In another gesture of perverse irony, the Bush administration has appointed John Bolton, a longtime anti-UN ideologue, as ambassador to the UN (replacing John Danforth, who is stepping down).
Three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement were arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn while engaged in the legal monitoring of police activities. They have been falsely charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and obstructing governmental operations. (Our Time Press, reprinted by the NY Independent Press Association, Feb.
Yemeni cleric Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, 56, faces up to 75 years behind bars after a Brooklyn federal jury found him guilty of five charges stemming from a conspiracy to support al-Qaeda and Hamas. ¨Today's convictions mark another important step in our war on terrorism,¨ U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said. (NY Post, March 11)
Prime Minister Tony Blair has won the support of Parliament for a new anti-terrorism law, which will allow the government to move quickly against eight foreign terror suspects who have been granted bail. The House of Lords approved new powers to order house arrest, impose curfews and electronic tagging without trial, after the government made concessions to end a bitter parliamentary deadlock just three days before similar legislation was to have expired.
The unclassified 21-page summary of a 400-page secret Pentagon report prepared by Vice-Admiral Albert Church confirms that at least six detainees have died in more than 70 proven cases of abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reveals that the U.S. military was holding an estimated 50,000 detainees in shadowy circumstances as of last September. However, the report exonerates Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Pentagon brass of ordering or turning a blind eye to torture.
Following days of protests by predominantly Christians and Druze for Syria to pull out of Lebanon (their demands backed by the US and Israel), thousands of mostly Shi'ite demonstrators led by Hezbollah rallied in Beirut March 8 in support of Syria. The pro-Syria rally dwarfed those of the anti-Syria opposition. The following day, Parliament voted to return to power pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami, who had resigned a week earlier in response to protests.
Ramush Haradunaj, the ethnic Albanian prime minister of Kosovo (known to the Albanians as Kosova) stepped down from his post and boarded a flight for the The Netherlands March 9, turning himself over to international authorities at The Hague, where he is wanted in connection with atrocities carried out when he was a commander of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA). He shared the flight with another ex-KLA commander, Lahi Brahimaj. The two are now being held at the same prison as former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. (UK Independent, March 10) Hopefully this development will put an end to the incessant whining of the Slobo-suckers that their boy is being unfairly singled out. Meanwhile, two other of their faves, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, remain at large—presumably in Serb-controlled Bosnia.