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ISSUE: #. 33. May 12, 2002



"The caribou love it. They rub against it and they have babies. There are more caribou in Alaska than you can shake a stick at."--George Bush, Sr., on the Alaska pipeline. (New York Times, Jan. 17, 1992)

By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom and Sarah Robbins, Special Correspondents

1. UN: Jenin "War Crimes" Report To Go Ahead
2. FAIR: What Happened In Jenin?
3. End To Siege At Church Of The Nativity
4. Activists Delay End Of Siege
5. Arab Leaders Reaffirm Commitment To Saudi Plan
6. Suicide Bombings Continue
7. Hamas Promises To Continue Suicide Bombings
8. Saudis To Rein In Hamas, Islamic Jihad?
9. Porn On Hamas's Web Site
10. Likud: No State For The Palestinians
11. Jewish Terrorists Plant Bomb Near Arab School
12. Israeli Singer Threatened
13. Massive Peace Rally In Rabin Square
14. Bahrain Bans "Zionist" Al Jazeera
15. Clinton: International Troops Needed
16. Israeli Poll: Evacuate The Settlements
17. Arab Boycotts Gain Steam
18. KFC And Hardee's Bombed In Lebanon
19. Israeli Professors: We Support Refuseniks
20. Refuseniks On US Tour
21. National Review: "Why I Don't Care About The Palestinians"

1. British Commander: War In Afghanistan "All But Won"
2. Rocket Attack Misses US Forces In North Waziristan
3. US Searches For Missing Servicemen In South Waziristan?
4. CIA Botches Hekmatyar Liquidation
5. Dostum And Atta Bury The Hatchet
6. Dostum Admonishes Warlords To Behave
7. 290 Arrested After Pakistan Bombing
8. RAWA Founder's Killers Hanged In Pakistan

1. Terrorist Attack In Dagestan
2. Dick Cheney's Russia Oil Interests Tied To Drug Trade

1. Prison Tries To Move Palestinian Activist
2. US Senior Citizen On Terrorist No-Fly List?
3. Student Visa Scam Link To 9/11?
4. Students Busted For Helping 9/11 Hijackers
5. INS Goofs: Part Deux
6. FBI Agents Warned Headquarters About Moussaoui, Others


1. Petro-Oligarchs Exploit Middle East Crisis To Rape Alaska
2. USGS Study: Caribou Love Oil Development
3. Polar Bears Love Oil Development?
4. Interior Dept. Uses Fuzzy Math To Plug ANWR Oil Drilling
5. Environmentalists Iced From Energy Task Force
6. Did Exxon Oust U.N. Climate Chief?
7. Congressional Hearings On "Eco-Terrorism"
8. Judi Bari Case: Eco-Activists Framed For Terrorism Sue FBI

1. Green Energy For Gotham City?


UN secretary general, Kofi Annan will go forward with a report on possible war crimes committed by Israel during their recent incursion into the Jenin refugee camp, even though Israel has rejected a previous UN fact-finding mission. Israel objected to the composition of the initial fact-finding team, which did not have military and counter-terrorism experts as full members. Israel also felt that the members of the team were biased because of their backgrounds in human rights work, and unsuccessfully sought immunity from prosecution for their soldiers that would testify before the team (see WW3 REPORT#32). Annan will ask Israel and the Palestinians to provide information for a report which the UN General assembly stipulated would be wider-ranging than the mandate of the disbanded fact-finding mission. The General Assembly asked Annan to "present a report, drawing upon available resources, on the recent events in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities."(UKGuardian, May 10) (David Bloom) [top]

A May 10 press release from media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) is critical of media coverage of the events during Israel's invasion of the Jenin refugee camp. One of FAIR's arguments is that the media debate over whether or not a "massacre" took place in the camp obscures the more important issue -- that serious human rights violations occurred. FAIR quotes veteran commentator Daniel Schorr as saying May 4 on NPR's morning edition that "Human Rights Watch has found that there was no massacre as such. Yes, there were a couple of things that were not very nice. They found Israelis destroyed more buildings than they absolutely had to. The Israelis say they had to 'cause they thought they were booby trapped, but Human Rights Watch says sometimes human beings were used as human shields. Maybe. Some things happened which were not terribly, terribly nice, and I'm sure they happened a lot. But if the question is raised that 'Was there a deliberate massacre of civilians in Jenin?' the answer seems to come out no." FAIR also criticizes journalists for despairing of the ability to separate myth from fact, which is what their task should be. On April 20 CBS Evening correspondent Mark Phillips stated he didn't know who to trust: "What happened in Jenin depends on who you believe."On April 19, CNN's Christiane Amanpour's conclusion: "Jenin will remain for the Palestinians a place of myth and legend and perhaps even a place of revenge." Also on April 19, NPR's Julie McCarthy commented that "The story of Jenin is set to live on in memory and myth." (FAIR, May 10)(David Bloom) [top]

The five-week siege at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity finally came to an end May 10, when more than 100 Palestinians who had been inside the compound since April 2, emerged from the church's Gate of Humility and walked through a metal detector into Manger Square. (AP May 10) In a European Union-brokered deal that was finalized May 9, 13 militants called "senior terrorists" were transferred in a British plane to Cyprus, from where they will go on to live in exile in Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece, Luxembourg, and Ireland. Among the thirteen are nine members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, three members of Hamas, and Bethlehem intelligence chief Abdullah Daoud, who was the first to leave the compound. Twenty-six other alleged militants, who boarded a different bus, were transferred to the Gaza Strip. They were followed shortly thereafter by the remaining 73 people, including, finally 10 foreign activists (see below). (Washington Post, May 10, CNN, May 10) A deal to end the standoff appeared to be finalized Tuesday, when negotiations settled on Italy as the host country for all 13 men to be exiled. However, plans were stalled when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that his country had not been notified of this arrangement, and that no one nation could be asked to take on that responsibility. (CNN, May 10) Secretary of State Colin Powell brokered negotiations with Berlusconi, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou. Finally, on Thursday, Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said his country would house the militants until their destinations were finalized. (AP, May 10) On Thursday, Mohammed Madani, the Palestinian governor of the Bethlehem district, left the church at 4 a.m. But moments later, the planned exit was postponed when Palestinians demanded that European envoy Alistair Crooke be allowed to enter the compound to ensure the safety of the 13 "senior terrorists." Buses waiting outside pulled away and IDF tanks resumed their posts outside the doors of the compound for another day. (CNN, May 10) Madani said IDF troops fired almost daily into the church, but the IDF denied this accusation, saying soldiers shot Palestinians inside the church only when they were clearly identified as having weapons. In response to allegations that doors had been broken and money stolen by Palestinians, Madani said that two doors had been broken-one by a man seeking shelter from Israeli gunfire-and that he had addressed three complaints of stolen money, between $300 and $400, by repaying these amounts himself. (Washington Post, May 10) Priests and witnesses say no major damage befell the church, and video footage showed piles of clothing, cooking pots and dishes and piles of bedding and clothes along the walls. (CNN, May 10)(Sarah Robbins) [top]

Even after the Church of the Nativity was evacuated May 10, ten activists remained inside of the church, delaying the end to the five-week siege because they said they wanted a lawyer present before they exited. (AP, May 10) According to Indymedia Jerusalem, the activists, who are all members of the International Solidarity Movement, made a plea to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat for the same condition-exit without consequence-that was granted to activists Adam Shapiro and Caoimhe Butterly, who spent the night in Arafat's Ramallah compound (AP, May 11). A press release from Indymedia says "President Arafat himself informed the internationals that they should remain in the Church until the Israeli army withdraws from the city of Bethlehem and that no one would turn them in." All 10 activists, including four Americans, were being questioned by police and will be deported, according to Israeli police spokesman Rafi Yaffe. (AP, May 11, Indymedia Jerusalem, May 11) Father Gustavo, a Franciscan priest who spent the 39 days inside the compound, said the activists remained in a room in the Greek-Orthodox section of the church until Israeli police in riot gear stormed inside and forced them out. Another anonymous priest said the activists desecrated the holy site built over the traditional birthplace of Jesus by smoking and drinking. The activists' lawyer, Allegra Pachecco, denied the allegations, saying during the siege the activists "received constant support and appreciation for their efforts and at no time did anyone ever raise any complaints against them." An International Solidarity Movement statement claims "church officials ignored President Arafat's order and mounted so much pressure on them that the fathers surrounded the internationals inside the church, insulted them, pushed and shoved several of the internationals and locked all of them into one room." Pachecco said that before leaving the church the activists had "pleaded with the priests to let them clean up the entire church" but were told to leave immediately and turn themselves in to the Israelis. They had the "utmost respect for the church as a holy place," she said. The activists snuck into the church May 2, saying they were acting in solidarity with the Palestinians and bringing food to relieve those reportedly suffering from hunger. Reporters who entered the church following the evacuation found lemons from the church garden piled on a blanket and large cabinet full of food, including more than 20 bags of lentils and rice, canned goods and cooking oil. According the the Daily News, a Palestinian source in daily contact with people inside the church said "no one was talking to them. We are talking about a clash of cultures -- they asked too many questions." (Daily News, May 11) In addition to four US citizens -- Nauman Zaidi, 26, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Robert O'Neill, 21, of Claremont, Calif., Larry Hales, 26, of Denver, and Kristen Schurr, 33, of New York City -- those arrested Friday include a British citizen, two Swedes, a Canadian, an Irish citizen and an activist from Denmark.(AP, May 10)(Sarah Robbins) [top]

The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, who met at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik May 11, reaffirmed their commitment to a Saudi initiative that calls for peace with Israel in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and expressed a "sincere desire for peace and a rejection of violence in all forms." (NYT, May 12) Earlier in the weekend, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak asked President Bush to urge Israel to reconsider a potential assault in the Gaza Strip in response to the May 7 suicide bombing in Rishon Letzion. (Haaretz, May 11) Washington has told Sharon to think of the consequences of a Gaza invasion but has not told him, specifically, to cancel it. The New York Times reports Bush saying, "I'm never going to tell my friend the prime minister what to do on how to handle his business." (NYT, May 12) Sharon has already delayed and scaled down a possible invasion, while Arab leaders and the US are pressuring Arafat to crack down on suicide bombings. Muhammad Dahlan, the head of the Palestinian security forces in Gaza, has said he cannot crack down on Hamas unless Israeli troops stay out of the area. (NYT, May 12)(Sarah Robbins) [top]

Sixteen people were killed May 7 in suicide bombing in Rishon Letzion, ten miles south of Tel Aviv. The attack was on a pool hall and gambling parlor that police said violated Israeli security procedures by having no license or guard at the door. It was filled with several dozen patrons playing pool and slot machines when a man walked in and detonated explosives studded with nails. (Chicago Tribune, May 8) It was the first suicide bombing since an April 12 attack at a Jerusalem outdoor market. (AP, May 8) Sharon learned of the bombing in Washington, during a 70 minute meeting with President Bush. That evening, he told a news conference that he was returning home with a feeling of "rage." He vowed, "Israel will react strongly." (USA Today, May 8) Twelve hours later, a bomber detonated explosives, apparently prematurely, at a road junction in northern Israel, critically wounding himself but injuring no one. (AP, May 8)(Sarah Robbins) [top]

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, said in an interview May 11 that the group would continue to use suicide bombings, calling them "forms of resistance open against the enemy." In response to Arafat's call to cease the bombings, Yassin said: "Hamas always considers the higher interests of the Palestinian people...We have in the past stopped martyrdom operations against the enemy. But they did not stop their killing of our people, our leaders and officials. That is why we are no longer obligated by our previous initiative." Palestinian security officers arrested 14 Hamas members in Gaza on May 9. (Reuters, May 11)(Sarah Robbins) [top]

According to the Arab-language daily Al-Quds al-Aravi, Saudi Arabia will bring representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the next few days and will bring pressure to bear on the activists to curtail their terrorist actions. Haaretz reports that Israel has information that the Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisel, pressured Palestinian Authority minister Nabil Sha'ath at the May 10 meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo to effect an end to suicide attacks. (Haaretz, May 13)(David Bloom) [top]

According to an April 7 BBC report, visitors to the Hamas website were directed to a page called "Hot Motel Horny Sex Sluts," a hard-core pornography site. Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin blamed Israeli intelligence for hacking Hamas's site, one of a series of such attacks on web sites from both sides of the conflict. "I'm telling them to die of their own fury," said the sheikh. "They are trying to disfigure the image of Islam and Muslims. These are the people who are shedding our blood and massacring our people every day, so it is not difficult for them to do something like this. As much as their anger and fire rises, they will try all and crazy ways to extinguish it." Sheik Yassin said he would consult internet specialists to help prevent further attacks.(see WW3 REPORT#31) (BBC, Apr.7)(David Bloom) [top]

In a raucous meeting of the central committee of the ruling Israeli Likud Party, Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon lost a key vote on whether to allow a future Palestinian state. Only a few members of the Likud backed their party leader in a show of hands. Sharon's rival former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who intends to challenge Sharon's leadership of the party, had called for a vote on whether peace talks could lead to a future Palestinian state, or just a self-ruling entity. "This must be clear - there will not be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River because that would be a deadly threat to Israel," Netanyahu told the audience (BBC May 13). The vote was in direct contradiction to statements Sharon has made in the past. Twice during the last year he has said a Palestinian state could be part of an overall agreement. "Any decision taken today on the final [status] agreement is dangerous to the state of Israel and will only intensify the pressures on us," Sharon told the central committee, but his entreaties fell on deaf ears. (Haaretz, May 13)(David Bloom) [top]

Four Jewish settlers have been detained by the Jerusalem police and the Israeli Shin Bet internal security service since April 29 on suspicion of planning terror attacks on Arab targets in East Jerusalem. Three of the men are from Bat Ayin in the West Bank, a Jewish settlement inhabited by 110 religious families, many originally from the US. The fourth is from the Maon settlement. Two of the settlers were arrested on April 28 when a trailer they left near Jerusalem's al-Mukasad hospital in Jerusalem was found to contain a gas canister, barrels of flammable material and a detonator. The suspects refused to answer questions, but police determined that they had set an explosion to occur the next morning (NYPost, May 11). The other two men were arrested after the first suspects were interrogated.

The trailer was also near an all-girls' high school (Haaretz, May 10). On March 5, in the southern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Sur Bahir, metal cones, hidden in a pine grove in a school yard exploded, spraying bullets and shrapnel all over the yard and breaking windows. No one was injured (NYT, March 6)(see WW3 REPORT#24). A group calling itself "Jewish Underground" distributed leaflets in various settlements during the last week taking responsibility for the attack. The group also took responsibility for the murder of eight Arabs in terror attacks. Saying "their time has come," the leaflets exhort the public to join and attack Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Yesha council of settlers, an inter-settlement governing body, has criticized the leaflets.(Haaretz, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

An extreme right-wing Jewish group calling itself "Gilad Shalhevet" threatened to assassinate Israeli singer Yaffa Yarkoni if she performed during a peace rally in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. The organization has claimed responsibility for several anti-Arab terrorist attacks in the last year. Yarkoni, one of Israel's most popular performers was critical of the action of some soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces during Operation Defensive Shield. (Haaretz, May 10; AFP, May 11) "We are a people who suffered the Holocaust. How can we do such things,?" Yakroni asked during a radio interview, referring to images she saw of Israeli soldiers marking numbers n the arm of Palestinian prisoners with markers. She also came out in support of the Refuseniks, reserve soldiers who are refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. (CSM, May 7) (David Bloom) [top]

The largest peace demonstation since the start of the Intifada in September 2000 was held May 11 in Tel Aviv's Rabin square. The protestors, whose number was listed as 100,000 by Peace Now, the event's organizers, and 60,000 by police estimate, demanded an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from Palestinian territories and the dismantling of Israeli settlements there. The protesters also called on the Israeli government to accept the Saudi peace initiative, which grants normalization of relations with the Arab countries in return for a full withdrawal. Singer Yaffa Yarkoni performed, despite having received death threats. (BBC, May 12)(David Bloom) [top]

Claiming it was a "Zionist channel," the kingdom of Bahrain announced it will no longer allow Qatar's al-Jazeera satellite news network to broadcast from Bahrain's territory. Al-Jazeera "deliberately seeks to harm Bahrain," said Bahrain's Information Minister Nabeel Al Hamer, who also claimed the station has links to Israel. "We believe Al Jazeera is suspect and represents the Zionist side in the region. We will not deal with this channel because we object to its coverage of current affairs. It is a Zionist channel, penetrated by Zionists." Duetsche-Presse Agentur also reported that sources in Bahrain's capital Manama said the government was angry at al-Jazeera for the way in which it covered anti-American protests recently held in the kingdom to protest US support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians.(DPA, May 11) (David Bloom) [top]

Former US President Bill Clinton said that a US-led international force comprised of Russian, European, and US troops would be needed to achieve peace in Israel and Palestine. "I do believe it will have to be, if not imposed, at least strongly pushed," Clinton told an audience at Hunter College recently. "I believe it will require international forces ... and I think we ought to show up and do it," ( Haaretz, May 7). A recent poll taken by the Israeli firm Dahaf found that 56% of Israelis would support a US-led international force, which is something the Palestinians have been seeking since the current intifada began 19 months ago. The Israeli government is reluctant to accept an international force. (AP, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

According to a recent poll, 59% of Israelis believe that a unilateral withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and an evacuation of the settlements there would put peace negotiations back on track. The Peace Coalition, comprising several Israeli peace organizations released the poll conducted by the Dahaf Institute on May 8. The poll was conducted before the May 6 suicide bombing attack on Rishon Letzion. The poll also found that 63% believed peace negotiations were needed to end terrorism. (AP, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

A extensive list of Palestinian individuals, NGO's, political parties and organizations published an advertisment in the Jerusalem-based Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, urging Palestinian NGO's not to cooperate with the US aid agency USAID throughout April and May. The list called for the boycott in protest of "the American official support for Israel government's crimes against our people." (al Quds, May) An aid convoy bearing the logo of USAID was turned away by residents of the Jenin Refugee camp (AFP, Apr. 25)(see WW3 REPORT#31)(David Bloom)

According the New York Times, an informal Arab consumer boycott of US goods is also gaining strength. Sales of US consumer products and fast food are 20-30% down throughout the 300 million person-strong Arab market. The word-of-mouth boycott's message is being spread thru sermons at mosques, newspapers, fliers, the Internet, and cell phone messages. A list of alternative goods to purchase in lieu of US ones is also circulating. A billboard in Syria reads: "Boycott American products: Don't be an accomplice." (NYT, May 10) (David Bloom) [top]

A bomb exploded May 9 at the entrance to a building housing outlets of the American fast-food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hardee's in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli. The bomb, 1.5 kilograms of TNT, went off at 4 a.m., injuring no one Lebanese police said they were investigating possible links between an Arab boycott of American goods in retaliation for US support of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. (AP, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

244 Israeli professors and lecturers have signed an open letter supporting students who refuse to do their reserve duty in the occupied territories. The letter, originally signed by 40 faculty members at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, grew to 244 signatures after Israel's Minister of Education asked that the signers be indicted. According to the May 10 Jerusalem Post, no action will be taken against the professors. The professors wrote that they would assist students who encounter academic, administrative and financial problems as a result of their refusal. The letter read:

"We, faculty members from a number of Israeli universities, wish to express our appreciation and support for those of our students and lecturers who refuse to serve as soldiers in the occupied territories. Such service too often involves carrying out orders that have no place in a democratic society founded on the sanctity of human life. For thirty five years an entire people, some three and a half million in number, have been held without basic human rights. The occupation and oppression of another people have brought the State of Israel to where it is today. Without an Israeli declaration of an end to the occupation, accompanied by appropriate action--unilateral, if necessary--the present war is not being fought for our home but for the settlements beyond the green line and for the continued oppression of another people. We hereby express our readiness to do everything in our power to help students who encounter academic, administrative or economic difficulties as a result of their refusal to serve in the territories. We call on the University community at large to support them."(See WW3 REPORT#28) (Seruv press release May 4)(David Bloom) [top]

Three Israeli Refuseniks who refuse duty in the occupied Palestinian territories have speaking engagements throughout the United States in May. One of the Refuseniks is Haggai Matar, who co-authored the high school Seniors' Letter of August 19 20001 to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which declared they would not serve in the IDF because the objected to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories:

"We, the undersigned, youths who grew up and were brought up in Israel, are about to be called to serve in the IDF. We protest before you against the aggressive and racist policy pursued by the Israeli government's and its army, and to inform you that we do not intend to take part in the execution of this policy."

"We strongly resist Israel's pounding of human rights. Land expropriation, arrests, executions without a trial, house demolition, closure, torture, and the prevention of health care are only some of the crimes the state of Israel carries out, in blunt violation of international conventions it has ratified."

"These actions are not only illegitimate; they do not even achieve their stated goal - increasing the citizens' personal safety. Such safety will be achieved only through a just peace agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people."

"Therefore we will obey our conscience and refuse to take part in acts of oppression against the Palestinian people, acts that should properly be called terrorist actions. We call upon persons our age, conscripts, soldiers in the standing army, and reserve service soldiers to do the same." (Courage to Refuse)

Matar will be in Madison, Wi. on May 13-14 and in New York City on May 18-25. See further details.

Audio and Video of Haggai Matar speaking at the First Unitarian Society May 13 in Madison, Wi.

Ishai Sagi, an artillery lieutenant who was jailed last summer for refusing to serve in the territories, and Ram Rahat of Yesh Gevul, a support group for Refuseniks, will be in San Francisco May 15-May 22, Los Angeles May 20, and Chicago May 23-June 1. See further details.(David Bloom) [top]

John Derbyshire, a contributing editor to National Review, has written an article explaining why he doesn't care about the Palestinian people. At the end of the article, he describes what he sees as the five options the Palestinians have available to them:

"1. An independent state, under Arafat or someone just as thuggish.
2. Military occupation by Israel.
3. Re-incorporation into a Jordanian-Palestinian nation.
4. Some sort of U.N. trusteeship.
5.Expulsion from the West Bank and Gaza, those territories then
incorporated into Israel."

Derbyshire's conclusion: "When I say 'the best option,' I don't mean 'best for the Palestinians.' I don't think they have any good options. Being Arabs, they are incapable of constructing a rational polity, so their future is probably hopeless whatever happens. Their options are the ones I listed above: to be ruled by gangsters, or Israelis, or Jordanians, or welfare bureaucrats. Or to go live somewhere else,under the gentle rule of their brother Arabs. Would expulsion be hard on the Palestinians? I suppose it would. Would it be any harder than options 1 thru 4? I doubt it. Do I really give a flying falafel one way or the other? No, not really." Derbyshire also notes that recently US Rep. Dick Armey spoke in favor of the expulsion option.(see WW3 REPORT#32) (National Review, May 9)

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee asks for letters protesting Derbyshire's piece: "Demand that the National Review disavow the advocacy of the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland. Write to National Review editor Rich Lowry, and tell him that no journal or website that prints articles advocating war crimes and crimes against humanity, not to mention such unabashed, open racism, can be considered respectable or responsible."(, May 10)(David Bloom)[top]


Brigadier Roger Lane, commander of British forces in Afghanistan, says the war there against the Taliban and al-Qaeda is "all but won. We believe we're on the right way, that the fight against AQT [al-Qaeda and Taleban] in Afghanistan is all but won, that they're not showing a predisposition to reorganise and regroup to mount offensive operations against us," Lane said. "I don't say it's over now, but I think it will be in the weeks to come rather than the months to come." Lane cautioned that coalition troops would have to remain in Afghanistan for a while to assist with the country's transition to democratic rule. (BBC, May 8)(David Bloom) [top]

A rocket was fired at the building where 7 US Special Forces were believed to be sleeping in Miran Shah, North Waziristan Agency, part of the semi-autonomous tribal areas of northwest Pakistan where US forces, in conjunction with Pakistani troops, are involved in an operation to root out remaining al-Qaeda fighters who have slipped across the Afghan-Pakistan border. A second rocket was found and defused. This was the second such attack on the building this month. On May 1, a rocket missed the building by three hundred yards. The Pakistan newspaper Jang reported that "some unidentified miscreants" were responsible(Jang, May 12). The presence of US troops, along with Pakistani troops who rarely venture into the area, has been met with some hostility by local tribesmen. The morning after the attack, local residents found pamphlets from a previously unknown group warning that Muslims who did not "stand up against the army of Jews and Christians," faced "disgrace and trouble," and that the murder of Pakistani forces and officials aiding US forces is also "justified." Pakistan has said that the only US forces in Pakistan were communications specialists. (CBS, May 11)(David Bloom) [top]

The Pakistani newspaper DAWN reports that anger towards the presence of US forces among some of the tribal factions in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) has convinced the US and Pakistan to put off their operation for a few days. US Special Forces have withdrawn to a few kilometers inside Afghan territory. According to DAWN's sources, 24 US troops were camped out in the house of an "alliance leader" and were led by a Pashtun commander Sher Ahmad Jidran of the Northern Alliance. The Troops had arrived in Wana, SWA a few days earlier and had visited the Ziri Noor Refugee Camp, where it was thought they might find 18 US soldiers purported by several Pakistani news sources as having been captured by the Taliban/al-Qaeda at Shahi Kot during Operation Anaconda. (see WW3 REPORT#27) DAWN reports pamphlets have been distributed with a Fatwa calling for every American to be shot, wherever and whenever they may be found. A rally against American atrocities in Afghanistan was to be held in Wana on May 10. (DAWN, May 10)(David Bloom) [top]

In an effort to eliminate a threat to the Karzai regime, the Central Intelligence Agency tried to assassinate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the militant Islamacist and predominantly Pashtun Hezb-I-Islami party, outside Kabul May 5, using a Hellfire anti-tank missile fired by an unmanned Predator surveillance drone. Hekmatyar is widely seen as backing a recently thwarted plot to overthrow Karzai's government (see WW3 REPORT #28). A Pentagon official was quoted by the New York Times as saying "We had information that he was planning attacks on American and coalition forces, on the interim government and on Karzai himself." Another American official said that Hekmatyar "actively pursued terrorist acts against Americans, both in terms of offering rewards to people to kill Americans and in plotting terrorist attacks against Americans." During the anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan, Hekmatyar was the mujahadeen leader who was the largest recipient of American aid among Afghan warlords. After the Soviets were expelled, Hekmatyar became prime minister in a coalition mujahadeen government. He is seen as widely responsible for factional infighting in Kabul that killed thousands of civilians. He fled to Iran during the Taliban regime and stayed there throughout the American campaign against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In February, Hekmatyar told Reuters: "While foreign troops are present, the interim government does not have any value or meaning. We prefer involvement in internal war rather than occupation by foreigners and foreign troops." Iran expelled Hekmatyar in February and after being turned away by Iraq and Pakistan, he returned home pledging support for Karzai's government.(see WW3 REPORT#25).(Boston Globe, Apr.5)(NYT, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

Rival warlords General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ustad Mohammad Atta have signed an accord to remove their heavy weapons from the northern afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The UN has verified that the warlords are beginning to comply with this agreement. Forces from the Uzbek Dostum's Junbish-i-Melli party and the Tajik Atta's Jamiat-I-Islami parties, along with fighters from the Hazara Hezb-i-Wahdat party led by warlord Karim Khalili have been battling each other since they took Mazar-i-Sharif from the Pashtun-dominated Taliban militia last fall. Dostum and Atta also agreed on terms for a 600-strong multi-ethnic police force for Mazar-i-Sharif, and to also end the fighting in the surrounding areas of Sholgarah and the neighboring province of Sare Pul. The agreement stipulates that an impartial commission under UN auspices should investigate the fighting there, and disarm and demilitarize both areas. "Both sides agree to accept the findings of the commission," the agreement reads.(NNI, May 8)(David Bloom) [top]

In an extraordinary meeting, rivals Uzbek General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Tajik Ustad Muhammed Atta, two other warlords and 90 of all of their commanders signed an agreement to end the fighting among them in and around the Northern Afghan city of Mazar-I-Sharif. The agreement was signed one day after a similar one was signed by Dostum and Atta. Dostum then compelled those assembled to listen as one of his lieutenants read aloud a 52-page report by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch called "Paying for the Taliban's Crimes: Abuses Against Ethnic Pashtuns in Northern Afghanistan." The report, given to Dostum by the UN, details atrocities committed in reprisals against Pashtun civilians by Hazara, Tajik and Uzbek forces in the wake of the defeat of the Pashtun-dominated Taliban militia. Dostum said he didn't know if every story of rape, murder and pillage was accurate, but he told the commanders they should listen to the whole report and to stop abuses of civilians by forces under their rule. "After today, if anybody creates problems in my name or in the name of [the other warlords], we will not let them stay in this province. We will unite against them and we will call him the friend of Al Qaeda and the Taliban," Dostum told the commanders. "I am dying of these accusations from the international community. 'What is happening in Mazar with these mass killing? Why are you so cruel?'" He asked, giving an example of the sort of questions he was being asked. "If any one of my commanders commits these kind of acts, I will kill him tomorrow." The Monitor notes that Dostum has a"tendency to kill opponents even after they were captured and disarmed" and that Physicians for Human Rights has reported that his forces killed or suffocated captured Taliban troops last fall. But at the meeting, Dostum told the commanders and warlords,"let's bury the enmity in the graves, just as we have buried thousands." Dostum also warned them that the world would be watching their actions: "You must be careful in the future. These are very dangerous men[the Human Rights Watch investigators]. They can take you to an international court of justice if they can prove your actions." A representative of the Hazara warlord Karim Khalili signed the agreement and told his commanders: "The UN wants peace and stability in ourhomeland, and they are well aware of what is going on here. . You must be careful about your deeds and about how you treat civilians ---especially Pashtuns."(CSMonitor, May 9)(David Bloom) [top]

Fourteen people, including 12 French nationals, were killed in a May 8 bombing attack in Karachi. The French victims were engineers flown in to work on a Pakistani submarine. They were traveling in a Pakistan Navy shuttle bus when a suicide bomber in nearby car detonated explosives, ripping the vehicles apart, according to Pakistani police. Two hundred and ninety suspected militants associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and other fundamentalist groups have been detained by the government for possible involvement in the bombing. The French army's chief of staff, General Jean-Pierre Kelche, said that Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network's was suspected to be responsible for the attack. It was the third attack this year on foreigners in Pakistan, On March 17, five people were killed when a grenade was thrown inside the International Protestant Church in Islamabad; US reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi in late January and killed by Islamic militants. (AP, May 8)(David Bloom) [top]

Ahmad Sultan and Hamayun Zikria -- Afghan men convicted of the 1987 murder of Meena Kishwar Kamal, the founder of the Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), and Engineer Fahim and Engineer Syed Faqir, two of her colleagues -- were hanged May 7, despite appeals for clemencey made by the Afghan Interim Administration to relatives of the deceased, including Kamal's daughter Najeeba, a current head of RAWA. (BBC, May 8, AFP, May 8) According to a statement issued by RAWA, clemency was requested with the claim that "the execution of two Afghan nationals in a foreign land contravenes the tenets of Afghan honour." Though the motive of the murders is unknown, RAWA says it was planned by supporters of fundamentalist Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. (AFP, May 8) In response to the execution, RAWA, whose demonstrations and activities are opposed by conservative elements in Afghanistan, issued the following statement: "The prevailing political culture and the level of political ethics of most political entities in Afghanistan is such that were a plea for pardon to be respected, malicious rumours would certainly be circulated to the effect that RAWA had been bought off with large sums of money or in exchange for political favours and 'positions and posts' in the Afghan government, or even both. In the event of granting pardon, RAWA would have exposed itself to slanders of dirty dealings over the blood of its martyrs." The release also reports that a day before the execution, the organization received an offer of a million dollars in return for the pardon. (Sarah Robbins) [top]


An explosion during a Victory in Europe day parade May 9 in Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian Republic of Dagestan, killed 39 people. Twenty servicemen, 13 children and five adults are among the dead, and 130 are injured. It is believed that the bomb was set off by remote control. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, but Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin blames Islamic rebels in the neighboring Russian Republic of Chechnya (CNN, May 10). "Nobody doubts that this was a terrorist act. In the shortest possible time, we will find, convict and punish the criminals," Putin said (RIA, May 9), Across the border in Chechnya, rebels fired on a sports stadium where the VE anniversary was being celebrated by Russian forces and Chechen civilians. Fighting in Chechnya between Russian and Chechen Islamacist forces continues on almost a daily basis in Chechnya, and on March 19, Chechen warlord Khattab, who had been linked with al-Qaeda, was assassinated. (CNN, May 10, Kavkaz-Center , Apr. 29)(see WW3 REPORTS#31&32)(David Bloom)

On the campaign trail in 2000, the Bush team bashed Clinton/Gore for shelling out billions in aid for Russia. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney has lobbied to get US tax-dollars to back up oil investments in Russia--investments investigators have now tied to financial sleaze and the ex-USSR's booming drug trade. As CEO of Halliburton, a top global energy services contractor, Cheney swung clout in Washington for high-stakes projects in the oil-rich Caspian Sea region. On Aug. 3, 2000, The Moscow Times identified Cheney as the "key powerbroker" in procuring $489 million in loan guarantees from the US Export-Import Bank in 1999 for Russia's Tyumen Oil Co. (TNK)--at a time when US-Russian relations were strained over the brutal war in Chechnya. The State Department halted the Ex-Im Bank guarantee after TNK's aggressive take-over of a subsidiary of Russian oil major Sidanko, burning the company's major foreign shareholder, BP-Amoco--which complained to the White House and Congress. BP-Amoco was said to have turned its own investigation into TNK over to the CIA for perusal. "But," writes the Moscow Times' Catherine Belton, "TNK had a few tricks up its sleeve-and one of them was Dick Cheney."

$292 million of the guarantee was slated for buying equipment from Halliburton to develop TNK's Samotlor oil field. A TNK official confirmed to Belton that Cheney was key in finally pushing through the deal in April. "It is common knowledge that the CEO of Halliburton took a number of major steps in order to get the guarantees," said TNK's Andrei Krivorotov.

A new report by Washington's Center for Public Integrity now links a major TNK shareholder--Russia's Alfa Group--with Central Asian drug trafficking. Alfa Group hotly denies the claims, but the Center for Public Integrity quotes a "US intelligence report" based on an interview with an unidentified ex-KGB agent as saying that Alfa Bank and its trading arm Alfa Eko were "deeply involved in the early '90s in the laundering of Russian and Colombian money and in the trafficking of drugs from the Far East to Europe." In 1997, Russian parliamentarian Viktor Ilyukhin called upon the Interior Ministry to open an investigation into the Alfa Group, charging it "participated in the transit of drugs from Southeast Asia through Russia and into Europe." He also cited sources in the FSB, successor agency to the KGB. [top]


Thanks to protesting phone calls from radio listeners to the warden of the Middlesex Adult Correctional Center, Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a New York-based Palestinian activist who has been imprisoned in Middlesex Adult Correctional Center since April 26, successfully fought back attempts to move him without the prison first informing his lawyer. Gilma Carmago, Abdel-Muhti's lawyer, was alerted by Abdel-Muhti to the attempt to move him. She announced the number of the prison on New York Radio station WBAI, and enough people called the warden that he relented and did not move Abdel-Muhti. Abdel-Muhti is being held without a hearing after he was arrested on the basis of a 1995 deportation order, an order which still has not been shown to his lawyer. But Abdel-Muhti was told specifically by federal authorities that he was being arrested because of his political activities, and that unless he informed on people in the Arab community in the US, and on Palestinians in Palestine, he would turned over to Israeli Intelligence. Under the Homeland Security Act, Abdel-Muhti can be held for 90 days without a hearing. (see WW3 REPORT#32)(David Bloom)

Abdel-Muhti suffers from high blood pressure and has been experiencing chest pains,yet the prison has been denying him proper medical treatment, and he has complained about lack of adequate heat where he is kept.

To protest Abdel-Muhti's conditions and to demand proper medical treatment for him, please call the warden at the Middlesex Adult Correctional Center:


Abdel-Muhti would appreciate letters:

Middlesex Adult Correctional Center
Housing Unit 87408-HPAT
PO Box 266
New Brunswick NJ 08903

To demand Abdel-Muhti's immediate and unconditional release:

Andrea J. Quarantillo
NJ District Director
INS Newark District Office
970 Broad St. Rm. 136
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: 973-645-4421
Fax: 973-645-2304

Listen to an April 29 interview with Farouk Abdel-Muhti and Gilma Carmago on WBAI [top]

Johnnie Thomas is a 70 year old African American woman who went through a Kafkaesque ordeal trying to remove her name from the "no fly" list in March and April 2002. The trouble started because her name is similar to an alias used by 28 year old red-head Christian Michael Longo, who was arrested on January 13. After being repeatedly searched and questioned at various airports, she called the F.B.I. office in Paterson. A man who refused to give his name returned her call to say "If you want your name off the list, hire a lawyer."

She called her United States senators and a reporter, who put her in touch with an F.B.I. counterterrorism specialist, who suggested that she call the Federal Aviation Administration. The number listed for the F.A.A. in Bergen County was not in service. She called the Transportation Security Administration where she learned that only the F.B.I. can remove her name from the "no fly" list. Thomas then called a friend who had been in the foreign service. This friend called a colleague, who called an F.B.I. counter-terrorism expert. This agent didn't know what the N.I.S.D.B. and the N.G.A.T. stood for but knew to try them next to ask if they could remove her name. Ultimately, Thomas called F.B.I. headquarters in Washington and was directed to the Fugitive Publicity Unit. She then talked to Supervisory Special Agent Rob Haley, in the Criminal Investigative Division. Haley checked with the Oregon F.B.I. and discovered that one airline had been told not to allow John Thomas to fly, but if was not Mrs. Thomas' airline. He couldn't say how Thomas' name had ended up on the list and was pessimistic about removing her name from the list.

Thomas has flown since these calls. Before one flight, everything went smoothly but the next flight had her labeled "not allowed to fly." "Something different happens every time" she goes to the airport, she said last week. "It's scary. It's surreal-so surreal that I've written a rap song about it. Here's the last verse. It's in the voice of the F.B.I.: The identity of the anthraxer is a mystery, that's true / But Mrs. Thomas, give us credit, we did catch you! / Say uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh!'" (New Yorker, 13)(M. Hope) [top]

A search of the Virginia home of a person allegedly involved in a student visa scam turned up a student Federal Aviation Administration flight manual, a hand-drawn diagram of a plane striking one of the World Trade Center towers and a date book with a lone entry - September 11. Flight school catalogs, videos on air and water disasters, telephone listings with locations of oil refineries, a postcard with an aerial view of the Pentagon and photos of men posing outside and inside the trade center were also found. Another suspect from Norfolk, Virginia, had a CD-ROM with the words "flight school" on it in his car.

Fifty-eight people were arrested and charged with conspiracy and mail fraud in 13 states in the student visa scam. The conspiracy and mail fraud charges carry sentences of up to five years and a $250,000 fine. The scam involved paying people to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language required of foreign students by many colleges. The date book entry says: "Trackd the World Trade Center or the Pentagon Trackd for the Plaen," indicating that poor spelling may have been the motivation for participating in the TOEFL scam. Others arrested had no visible connection to the September 11 attacks. (AP, May 10)(M. Hope) [top]

Federal prosecutors allege that Yemeni Mohdar Mohamed Abdoulah, 24, a former San Diego State University student, assisted Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, who are suspected of hijacking American Airlines Flight 77 and crashing it into the Pentagon, by arranging flying lessons for them and helped the men obtain California drivers' licenses and Social Security cards. Abdoulah was arrested and held as a material witness shortly after September 11. Prosecutors also describe a third Flight 77 hijacker, Hani Hanjour, as Abdoulah's friend. Abdoulah claims he had no advance knowledge of the attacks and no idea of the role played by his acquaintances. Abdoulah is being held on $500,000 bail for allegedly filing a false asylum application, claiming that he was a member of a minority group that faced persecution in Somalia.

Prosecutors referred to a notebook found in Abdoulah's car which "contained references to planes falling from the sky, mass killings and hijacking." Abdoulah's attorney said the writings were "rap lyrics" written by a teen-ager who left the notebook in his client's car. (AP, May 9)(M. Hope) [top]

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has accidentally given congressional investigators its secret list of September 11 detainees. Now it wants the list returned. At the request of Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the General Accounting Office is investigating the treatment of the detainees. These detainees are being held on charges of violating immigration laws while they are investigated for suspected links to terrorism. "We're fighting all these court battles to not give this out," one official said. "He [INS chief James Ziglar] will get reamed out." (AP, May 6)(WW3 REPORT Special Correspondent) [top]

The FBI agent who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui--often referred to as the "20th [9/11] hijacker"--warned his superiors a month before September 11 "that this is the type of individual to take a plane and hijack it." According to FBI Director Robert Mueller, the agent expressed "the possibility of Moussaoui being the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center." A post-9/11 search of the Frenchman's computer and apartment turned up financial records linking him to Al Qaeda. (NY Post, May 9) Two months before 9/11, an FBI agent in Arizona warned headquarters about Middle Easterners training at an aviation school there. (Daily News, May 4)(WW3 REPORT Special Correspondent) [top]


Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), on Alaska's North Slope, to oil exploitation was a major plank in Bush's presidential campaign, and in the new White House energy policy report produced by Vice President Dick Cheney's special task force (see WW3 REPORT #19). On April 18, Senate Republicans fell well short of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster and allow a vote on an amendment to open the ANWR to oil companies. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush would continue to fight for drilling in the ANWR, but didn't say whether Bush would sign an energy bill that does not include a provision for opening the refuge. Alaska's senators, both Republicans, sponsored the ANWR drilling amendment to the energy bill. The Republican-dominated House approved a measure for ANWR drilling last summer. (NPR, April 18)

Drilling supporters explicitly argued ANWR oil was essential for energy security due to tensions and war in the Middle East. In the prelude to the Senate vote, Ari Fleischer said: "The president knows that ANWR represents 46 years' worth of imports of oil from Saddam Hussein's Iraq." Alaska's Sen. Frank Murkowski and his allies brought out representatives of Jewish organizations, including B'nai Brith International and the American Jewish Congress, to tell Congress that the security of the US and Israel depends on greater oil production. Murkowski and his allies also invoked the recent turmoil in Venezuela, the USA's third largest oil supplier (see WW3 REPORT #30). (NYT, April 11)

In March, the Senate rejected a bill to raise the required average mileage of vehicles sold in the US to 36 miles per gallon by 2016, up from 16 miles per gallon now. Federal fuel efficiency requirements have not changed since 1985, and average mileage has been falling for years because of the popularity of sports utility vehicles, which are not subject to the same standards as other cars. (NYT, April 11) [top]

A government study has concluded that oil wells in the northwest corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will do little or no harm to the thousands of caribou who bear their young on the coastal plain. In a follow-up of an earlier report, the US Geological Survey held that caribou survival would not be threatened as long the eastern half of the Arctic coastal plain is left untouched. "The impact was minimal on the Porcupine caribou herd," Interior Department spokesman Eric Ruff said of the two-page report, prepared by USGS biologists.

USGS Director Charles G. Groat ordered the new study after an earlier one, released in late March, considered a wider range of drilling scenarios. The first study found caribou calf survival would be slashed by 8.2% in the event of oil development throughout the plain. The new report was issued just as the Senate prepared to resume debate on energy legislation--including amendments to open the ANWR to oil companies. Critics dismissed the revised findings, saying not enough information is in on how the caribou depend on the northwest quadrant. "We can be pretty confident that there would be impacts, but we don't have a model yet to measure them," said Ken Whitten, a biologist who contributed to the original report.

The annual trek of the 123,000-caribou herd--named after the Porcupine River--from the mountains of Canada to the Arctic coast is North America's last great mammal migration. The spring and summer weeks spent along the coast is thought crucial to survival of the herd. Federal officials estimate there are 5.7 billion to 16 billion barrels of oil underneath the coastal plain. (LAT, April 8)

The Bush administration repudiated the first USGS report that found substantial risks to the Porcupine herd and other wildlife. "We're not looking at what the USGS studied," said White House spokesperson Gordon Johndroe. Groat then ordered biologists to report back within 10 days with a new study on drilling proponent's revised plan. The first study found the herd "may be particularly sensitive to development" because it has little quality habitat elsewhere, and the survival of calves is linked to the caribou's ability to move freely. Musk oxen were described as "vulnerable to disturbances" from development because they live in the region year-round. Snow geese, among millions of migratory birds on the plain, could be displaced, and it can't be assumed they would find adequate feeding areas elsewhere, the study said. The 78-page report was based on 12 years of research. (AP, March 30) [top]

The average winter temperature in Alaska has increased by 4 degrees Centigrade during the last 40 years, ten times the speed of warming in more temperate regions. Clifford Weyiouanna, a village elder from Shishmaref,on an island just off the Alaska coast in the Chuckchi Sea, told the Television Trust for the Environment's (TVE) Earth Report production "Baked Alaska": "[T]he freeze-up of the Chukchi sea has really changed .... That ocean out there should under normal conditions be four feet thick. I went out, and the ocean ice was only one foot thick." As ice melts, the island loses ground and storms become more severe. Professor Gunter Weller, director of the Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, blames the Alaskan oil industry, which provides 80% of Alaskan income, for promoting an "excessive lifestyle." Other scientists dispute this. They point to burgeoning populations of polar bears and bowhead whales that benefit from the warmer water. (BBC, May 7) (M. Hope) [top]

In late February, Interior Secretary Gale Norton repeated the standard response to concerns about extensive oil development in the ANWR: "The impact will be limited to just 2,000 out of 1.9 million acres of the refuge." That number comes from the House version of the Bush-Cheney energy plan, which promises that "surface acreage covered by production and support facilities" will not exceed 2,000 acres. Wrote Paul Krugman in a March 1 New York Times column: "It's a reassuring picture: a tiny enclave of development, practically lost in the Arctic vastness. But that picture is a fraud. Development won't be limited to a small enclave: according to the US Geological Survey, oil in ANWR is scattered in many separate pools, so drilling rigs would be spread all across the coastal plain." Among the tricks in this fuzzy math is that the roads linking the rigs aren't part of the 2,000 acres because they're not "production and support facilities." And "surface acreage covered" is narrowly defined: if a pipeline snakes across the terrain on a series of posts, only the ground on which those posts rest counts; bare ground under the pipeline isn't considered "covered." [top]

E-mail records indicate that US Energy Department officials gave environmental groups less than 48 hours to submit proposals for Vice President Dick Cheney's national energy policy report last year. One message from the Department's Margot Andersen to a colleague asking him to contact environmental groups for comment on the plan was sent at 11:49 PM Wednesday March 21, 2001. It said, "Need by Friday afternoon." The e-mail listed 11 environmental groups to be contacted. In contrast, 109 energy industry representatives met with Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham from January to May 17, 2001, when the report was released. The group Judicial Watch and the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Energy Department to gain access to the e-mails and other documents. (NYT, April 11) [top]

Greenpeace says it will target ExxonMobil in a new campaign to protest what it calls the oil company's drive to remove the head of the UN advisory body on global climate change. Robert Watson was ousted as chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a secret ballot in Geneva April 19. Watson, who advocated a shift away from fossil fuels, was replaced by IPCC vice president Rajendra Pachauri. The drive to oust Watson was led by the US. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 23)

Two weeks earlier, word spread in DC that State Department officials met with oil industry lobbyists shortly before the Department announced its decision to challenge Watson. The Natural Resources Defense Council released a 2001 memo it had obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from Randy Randol, ExxonMobil's senior environmental advisor, to John Howard of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, on replacing Watson with someone more sympathetic to the industry. "The White House teamed up with ExxonMobil and other polluters in hopes of disrupting the IPCC's effectiveness as the global authority on climate science," said NRDC's David Doniger. (Greenwire, April 22) [top]

In February, the House Resources Sub-committee on Forests and Forest Health held hearings on "eco-terrorism." Craig Rosebraugh, former spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front, was called to testify, and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 40 times during his appearance. Committee members accused him of abusing his constitutional rights and threatened to charge him with contempt. (Irish Times, Feb. 16)

Also testifying was Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a DC-based property rights group ( Said Berman to the committee in a prepared statement: "Eco-terrorism is indeed alive and well in the United States of America, and it shares a common heritage with violent animal-rights extremism. These radical movements have been responsible for well over 1,000 documented criminal acts in the U.S., most of which would be prosecuted as felonies if the perpetrators could be brought to justice... On September 11th of last year, on the very day America mourned the loss of thousands of lives to foreign terrorists, our own homegrown version (the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, known as 'ELF' and 'ALF') took joint credit for firebombing a McDonald's restaurant in Tucson, Arizona."

Berman assured the committee he supported the constitutional rights of environmentalists, but the substance of his comments exposed this as meaningless lip service. Said Berman: "Another eco-criminal, Dave Foreman, pled guilty in 1991 to felony conspiracy in a plot to blow up the power lines of three nuclear power generating stations. Mr. Foreman was a cofounder of the radical 'Earth First!' organization, the group from which the Earth Liberation Front split during a 1992 meeting in the United Kingdom. Among its other claims to fame, Earth First! actually published the newsletter articles (in the Earth First! Journal) from which 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczinski chose his last two victims." (House testimony, Feb. 12, 2000)

This claim seems to originate from a 1996 story in the Washington Post speculating that the Unabomber was inspired to blow up Burson-Marstellar executive Thomas Mosser by an article in the Earth First! Journal by Puerto Rico-based journalist Carmelo Ruiz exposing the global PR firm's role in spin control for Exxon following the 1989 Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Ruiz's story never mentioned Mosser, and he told the Post that blaming him for the death is akin to blaming the Beatles for the Manson family's "Helter Skelter" killings. (WP, April 17, 1996) Following the allegation against Ruiz, Anne Petermann of the Native Forest Network said: "If writers or the alternative press are afraid to expose corruption because of potential consequences, then truth will take the back seat to whatever entity has the money to grease the wheels of propaganda for profit." (NFN press release, April 1996)

Berman's testimony also mentioned the Ruckus Society and Rainforest Action Network, noting that they were "largely responsible for the 1999 anti-WTO protests in Seattle, which ended in mass rioting and the destruction of Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants." (The Ruckus Society, who mostly do street theater, have an explicit non-violence code and were not involved in any window-smashing at Seattle. In any case, most of the violence at Seattle came from the police.) [top]

Lawyers for Oakland police officers and Earth First! activists formed an unlikely alliance in an attempt to discredit trial testimony of an FBI bomb specialist, who steadfastly denied he manipulated a controversial investigation into a still unsolved 1990 car bombing. Despite the combined attack on his credibility over three days of testimony, career FBI bomb specialist Frank Doyle refused to budge from his courtroom contentions. Doyle repeatedly denied misleading Oakland investigators into believing that late eco-activist Judi Bari and companion Darryl Cherney were violence-prone environmental radicals who were probably guilty of transporting a pipe bomb that exploded on May 24, 1990, blowing up Bari's station wagon and leaving her permanently injured. Cherney was also injured in the attack, and Bari later died of cancer.

Doyle has been the primary witness in an on-going civil rights lawsuit that is now before a federal jury after a decade of legal wrangling. Bari heirs and Cherney seek damages from three Oakland police investigators and six FBI agents, including Doyle--who they accuse of "framing" the two well-known activists in a bid to discredit the Earth First! movement. Doyle, who retired earlier this year from the FBI after 32 years, refused to acknowledge a key role in the bombing investigation, or that he was considered the FBI's premier bomb expert in Northern California law enforcement offices. Now a consultant on terrorist tactics in the Middle East for the US State Department, Doyle conceded he has investigated nearly 200 bombing cases over his career, and has often been the lead instructor in FBI training programs on explosive devices. But he would not agree that experience makes him an "expert." Oakland city attorney Maria Bee Tuesday attacked Doyle's credibility by citing a series of inconsistencies with earlier sworn statements he gave at pre-trial hearings. She read aloud from one document in which Doyle acknowledged he was testifying as "an expert." The activists' attorneys argue that Doyle and the FBI manipulated the Oakland police in a rush to judgment, convincing them that Bari and Cherney were perpetrators of a crime and not victims of a car bombing. Oakland police investigators testified that within an hour of the mid-day bomb blast on an Oakland street, they relied almost exclusively on Doyle and fellow agents in the FBI's San Francisco counter-terrorism squad for advice in how to proceed with the case. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 24)

For more info on the case, please see: [top]



Last November, San Francisco overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to make the city the nation's top producer of solar power. (See WW3 REPORT #8) Now even New York city and state--where there is no referendum process, and consumers have not been chastened by the California energy crisis--are starting to get with the program. But it is citizens and localities that are in the lead while state and city governments cite the supposedly prohibitive cost of "green energy." Writes Chesley Hicks in a special Earth Day report in New York's on-line Gotham Gazette: "Fortunately, some individuals and private organizations are taking their own initiatives for on-site sources of wind and solar power. A non-profit business cooperative that serves New York City, called 1st Rochdale, intends to have a self-generated residential building running this summer, a project that will include solar panels. It is also working to finish a contract with the state energy authority to offer green power to commercial customers.... New York State's geography is particularly amenable to the proliferation of green energy. The alternative energy website of the Department of Energy declares that New York has excellent wind resources and that solar power is 'useful throughout the state.' In the towns of Fenner and Madison in New York's Madison County, two privately-owned wind farms have opened over the last year and a half. The one in Fenner, the largest wind farm in the eastern United States, generates enough electricity to power 10,000 homes." Hicks says these technologies are cost-effective when environmental considerations are factored into the price: "On-site technologies like wind turbines and solar panels are initially costly but pay off considerably not only by generating 'free energy' for years, but by giving clean air and unspoiled land back to the public." ( Full story: [top]


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