI apparently suspects Mubarak knows more than he admits about Abdul Hakim Murad, a convicted terrorist who attended flight school with him. Murad was convicted in a 1995 plot to bomb 11 US airliners, and allegedly admitted ties to Osama bin Laden. But Mubarak "has been cooperative with the FBI since day one," according to San Francisco attorney Ilyce Shugall, Mubarak's co-counsel. "He openly talked to them on Sept. 11. He agreed to a polygraph. He agreed to further interviews later," she said. (LAT, Sept. 24)

( Immigration News Briefs, Sept. 27)

See also WW3 REPORT #52 [top]

5. STATELESS PALESTINIAN RE-DEPORTED
Palestinian professor Mazen Al-Najjar, deported from the US to Beirut Aug. 24, was kicked out of Lebanon on Sept. 18, according to his family. The Lebanese government revoked the six-month visa it had granted Al-Najjar. His relatives said they believed Al-Najjar was in Iran or an unspecified African country. Al-Najjar had planned to move to South Africa to take a teaching job, but that offer has reportedly been rescinded. "We certainly hope that the American public knows that what we were saying all along has come to pass: he is a stateless Palestinian," said Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor who is Al-Najjar's brother-in-law. (NYT, Sept. 22)

( Immigration News Briefs, Sept. 27)

See also WW3 REPORT #49 [top]

RESIST THE MEGALOPIGS!!


EXIT POLL: Should the left boycott the Oct. 26 march on Washington because it is led by the fascistic IAC/WWP?

EXTRA CREDIT: Would you invite Meir Dagan over to dinner, or would his cocktail conversation be a bit much for your guests?

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