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ISSUE: #. 85. May 12, 2003







The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like "democracy," not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic, we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

By Bill Weinberg

1. U.S. Seeks U.N. Cover for Occupation; Anarchy Looms
2. Cholera in Basra; Doctors Protest in Baghdad
3. Hunger and Chaos in Umm Qasr
4. Baath Bureaucrats Back in the Saddle
5. U.S. Troops Dead in Helicopter Crash, Sniper Incidents
6. Patriot Missiles Not So Smart
7. U.S. Troops "Encouraged" Looters
8. Nuclear Materials on the Loose
9. WMD Search: Still Politicized
10. Did France Help Baathists Escape?
11. Iraqi Exile Faces Graft Charges in Paris
12. Iran-Exiled Shi'ite Revolutionary Back in Iraq
13. Mass Graves Unearthed in Najaf Area
14. U.S. in Showdown With Iranian Guerillas
15. Hezbollah Ready to Join Iraqi Revolt
16. Iraqis Evict Palestinian Refugees
17. Baghdad's Jews Watch and Wait
18. Ethnic Tensions Rise in Kurdistan
19. Saddam Speaks?
20. U.S. Courts Rule Against Iraq in 9-11 Case

1. Qatar Moves Towards Democracy--and White House
2. Bush: Free Trade Zone For Middle East

1. Harsh Crackdown on I.S.M.; Access Barred to Gaza Strip
2. Child Shot Dead in Gaza; Clinics Raided in West Bank
3. Elon Schmoozes Bible Beltway, Foresees Islam-Free Planet

1. Anti-U.S. Protest in Kabul
2. Taliban Resurgence on Pakistan Border
3. Pakistan Seeks Debt Forgiveness

1. Halliburton in Nigeria Bribery Scandal

1. Astronauts Stranded in Soyuz Snafu
2. France Arms India

1. Mayday Now "Loyalty Day"
2. Bush: "Man on Horseback"
3. Secret Service Interrogates Oakland High School Kids
4. U.S. Buys Personal Data on Latin Americans
5. Wiretap Expansion Passes Senate
6. "Operation Homeland Resistance" at NYC Federal Building

1. Worker Hunger Strike to Demand Health Benefits
2. 9-11 Asbestos Still Lingers in Downtown Apartments
3. 9-11 Litigation Grinds On...And On
4. 9-11 Probe Faults Port Authority
5. Poll: No New Terrorist Bait!
6. City Council Bill Calls for Big Apple Secession

1. Prince of Darkness Advises Death Merchants
2. NYT's Miller Advisor to Pipes' Middle East Forum
3. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed: Dead or Alive?
4. Sen. Bob Graham: Bush in 9-11 "Cover-Up"

1. Hawaii State Resolution Calls for Repeal of Patriot Act
2. Norwegian Workers Burn Calories, Not Oil


The US has drafted a resolution to introduce to the UN Security Council calling for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein's regime--and ending UN control over Iraq's oil revenue. Under the proposal, the US-led coalition, in consultation with Iraq's interim government, would use the funds for Iraq's reconstruction. To blunt opposition from Russia and France, the proposal calls for an international "advisory" panel--made up of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the IMF and the World Bank--to audit the spending until an elected government is in place.

Bush also announced a new US civilian administrator for Iraq, former diplomat Paul Bremer, to replace retired general Jay Garner, who had come under criticism for the continuing chaos in Iraq. Bremer is a former managing director of Kissinger and Associates. Bush made it clear that Bremer would be reporting directly to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. (Sydney Morning Herald, May 10)

Another member of the occupation government, former US ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine, the de facto mayor of Baghdad, was also re-assigned by the White House after less then three weeks in Iraq. While Garner is to remain in Iraq despite losing his leadership position, Bodine is returning to Washington. Emphasizing the housecleaning, one anonymous US official told the Washington Post, "By the end of this month, you'll see a very different organization." (Newsday, May 11)

Ahmad Chalabi, who hopes to become Iraq's new leader, is among those warning that the U.S. is on a course towards further destabilization. Kanan Makiya, a close Chalabi colleague, recently flew from Baghdad to Washington to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney and top Pentagon officials, where he warned that Iraq is descending into anarchy. "This is a recipe for the break-up of Iraq," he said. He insisted that plans for the interim government needed to be accelerated and its nucleus should include the opposition exiles--such as Chalabi and himself. (Sydney Morning Herald, May 10)

Top Iraqi opposition groups have agreed to meet later this week in US-brokered talks to establish an interim national council for post-Saddam Iraq. As the meeting was announced, Chalabi himself announced that his supporters had seized up to 60 tons of files from the Baath Party and secret police headquarters documenting Saddam's relations with other Arab leaders--and possibly the fate of thousands of disappeared opponents of the regime. (NYT, May 6)

The US-led coalition radio station Voice of New Iraq is imploring Baghdad's parents to keep children away from unexploded ordnance and avoid approaching military vehicles, warning of potential attacks by supporters of "the big traitor Saddam Hussein." Any "strange objects in the streets" should be avoided because they might explode, the station repeatedly broadcasts. There have been reports in recent weeks of children being wounded by bomb fragments. (AP, May 3)

Interim Baghdad police chief Zuhair Abdul Razaq, a 36-year veteran of the Baghdad force and Ministry of the Interior, selected April 22 by officers from the US Army's 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion, announced he was stepping down May 3. "I am retiring to allow others to be leaders, to make room for them to rebuild the police without corruption," Zuhair said. "I ask all the police forces to help the American forces." Lt. Col. Alan King, civilian affairs battalion commander, said the US-led Office of Rehabilitation and Humanitarian Assistance would appoint another interim chief soon. Over 3,000 Iraqi police have returned to work and are walking joint patrols with US troops. US forces are to shortly begin a training program for the police. (AP, May 3)

US troops are especially patrolling the hours-long lines at Baghdad's gas stations, where supplies are extremely limited and tensions have erupted into violence more than once. With Iraq's oil fields and refineries still crippled by the war, the US has actually started importing petrol to Iraq from neighboring Arab countries to relieve the shortages. (NYT, May 7)

On May 9, Rumsfeld pledged to keep as many US troops in Iraq as necessary to stabilize the country and said it could be over a year before a new Iraqi government assumes control. With some 135,000 US troops and another 40,000 British troops now in Iraq, Rumsfeld avoids estimating how many will be necessary over what time period. (WP, May 10)

The web site Iraq Body Count continues to monitor world press reports to arrive at a daily update of the total Iraqi civilian dead. Each incident is listed separately, noting the location, number dead, weaponry used and media source. At press time, the minimum estimate stands at 3,736 and the maximum at 4,771.

Iraq Body Count disputes the Pentagon's claim that only one civilian has been killed by cluster bombs, which scatter live explosive over a wide area. The web site places the figure at approximately 200. (UK Guardian, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

The World Health Organization has reported 17 confirmed cases of cholera in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The number pointed to a probable outbreak of the waterborne disease among "several hundreds of people", the WHO said. The city's water treatment system was shut down after US air strikes damaged the electric grid, leaving large parts of the city without clean water for several weeks.

Some 400 Baghdad doctors staged their own protest against the continuing mismanagement and chaos--and the appointment of a Saddam holdover as interim Health Ministry chief. One group of doctors peeled off from the demonstration to confront Ali Shnan al-Janabi, number three at the Health Ministry under Saddam and now appointed by the US-led Organization of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs to head the ministry. (UK Independent, May 8) [top]

Iraq's port of Umm Qasr has been handed over to Spanish troops--who seem barely in control of the city and rarely venture far beyond their heavily guarded headquarters. Australia's daily The Age says the word on the street is that remnants of Saddam's Baath Party are regrouping with supporters from Iraq's military who have melted back into the civilian population. Large quantities of weapons and ammunition--including rocket-propelled grenades--have been stolen in recent days from poorly-guarded Iraqi military stockpiles in the area.

"Everyone was happy when the soldiers came here to get rid of the old regime but now people are wondering what this so-called freedom has brought them," said the director of the local hospital, Dr Akram Gataa. Each day he and six colleagues treat up to 1,000 patients in a dilapidated compound with limited supplies. "The biggest problem is that the people have no money and no jobs," he said. "The economy has collapsed. The cement factory, the grain silos and the port have shut down. There is nothing in the markets and the prices of everything have risen three and four times."

Limited emergency food relief and medical supplies have been trucked in from Kuwait along with irregular tanker deliveries of water donated by Kuwait's government. But it has not been nearly sufficient for the area's population of 50,000. Due to poor coordination, some of the help has proved useless. A shipment of Australian wheat that arrived with great fanfare had to be sent back to Kuwait because there were no facilities to mill it into flour. (The Age, May 5) [top]

US occupation authorities have decided to allow hundreds of Baath Party members to return to high-ranking posts. Scores of Baath members have reclaimed jobs as managers, directors and directors-general--the highest positions under ministers and their deputies--at several ministries, including trade, industry, oil, irrigation, health and education. Numerous Baathists are also back at the top ranks of the national police. Former Baathists back in the saddle include Baghdad's newly-appointed police chief, Gen. Hamid Othman--who had previously been the chief, a post that required party membership. The acting industry minister Ahmed Rashid Gailini admitted in an interview that he too was a member, at "a very low rank." Others in the ministry--including at least one director-general--held more significant posts in the party leadership, according to ministry employees. Occupation officials said the only Baath members automatically disqualified are the 55 most-wanted officials, and a handful more believed to have been involved in serious human rights violations or terrorism. (Washington Post, May 7)

Occupation forces are also reportedly restructuring special Baath paramilitary units, for use in suppressing any potential unrest. US Army intelligence, CIA and FBI agents are working on the new special units, according to Iran's IRNA news agency. (Itar-Tass, May 5)

A leading voice in protest of Saddam loyalists being embraced by the occupation is Prof. Hilal al-Bayyati, a US-trained computer scientist who was imprisoned by Saddam in 2000 for speaking out against the regime. "It is impossible for them to return," Bayyati said. "After two years in prison, I am ready to die to prevent them." (NYT, May 8)

See also WW3 REPORT #83 [top]

A Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the Tigris river May 9, killing three US soldiers on board and injuring a fourth. The helicopter, from the Army's 4th Infantry Division, reportedly hit a power line near Samarra, between Baghdad and Tikrit. US officials said it was one of two helicopters sent to rescue an Iraqi child wounded when ordnance exploded outside Samarra. The helicopter carrying the child took off safely, but the other apparently snagged a wire. The three deaths bring the number of US troops killed in the Iraq war to 145.

Not far from the site of the helicopter crash, Boston Globe journalist Elizabeth Neuffer was killed in a car accident along with her translator, Waleed Khalifa Hassan Al-Dulami. Neuffer, who had reported from Rwanda and Bosnia, was the author of "The Key to My Neighbour's House," a book on war crimes in those two countries. She was the 14th journalist to die since the Iraq conflict began. (UK Guardian, May 10)

Two more US troops were killed in separate Baghdad attacks May 8. In one attack, an unidentified Iraqi reportedly approached a soldier on a bridge and opened fire with a pistol at close range. The other was hit by a sniper in east Baghdad. (AP, May 8) [top]

The US Patriot missile can apparently mistake friendly aircraft for enemy rockets--a problem which may have caused Patriots to shoot down two coalition planes over Iraq, killing three airmen. Pentagon investigators now suspect misidentification was to blame in the Patriot incidents, which downed two of the four coalition planes shot down during the Iraq campaign. The father of Navy Lt. Nathan White, killed by Patriots on April 2, said he hopes the investigation will result in improvements that reduce the chance US anti-missile systems will down friendly planes. "You go through the normal anger, but I also know it's a war situation," said Dennis White, a former Air Force pilot who flew C-130 cargo planes in Vietnam. "There'll be some changes, I know, but you'd think you wouldn't have to put in stuff to protect your own people." Besides White's F/A-18C, Patriots also shot down a British Tornado jet on March 22, killing both men aboard. (AP, May 7) [top]

Dr Khalid Majeed, acting dean at Nasiriya's Technical Institute, blames US forces for the looting of the school, which remains closed a month after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Dr Majeed, a community health lecturer at the college, was at the institute when hundreds of looters gathered outside on April 8. He said the crowd "had their faces covered, carried knives and Kalashnikovs. They were shouting, saying 'We need everything from this college.'" Dr. Majeed realized the school's seven security guards were no match for the crowd. "I went to an American checkpoint at the college of science and said we needed help, people wanted to steal from our institute. They said they couldn't help because their job was only to serve the checkpoint. "

US troops finally arrived in five vehicles, but refused to ward off the looters. Instead, the soldiers fired several dozen rounds at the college's south wall, said Dr. Majeed. "It was a green light to the looters. It told them 'We are not going to do anything to stop you.'" Within five minutes the US troops had gone. In the subsequent frenzy, about 100 computers and 100 air conditioning units were stolen; rooms were torched; the science laboratories wrecked; and the main lecture hall ransacked.

In a statement to BBC News Online, US Central Command in Qatar refused to accept responsibility for the event: "The fact that the looting is happening in Nasiriya is a sad event. However, coalition forces are not a police force. Coalition forces have no orders to protect universities. They have orders to protect places of interest such as hospitals, museums and banks. Iraqis need to protect their own cities; coalition forces will help the Iraqi people police themselves. For example, in al-Kut--where people are cooperating with coalition forces--they have stood up a city police force. The coalition has even provided arms for the local police force. Iraqis will run Iraq and they will govern themselves." (BBC, May 6) [top]

The caretaker of the village school in al-Wrdiya reports finding several crates marked "radioactive" or "radio aktiv" (in German) along with "Made in West Germany" or Hardigg, IND, USA." None of the warnings were in Arabic. It is believed the crates were looted from the Tuwaitha nuclear research station, and hidden in the schoolhouse when the looters realized the danger of what they were carrying. (UK Independent, May 10)

Looting has been reported at nearly all of Iraq's nuclear facilities: the Tuwaitha Yellowcake Storage Facility, the adjacent Baghdad Nuclear Research Center, the Ash Shaykhili Nuclear Facility, the Baghdad New Nuclear Design Center and the Tahadi Nuclear Establishment. (Washington Post, May 10) [top]

With the US media still breathlessly awaiting a "smoking gun" on Iraq's supposed program of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), the seizure of a possible mobile lab at a Kurdish militia checkpoint made immediate headlines. But Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, was forced to say: "On the smoking gun, I mean, I don't know." (Newsday, May 8)

In subsequent days it was announced that the 75th Exploitation Task Force units searching for WMD will be heading home in June, turning operations over to a smaller team called the Iraq Survey Group. The outgoing Exploitation Task Force has found nothing tangible, citing the possible hiding of evidence in the last days of Saddam's regime, or looting in the aftermath of the regime's collapse. (BBC, May 11)

Some speculate on ulterior motives behind the arrest of at least one former Iraqi official on charges of building Saddam's bio-war capacity--Dr. Huda Salih Mahdi ("Mrs. Anthrax") Ammash, the only woman of the 55 Baath bureaucrats on the White House most-wanted list. Boston's South End Press, publishers of the 2002 book "Iraq Under Siege," which included Dr. Ammash's essay "Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," says there may be political imperatives behind her detention. Hiro Ueki, spokesperson for the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), confirmed to South End Press that "UNMOVIC did not single Dr. Ammash out for interviews because UNMOVIC did not have clear evidence to link Dr. Ammash to BW [biological weapons] programs" when visiting Baghdad University in January 2003.

Dr. Ammash, an environmental biologist and professor at Baghdad University, received her PhD. from the University of Missouri, and has documented of the rise in cancer among Iraqi children and war veterans since the 1991 Gulf War. In "Iraq Under Siege," she writes: "Iraqi death rates have increased significantly, with cancer representing a significant cause of mortality, especially in the south and among children." Dr. Ammash's other publications include: "Impact of Gulf War Pollution in the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Iraq," (Soli Al-Mondo, Rome, 1999), and "Electromagnetic, Chemical, and Microbial Pollution Resulting from War and Embargo, and Its Impact on the Environment and Health," (Journal of the [Iraqi] Academy of Science, 1997).

(South End Press press release, May 7)

See also WW3 REPORT #83 [top]

The French government secretly supplied fleeing high-level officials of the Saddam Hussein regime with passports in Syria that allowed them to escape to Europe, the Washington Times claimed May 6. The French passports, which allow free travel throughout the European Union, have helped the Iraqis avoid capture, anonymous officials told the paper, citing "intelligence reports." "It made it very difficult to track these people," one official said. Added another: "It's like Raoul Wallenberg in reverse," a reference to the Swedish diplomat who supplied travel documents to help Jews escape Nazi Germany. "Now you have the French helping the bad guys escape from us." But French embassy spokesperson Nathalie Loiseau responded: "France formally denies this type of allegation, which is not only contrary to reality but is intended to discredit our nation. It is certainly time for rumors of this type--totally unfounded and a dishonor to those who spread them--to stop." [top]

Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi billionaire wanted in an embezzlement case involving French oil giant Elf, has turned himself in to authorities in Paris. Auchi, one of the richest men in the UK, is one of 37 defendants in the biggest corporate corruption trial in French history. He is accused of conspiracy relating to the takeover of Spanish company Ertoil by Elf in the 1990s. Auchi was arrested in London last month on a French extradition request but was released on bail. He risks a prison sentence if found guilty. British officials have declined to comment on media reports that he had been advising British ministers and seeking a role in postwar Iraq. Auchi's General Mediterranean Holdings SA (GMH) bought Ertoil and then sold it to Elf in an operation apparently designed to circumvent legal obstacles. GMH received $7.6 million in secret commissions from Elf. Auchi was granted British citizenship in the 1980s after claiming he was in danger if he returned to Iraq, where he had run afoul of Saddam Hussein. His business empire, ranging from shipping to hotels, is estimated at $1.9 billion. Elf has since been privatized and is now part of TotalFinaElf. (Reuters, May 5) [top]

Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), has returned to Iraq after 23 years of exile in Iran. He was greeted by thousands of cheering followers in Basra, where he issued a call for Islamic unity and Iraqi independence. Al-Jazeera TV estimated the crowd that jammed a Basra stadium for his address at 100,000. "We Muslims have to live together," BBC quoted al-Hakim. "We have to help each other stand together against imperialism. We want an independent government. We refuse imposed government." (UPI, May 10)

Members of SCIRI's 15,000-strong armed wing, the Badr Brigade, are also entering Iraq from their bases across the border in Iran. Days before Ayatollah Hakim's return, one of his followers in the US, Imam Husham al-Husainy of Michigan, met with deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and other officials at the Pentagon and State Department. Al-Husainy carried a fatwa from the Ayatollah urging followers to cooperate with US troops--but he also had a warning. He said he told the officials: "There is too little attention being paid to the opposition, like the Supreme Council, who have a big hand in Iraqi society. If you don't make a deal with their representatives, the frustration level will go up. But if you make a deal with their representatives, they will use their influence with the people and things will cool down." (NYT, May 7)

SCIRI equivocates on whether it seeks "wilayat al-faqih"--revolutionary Iran's notion of rule by clerics--or the secular democracy supposedly favored by the US. Said Ayatollah Hakim's newly-appointed representative in Najaf, Sayed Sader-Eddine Koubansi: "There has to be a role for the clergy in any new government. We cannot stand on the sidelines like we were forced to under Saddam. This does not mean that we want absolute rule by clergy; there can be an Islamic democracy in Iraq." (Newsday, May 8)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

70 bodies, believed to be Shi'ites massacred by Saddam's forces in the 1991 uprising, were exhumed from a shallow mass grave about 13 miles northwest of Najaf, one of Shia's holiest cities. Bullet casings were found in and near the graves. Local Iraqis exhumed bodies with shovels and their bare hands. Searches for mass graves are ongoing throughout the Najaf area. At least one smaller site, now guarded by US Marines, turned up a few miles away. (AP, May 5) [top]

AP reported May 9 that US Army forces had surrounded camps of the Mujahedeen Khalq, an armed Iranian opposition group based in eastern Iraq, pointing tanks at its sentinels and demanding it lay down arms. Negotiations were reported underway, but with no resolution in sight. The confrontation comes three weeks after a truce between the Iranian rebels and the Army, under which the Mujahedeen forces could keep their weapons for self-defense, but had to dismantle check-points.

The Mujaheddin Khalq was allied with Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic fundamentalists during the 1979 revolution that overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, but Khomeini's regime banned it along with other groups advocating secular rule. In the 1970s, the group was accused of attacks that killed several US military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Iran, although the group denies targeting Americans. It reportedly backed the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran. (AP, May 9)

Writes the website "Mujahedeen's largest base in Iraq is practically a garrison town, not far from the border with Iran. US military sources in the north-east of Iraq said they had been holding talks with Mujahadeen chiefs on how to disarm the movement. They did not say, however, whether the US is seeking total disarmament of the group, or whether it could play a role in securing the Iran-Iraq border. The US fears that if the Mujahadeen is fully disarmed, Shiite groups close to Iran could profit from the resulting power vacuum and so boost Tehran's influence in the country."

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah Shi'ite militia, told al-Jazeera TV his fighters--who successfully resisted Israeli forces in southern Lebanon--are ready to join Iraqis if they decide to launch an insurgency against US forces. "It is a matter first for the Iraqi people to decide," Sheik Nasrallah said. "All Arabs, Muslims and honorable people in the world should support a people that decides to resist the occupation. Hezbollah is part of the Arabs and Muslims... Our position in principle is to support any oppressed people that is subjected to tyranny and occupation." (AP, May 8) [top]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is concerned about the fate of up to 90,000 Palestinian refugees in Iraq. The Palestinians enjoyed protection under Saddam Hussein, and Iraqi landlords were forced to charge them very low rents. Since the fall of the regime, landlords have started to evict their Palestinian tenants. About 1,000 Palestinians have already been driven from their homes in Baghdad and are now living in camps on waste ground or squatting vacant buildings. They have also been violently attacked by Iraqis who accuse them of collaborating with Saddam's regime. "I have two wounds here in my head," one of the evicted Palestinians told the BBC Arabic Service. "A group of Iraqis attacked us. They said 'You're Palestinian.' They beat me and my father up. And we were about to leave our house because we had been given notice that we were evicted." The UNHCR is sending an aid convoy to Baghdad to help the homeless Palestinians. (BBC, May 9) [top]

Six days before the bombing of Baghdad began, the 30 members of the Batawin synagogue's congregation gathered for their last Sabbath service. Few have returned. While Muslims congregated at mosques for prayers throughout the bombing and its aftermath, the doors of the synagogue remained closed--even through Passover two weeks ago. "The Muslims are many, but we are only 30," said Naji, 70, the elder who made the decision to close the synagogue until further notice. Mahdi Saleh, the Muslim guard employed to protect the synagogue, spoke for the group: "We don't want to draw attention to ourselves. Holding prayers would draw attention to us. We are taking all measures so that no one can come and attack us."

Most of Iraq's once-vibrant Jewish community fled to Israel after 1948. Saddam's rise to power in the 1970s was accompanied by an anti-Jewish purge and public hangings of so-called Zionist spies--in which hundreds more fled to Israel or Europe. But having reduced the Jewish community to an unthreatening few, Saddam made some amends, providing a modicum of protection as evidence of the regime's secular credentials. Saddam had the synagogue renovated, paid for a security guard and even doled out a small subsidy. When a Palestinian gunman attacked the city's other synagogue six years ago, killing two Jews and two Muslim guards, the regime made a public show of hunting down the assailant, who was hanged.

In their own neighborhood, Baghdad's Jews seem secure. Their decrepit Ottoman-era homes, originally built by wealthy Jewish merchants, are watched over by Muslim and Christian and neighbors. But with demands for an Islamic state growing in post-Saddam Iraq, few will now answer their doors to strangers.

Said elder Jakub Yousef: "We do our prayers at home now, in the morning and evening. These are difficult times, but what can we do?" The Baghdad Jews said they will wait and see what kind of new regime develops before re-opening the synagogue. But few said they wanted to leave the country. When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent a Passover message inviting the community to move to Israel, they politely declined. "Before I am a Jew, I am Iraqi," said Khalida Saleh, 38, Yousef's niece and the community's youngest member. She added that if she were to leave for another country, it would be the UK or Netherlands--not Israel. "I've heard it's a bad country. The people say so." (London Times, May 10)

Meanwhile, Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter embedded with MET Alpha, the "mobile exploitation team" seeking evidence of weapons of mass destruction, reports that the team did unearth evidence of Saddam Hussen's special fixation on Israel and the Jews. On a mission to recover a 7th-century Talmud that a former official of Saddam's Mukhabarat secret police said he had hidden in the agency's basement, MET Alpha waded through muck in the flooded lower levels of Mukhabarat headquarters. The Talmud did not surface, but the team reportedly did find a perfect and detailed miniature mock-up of the Israeli Knesset building, as well as mock-ups of downtown Jerusalem and other Israeli official buildings; satellite pictures of the Israeli nuclear complex at Dimona; a map of Israel indicating where Iraqi Scud missiles had hit during the 1991 Gulf War--and a bundle of ancient Jewish texts including a Babylonian Talmud from Vilna. Also found were accounting books from Baghdad's Jewish community dating to the 1940s, and a wooden box with Hebrew writing which may have contained the missing Talmud. (NYT, May 7) [top]

Arabs from the northern city of Kirkuk demonstrated outside Baghdad's Palestine Hotel--a nerve center for the occupation--protesting that they had been evicted from their homes by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). PUK peshmerga (militia forces) took Kirkuk as Saddam's regime collapsed, and ordered that formerly Kurdish homes and properties which had been redistributed to Arabs under Saddam's regime be returned to their original owners. Baath Party leaders and former police officers are especially targeted for eviction. Although PUK has officially withdrawn form Kirkuk and turned it over to US forces, the party has quietly moved much of its administrative offices into the city. (Newsday, May 11)

Kurdish forces have threatened to secede unless the new regime recognizes their autonomy and addresses Saddam's crimes against Kurds. Said PUK leader Jalal Talabani, in Baghdad for a meeting of Iraqi opposition factions: "The Arab governments must come and see those mass graves and decide what kinds of crimes were committed by Saddam Hussein. And they must go to the Iraqi people and apologize." (NYT, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 84 & 83 [top]

Reporters with the Sydney Morning Herald claim they received a 14-minute audio-tape allegedly made by Saddam Hussein from two men in Baghdad who were trying to get the tape to al-Jazeera TV. On the recording, a tired-sounding voice, interrupted once by coughing, urges Iraqis to resistance: "I am talking to you from inside great Iraq and I say to you, the main task for you, Arab and Kurd, Shiite and Sunni, Muslim and Christian and the whole Iraqi people of all religions, your main task is to kick the enemy out from your country." Noting that some Iraqis had celebrated Saddam's 66th birthday April 28, the speaker said: "It was an Iraqi decision... It is their true attitude toward Saddam Hussein." White House officials said the tape was being studied to determine its authenticity. (Newsday, May 8)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

Following testimony by ex-CIA director James Woolsey, US District Judge Harold Baer in Manhattan ruled for the families of two 9-11 victims seeking $104 million in damages from Iraq. Wrote Baer: "I conclude that the plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory t the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaeda." (Newsday, May 8) [top]


On May 8, President Bush hosted Qatar's foreign minister, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, at the White House to thank him for hosting Pentagon Central Command during the Iraq campaign. The US military presence in Qatar is set to expand as US forces relocate from Saudi Arabia. (NYT, May 9) The new closeness to Washington come with other changes in the oil-rich emirate. On April 29, a majority of over 96% approved a ballot measure instating Qatar's first constitution. The country's first parliamentary elections are to be held within two years, breaking the heretofore near-absolute rule of the emirs. (Gulf News, May 5)

Moiz Mannan, a writer for Qatar's daily The Peninsula, summed up the ambivalent feelings of his countrymen: "The Iraq war has made an impact on the public psyche in terms of exposing the inherent weaknesses of the Arab and Islamic world, but the Qatari people know that in their own national interest they must deal with the West... With about 750,000 residents, Qatar is home to a multi-religious expatriate population more than four times in size than the natives. Civilian expatriates have been accepted with open arms, but the presence of foreign military forces in the country is not very comforting... But it seems quite inevitable." (Newsday, May 11)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

President George Bush has called for a US-backed free trade area in the Middle East within a decade, once peace is established. Bush said a free trade zone for the region would combat corruption and strengthen the rule of law. The comments came on the eve of a visit to Israel and Palestine by Secretary of State Colin Powell. (UK Independent, May 10) [top]


The two British nationals who carried out the April 29 suicide attack in Tel Aviv were apparently among 15 people who visited an apartment office of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on April 25. Tthe group, which organizes non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation, said the men had no link to the ISM. The two men were among a group of visiting volunteers that also included three Italians and four Britons seeking to prepare a summer camp in Rafah, said the ISM's Raphael Cohen. (CNN, May 5)

On May 9 the offices of the ISM and the Israeli-Palestinian peace group Raprochement in Beit Sahour, West Bank, were both raided by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Three women were taken into custody. (Gush Shalom, May 9) The arrested women were Christine Razowsky, 28, from Chicago; Australian national Miranda Sissons, an employee of the New York-based Human Rights Watch; and local Palestinian Fida Gharib, 22. The foreigners are to be deported. Over 20 jeeps surrounded the office in the raid, and computers and files were also confiscated. (Haaretz, May 11)

Simultaneously, the IDF started requiring any foreigners passing into Gaza Strip to fill out a form at the army checkpoint declaring that they have "no association with the organization known as ISM (International Solidarity Movement) nor any other organization whose aim is to disrupt IDF operations." (Electronic Intifada, May 9) The form also requires foreigners--including UN relief workers--to acknowledge that they are entering a danger zone and state that they will not hold the IDF responsible if they are shot or injured. The document also warns visitors they are forbidden to approach security fences next to Jewish settlements or to enter "military zones." (BBC, May 8)

The new measures comes as the British government is demanding an investigation into the death of British photojournalist James Miller, killed--apparently by IDF fire--at Gaza's Rafah refugee camp. (Sydney Morning Herald, May 9) The award-winning photojournalist was shot while making a documentary on house demolitions in Palestinian areas. Witnesses dispute the IDF's claim that he was caught in crossfire, asserting there was no Palestinian fire. They said he was waving a white flag and walking towards an Israeli military vehicle when it opened fire. (BBC, May 8)

The parents of a British ISM activist who was shot in the head by Israeli troops came under fire themselves as they traveled to the spot where their son was critically injured in the Gaza Strip. Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall were in a British diplomatic convoy entering the town of Rafah when IDF troops at a checkpoint fired a shot, passing narrowly over the top of their vehicles. The Hurndalls, whose eldest son Tom is in a coma at an Israeli hospital, were accompanied by Tom's youngest brother and British embassy military and political attaches. (UK Independent, May 6)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

Alian Bashiti, an 18-month-old Palestinian boy, was shot in the neck by IDF fire in the Gaza Strip's Khan Yunis refugee camp May 7, and died shortly afterwards. He was in his home when he was hit. Witnesses said IDF troops fired at the camp from the nearby settlements of Morag and Ganei Tal. The IDF expressed regret for the death of the baby, claiming soldiers at an outpost guarding the settlements had returned fire after coming under attack.

Two Hamas militants were also killed that day; one in an explosion in a West Bank house and the second by IDF gunfire. Hamas accused the IDF of setting off the mysterious blast. (Haaretz, May 7)

On May 5, IDF troops invaded two medical clinics in Nablus and Ramallah, West Bank, destroying computers, furniture and equipment. Dr. Mohammed Skafi, head of emergency services at the clinic, was arrested, along with Nasaif al-Dik, coordinator of community health projects, and two volunteers.

(Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees action alert, May 5) [top]

Israel's ultra-hardline Tourism Minister Benny Elon was among a group of 50 religious settlers who attacked a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem April 28, according to a report by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The late-night attack resulted in two Palestinians hospitalized--including a child who was thrown out a broken window. The attackers were reportedly members of Elon's Homat Shalem organization.

Days after the attack, Minister Elon arrived in Washington DC, where he is expected to meet with the leaders of the Christian Coalition of America and the Christian Broadcasting Network, as well as right-wing Christian pundits Gary Bauer and Janet Parshall. (Ekklesia, May 4) Elon insisted he was in DC to discuss tourism, but acknowledged that he discussed the so-called "roadmap" to peace in his meeting with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), a born-again Christian and champion of Israeli hardliners. In the Israeli cabinet meeting May 4, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon criticized Elon for leaving for DC the previous night, and accused him of planning to lobby members of Congress against the "roadmap," contrary to official Israeli policy. (Haaretz, May 11)

Elon reportedly plans to tour the Bible Belt as well as the beltway. "I am very much at home among the Christians who support Israel," Elon told the Israeli daily Haaretz. "These are people who are wild about Israel and believe in the annexation of Judea and Samaria and even in the transfer of Palestinians from the soil of the Land of Israel. Compared to them, I am considered a dove." He also told Haaretz: "It's clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing...What we are now seeing across the Muslim world is not a powerful surge of faith but the dying embers of Islam. How will it disappear? Very simply. Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium. Obviously, we will be up against quite a large problem when only the two great religions of Judaism and Christianity remain, but that's still a long way off." (Haaretz, May 1)

See also WW3 REPORTs #65 , 61 , & 40



About 300 Afghans chanted anti-US and anti-British slogans in Kabul May 6 in the first such protest since US-led forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001. The demonstrators, including government employees and university students, protested growing insecurity, slow post-war reconstruction and long delays in payment of state salaries by Hamid Karzai's US-backed government. Some said it was time for Afghans to fight the "American invasion," just as they had resisted the Russians and British. "We don't want the Brits and the Americans!" shouted one Kabul University student. "We want Islam to rule. We want security. They have failed to bring it to us and we want them out!" Another shouted: "Death to Bush! Death to America!"

The protest was organized by the Scientific Center, headed by Sediq Afghan, a prominent Afghan intellectual known for criticisms of the Soviet-backed regime in the 1980s, the Mujahedeen governments that replaced it and the Taliban. "They are talking about reconstruction, but instead making themselves rich," he told the crowd. Afghan said that about the only changes people had seen since the Taliban fell were that some women had stopped wearing burqa and introduction of the Internet. "Where is the security and reconstruction that they boasted about?" he asked, pointing to the downtown street's cracked pavement. (Reuters, May 6) [top]

The New York Times reported May 6 that Quetta, Pakistan, near the Afghan border, has become "a home away from home for the Taliban. DCs of Taliban leaders' speeches are on sale in the shops, the Friday sermons in the mosques are openly supportive of those who consider themselves to be waging a holy war against Americans or other non-Muslims, and young men speak openly of their desire to go to Afghanistan to fight." [top]

Pakistan has announced it wants the US to write off another $1.8 billion in debt to help its key regional ally fight poverty. The official APP news agency reported that Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz asked for the cancellation of Pakistan's remaining debt to Washington in a meeting with US Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell, a day before a visit by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. The US signed a formal agreement with Pakistan last month to write off $1.0 billion in debt, following through on a promise made when Pakistan joined the US War on Terrorism after 9-11. Armitage is in the region to encourage a diplomatic thaw between Pakistan and rival India. (Reuters, May 6) [top]


Halliburton, the oil industry giant once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, has admitted one of its subsidiaries paid millions of dollars to a Nigerian official in return for tax breaks. The company said it had informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of about $2.4 million in improper payments to the official, who the company claimed had posed as a tax consultant. Halliburton admits they "clearly violated" the company's code of conduct and says "several" employees have been fired. The SEC is investigating, and the firm could face a $5 million tax bill in Nigeria. The potentially illegal payments emerged during an audit. (UK Guardian, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]


The touchdown of a joint US-Russian crew from the International Space Station took an unexpected turn when the Russian Soyuz space capsule landed almost 300 miles off-target in the deserts of Kazakhstan, sparking an hours-long search for the three-man crew. The men, who had been stuck in space since November, two months longer than anticipated, were flown to a Russian space facility outside Moscow. (Newsday, May 5) The incident highlighted tensions between the US and Russia over maintenance of the Soyuz fleet, which has had to pick up the slack since the grounding of the US Space Shuttle fleet.

See WW3 REPORT #83 [top]

French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie met with her Indian counterpart George Fernandes in New Delhi to discuss long-term military-to-military cooperation, including joint training missions and sales of high-tech weapons systems, Mirage 2000 fighter jets and six diesel-powered Scorpion submarines. Alliot-Marie emphasized that France would not consider arms sales to Pakistan, the top US ally in the region. France and India were united in their opposition to the US war on Iraq. (Weekly Mirror International, April 30) [top]


President George Bush has declared May 1 Loyalty Day, a "day of celebration...reaffirming our allegiance to our Nation." (White House press release, April 30) [top]

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is warning of a "Man on Horseback" following President Bush's dramatic arrival last week on an aircraft carrier to greet US troops returning from Iraq--via a fighter jet which he co-piloted, dressed in a flight suit. Krugman notes that US presidents traditionally do not wear military uniforms, emphasizing the principle of civilian control over the armed forces. Krugman sees a dangerous departure from this ethic in Bush's media stunt:

"George Bush's 'Top Gun' act aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln--c'mon, guys, it wasn't about honoring the troops, it was about showing the president in a flight suit--was as scary as it was funny. Mind you, it was funny. At first the White House claimed the dramatic tail-hook landing was necessary because the carrier was too far out to use a helicopter. In fact, the ship was so close to shore that, according to the Associated Press, administration officials 'acknowledged positioning the massive ship to provide the best TV angle for Bush's speech, with the sea as his background instead of the San Diego coastline.' A US-based British journalist told me that he and his colleagues had laughed through the whole scene. If Tony Blair had tried such a stunt, he said, the press would have demanded to know how many hospital beds could have been provided for the cost of the jet fuel. But US television coverage ranged from respectful to gushing. Nobody pointed out that Mr. Bush was breaking an important tradition. And nobody seemed bothered that Mr. Bush, who appears to have skipped more than a year of the National Guard service that kept him out of Vietnam, is now emphasizing his flying experience." (NYT, May 7) [top]

Teachers in Oakland, CA, are rallying behind two high school students who were interrogated by the Secret Service following remarks they made about the president in a class discussion about the war in Iraq. While the exact wording is up for debate, the teacher in the class at Oakland High didn't consider the remarks mere criticism but a direct threat, and called the Secret Service. The students were grilled by federal agents without legal counsel or their parents present, just the principal.

"When one of the students asked, 'do we have to talk now? Can we be silent? Can we get legal council?' they were told, 'we own you, you don't have any legal rights,'" said teacher Larry Felson. "We don't want federal agents or police coming in our schools and interrogating our children at the whim of someone who has a hunch something might be wrong," added teacher Cassie Lopez. The union representing Oakland teachers requires that students be afforded legal counsel and parental guidance before they're interrogated by authorities. But it's too late for the two involved in this incident, and teachers say it's something they'll carry with them for years. "I tell you the looks on those children's faces. I don't know if they'll say anything about anything ever again. Is that what we want? I don't think we want that," said Lopez. (KRON Online, May 7) [top]

Since 2001, the US government has been buying data on millions of residents of 10 Latin American countries--apparently without their consent or knowledge--from ChoicePoint, a private company based in suburban Atlanta, GA. ChoicePoint collects the information abroad and sells it to US government officials in three dozen agencies, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). According to a contract procured by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the INS paid $1 million last year for unlimited access to ChoicePoint's foreign databases. An immigration agency official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the files were used by its investigators and "Quick Response Teams" to round up immigrants inside the US. (Miami Herald, April 14)

ChoicePoint says it bought data legally from subcontractors who certified they followed privacy laws. But several countries where the company buys data--including Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica--are now investigating. ChoicePoint also buys data from subcontractors in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela. The company refuses to name the sellers or reveal where they obtained the data. (AP, April 14) The ChoicePoint corporate group includes Database Technologies, Inc. (DBT), which was involved in the alleged purging of thousands of African-Americans from Florida's voter lists before the 2000 presidential election in the US. (Greg Palast, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," 2002)

( Immigration News Briefs, April 20)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

A Senate measure sponsored by Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) was approved, allowing federal agents to wiretap foreign terrorist suspects in the US, without having to first prove they are agents of a foreign power or terrorist group as mandated by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The measure, which still has to be approved by the House, was opposed by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who said she was "concerned about zealousness and overreach." Schumer countered that "We do not give up any liberty in this bill," pointing out that it does not apply to US citizens or immigrants with green cards. He added: "We live in a new world. It's a post-9-11 world. We have to adjust to those realities, and I believe we can do both, have security and liberty." (Newsday, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

Activists chanting "no more profiling, no more war" were arrested after they linked arms to block the entrance to Manhattan's federal building May 5. On its Web site, the group, which calls itself Operation Homeland Resistance, said: "As the United States government continues its war on Iraq now in the form of occupation we must continue our struggle for justice with peace.... New Yorkers are tired of politicians using the tragedy of Sept. 11th to engage in military aggression abroad and domestic repression at home. The bombings of Afghanistan and Iraq have not made us safer or even brought us closer to any real answers." (AP, May 5) [top]


On May 6, low-income workers injured by toxic fallout in the 9-11 attacks and other on-the-job incidents launched a seven-day public hunger strike in front of Gov. Pataki's office at 633 Third Ave. The workers charge that Pataki policies have further endangered their health by promoting longer work hours and defunding health programs and the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB). The WCB is accused of delaying or denying benefits and medical treatment for those injured on the job.

The strikers are demanding that Pataki overhaul the WCB so that decisions are made in three months and interim benefits are granted within a week; the minimum benefit rate be raised from the current $40 a week; that the Family Health Plus be expanded to assure that all New Yorkers have access to health care; that the state ensure workers have the right to decline overtime hours; and that the state undertake a long-term study and treatment program for those affected by the 9-11 toxic air. (Campaign for Workers' Health & Safety press release, May 6) [top]

The EPA's voluntary asbestos testing and clean-up program set up in response to the 9-11 disaster began last August in residences south of Canal, Pike, and Allen Streets. But residents complain that the agency has been unresponsive to calls and letters--even after EPA testing in apartments found asbestos levels more than double the agency's risk-based clearance level of .0009 fibers per cubic centimeter, a standard developed specifically for post-9-11 downtown residents. Residents said they were informed of the results by mail, but the EPA failed to follow through on pledges to work with residents on addressing their health concerns. The EPA says that of the total 3,008 apartments cleaned and tested as of April 24, slightly under one percent showed elevated asbestos, while an additional 3.9 percent could not be evaluated due to clogged filters or other mechanical complications. (Downtown Express, May 6-12)

See also WW3 REPORT #50 [top]

US Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein in Manhattan dismissed three lawsuits claiming the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is expected to cost US tax-payers up to $5 billion, is unfairly biased against high-income victims. The ruling vindicated the fund's embattled "special master" Kenneth Feinberg, who was accused of trying to deny victims' families of hundreds of millions of dollars. (NYT, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 84 & 75 [top]

The investigation into the collapse of the Twin Towers by the Building & Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards & Technology has brought back preliminary findings indicating that the NY-NJ Port Authority, which owned the World Trade Center, never performed fundamental tests to determine how the towers' innovative structure would withstand fire. The finding undermines decades of public assurances by the Port Authority that the buildings met or exceeded the requirements of New York City's building code. (NYT, May 8)

See also WW3 REPORT #65 [top]

In a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 57% of New York City residents surveyed think that architect Daniel Libeskind's plan for a 1,776-foot spire at the World Trade Center site--which would make the site again host to the world's tallest building--is a "bad idea." Said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute's director Maurice Carroll: "He's going to build the world's tallest building, and people don;t think its a good idea. A fair number of people think it will taunt the terrorists, who will attack again. It's already been attacked twice." (Newsday, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. has introduced a bill to make the Big Apple the 51st state, arguing that the city pays $3.5 billion more to the state in taxes than it gets in return and can't afford it anymore. "We need our money back," he said. The move came as legislators in Albany wrestle over the state budget and Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced sweeping budget cuts. "In the past the idea of secession was romantic and maybe cute," said Vallone. "Now it may be the only the way for the city to survive."

The idea has periodically recurred throughout the city's history. Novelist Norman Mailer argued for secession in his 1969 quixotic mayoral bid [with columnist Jimmy Breslin]. A pro-slavery mayor [Fernando Wood] proposed New York secede during the Civil War. Vallone's proposal calls for a ballot referendum asking the public for approval to study secession for two years. As a new name for the city-state, Vallone offered "Greater New York," "Gotham" or "New Amsterdam"--the city's name in the seventeenth century. Secession would need the approval of both the state legislature and US Congress. But Vallone displayed some bluster: "We fought a war over secession. It was the Revolutionary War." (Reuters, May 9) [top]


Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, who recently stepped down as head of the Defense Policy Board, was accused of a new conflict of interests after it was revealed that he had briefed investors on how to profit from a potential war with Iraq or North Korea--after attending a classified intelligence briefing on the two countries. Three weeks after the Defense Policy Board was briefed by the Defense Intelligence Agency on Iraq and North Korea in February, Perle gave a talk to Goldman Sachs investors, delivered as part of a conference call, titled "Implications of an Imminent War: Iraq Now. North Korea Next?" (UK Guardian, May 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #80 [top]

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Judith Miller was called out by legions of media-watchers for her spectacularly non-corroborated April 21 front-page story on Pentagon claims that an Iraqi scientist had revealed the existence of a WMD program. (See WW3 REPORT #83)

Daniel Forbes of Global Vision News now points out Miller's relationship with the Middle East Forum, run by the controversial Daniel Pipes, who has been in the news of late as a Bush nominee to the Congressionally-chartered US Institute of Peace. The Forum was founded in 1994 to influence US foreign policy, and has come under attack for what critics call its anti-Islamic views. Judith Miller is among its "List of Experts on Islam, Islamism, and the Middle East." She is identified as a Times correspondent with two areas of expertise: "Militant Islam, [and] Biological warfare." Miller spoke at a forum "launch party" for her 1996 book on Islamic extremism, "God Has Ninety-Nine Names," published by Simon & Schuster. Miller also appeared in 2001 at a Forum event at hotel in New York. Asked whether it was appropriate for a Times reporter to be on his organization's list of experts, Pipes said, "If I didn't think it appropriate, why would she be on our website?" (GVNews.Net, May 7)

See also WW3 REPORT #81 [top]

The Memory Hole, a web watchdog on media inconsistencies maintained by the group Students for Orwell, notes that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a presumed high-level al-Qaeda operative reported by the New York Times March 2 to have been arrested in Pakistan, was reported by Asia Times Oct. 30, 2002 to have been killed in a police raid on his apartment in Karachi.

See also WW3 REPORT #75 [top]

U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Bob Graham (D-FLA) told CBS's Face the Nation that the Bush administration is hiding intelligence to "cover up" failures both before and after the 9-11 attacks. Graham, former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, helped author a House-Senate intelligence report on terrorism and the nation's intelligence community. Speaking from a studio in Des Moines, site of the first presidential caucus next year, Graham said the report completed in December remains classified because the Bush administration is afraid to release it. Calling the Bush White House "one of the most secretive administrations in American history," Graham said even testimony given in public has been classified by the White House. Restricted from revealing details, Graham said the report provides detailed information that "the American people have been denied."

While saying "Saddam Hussein is an evil man," Graham voted against the Iraq war, saying it t would distract from more urgent terror war priorities. "We do not have the information so that we can hold the administration accountable," said Graham. "I call that a cover up." (Palm Beach Post, May 11)

See also WW3 REPORT #84 [top]


The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii applauded the state legislature for being the first in the nation to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the most draconian provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The Hawaii House of Representatives adopted the "Reaffirming the State of Hawaii's Commitment to Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights" Resolution April 25, by a 35 to 12 vote. The Hawaii Senate had approved the measure earlier that month. Ninety-three towns and counties in 23 states across the country have passed similar resolutions. A resolution opposing the USA PATRIOT Act passed overwhelmingly with strong bipartisan support in the New Mexico House of Representatives, although it failed to reach the New Mexico Senate floor in time for a vote before the end of the legislative term. Juneau, Alaska's state capital, passed a similar resolution April 28. (Hawaii ACLU press release, April 29)

The text of the Legislation is on-line

See also WW3 REPORT #72 [top]

Norwegian government workers are being offered cash incentives to use bicycles on the job as part of a drive to cut car use. Municipal employees receive 43 cents for every kilometer they cycle while on business under the "Healthy City" program in the southwest town of Sandnes. Meanwhile, an estimated 75,000 cyclists pedaled to work May 5 to mark the annual "Bicycle to Work" campaign, many stopping for a free breakfast organized along cycle paths. (Reuters, May 6) [top]



Please choose the oxymoron:

1. "Islamic democracy"
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3. "security with liberty"
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5. All of the above

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