Saturday, August 28, 2004

Republicans seek to suppress Native American vote

Welcome to South Dakota, where Republicans tried to impose a poll tax to suppress the Indian vote.

By Tara McKelvey


A plastic sign outside a polling place in Andes Central High School on the Yankton Sioux reservation was clear and concise. "Photo ID required," it read.

The only problem, said Charon Asetoyer, executive director of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center in Lake Andes, South Dakota, was that the sign was illegal.

Sitting in a conference room decorated with a buffalo skull, hand-sewn medicine bags, and a poster that says "Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome," Asetoyer explains how the law doesn't, in fact, require voters to have a photo ID. If you don't have one, you can sign a personal-identification affidavit.

"The whole issue around denying Indian people the right to vote because they don't have a photo ID puts in people's minds, 'They're not going to let me vote, anyway, so why should I even go to vote?'" she said on June 15, describing what happened at the city election and at a June 1 special congressional election. "It's an intentional act to disenfranchise the Native American vote."

Nobody knows how widespread the problem was on June 1.But at least 21 Native Americans were turned away from the polls because they didn't have a photo ID, says Bret Healy, executive director of the Four Directions Committee, a nonprofit voter-registration organization in Rapid City, South Dakota. He's collected signed statements from all of them.

Full Story

Dangerous Delusions: Advertising Nonsense about Advertising America

by Lawrence Pintak
Published on Friday, August 27, 2004 by CommonDreams.org


The question of how the U.S. communicates its message to the Muslim world is arguably the most vital issue facing the nation today. It is therefore deeply disturbing when the debate is muddied by dangerously misleading pseudo-science.

"University Study Shows Advertising Can Improve U.S. Image Abroad; Controversial Campaign By Charlotte Beers Shown Effective in Experiment," proclaimed a press release jointly issued this week by Southern Methodist University and Oklahoma State University.

Within 24 hours, the story was being carried around the world. Quoting directly from the press release, Indiantelevision.com reported: "A new study shows that a U.S. government advertising campaign may have been successful in changing certain anti-American sentiments abroad. This runs contrary to the U.S. government's decision to drop the ads because they were considered ineffective."

In fact, the $15 million "Shared Values" initiative (SVI) - dubbed the "Happy Muslims" campaign for its antiseptic profiles of Muslims living in the U.S. - sparked a firestorm of outrage across the Muslim world, forcing the government to pull the ads and ultimately leading to the resignation of State Department PR guru Charlotte Beers, a former Madison Ave. ad exec.

Full Story

Wall St fundraisers shy away from Bush

By David Wighton in New York and James Harding in Washington
Published: August 26 2004 20:58 Last updated: August 26 2004 20:58

Wall Street's enthusiasm for US President George W. Bush appears to have cooled as the presidential race tightens and concerns grow about foreign policy and fiscal deficits.

Some leading fundraisers of Mr Bush's re-election bid have stopped active campaigning and others privately voice reservations.

The New York financial community is expected to give the Republicans a lavish welcome when the president's party arrives for its national convention next week. Wall Street has been a big contributor to Mr Bush's record-breaking re-election fund.

But one senior Wall Street figure, once talked of as a possible Bush cabinet member, said that he and other prominent Republicans had been raising money with increasing reluctance. “Many are doing so with a heavy heart and some not at all.” He cited foreign policy and the ballooning federal deficit as Wall Street Republicans' main concerns.

Full Story



Friday, August 27, 2004

Group Plans to Impeach Blair

David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
Friday August 27, 2004The Guardian

Cherie Booth's chambers, Matrix, are to draw up the document to impeach her husband, Tony Blair, for "high crimes and misdemeanours" in the run up to the war against Iraq, it was disclosed yesterday.

The 12 MPs planning to revive the ancient parliamentary procedure - last used 156 years ago against Lord Palmerston - have engaged his wife's chambers to frame the motion because of their record in taking up human rights issues.

Two of Ms Booth's colleagues will be working on the motion. One, Rabinder Singh, is of equal status to the PM's wife, being a QC and a deputy high court judge.

Full Story

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The World is Watching (and its already taken sides)

Across the liberal media comparisons are being drawn between the demonstrations at the DNC in Chicago in 1968 and the potential for a similar situation to occur in New York at the RNC. Authors advise caution, saying the demonstrators may play into Bush’s hands and cause middle America to swing to the right.

In
Rick Perlstein's article in the Village Voice the author interviews Lewis Koch:

One of the most exhilarating moments in Lewis Koch's life came in the summer of 1968. He was a producer for NBC News, based in Chicago, specializing in the anti-war movement—of which he was a sympathizer. Now, at the Democratic National Convention, he was an actor in what he thought was one of its glorious episodes. Cops were beating kids without provocation, and with the footage he was putting on the air, Middle America might finally realize that justice rested more with those protesting the war than those so violently defending it.
"I remember my self-satisfaction," Koch recalls, "and saying to myself, 'Oh, did you do a terrific job!' "

Then came the most traumatic moment in Lewis Koch's life.

"The phones would ring off the hook. People were furious. . . . Nothing I had intended had gone through. Actually what they saw were clear pictures of these young kids rioting. Chaos in their city." Next thing he knew, Richard Nixon had swept to presidential victory on the wings of a commercial proclaiming—above those selfsame pictures—that "the first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence."

…Demonstrators chanted, "The whole world is watching." The reason they chanted it: They thought they had won a public relations victory.

Likewise in an article entitled The Whole World is Watching at salon.com , Michelle Goldberg quotes Todd Gitlin:

…the demonstrators assumed that public sympathy would be with them, the victims. They were wrong. "To our innocent eyes, it defied common sense that people could watch even the sliver of the onslaught that got onto television and side with the cops -- which in fact was precisely what polls showed," writes former antiwar organizer Todd Gitlin in his 1987 book, "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage."

Whilst both articles raise genuine concerns, how far can these parallels really be taken? In 1968 were 83 percent of Chicago residents against their city hosting the conference? I don’t know, but I doubt they felt that strongly. The Republicans' decision to hold their conference in New York is at the very least a cynical attempt to cash in on the tragedy that befell the city on 9/11, a tragedy that but for Bush’s incompetence may have been prevented. This is the administration that tried to block an inquiry into that tragedy, that lied about the air quality after 9/11, the administration that betrayed New York.

Both articles focus on the opinions of middle America and their concerns may well be valid, but on a global level the scenario occurs in a very different context from 1968. The world is indeed watching and it is a world that is overwhelmingly anti-Bush. As Polly Toynbee writes in The Guardian :

…Where in the world could you walk down the street and not collect overwhelmingly negative vox pops on Bush's America and its global impact? Last year's BBC/ICM poll, taken in a string of countries across the continents, found only Israel in support of Bush - with Canada, Australia and Korea least unfavourable, but still with a majority against.

That is not necessarily the same as anti-Americanism. The Bushites in their daily, foul-mouthed email assaults on Guardian writers try to portray current anti-American sentiment as racist, akin to anti-semitic. They try to pretend "old" Europe is just effetely snobbish about the Ugly Americans. They dismiss anti-Bush disgust in developing countries as envy and as ignorant support for terror.

But opinion polls make it clear that people are well able to separate their feelings about Americans from the politicians and policies now occupying the White House: 81% of the British say, "I like the Americans as people", according to Mori, but only 19% admire American society. They overwhelmingly reject the proposition "We would be better off if we were more like the Americans in many respects"…

…The world waits on the US elections with particular trepidation this time. The fall of the Berlin wall was a great opportunity missed for America the victor to become the global force for good it thinks it is. The fall of the twin towers was a chance to reclaim that lost global respect, but in every action Bush has swelled the ranks of those who cheered in the streets when it happened.

ICM's poll reveals a world that thinks America arrogant, less cultured, a worse place to live than their own countries and a threat to world peace. Is that hatred now irreversibly hardwired?


…The underlying picture of attitudes towards America suggests a miasma of confusion and deep emotion: the idea of America is woven deep into the universal imagination. When prompted, the world can also admit to seeing the US as that beacon of liberty and opportunity that Americans dream themselves to be…

It is still possible for American – International relations to recover at this point. The world knows the difference between the American people and the Bush Administration, and it still cares enough to make the distinction. Whether they continue to care may depend on what happens between now and November. The world is watching and it is asking for the real America to please stand up.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Americans Torturing Children at Abu Gharib

Just when you think the news from Abu Gharib can't get any more incomprehensibly evil than it is already, it gets worse. I came across this story courtesy of Unknown News who reproduced the original story by the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald.

This is the information Seymour Hersch alluded to in his speech at The University of Chicago in March.

This story was published by the Sunday Herald on August 1st. I'm disgusted, but not surprised that the media hasn't chosen to follow it up. I had seen no mention of it in the three weeks since it was published.

Touting their religiousity, this is what Bush, Boykin, and their cohorts are doing in the name of God:

Iraq's Child Prisoners

A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees – some as young as 10 – are also being subjected to rape and torture


By Neil Mackay

It was early last October that Kasim Mehaddi Hilas says he witnessed the rape of a boy prisoner aged about 15 in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets,” he said in a statement given to investigators probing prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. “Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door … and I saw [the soldier’s name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform.” Hilas, who was himself threatened with being sexually assaulted in Abu Graib, then describes in horrific detail how the soldier raped “the little kid”.


In another witness statement, passed to the Sunday Herald, former prisoner Thaar Salman Dawod said: “[I saw] two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and [a US soldier] was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners. The prisoners, two of them, were young.”
It’s not certain exactly how many children are being held by coalition forces in Iraq, but a Sunday Herald investigation suggests there are up to 107. Their names are not known, nor is where they are being kept, how long they will be held or what has happened to them during their detention.


Proof of the widespread arrest and detention of children in Iraq by US and UK forces is contained in an internal Unicef report written in June. The report has – surprisingly – not been made public. A key section on child protection, headed “Children in Conflict with the Law or with Coalition Forces”, reads: “In July and August 2003, several meetings were conducted with CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) … and Ministry of Justice to address issues related to juvenile justice and the situation of children detained by the coalition forces … Unicef is working through a variety of channels to try and learn more about conditions for children who are imprisoned or detained, and to ensure that their rights are respected.”

Another section reads: “Information on the number, age, gender and conditions of incarceration is limited. In Basra and Karbala children arrested for alleged activities targeting the occupying forces are reported to be routinely transferred to an internee facility in Um Qasr. The categorisation of these children as ‘internees’ is worrying since it implies indefinite holding without contact with family, expectation of trial or due process.”

The report also states: “A detention centre for children was established in Baghdad, where according to ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) a significant number of children were detained. Unicef was informed that the coalition forces were planning to transfer all children in adult facilities to this ‘specialised’ child detention centre. In July 2003, Unicef requested a visit to the centre but access was denied. Poor security in the area of the detention centre has prevented visits by independent observers like the ICRC since last December.
“The perceived unjust detention of Iraqi males, including youths, for suspected activities against the occupying forces has become one of the leading causes for the mounting frustration among Iraqi youths and the potential for radicalisation of this population group.”


Journalists in Germany have also been investigating the detention and abuse of children in Iraq. One reporter, Thomas Reutter of the TV programme Report Mainz, interviewed a US army sergeant called Samuel Provance, who is banned from speaking about his six months stationed in Abu Ghraib but told Reutter of how one 16-year-old Iraqi boy was arrested.

“He was terribly afraid,” Provance said. “He had the skinniest arms I’ve ever seen. He was trembling all over. His wrists were so thin we couldn’t even put handcuffs on him. Right when I saw him for the first time, and took him for interrogation, I felt sorry for him.

“The interrogation specialists poured water over him and put him into a car. Then they drove with him through the night, and at that time it was very, very cold. Then they smeared him with mud and showed him to his father, who was also in custody. They had tried out other interrogation methods on him, but he wasn’t to be brought to talk. The interrogation specialists told me, after the father had seen his son in this state, his heart broke. He wept and promised to tell them everything they wanted to know.”

An Iraqi TV reporter Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz saw the Abu Ghraib children’s wing when he was arrested by Americans while making a documentary. He spent 74 days in Abu Ghraib.
“I saw a camp for children there,” he said. “Boys, under the age of puberty. There were certainly hundreds of children in this camp.” Al-Baz said he heard a 12-year-old girl crying. Her brother was also held in the jail. One night guards came into her cell. “She was beaten,” said al-Baz. “I heard her call out, ‘They have undressed me. They have poured water over me.’”
He says he heard her cries and whimpering daily – this, in turn, caused other prisoners to cry as they listened to her. Al-Baz also told of an ill 15-year-old boy who was soaked repeatedly with hoses until he collapsed. Guards then brought in the child’s father with a hood over his head. The boy collapsed again.


Although most of the children are held in US custody, the Sunday Herald has established that some are held by the British Army. British soldiers tend to arrest children in towns like Basra, which are under UK control, then hand the youngsters over to the Americans who interrogate them and detain them.

Between January and May this year the Red Cross registered a total of 107 juveniles in detention during 19 visits to six coalition prisons. The aid organisation’s Rana Sidani said they had no complete information about the ages of those detained, or how they had been treated. The deteriorating security situation has prevented the Red Cross visiting all detention centres.
Amnesty International is outraged by the detention of children. It is aware of “numerous human rights violations against Iraqi juveniles, including detentions, torture and ill-treatment, and killings”. Amnesty has interviewed former detainees who say they’ve seen boys as young as 10 in Abu Ghraib.


The organisation’s leaders have called on the coalition governments to give concrete information on how old the children are, how many are detained, why and where they are being held, and in what circumstances they are being detained. They also want to know if the children have been tortured.

Alistair Hodgett, media director of Amnesty International USA, said the coalition forces needed to be “transparent” about their policy of child detentions, adding: “Secrecy is one thing that rings alarm bells.” Amnesty was given brief access to one jail in Mosul, he said, but has been repeatedly turned away from all others. He pointed out that even countries “which don’t have good records”, such as Libya, gave Amnesty access to prisons. “Denying access just fuels the rumour mill,” he said.

Hodgett added that British and US troops should not be detaining any Iraqis – let alone children – following the recent handover of power. “They should all be held by Iraqi authorities,” he said. “When the coalition handed over Saddam they should have handed over the other 3000 detainees.”

The British Ministry of Defence confirmed UK forces had handed over prisoners to US troops, but a spokes man said he did not know the ages of any detainees given to the Americans.
The MoD also admitted it was currently holding one prisoner aged under 18 at Shaibah prison near Um Qasr. Since the invasion Britain has detained, and later released, 65 under-18s. The MoD claimed the ICRC had access to British jails and detainee lists.
High-placed officials in the Pentagon and Centcom told the Sunday Herald that children as young as 14 were being held by US forces. “We do have juveniles detained,” a source said. “They have been detained as they are deemed to be a threat or because they have acted against the coalition or Iraqis.”


Officially, the Pentagon says it is holding “around 60 juvenile detainees primarily aged 16 and 17”, although when it was pointed out that the Red Cross estimate is substantially higher, a source admitted “numbers may have gone up, we might have detained more kids”.
Officials would not comment about children under the age of 16 being held prisoner. Sources said: ‘‘It’s a real challenge ascertaining their ages. Unlike the UK or the US, they don’t have IDs or birth certificates.” The Sunday Herald has been told, however, that at least five children aged under 16 are being kept at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca.


A highly placed source in the Pentagon said: “We have done investigations into accusations of juveniles being abused and raped and can’t find anything that resembles that.”
The Pentagon’s official policy is to segregate juvenile prisoners from the rest of the prison population, and allow young inmates to join family members also being detained. “Our main concern is that they are not abused or harassed by older detainees. We know they need special treatment,” an official said.


Pentagon sources said they were unaware how long child prisoners were kept in jail but said their cases were reviewed every 90 days. The last review was early last month. The sources confirmed the children had been questioned and interrogated when initially detained, but could not say whether this was “an adult-style interrogation”.

The Norwegian government, which is part of the “coalition of the willing”, has already said it will tell the US that the alleged torture of children is intolerable. Odd Jostein Sæter, parliamentary secretary at the Norwegian prime minister’s office, said: “Such assaults are unacceptable. It is against international laws and it is also unacceptable from a moral point of view. This is why we react strongly … We are addressing this in a very severe and direct way and present concrete demands. This is damaging the struggle for democracy and human rights in Iraq.”

In Denmark, which is also in the coalition, Save the Children called on its government to tell the occupying forces to order the immediate release of child detainees. Neals Hurdal, head of the Danish Save the Children, said the y had heard rumours of children in Basra being maltreated in custody since May.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it was “extremely disturbed” that the coalition was holding children for long periods in jails notorious for torture. HRW also criticised the policy of categorising children as “security detainees”, saying this did not give carte blanche for them to be held indefinitely. HRW said if there was evidence the children had committed crimes then they should be tried in Iraqi courts, otherwise they should be returned to their families.

Unicef is “profoundly disturbed” by reports of children being abused in coalition jails. Alexandra Yuster, Unicef’s senior adviser on child detention, said that under international law children should be detained only as a last resort and only then for the shortest possible time.

They should have access to lawyers and their families, be kept safe, healthy, educated, well-fed and not be subjected to any form of mental or physical punishment, she added. Unicef is now “desperately” trying to get more information on the fate of the children currently detained in coalition jails.

Monday, August 23, 2004

'Hello, I hate you, won't you tell me your name'

A reminder to not give up your right to protest. EVER!!!
Jon Fox

Ed Naha: 'Hello, I hate you, won't you tell me your name'Date: Sunday, August 22 @ 07:31:14 EDTTopic: Activism

By Ed Naha
"Are you planning to be involved in any criminal acts at the national conventions? Do you know anybody who is? Are you aware that if you assist or know anybody planning any criminal acts and do not report them, it's a crime?"
These were the nifty questions asked of Ms. Sarah Bardwell, one of several anti-war, anti-Bush activists questions by the FBI, recently. She declined the lovely suited men an answer as they hovered in front of her door.
She called the ACLU.
Heeere we go, again! Let's get into that Wayback machine to revisit J. Edgar Hoover and Biggus Dickus Nixon at the height of their paranoia. Everyone who disagreed with their war, their national policy, were scum! A THREAT! Or, in today's Gomer terminology, DADGUM HOME-GROWN TAIRISTS!

Thanks to a few articles in "The New York Times," we know that the Bushistas are honing in on anyone who might want to protest the Repug Convention in New York later this month; interviewing them before the fact to frighten them from actually marching.
(Coincidence? Florida Repugs are trying to frighten elderly blacks from mailing in their votes in November because of a tippy-top secret "voter fraud" investigation. Jeb? Just bite me. You'll never get beyond junior puppy Fascist status.)
But, what we don't really get, as a nation, is the fact that this Bushit has been going on for years. In fact, since Dubya took the throne.
After Dubya blew it on 9/11 and started growing more and more paranoid over his "New Crusade" polkas, and after he knighted little Johnnie "the Crooner" Ashcroft as head of his brown shirts, the FBI started to goose-step. Big Time.
Before the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the FBI (with the help of the Denver, Colorado Police) compiled a list of individuals affiliated with groups that might impose a risk to the Olympics or the security of the United States.
Those groups included: anarchists, militia, white supremacists, black extremists, animal rights extremists, radical Islamic extremists, environmentalists, European origin extremists, Latin origin extremists and Asian origin extremists. In other words? Everybody. Oh, yeah. They also had their eye on the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace organization.
What's next? The angry Amish? Blind people with a bad attitude? Cats who scratch?
In short: if you don't like Dubya...you're an extremist and should be dealt with. You're not a mere protester, you're a domestic terrorist threat. Pick your own terrorist code color and we can toss you into jail as a threat for no reason whatsoever.
In terms of ferreting out people who MIGHT oppose Dubya and show up in New York for the GOP convention? Well, the FBI sez they're not really picking groups at random. Just the bad guys.
"We're not engaging in surveillance of groups or individuals without legal predication," says Jim Margolin, spokesman for the New York office of the FBI.
I'm not sure if that can be any murkier. Um, who targets these groups? Are militia groups given the same scrutiny as, let's say, PETA?
Ann Roman, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service, says agents are expected to respond to an increase in possible domestic threats against President Bush and other dignitaries as the convention at Madison Square Garden nears. The Secret Service is, of course, playing a lead role in planning convention security.
Okie-dokee. Are you getting this? They've just declared that anti-Bushites pose a threat to the dignitaries at the convention.
What dignitaries?
Any world leaders going to attend?
Or just the usual Republican assholes?
(Oh, and while you're singing "The Star Spangled Banner?" The intelligence unit of the NYPD has been monitoring Web sites run by self-described anarchists - as in anybody but Bush - for over a year. On another front, the family of Staff Sgt. Joseph Darby, the brave man who alerted the world to the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, has had to go undercover with armed protection because of death threats. Hello, brave new world. The New Dumbya order is here. Goose-step in time, now. Or else.)
On October 25, 2003, the FBI issued a memo (#89), that, basically made it clear that anyone in any demonstration against Shrub was an enemy of the state. If you're my age and marching?(I'm 54 and limping). If you're my Dad's age and marching? (He's 83 and using inhalers.). You're dead meat. A potential tairist.
To quote the memo: "...the possibility exists that elements of the activist community may attempt to engage in violent, destructive, disruptive acts....
"Protesters often use the internet to recruit, raise funds, and coordinate their activities prior to demonstrations. (SO, WE'LL SPY ON THEM.) Activists may also make use of training camps (LIKE THOSE A-RAB TAIRISTS!) to rehearse tactics and counter-strategies for dealing with the police and to resolve any logistical issues.
"Traditional demonstration tactics by which protesters draw attention to their causes include marches, banners, and forms of passive resistance such as sit-ins. (WELL, THAT'S EXCEEDINGLY VIOLENT. LIKE, UHHH, GHANDI WAS?)
"Extremist elements may engage in more aggressive tactics that can include vandalism, physical harassment of delegates (YELLING?) , trespassing (OOOOOH) , the formation of human chains (JOINING ARMS?) or shields, makeshift barricades, devices used against mounted police units (WHY WOULD MOUNTED POLICE BE USED AGAINST PEOPLE WHO WERE YELLING AND LINKING ARMS?), and the use of weapons such as projectiles and homemade bombs. (HOW MANY TIMES HAS THAT HAPPENED?)
"Even the more peaceful techniques can create a climate of disorder (I THINK THAT'S THE POINT, DUDE) , block access to a site (AND...?), draw large members of police to a specific location in order to weaken security at other locations, obstruct traffic (MASS JAYWALKING?), and possibly intimidate people from attending the events being protested. (GIMME A BREAK.)
"During the course of a demonstration, activists often communicate with one another using cell phones or radios to coordinate activities or to update colleagues about ongoing events. (ONLY BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE HOMING PIGEONS IN NEW YORK.) Other types of media equipment (video cameras, photographic equipment, audio tape recorders, microphones, and computer and radio equipment) may be used for documenting potential cases of police brutality and for distribution of information over the internet. (REALLY? WHO ELSE IS GOING TO COVER IT? FOX?)
"Extremists may be prepared to defend themselves against law enforcement officials during the course of a demonstration. Masks (gas masks, goggles, scarves, scuba masks, filter masks, and sunglasses) can serve to minimize the effects of tear gas and pepper spray as well as obscure one's identity. Extremists may also employ shields (trash can lids, sheets of plexiglass, truck tire inner tubes, etc.) and body protection equipment (layered clothing, hard hats and helmets, sporting equipment, life jackets, etc.) to protect themselves during marches. Activists may also use intimidation techniques such as videotaping the swarming of police officers to hinder the arrest of other demonstrators. (ISN'T THIS CALLED 'EXERCISING YOUR FREEDOM' AS OPPOSED TO USING 'INTIMIDATION TECHNIQUES?')
"After demonstrations, activists are usually reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement officials. (DUUUUH) They seldom carry any identification papers and often refuse to divulge any information about themselves or other protesters. Post-demonstration activities can include fundraising in support of the legal defense of accused protesters and demonstrations of solidarity calling for the release of the accused.
"Law enforcement agencies should be alert to these possible indicators of protest activity and report any potential illegal acts to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force."
Oh, DUHHHH SQAURED. Shaddup. We're back in Nixon territory but with better electronic toys. HOW DO YOU DEFINE 'POTENTIAL ILLEGAL ACTS?'
Are you all addicted to Magic 8-Balls? Can you divine the future with Tarot Cards? (Because, apparently, the CIA and FBI can't do it with intelligence. If they could? We'd still have the Twin Towers standing.)
And what about these protesters?
Do you judge these potential illegal activists by the color of their skin? Their political beliefs? Their size? Their shape? The length of their hair? Their age? The way they walk? If they wear turbans? Bowler hats? Head-bands?
Bushit.
When I was protesting 'Nam, Nixon always sent his undercover shills in by the truckload. They were the guys who had bad haircuts and who talked like "Rolling Stone" magazine articles the way no kid did. (If you're young and reading this and you're into MTV? Any protester who talks that Jive crap that's spooned to you via the airwaves? He's a Fed. Nobody talks that way 24/7. Trust me. F'er shizzle. If it's a gal who looks like a Rap-video dancer? Avoid her. Anything that seems too good to be true, is.)
The Feds were always the ones in the group to instigate violence.
They were the ones urging us on, trying to get us to that angry place we never wanted to reach.
Remember that.
That's what they're there for.
(At one Nam protest, I had to shout a Fed down after he noticed the American flag had been left up after dark in front of a City Hall. "Tear it down," the mullet-haired, loaerf-wearing, jerk-off screamed, looking like a Three-Dog Night poster child.
"Go Cheney yourself!" I cried through a bull-horn. "That's what the cops want us to do!!!" I, then turned to the half dozen open City Hall windows where a dozen shadowy Feds armed with cameras watched me. I did a little jig. The flag stayed at full-staff. We had our protest gathering. We left. The Feds went home at half-staff.
Bottom line?
If you're heading for New York and the Bush Bash?

GO!

Don't let anything stop you.

If you're afraid?

You have good reason to be.

This Administration will do everything to CRUSH you....as Nixon's did when I marched and protested in the '60's and '70's.
This country has reached the tipping point.
We're falling towards the Dark Side.
Your presence may reverse that.
March. Protest. Walk towards the light.
Sheer evil can't stand the light.
And this Administration is nothing short of evil.
Watch it shrivel come November.
When Darkness falls.
And the light shines, once more.
Peace.
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Creative Protests in the Big Apple

Amongst the huge number of protest events planned for the RNC in New York, there are lots of really witty and poignant ones that demonstrate the humour and humanity of New Yorkers, who God knows, have every right to be angry. Here are a just a few of them:

Aug 28th

RINGOUT'S WTC/GROUND ZERO OBSERVANCE - (5:00 PM - 8:00 PM)RINGOUT's World Trade Center/Ground Zero Observance: Join us in ringing bells in a giant ring around the WTC site! 3,000+ small bells will be given out free & bring your own larger bells! Please see RingOut.org/Observance.htm for Pauline Oliveros’ score and our instructions! Email us if you want to help (be a Bellwether!) or want participant updates.URL: http://www.RingOut.org/observance.htmOrganizer - Christian Status - CONFIRMEDLocation - World Trade Center Site (all sides)

Aug 29th

1000 COFFINS Assemble - (9:55 AM - 11:55 AM)* * * PLEASE JOIN US, DRESSED RESPECTFULLY. * * * JOIN the BOLDEST march at the big Aug. 29 PROTEST: Be a "pall-bearer" and pay tribute to one of our nearly ONE THOUSAND fallen soldiers with a symbolic casket honoring the fallen.A QUARTER MILE of coffins draped in the FLAG will be marched in the most visible and poignant event at the march. Servicemen, Veterans and Police Officers welcome.Tel: 646-221-4142URL: http://www.OneThousandCoffins.OrgOrganizer - MikeStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - TBD - within the official parade meet-up area (see United For Peace site)

Marriage Mob on The Great Lawn w/Reverend Billy - (1:00 PM - 5:00 PM)Reverend Billy invites you to marry or renew your vows under the auspices of The Church of the First Amendment on the Great Lawn in Central Park, starting at 1:00 PM on Sunday August 29th. To find the Great Lawn go west of the Met or east of the Natural History Museum, even with 82nd Street.As a certified "marriage officiant," registered with the City Clerk of New York City, the Reverend will sign your marriage papers with the authority vested in him by, uh, a multi-gender god.When you enter the lawn look for the white cloth steeple and the yellow robes of the Gospel Choir. Bring your own vows, but our Church requires a recitation of the First Amendment during the ceremony. You can practice repeating the phrase at our Tuesday evening "First Amendment Mob" (6:30 to 7 PM, down in the Ground Zero Path Station.)Tel: 917-825-3562URL: http://www.revbilly.comOrganizer - Michael ONeilStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - The Great Lawn in Central Park


Billionaires Buy Broadway - (4:30 PM - 4:30 PM)The Billionaires for Bush will welcome Republican delegates to New York’s theater district on their first night on the town and exterminate the Mouse Bloc.URL: http://www.billionairesforbush.com/rncOrganizer - ORGANIZERStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - Theater District

Aug 30th

Black Armbands or Mourning the Loss - (All day event)People who are in mourning for the loss of civil liberties under the Bush administration will wearblack armbands during the week of the convention. This is a noninvasive, totally legal protest that even conservatives offices can be a part of.Location - All over town

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Die-in - (3:00 PM - 9:00 PM)Solemn procession from site of the World Trade Center to Madison Square Garden culminating in a 7 pm die-in at the Republican National Convention. Partial list of sponsoring/endorsing organizations: War Resisters League, NYC Socialist Party, School of Americas Watch, NYC War Tax Resistance.URL: http://www.warresisters.org/RNC_CD.htmOrganizer - ORGANIZERStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - World Trade Center to Madison Square Garden


The billionaires strike again on Aug 31st

Billionaire Flashmobbing - (All day event)Ruly bands of Billionaires will roam the streets of New York, stopping for three-martini lunches, spontaneous outbursts of ballroom dancing and en-masse shining of shoes. Check hotline and website for updates.Tel: 1-216-803-0990URL: http://www.billionairesforbush.com/rncLocation - All Details Annoucned Last Minute

My personal favourite:

Fox News "Shut-up-a-thon" - (4:00 PM - 6:00 PM)The Official Republican National ConventionFox News “Shut-up-a-thon”Join Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in shouting, “Shut up!”(his favorite line) in front of Fox’s corporate HQ. You won’t want to miss the spectacular moves of the “Fox News Republican Cheerleaders” – guaranteed to leave you stupefied*Brought to you by CODEPINK, Houston Global Awareness, Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane, The Tejas Bloc and more.*An Oct. 2003 study by the University of Maryland found that people who rely on the Fox News Channel as their main news source are wildly misinformed about key issues regarding the Iraq war and that the more they watch, the more misinformed they are.Tel: 415-385-5956URL: http://www.InsaneReagan.comOrganizer - Jeff GrublerStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - 1211 Ave of the Americas bet. 47th& 48th


Man In Black Bloc/ Johnny Cash Protest - (4:00 PM - 7:00 PM)ANNOUNCING THE “MAN & WOMAN-IN-BLACK-BLOC”RISING UP TO DEFEND THE HONOR OF JOHNNY CASH* * *JOHNNY CASH SPOKE FOR THE POOR AND UNDER-REPRESENTEDTHE REPUBLICANS SPEAK FOR THE RICHJOHNNY CASH ADVOCATED FOR PRISON REFORMTHE REPUBLICANS LOCK US UPJOHNNY CASH SANG FOR OUR MINERS, FARMERS, AND WORKERSREPUBLICAN ECONOMICS CRUSH THE WORKING CLASSTHE RNC HAS NO RIGHT TO TARNISH THE MEMORY OF JOHNNY CASHWE WILL RISE UP TO DEFEND THE HONOR OF AN AMERICAN HEROwww.defendjohnnycash.org* * *This is a call to action.Meet at 4:00 P.M. dressed in black on Tuesday, August 31st at :SOTHEBY’S AUCTION HOUSE1334 YORK AVENUENEW YORK, NEW YORKContact: ManInBlack@riseup.netSotheby’s is located one block east of 1st Avenue at 71st street.Subway: Take the 6 train to 68th St. and walk north 3 blocks, and then east to York Ave.On Tuesday, August 31st, the Republicans who have invaded our city plan to have an exclusivOrganizer - (varies) Just go to the site and figure it out! Show up at 4!Status - CONFIRMEDLocation - SOTHEBY'S ::::1334 York Avenue (one block east of 1st Ave.) at 71st Street

Sept 1st:


The Unemployment Line - (8:13 AM - 8:13 AM)THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS WALK ‘THE LINE’ AT RNC CONVENTIONSymbolic Unemployment Line Draws Attention to Bush Economic FailureWHEN: Wednesday, September 1st, 8:13 - 8:31 a.m. (Participants will assemble earlier.)WHERE: Beginning at the corner of Broadway and Wall St and ending across from Madison Square Garden and the site of the Republican National Convention (exact route detailed above).WHO: Over 5,000 participants representing eight million unemployed Americans.On Wednesday, September 1, THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE, a symbolic unemployment line representing the 1.2 million net jobs lost during the past four years and the more than eight million Americans who are currently unemployed, will wind through New York City. More than 5,000 participants, each holding a pink slip, will form a line stretching from the corner of Broadway and Wall St., up Broadway to 31st St. and then west along 31st St. to 7th Ave. - right across from Madison Square Garden and the site of the ReStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - Wall Street to Madison Square Garden

Plus:

Taunting of the Unemployed - (8:00 AM - 8:00 AM)Roving squads of Billionaires will be on hand to taunt the lazy whiners in the symbolic unemployment line. Get a job!URL: http://www.billionairesforbush.com/rncOrganizer - ORGANIZERStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - "The Line" from Wall Street, up Broadway to 34th St.

Guaranteed to attract male sympathisers!:

Mass Panty Flash : Axis of Eve says EXPOSE BUSH! - (6:00 PM - 6:30 PM)FLASH ALERT: Mass Panty Flash on September 1st !The Axis of Eve is a coalition of brazen women on a mission to EXPOSE and DEPOSE President Select George W. Bush and his deceitful administration. Convinced that effective political action can be irreverent and exciting, we have launched a titillating campaign of TRUTH-FLASHING coordinated around our provocative line of protest panties, emblazoned with anti-bush slogans like “give bush the finger”, “expose bush”, and “weapon of mass seduction."This campaign will culminate at the Republican National Convention on September 1st at 6 PM, where over 100 Eves will perform a MASS FLASH of our protest panties (no nudity) to create a media spectacle that lays bare the shameful tactics of the Bush administration and boldly demands an end to political cover-up.WHEN: Wednesday, September 1st at 6pm sharp (rain date Sept 2nd)WHERE: Robert F. Wagner Park, next to Battery Park Subways: 4,5 to Bowling Green; 1,9 to South Ferry; N,ROrganizer - Angel EveStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - Battery Park

For everybody who would like to be there and can't there is an online protest you can join:

Tell Bush the world says no to his regimes agenda! - (2:00 PM - 2:00 PM)Register to join with us in a virtual march on the White House to coincide with the call to action issued by the United For Peace and Justice coalition.People from around the world will be joining with us to make it clear to the rogue regime they do not agree with the extremist fundamentalist policies.For more information please visit http://geocities.com/tellbushtheworldsaysnoURL: http://geocities.com/tellbushtheworldsaysnoOrganizer - ORGANIZERStatus - CONFIRMEDLocation - Online protest



Details of all events can be found at: http://www.counterconvention.org/phpicalendar/month.php

In Australia just as the U.S. John Howard omits the advice of intelligence officials in the lead up to war from the Australian people.

Just as "The Giggling Murderer" did with the American People, Australia's P.M. lied by omission of the facts. Two Peas in a pod these two!
Jon

PM was told war would spur terrorism
By Tom Allard, Foreign Affairs ReporterAugust 23, 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Federal Government was warned repeatedly by intelligence analysts before the Iraq war that the conflict would harm the war on terrorism by fanning Islamic extremism and spurring terrorist recruiting.
An investigation by the Herald, which has included interviews with several serving and retired intelligence figures, has uncovered that John Howard and his senior colleagues were briefed on the dangers, verbally and in written reports.
Yet the Prime Minister told Australians on the eve of the conflict that the war would lessen the terrorist threat, contradicting his intelligence advice.
The revelation raises serious questions about the inquiry into the intelligence services commissioned by the Government and conducted by Philip Flood. The inquiry never mentioned the warnings about an increased terrorist threat.
"They were very, very aware of our views," one former intelligence analyst said. "We believed it would inflame extremism and increase terrorist recruitment."
The source said these views were relayed in written reports and in verbal briefings to Mr Howard and his ministers in the months and weeks leading up to the conflict.
The sources said senior Government members were constantly being briefed on al-Qaeda and terrorism, including the impact of the Iraq war on the jihad being carried out by al-Qaeda.
Another intelligence analyst pointed to additional reporting on how the war would be viewed on the "Arab street" and elsewhere.
"We thought the Arab governments, the Gulf states, would keep a lid on demonstrations in the lead-up to the war. But we were sure, in the longer term, there would be a lot of anger towards the West," the analyst said. "We would see there was a risk here that this is going to provoke more support for terrorism and violent responses."
The assessments proved prescient. The war has led to a surge in anti-Western sentiment and has become a powerful recruitment tool for terrorists, as the Government now acknowledges.
"A lot of our terrorism reporting predicted what is going on at the moment," one of the sources said. "We were thinking about it and writing about it."
The sources also said the Government was told there was no operational link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and the Iraq war could not be seen as part of the broader global war on terrorism.
Mr Howard, unlike his US counterpart, George Bush, never played up the link between Saddam and Osama bin Laden but he did assure the public that the terrorist threat would be diminished by invading Iraq.
"Far from our action in Iraq increasing the terrorist threat, it will, by stopping the spread of chemical and biological weapons, make it less likely that a terrorist attack will be carried out against Australia," Mr Howard said in a televised address to the nation on the eve of the war.
Australian intelligence agents said their views on terrorism accorded with those of the British intelligence services.
It was revealed last year that Britain's joint intelligence committee said one month before the war that "al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat would he heightened by military action against Iraq".
Mr Howard has confirmed Australia received this advice and it went into the decision-making "mix", but has studiously avoided comment on what the Australian agencies told him on the subject.
Last night his spokeswoman said: "We will not respond to unsourced, non-specific allegations of this kind."
Asked by the Herald on July 15 about what the Government was told by its intelligence services about the war's impact on terrorism, the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said he could not answer. "I don't have that information with me here today. I didn't come prepared to answer that question.
"Regardless of what intelligence agencies may or may not say, it isn't the intelligence agencies that make the decisions. It's the governments that make the decisions, and governments make the decisions not just on the basis of information provided by intelligence agencies."
Mr Howard attacked the Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, when he observed in March that the war had made participants, including Australia, bigger terrorist targets.
The Flood inquiry found the intelligence services did little by way of strategic assessment but never outlined what those assessments were. It also never canvassed what was said in verbal briefings to Mr Howard and senior ministers.
Labor yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to a judicial inquiry into the intelligence services, citing gaps in Mr Flood's report.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dirty Tricks " An email from the Kerry Campaign "

This was in my mail this morning...When will it end!

Dear Jon,

George Bush and his Republican friends have become so desperate that they are returning to their old tricks -- whenever a campaign is going badly, they smear the record of a Vietnam veteran. They did it to John McCain in 2000, to Max Cleland in 2002, and now they are doing it to John Kerry. The question must be asked of President Bush: what do you have against Vietnam veterans?

Our campaign has just released a new Internet ad called "Old Tricks" which shows John McCain asking George Bush to apologize for attacking McCain's own heroic record.

View the ad by visiting:

http://www.johnkerry.com/oldtricks

Today we're calling for all of you to join together and stand with John Kerry. Tell George Bush: stop the smear, get back to the issues.

Sign our petition by visiting:

http://www.johnkerry.com/oldtricks

A front group for the Bush campaign called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" is continuing to spread their lies about John Kerry's military record. Their statements have been contradicted by official Navy records, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and every man who served under John Kerry -- yet George Bush refuses to condemn their tactics. Through his silence, George Bush is approving their action. And Bush campaign officials in Florida are even promoting events for this front group.

Enough is enough. No matter what these Bush campaign shills now say, John Kerry's commanders remarked in 1969 that, "In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, LTJG Kerry was unsurpassed." In fact, all of John Kerry's performance reports (available on our website) display an absolutely heroic record of service.

These people play for keeps. They unleash relentless attacks, one wave after another, and it isn't going to stop. Everybody needs to see our ad and reflect on how our country can do better.

We need you to get the truth out by forwarding this email to your friends, family and co-workers.

Tell George Bush to denounce these attacks by clicking here:

http://www.johnkerry.com/oldtricks

Thank you,

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager


Paid for by Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc.



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