"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
US/Iraq * 9/11/Osama * CITGO/Venezuela * ABM/Peace
06 January 2003
1) U.S. Played a Key Role In Iraq Military Buildup
2) 9/11 Investigator Linked to Osama bin Laden?
3) Help Venezuela, Help Democracy - Go with CITGO!
4) Judge Allows Bush's Withdrawal from ABM Treaty to Stand
5) 'Bush's master plan for the Internet'
6) Governor George Ryan of Illinois for the Nobel Peace PrizeEditor's Notes:
Item 1 begins this issue with another mainstream article on the hypocritical policies of the US, first as a supplier with weapons of mass destruction, then as an executioner for regime change, or control of oil resources. Item 2 is from an email showing possible links with the newest Bush appointee to Chair 9/11 investigations, Thomas Kean, and involvement with Osama bin Laden. Item 3 is a thoughtful letter to the Guardian about Venezuela, about oil, about democracy, and freedom. Go with CITGO is a new campaign in this item to encourage your purchasing gas in support of the Venezuelan government, the majority of its people, democracy, and their Constitution. Item 4 is on the recent ruling on the Bush withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, allowing it to stand, though leaving open the possibility of Congress to define its role in treaty termination. Item 5 follows an item in the last issue of Flyby News, speculating on a Bush plan to control the Internet. If George W. Bush gets a second term, loss of Internet freedom, based on current losses of civil liberties and media-controlled-monopolies, would likely result. This is another reason for efforts to transform the Democratic Party and remove the current administration from power, first, and then to establish a multi-party system by ending the spoiler route with instant run-off elections. Not having priorities in order in 2000 have brought major consequences, and hopefully people will learn from obvious mistakes, unless pride and desire for destruction and chaos get in our way for reasonable thinking and actions. Kucinich hasn't announced his candidacy yet. The recent announcement by the Senator of North Carolina, John Edwards, seemed hopeful, but in checking his voting record to authorize Bush the okay to attack Iraq preemptively, how can you trust him? So far, the only announced 2004 Presidential candidate in opposition of the Bush foreign policy of greed and turmoil is the outgoing Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean. Yet Kucinich has the record of priority thinking and legislation for peace, disarmament, and sustainable energy-technology policies. The final item in this issue is from a campaign in support of Governor George Ryan of Illinois for the Nobel Peace Prize, due to his work for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty, due to his awareness of the flaws of the criminal justice system, and innocent people being released from Death Row!"Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated can be compared. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life."
- Albert Camus
1) U.S. Played a Key Role In Iraq Military Buildup
U.S. Played a Key Role In Iraq Military Buildup
By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday 30 December 30 2002; Page A01
* Rumsfeld Visited Baghdad In 1983 as Hussein Used Chemical Weapons
* Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds
High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists. What U.S. officials rarely acknowledge is that these offenses date back to a period when Hussein was seen in Washington as a valued ally.
Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.-Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions.
The story of U.S. involvement with Saddam Hussein in the years before his 1990 attack on Kuwait -- which included large-scale intelligence sharing, supply of cluster bombs through a Chilean front company, and facilitating Iraq's acquisition of chemical and biological precursors -- is a topical example of the underside of U.S. foreign policy. It is a world in which deals can be struck with dictators, human rights violations sometimes overlooked, and accommodations made with arms proliferators, all on the principle that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend." ....
In late 1987, the Iraqi air force began using chemical agents against Kurdish resistance forces in northern Iraq that had formed a loose alliance with Iran, according to State Department reports. The attacks, which were part of a "scorched earth" strategy to eliminate rebel-controlled villages, provoked outrage on Capitol Hill and renewed demands for sanctions against Iraq. The State Department and White House were also outraged -- but not to the point of doing anything that might seriously damage relations with Baghdad. "The U.S.-Iraqi relationship is . . . important to our long-term political and economic objectives," Assistant Secretary of State Richard W. Murphy wrote in a September 1988 memorandum that addressed the chemical weapons question. "We believe that economic sanctions will be useless or counterproductive to influence the Iraqis."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For information to see or show a powerful video presentation by former UN weapons inspector, "Scott Ritter: The Case Against US War on Iraq"
see Item 1 at following URL:http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1035412352,83775,
2) 9/11 Investigator Linked to Osama bin Laden?
Subject: More connections in administration investigation of 9-11, to Osamma http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=36152
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 10:29:09 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Treis - firstname.lastname@example.org
Unknown to most, UNOCAL's partner in the Cent-Gas trans-Afghan pipeline consortium, the Saudi Company Delta Oil is owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans which allegedly have ties to bin Laden's Al Qaeda. According to a 1998 Senate testimony of former CIA director James Woolsey, powerful financier Khalid bin Mahfouz' younger sister is married to Osama bin Laden,. (US Senate, Senate Judiciary Committee, Federal News Service, 3 Sept. 1998, See also Wayne Madsen, Questionable Ties, In These Times,12 Nov. 2001 ). Bin Mahfouz is suspected to have funneled millions of dollars to the Al Qaeda network.(See Tom Flocco, Scoop.co.nz 28 Aug. 2002)
Now, "by sheer coincidence", former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, the man chosen by President Bush to lead the 9/11 commission also has business ties with bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi. Thomas Kean is a director (and shareholder) of Amerada Hess y: In other words, Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia --which is a partner in the Hess-Delta Alliance--is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama's brother in law.
And former Governor Thomas Kean not only sits on the board of directors of a company which has business dealings with Khalid bin Mahfouz, he also heads the 9/11 Commission, which has a mandate to investigate Khalid's brother in law, Osama bin Laden. Dr. Kissinger had a conflict of interest and resigned! The vice chairman of the Commission, former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, resigned for the same reason. (See Xymphora, 19 Dec 2002 )
Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would also be considered a bona fide "conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".
What else will they have us swallow as they ‘investigate' the 9-11 conspiracy? You'd think people would snap to the treason that has been committed by this administration by now!
3) Help Venezuela, Help Democracy - Go with CITGO!
Letter to the Guardian (London)
I have read the latest (30 December) report in the Guardian regarding the situation in Venezuela, and I must point out that you failed to even mention the real issue at stake in this crisis, namely, the control of the nation's oil industry, and not, as some of the media would lead one to believe, the unpopularity of the nation's president. One might mistakenly be left with the impression that the crisis is a mere ‘banana republic's' squabble over power.
The government of President Hugo Chavez was elected by an overwhelming majority in 1999, his mandate and political programme, including the formulation of a new and progressive constitution, were ratified on 6 further occasions. Never before, in the history of Venezuela, has a government been so thoroughly legitimated to carry out its political programme, which includes socially oriented reforms of the nation's oil company, PDVSA, directed at:
* increasing its efficiency
* making it accountable to the nation
* channeling the benefits from private hands to the public treasury.
PDVSA is notoriously corrupt and grossly inefficient compared to other large oil companies. The above reforms constitute the only reason why the wealthy elite, terrified of losing any of its illegitimate privileges, has paralysed and sabotaged the nation's oil industry and brought the country to a standstill, thereby depriving millions of Venezuelans of their livelihoods, food, medicines, access to their funds and savings, as well as freedom of movement throughout the territory. These are flagrant violations of basic human rights and a criminal abuse of economic power in an attempt to remove a democratically elected President instead of recurring to constitutional means.
Venezuela´s new constitution provides legal means for revoking a mandate through a referendum at the end of the first 4 years of the 6- year presidential term. In view of this, one has to ask:
* Why doesn't the opposition wait the constitutionally established period and use civilized means to express their discontent and obtain power?
* What is it's real agenda?
The ‘opposition' in Venezuela is a precarious coalition of economic interest groups and the formerly dominant political parties, reduced to a very small minority after the last elections. The major media, owned by a powerful elite, orchestrated a campaign against the President which has been successful in creating supporters among the upper classes of the population. They consist of a pot-pourri of individual discontents united in signaling President Chavez as the universal cause of all their and the nation's problems. It is an opposition without a visible leader, plan, project nor ideology. It has, apparently, only one proposal: the resignation of President Chavez.
However, behind the opposition´s rhetoric, there is a not-so-hidden agenda about which many of the opposition´s supporters are apparently blissfully unaware. The fact is that they are being mobilised and used in attempts to oust the President in order to leave the way open for the privatization of the nation´s oil industry on which Venezuela depends for 80% of its income.
Ownership of PDVSA equals ownership of Venezuela. Since Venezuela has the world's 5th largest oil reserves and is rich in minerals and biodiversity, it is of immense strategic importance to global powers which seek to control the world resources for their voracious consumption.
The United States government was involved in the thwarted coup against President Chavez in April this year, immediately after President Chavez appointed a new president and other executives of PDVSA. It has been reported that leading members of the opposition have been meeting with US officials in Washington. Venezuela is the US' only major oil supplier located in the western hemisphere. Venezuela, under President Chavez, also led the revival of the OPEP, which resulted in higher oil prices and a boost to the national income. In the Bush plan to wage war on (ie: to massacre) the people of Iraq to obtain their oil, Venezuela's oil is of vital strategic importance.
One cannot discount US involvement in the current coup attempt in Venezuela, since President Chavez's nationalist policies are not the most convenient for US interests, and the timing of this attempt to overthrow President Chavez is surely not a mere coincidence. If the opposition wants to change the President, why not act in a civilized, democratic way, using the constitutionally established referendum in August 2003? Why carry out this sabotage in this precise moment?
The opposition is using terrorist tactics against its fellow countrymen, tantamount to an act of civil warfare, whilst reveling in the increasing vicissitudes that beset the nation. People of all nations should assume the defence of democratic institutions world-wide, repudiate the opposition's use of economic sabotage to impose political ends and inflict cruelty and suffering on the whole population.
I urge the GUARDIAN to inform its readers of the real nature of this crisis, and its global context, and to do justice to the democratically elected government of Venezuela, whose chief ‘error' is, in the final analysis, its attempt to emulate in great part, the socio-economic system which is taken for granted in Britain and other European countries.
University of the Andes , MĂcrida, Venezuela
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =GO WITH CITGO!
--- Original Message ----- From Alfred L. Marder
Sent Saturday, December 21, 2002 1129 AM
Subject CITGO GAS
The WALL STREET JOURNAL brought to our attention that CITGO is a wholy-owned subsidiary of the national Venezuela oil company. The attacks on the overwhelmingly democratically elected government of President Hugo Chavez deal directly with the reforms that this government is instituting including: land reform, labor rights and protection oif the nationally owned assets. Many go into affect on January 1st, thus explaining the push at this time to have Chavez resign. Otto Reich and Company have their dirty hands in the mix despite the sanctimonious declarations of "neutralilty" emenating from Bush, Inc. It is part and parcel of the US policies to foist FTAA and privitization on Latin America.
IN addition to our statements and acts of solidarity, the proposal is that we purchase gasoline from CITGO. In filling our tanks, we inform the franchised dealer that the reason we are buying CITGO gasoline is to show our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and democracy in Venezuela.
We urge we all forward this message to all of our friends and neighbors.
Yours in Peace,
US Peace Council
4) Judge Allows Bush's Withdrawal from ABM Treaty to Stand
For Immediate Release: January 1, 2003
John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy: (cell) 917-439-4585
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation: (cell) 510-306-0119
Judge Allows Bush's Withdrawal from ABM Treaty to Stand;
Leaves Open Possibility of Future Congressional Role in Treaty Termination
WASHINGTON, DC -- In a December 30, 2002 decision, Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court ruled that lead plaintiff Representative Dennis Kucinich and 31 other Members of the House of Representatives have no standing to challenge President Bush's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty without congressional approval. He also ruled that the case presents a "political question" not suitable for resolution by the courts.
In a 31-page written opinion, Judge Bates left open the possibility that in the future, Congress as a whole may be able to invoke the aid of the judiciary in a constitutional dispute with the President, noting that in this case, "there is no claim that Congress, as an institution, has asserted its role in the treaty termination process."
Judge Bates did not rule on the merits of whether the Constitution requires a president to obtain congressional approval of termination of a treaty, holding that this is a matter to be resolved by the executive and legislative branches through the political process with courts only a possible "last resort."
According to plaintiffs' lead counsel, Peter Weiss of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy in New York City, "Judge Bates' decision in the ABM Treaty termination case was foreshadowed by his recent decision in Walker v. Cheney holding that a congressional agency, the General Accounting Office, has no standing to obtain a court order compelling disclosure of information concerning meetings of the energy task force chaired by the Vice-President." Weiss continued, "The ABM Treaty case indicates that, contrary to the opinion of many members of Congress, the President does not necessarily have an absolute right to terminate treaties on his own. However, both decisions place a heavy burden on Congress to provoke full-blown political crises in order to obtain from the courts rulings interpreting the Constitution, which is, after all, the business of the courts. Such 'institutional' challenges are unlikely to occur at any time; they are virtually impossible when, as now, the President's party controls Congress." Weiss concluded, "Thus both decisions represent a considerable advance toward the imperial presidency and a commensurate retreat from constitutional government."
John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and one of plaintiffs' attorneys, added: "While Judge Bates refused to decide the constitutional question before him, he did recognize that the Supreme Court's 1979 decision in Goldwater v. Carter concerning President Carter's unilateral withdrawal from the Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty does not foreclose Congress from asserting its constitutional role in the treaty termination process."
Burroughs concluded: "Congress should now make clear that henceforth the President must seek its consent to termination of any treaty consistent with historical practice in the vast majority of treaty terminations. Future decisions regarding matters as momentous as withdrawal from the ABM Treaty must involve Congress if the United States is to remain a democracy. The framers of the Constitution rejected the monarchical system of government and did not intend that a president could rule by fiat."
According to plaintiffs' co-counsel Michael Veiluva of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, California: "The Bush administration withdrew from the ABM Treaty, refuses to seek Senate approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, negotiated an arms reduction ‘treaty' with Russia that does not require the destruction of a single nuclear warhead or delivery system and contains no verification provisions, blocked adoption of a verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, and is working to undermine the International Criminal Court. Judge Bates has passed up an important opportunity to put the United States back on the track of upholding the rule of law, at home and abroad."
In a December 30 statement responding to Judge Bates' decision, Representative Kucinich said, "The Administration is undermining both national and international security by taking a wrecking-ball to the Constitution and international agreements."
Kucinich v. Bush, filed on June 11, 2001, names as defendants President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It sought a decision on whether or not the Constitution permits the President to terminate the ABM Treaty without obtaining the consent of Congress. The House Members bringing the lawsuit are: Dennis Kucinich, D-10-Ohio; James Oberstar, D-8-MN; Patsy Mink, D-2-HI; Tammy Baldwin, D-2-WI; Peter DeFazio, D-4-OR; John Olver, D-1-MA; Sam Farr, D-17-CA; Barbara Lee, D-9-CA; Maurice Hinchey, D-26-NY; John Conyers, D-14-MI; Hilda Solis, D-31-CA; Janice Schakowsky, D-9-IL; Alcee Hasting, D-23-FL; Fortney (Pete) Stark, D-13-CA; Bernard Sanders, I-1-VT; Earl Hilliard, D-7-AL; Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-15-MI; Lane Evans, D-17-IL; Jim McDermott, D-7-WA; Bob Filner, D-50-CA; Cynthia McKinney, D-4-GA; George Miller, D-7-CA; Lynn Woolsey, D-6-CA; William Lacy Clay, D-1-MO; Edolphus Towns, D-10-NY; Maxine Waters, D-35-CA; Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-2-IL; Gregory Meeks, D-6-NY; Marcy Kaptur, D-9-OH; Jerrold Nadler, D-8-NY; Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-11-OH; and Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-18-TX.
They are represented by James Klimaski, Klimaski & Grill, P.C. Washington, DC; Peter Weiss and John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, New York, NY; Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale Law School, New Haven CT ; Jeremy Manning, Esq., New York, NY; Jules Lobel and Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY; Edward Aguilar, Philadelphia Lawyers Alliance for World Security, Philadelphia, PA; and Michael Veiluva, Western States Legal Foundation, Oakland, CA.
Judge Bates' decision is available in pdf upon request by email from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The main papers filed in the case are available on line, in pdf format, athttp://www.lcnp.org/disarmament/ABMlawsuit/indexoflinks.htm
5) 'Bush's master plan for the Internet'
'Bush's master plan for the Internet'
December 21 @ 09:12:18 EST
The URL for this complete article is:http://www.SmirkingChimp.com/article.php?sid=9507
By Kurt Nimmo
Bush and his Machiavellian minions will no longer put up with you roaming free into dangerous territory on the internet. You need to be corralled, electronically tethered, kept away from sites promoting conspiracy theories -- in other words, information the corporate media, the official US Ministry of Disinformation, does not want you to read or see. It's now increasingly obvious the Bushites want to lock us up in a hermetically sealed informational box and throw away the key. All the information they consider worthwhile will be pumped in through a one-way hole.
During war, as they say, the first causality is truth. And war -- all the time and everywhere people resist -- is what Bush will deliver. It will be easier for him to accomplish this if you can't read the truth, if you remain ignorant, or if you are obstructed from organizing and speaking out on the internet against war and madness. Bush knows this -- or, at least, those around him know this. The internet, regardless of its trashy and lame commercial characteristics, is a nearly perfect medium for organizing. It's a thorn in the side of neo-cons and fascists everywhere.
Enter Dubya's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board (CIPB), which the unelected one created with a flourish of his pen (another executive order, a most popular way to rule vassals). The men and women around Bush want to require internet service providers, ISPs, to build a centralized network capable of monitoring where you go, what you look at and read, what you write in your email -- and all in real-time. Of course, they don't say this. What they say is they want to protect you against viruses and terrorist attacks. They want to shield you from Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, who are everywhere, ready to attack, even on the internet (Osama's cave in Tora Bora, don't you know, bristled with computers and crack virus software programmers).
CIPB is working on a report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," which it will release early next year. It is billed as a strategy for the Ministry of Homeland Security and -- this is the laughable part -- is subject to congressional review. Yeah, like Congress protected us from Bush's totalitarian Patriot Act and the Ministry of Homeland Security bill. What a joke. 99% of these folks are Bush co-conspirators. When Bush tells them to jump, they ask how high. Your right to travel through cyberspace without a snoop noting your every move is one of the next hoops Bush will wave before an obeisant Congress. The internet is one of the last bastions of resistance. Besides, some rabble-rouser posted the Anarchist's Cookbook on there.
Of course, converting the internet into a big Carnivore system is one thing, while denying you access is quite another. Bush's centralized system will make this a reality. Get labeled a malcontent, a "security risk," or even a "cyber-terrorist" and you can be easily barred from Bush's "secure, trusted, robust, reliable, and available infrastructure."
Say the wrong thing on a bulletin board or forum and your ISP -- afraid of the government breathing down its neck, yanking its business license, or sicking the IRS on it -- may terminate your service. Hell, if things go as Bush and Clan envision most small ISPs will go out of business, replaced by AOL, Comcast, and other rich communications industry friends and big dollar contributors to Project Bush.
The URL for the complete article, is:http://www.SmirkingChimp.com/article.php?sid=9507
6) Governor George Ryan of Illinois for the Nobel Peace Prize
As the January 13, 2003 deadline approaches an international campaign has begun to nominate Gov. George Ryan of Illinois for the Nobel Peace Prize. Gov. Ryan known for his imposition of a moratorium of the death penalty in his state has been lauded for his courage and public outrage at the number of wrongful capital convictions in his state.
"As a Professor of International Law and Human Rights, I will nominate Illinois Governor George Ryan for the Nobel Peace Prize because of his principled and courageous opposition to the racist and class-based death penalty system that we have here in the State of Illinois, the Land of Abraham Lincoln. George Ryan is a worthy successor."
Francis A. Boyle
University of Illinois College of Law
Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA (1988-92)
The campaign is supported by a very active web site that can be found at http://www.stopcapitalpunishment.org
The web site is both a resource to anyone wanting to know more about Governor Ryan's achievements and a bulletin board for all the latest developments in the campaign. Press releases and other resources for the media and press will be available there. It is interesting to note that although the site has only been available on the Internet since late on Christmas Eve afternoon that at the time of writing -- December 30 at 8:00 pm -- there have already been 100 people who have voluntarily signed up on the web site as supporters of the campaign.
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