November 2001 link archive

The military representative of the exiled Afghan king says that, "I could have done this [taken Kandahar] for the price of a few cruise missiles," but - according to Pakastani intelligence sources - the U.S. money has gone to other warlords who have pocketed much of it.

Amid the chaos in Afghanistan, refugees who were in foreign countries are being forced back into the melee.

As Mullah Omar offers a $50,000 bounty to any Afghan gunmen who shoot a western journalist, Northern Alliance troops may have foiled a plot to target Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel -- where many western journalists are staying.

Castle of Death The Independent's Justin Huggler reconstructs the "extraordinary series of blunders" that led to the Qalai Janghi massacre.

The U.S. is losing credibility by continuing to deny knowledge of Pakistan's airlifting of non-Afghan fighters from Kunduz.

As Americans meet with an Afghan warlord to plan an attack on Tora Bora, bin Laden loyalists claim to have enough supplies for one year.

A Taliban minister who defected to the Northern Alliance claims that bin Laden regularly doled out sums of $50,000 to $100,00 to the Taliban leadership to ensure their support.

Chris Floyd writes that "among the isolated, out-of-step losers who mutter 'doubts' about America's war in Afghanistan, you will sometimes hear the traitorous comment: 'This war is just about oil.'" But they're wrong: "It's also about drugs."

The battle between Rumsfeld and Powell for the president's ear could decide the fate of Saddam Hussein. Plus, the dream of an easy victory in Iraq.

What went wrong in the Arab world? Hussein Ibish writes that America should ask itself. Read Ibish's spirited defense of Al-Jazeera, co-written with Ali Abunimah.

Greenpeace Germany's magazine reports that the anthrax attacks were probably the work of a member of a U.S. biological warfare program who wanted a budget increase for biological weapons research.

For racist and anti-immigrant groups, the 9/11 attacks are a marketing tool.

Read an interview with the Independent's Robert Fisk, conducted just after he had returned to Pakistan from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

A Times of London correspondent tells BBC's "NewsNight" that the CIA operative who was killed in Afghanistan may have provoked the prison revolt with his aggressive interrogation of foreign Taliban prisoners.

Is Osama bin Laden a shoo-in for Time magazine's "Person of the Year?"

A senior mujahedin commander in Jalalabad says he is 90% sure that bin Laden is holed up in a cave complex in the Tora Bora area of eastern Afghanistan's White Mountains. A Defense Dept. source says a 15,000 lb. "daisy cutter" bomb would make no impact on the caves.

An Afghan trader says that he saw bin Laden there last week while delivering groceries.

In a USA Today/CNN poll, 58% of respondents say that if bin Laden is captured alive he should be tried in an international or civilian court, with only 29% favoring a secret military tribunal.

Read past U.S. State Department criticism of military tribunals in other countries.

A Washington Post/ABC poll finds that a majority support Bush administration tactics to investigate and prosecute suspected terrorists, with 78% favoring military action against Iraq. Iraq responds to U.S. hawks.

Howard Kurtz boils down a Pew Research poll that finds 69% saying news organizations "stand up for America," compared to 43% in early September. Read the transcript of a Brookings/Harvard forum on the poll results.

The Economist uncovers evidence of a plan to build a helium-powered anthrax balloon bomb in a Kabul residence that housed a Pakistani relief agency.

The Northern Alliance has seized a top al-Qaeda operative, the son of the "Blind Sheik," Omar Abdel Rahman. Read an interview with the sheik, and post-terrorist attack interviews with his wife and a younger son.

As the Northern Alliance lines 'em up and shoots 'em down, Robert Fisk argues that the West is also committing war crimes.

The Georgia couple who tried to scam WTC insurance money are described as friendly folks who just wanted to fit in.

Jeffrey St. Clair on Boeing's flying pork barrels: "These are the kinds of contracts that created front-page scandals during the 1980s. But these days the press, in full war mode, barely bats an eyelash over."

Major news organizations are pulling out of northern Afghanistan following the shooting death of a Swedish TV correspondent.

First, the Bad News David Corn writes: "Is it possible that a years-long war on terrorism could force the U.S. to use its wealth to address the plight of the impoverished and repressed in lands other than Afghanistan? Too bad we will have to bomb them first."

The Guardian reports that the U.S. is drawing up plans to place alleged al-Qaeda terrorists before military tribunals at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on Guam, and possibly aboard U.S. ships at sea.

Not So Fast The U.S. death penalty and the prospect of military tribunals may keep European countries from extraditing suspected terrorists.

The U.S. government's long history of using bounties to capture criminals.

Debka explores the mystery of the disappearing al-Qaeda soldiers. (11/27)

As bandits replace a "transport mafia," traders bemoan the return of the "bad old days" to central and southwestern Afghanistan.

Remember Salon? In an attempt to attract new subscribers, a selection of "Salon Premium" articles is available for free through the the end of the week.

Let's Do War Marc Cooper on the flirtation between Hollywood and the Bush administration.

Is the U.S. in cahoots with Russia to diminish Saudi Arabia's oil dominance?

Headline: Bush to Bomb Through Olympics

The Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that network morning shows are a kind of "sophisticated infomercial," devoting 32 percent of their (non-advertising) airtime to selling viewers something. Read the report.

The Today Shill NBC and have worked out a deal that gives the network 10% of the sale price of each book purchased online following an author interview.

In this must-read analysis of the 2000 campaign, Eric Boehlert excoriates the press for its habit of "falsely reporting trivia about Al Gore and challenging his character in order to score points." More Boehlert: "Gore's Too-Willing Executioners."

Robert Parry on the memo that suggests Gore really would have won a Florida recount.

A witness describes al-Qaeda's underground cave complex near Tora Bora as being so well defended and concealed that ­ short of poison gas or a tactical nuclear weapon ­ it is immune to outside attack.

Terrorists and rogue states follow bin Laden's lead and go underground.

Debka offers more theories on the location of the "super terrorist" as Pakistani intelligence agents aim to keep him out of their country.

The Pentagon disputes resident's claims that Pakistani planes spiritied away its country's fighters from Kunduz.

The Independent reports that U.S. bombing of residential areas in Khanabad killed 100 civilians in the last two weeks.

North of the border, CNN and its "America Strikes Back" act wears thin: "I like the United States. I'm just tired of CNN pretending to be the United States."

Having stumbled upon the never-ending story, 24-hour news channels overmilk the cow, while "brave" Geraldo goes to war.

Pay-Per-Cut Would you spend $20 to see a man cut off his feet, live on the Internet?

A Newsweek reconstruction of what happened on United Airlines Flight 93 refutes speculation that it may have been shot down. The FBI refuses to release the cockpit voice recording of the plane's final minutes.

A British tourist who claims to have jokingly told a flight attendant, "Don't worry, I don't have a bomb in my jacket," spent a month at Rikers Island. Plus, waking up in another country, not our own.

Robert Jensen says "goodbye to patriotism." Read more by Jensen here.

How the phrase "the terrorists have won" has turned routine acts into acts of war.

Robert Fisk, the only Western journalist reporting from Kandahar province, spoke to a woman escaping the U.S. bombing: "There wasn't much left of my son...when the roof hit him, he was turned to meat and all I could see were bones. His name was Sherif. He was a year and a half old.''

While U.S. officials say the number of Marines near Kandahar could reach 2,000, the Telegraph reports on plans to deploy up to 25,000 paratroopers to encircle the city. More than one-half of its 800,000 residents have reportedly fled.

Pashtunistan? Without a broad-based coalition government in Afghanistan, Pashtuns there and in Pakistan may renew calls for a separate state.

After negotiating the peaceful handover of Jalalabad, bin Laden heads for the hills near Tora Bora, where al-Qaeda is paying locals to fortify its encampment.

More on the cat and mouse game between bin Laden and his American pursuers, and the difficult task of "smoking him out." Gore Vidal says don't bomb him, buy him.

A Time correspondent phones home from the Mazar-i-sharif prison riot.

How sincere is the Bush administration's sudden concern for women's rights in Afghanistan?

Following up on his earlier column criticizing President Bush's decision to establish military tribunals, William Safire raises further objections to the "try- 'em-and-fry- 'em" strategy.

Frank Rich writes that "This kind of high-handedness and secrecy has been a hallmark of the administration beginning Jan. 20, not Sept. 11." Plus, somewhere Richard Nixon is smiling.

Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn on the press and the Patriot Act: "Where were they when it counted?"

Has U.S.A. come to stand for the United Snitches of America?

Paul Krugman writes that one war story not being televised is "politicians and businessmen behaving badly." Ralph Nader on "seriously imbalanced" priorities.

The Sunday Times reports that U.S. and British intelligence forces are on the ground in Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the next countries to be targeted by the anti-terror coalition.

The war on war reporters in Afghanistan, and how new technology makes their job more dangerous.

I see London, I see France: scrounging for souvenirs amid the rubble.

Mr. Big After campaigning against a too-powerful executive branch and big government, President Bush has come to embrace both.

Some police chiefs are troubled by the Justice Department's request that they help find and interview 5,000 men, most of whom are from Middle Eastern countries. Portland's acting chief says not in our town.

Execute This! U.S. death penalty kills an extradition deal with Spain.

Eastern Afghanistan's Wild West is in the grip of anarchy.

ProAm TV The U.S. is considering a plan to spend $500 million to launch a satellite channel that would compete with Al-Jazeera and be aimed at younger Muslims who are seen as anti-American.

Al-Qaeda's terrorism with a family values twist.

Over and In The media consortium that analyzed Florida's ballots found that if overvotes had been included in a recount, Gore would have won. New evidence suggests that they would have been included.

Jihad MTV The Telegraph enlists a Jewish twenty-something woman from New York to review bin Laden's recruitment video: "This is a great propaganda film - the kind that you can't get out of your head. I have spent all day humming militant Islamic songs."

As the U.S. hunts bin Laden on the ground, talking heads scope him out -- CNN & PBS -- on the air.

Ari Fleischer avoids answering hardball questions about civilian casualties in Afghanistan and U.S. sponsored terror. Plus, U.S. takes out 11 more in the "village of death."

And just who is the world's leading terrorist state?

A British official claims the U.S. military is hampering the humanitarian aid effort in Afghanistan.

How Russian President Putin's "stunning chess move" jeopardizes the possibility of a stable political coalition forming in Afghanistan, and why the next phase of the war could resemble El Salvador in the 1980s.

Post-Taliban Afghanistan will be coming up poppies.

What comes after Afghanistan remains an unsettled and unsettling question.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour and the New York Times' David Rohde are interviewed about reporting from Afghanistan.

Nat Hentoff on the precedent set by President Bush's executive order establishing military tribunals: "If the U.S. can prosecute and even execute loosely identified "supporters" of "terrorism" secretly and swiftly, why can't other countries follow that lawless example in their own interests?"

Is President Bush's executive order legal?

Public Campaign's offers an index of articles related to war profiteering. And in its latest op-ad, addresses the Democrats difficulty in defending the little guy.

As the 9/11 attacks send the sex industry topsy-turvy, "Operation Playmate" reprises its Gulf War role to provide virtual support for the troops.

Morons or Menaces? Jonathan Turley writes that "As strange as it may seem, there's an abundance of Americans who find the role of an al Qaeda terrorist to be funny or exhilarating or useful." Read his proposal for dealing with them.

A Western reporter makes an excursion into the Taliban twilight, as Mullah Omar dreams on.

A Pak professor says the Taliban and bin Laden give Jihad a bad name.

Reuters, BBC and Reporters sans Frontières on the killing of four journalists in Afghanistan.

A former FBI agent who quit in frustration -- and who died on 9/11 in his new job as head of WTC security -- told the authors of a new book that the State Department and the oil lobby stifled his investigation of bin Laden.

A volunteer writes about his experience at ground zero, and the dashed promise that it held for the beginning of a new world. He also profiled the heroes of ground zero for Truckers News.

The Guardian reports that thousands of the soldiers in Kunduz are members of Egypt's al-Gamaa al-Islamiya. A terrorism export warns that their slaughter could trigger retaliation by al-Gamaa cells around the world.

As the Bush administration uses the war on terrorism to seize more power, William Rivers Pitt writes that it's time to crash the (Democratic) party.

Porn patriot sues DoD for the right to send reporters to the front lines.

How smart was the U.S. bomb that destroyed Al-Jazeera's Kabul office?

"Shopping for freedom" presents a challenge for Buy Nothing Day organizers.

Is AOL Time Warner's Harry Potter swinging a corked bat?

As Air Force officials complain that the U.S. Central Command is being overly cautious because it fears civilian casualties, carpet-bombing reportedly kills about 150 unarmed Afghan civilians near Kunduz.

Civilians fleeing Kunduz say that al-Qaeda is slaughtering Taliban troops bent on surrender. Plus, a look at life behind bars for the Taliban and its foreign volunteers.

U.S. policy planners are said to be "utterly confused" about what to do next, following President Bush's decision to go with his gut and take Russian President Putin's advice to unleash the Northern Alliance on Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul.

U.S. TV networks are being increasingly criticized for their shallow, jingoistic and Pentagon-reliant coverage of the war. Plus, top ten jingo journos.

Robert Fisk debunks some myths about Afghanistan. Myth number one: it's a country.

Terror documents found at Kabul safehouses point to an "inseparable link" between al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

The Daily Rotten says that included in the nuclear documents found was a reprint of a scientific parody called "How to Build an Atom Bomb," from a geek-humor newsletter.

Debka calls the safehouse documents "red herrings," and also claims that 50,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda forces are redeploying in Hindu Kush mountain hideouts, with bin Laden "very much present in organizing the move."

An Independent reporter on how the hunt might end: "a body, or the remains of it, handed over for a ransom after a stab or a bullet in the back from one who appeared to Mr. bin Laden to be a friend."

Bin Laden's attempt to evade capture spawns a new industry.

AirSama The Los Angeles Times reports on the shadow air force that bin Laden built to support his activities.

Terrorists appear to have the U.S. over a (pork) barrel.

Operating underneath the media radar and using national security as cover, the Bush administration has reversed many Clinton-era environmental policies in the last two months.

As Harry Potter evolves from beloved novel to Coca-Cola-sponsored event movie, the Center for Science in the Public Interest launches Plus, AOL Time Warner's Harry Potter synergasm.

BuzzFlash's analysis of news reports on the Pennsylvania crash of Flight 93, raises questions about how it came down (shot?) and where it was headed (Three Mile Island?).

"Al-Jazeera's virulent anti-American bias undercuts all of its virtues," writes Fouad Ajami in the New York Times magazine. "It is, in the final analysis, a dangerous force. And it should be treated as such by Washington." A supporter of the station disputes Ajami's assertions.

Al-Jazeera claims the U.S. had wanted to bomb its Kabul office since the war began, but waited until the BBC reopened its bureau there because it didn't want to take out the only Kabul-based broadcaster.

What does Mohammed Atef's death mean to al-Qaeda?

After finding al-Qaeda's nuclear plans in a hastily abandonded Kabul safehouse, the Times of London's Anthony Loyd turns up plans for manufacturing the biological poison ricin.

A neighbor of one safehouse says Arab supporters of bin Laden drew diagrams of an attack on a skyscraper in advance of 9/11. Tour more safehouses.

A Kabul neighborhood is poised to become a ghost town, as Pashtun residents prepare to flee at the first sign of revenge.

Iran radio reports that bin Laden has probably fled to Pakistan, crossing the border near Tirah, southwest of Peshawar.

No Surrender The Northern Alliance vows to kill 6,000 foreign fighters who are among the 15,000 to 20,000 Taliban soldiers trapped in Konduz.

Following up on its analysis that the Taliban withdrawl was a table-turning strategy, not a rout, Stratfor looks at what's next: "The Taliban war plan will play out over the coming years rather than days."

A Telegraph reporter winds up chauffering -- and interviewing -- one of Afghanistan's most-feared warlords as he makes his triumphant return to Jalalabad after five years in exile.

View a map of Afghanistan that shows which warlords control what.

The FBI's silence fuels rumors that United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Southwestern Pennsylvania on 9/11, was shot down. A BuzzFlash analysis of media coverage about the crash raises more questions.

Agence France-Press and the BBC report on the detention of Al-Jazeera's Washington correspondent as he was on his way to cover the Russian-U.S. summit in Texas.

How the media acts like a wire service for government spokespeople.

An executive order signed by President Bush scrubs the truth out of presidential history and stabs it in the back.

Kangaroo Courts "Misadvised by a frustrated and panic-stricken attorney general," writes William Safire, "a president of the United States has just assumed what amounts to dictatorial power to jail or execute aliens."

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." -- George W. Bush, 12/18/00

Read the transcript of a BBC interview with Mullah Omar, in which he says "The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it will fall to the ground."

Robert Fisk on Mullah Omar's new policy: "How seriously is the West supposed to take it?"

A Times of London reporter finds bin Laden's "nuclear secrets" in an abandonded al-Qaeda safe house in Kabul. More on what was left behind when al-Qaeda left town.

As Pakistan's "worst nightmare" unfolds in Afghanistan, the Taliban plan to use Pashtun dominated tribal areas of Pakistan as staging posts for a prolonged guerrilla battle. Plus, hibernating warlords reawaken and fiefdoms at a glance.

Teams of Afghan bounty hunters head for the hills in hopes of finding their ($25 million) fortune in the form of bin Laden.

But they may be too late, as rumors circulate that bin Laden has already slipped into Pakistan.

Victorious Northern Alliance says we don't need no stinkin' peacekeepers!

An Afghan women's rights group says the Northern Alliance is big trouble. Read their appeal to the UN and World community.

Because of its unpopularity with the Northern Alliance, Al-Jazeera may be forced out of Afghanistan. The station's Kabul correspondent says that he was beaten as he fled the city.

A Portland neuroscientist and native of Greece was booted off an Alaska Airlines flight for "acting strange," appearing "very nervous" and seeming "uncomfortable."

Just-liberated from Salon "Premium," read Jake Tapper on the media consortium's Florida ballot analysis -- for free!

A Stratfor analysis concludes that the Taliban withdrawl was strategy, not a rout and that "the speed of the Northern Alliance's advance was not surprising. Rapid advances are the norm in Afghanistan."

Free to Ignore Government censorship is not an issue in the U.S., writes Scott Lucas in the New Statesman, "because, to be censored, there has to be an attempt to report the news or to air an opinion in the first place."

The executive director of Canada's CBC News criticizes U.S. networks for their "jingoistic" coverage of the Afghan war.

Al-Jazeera's Kabul reporter, a Syrian, takes flight after being told by the Northern Alliance that if they captured him he would be killed. More on the U.S. bombing of the station's Kabul studio.

The bombing of Al-Jazeera could prove to be a public relations fiasco for the U.S. government.

President Bush responds to a question about keeping bin Laden off of U.S. airwaves with the outrageous assertion that "If I'm going to have to get on the news, they've got to ask me questions."

CNN's "Airport Network" channel goes dark after Monday's plane crash, leaving info-hungry travelers unhappy about watching "American Bandstand" reruns.

Stephanie Salter writes that Walter Isaacson's CNN "seems more like Spin City than the network of Ted Turner -- the one place you knew you could trust to deliver all the unadulterated facts."

Military Chic Sources tell the New York Post that Talk magazine's Tina Brown wants to stage a conference this spring at West Point: "Tina is trying to recast herself and the magazine and make herself more saleably patriotic."

The Northern Alliance's message to Pakistan: hands-off. Plus, the hidden motives of Afghanistan's neighbors.

Al-Ahram Weekly provides an excellent analysis of the Northern Alliance's myriad factions -- a full deck that's loaded with wild cards.

Simon Jenkins on how the Allies have gotten in too deep with their friends from the north: "Britian and America started a war to capture a man and appear to have captured a country."

Debka Update Chinese Muslims fight alongside al-Qaeda and Taliban armies, Iranian and U.S. special forces team up, and Hizbollah and South American Nazis are suspects in the anthrax terror.

A Chrisitan Science Monitor poll finds that 1 in 4 Americans could "envision a scenario in the war against terrorism" in which they'd support the use of nuclear weapons.

Dateline: Kabul -- As the media march in, first impressions from AP, CNN, Reuters, BBC, NYT and LAT correspondents.

Agence France-Press reports that a U.S. warplane bombed the Kabul office of Al-Jazeera. More from the AP.

The Northern Alliance celebrates its victories by executing P.O.W.s, seizing aid trucks and massacring students.

Robert Fisk writes that the West should not be surprised by the atrocity reports.

An Afghan woman remembers their entry into Kabul in 1992: "Are these rapists any better than the hard-liners they replace?"

The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeough describes how he survived the Taliban ambush that killed three fellow reporters.

Robert Kaplan on why it might be tougher to root out the Taliban as a guerilla force than as a government, and why Pakistan will become the big story.

According to Thomas Friedman, that big story will be bad news, as long as the madrasas (39,000 and counting) continue turning out Jihad-ready students.

The big story at FOX News is that "collateral damage" is not news.

Although computer lingo dominated the 90s, military jargon has resumed its assault on the language.

Shutter Control The U.S. government has signed an exclusive deal that gives the Defense Department control of all the commercially available, high-quality overhead satellite images of Afghanistan.

Eight years and eight months: Why two administrations failed to stop bin Laden.

An Arab journalist describes his uncomfortable night sleeping above several boxes of grenades in an Afghan cave - with bin Laden in a bed nearby - during a 1996 visit.

The Telegraph reports that in a video circulating among bin Laden's supporters, he confesses that al-Qaeda carried out the 9/11 attacks: "history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents."

Newsweek details how investigators sealed the connection between al-Qaeda's "CFO" and suicide hijacker Mohamed Atta. Plus, terrorism's unlikely weapon.

U.S. intelligence agencies have hired "remote viewers," a.k.a. psychics, to help predict future attacks and to find bin Laden. Read an excerpt from the "Manual for Remote Viewing."

Oh the Terror! Paul Krugman writes that like the energy crisis in California, terrorism is another crisis being used by the Bush administration to advance a domestic political agenda.

Potential Democratic presidential contenders in 2004 join hawks in calling on Bush to escalate the Afghanistan war and expand it to include Iraq.

An Independent editorial on the objectives of the war on terrorism asks: What are we fighting for?

Ken Kesey on "The Real War," written a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Crime of War In an interview with Mexico's La Jornada, Tariq Ali says that "The U.S. could have decided to treat this for what it was: a criminal act and not an act of war. They chose war."

To counter the ill will unleashed by the bombing, the U.S. has launched a much-ballyhooed propaganda war. But David Corn doubts that it will be enough, arguing that the U.S. has overdrawn its account in the bank of international sentiment.

John Rendon, who refers to himself as "an Information Warrior and a perception manager," heads up the PR group hired to sell the war on Afghanistan to an overseas audience.

On the advertising side is Undersecretary of State, Charlotte Beers. Dubbed the "queen of branding," she went from selling Uncle Ben's to selling Uncle Sam.

Beers tells NBC that the U.S. "is the most elegant brand I've ever had to work with," and that she's "not as awed by the bin Laden propaganda machine as the world is at this point."

I Want My OBL! Why can't we watch bin Laden on American television?

What's Next?: Notes on the many possible avenues of the next terror attack on the U.S., from Cursor columnist Steve Perry.

On BBC's "Newsnight," Greg Palast reports that after Bush became president, the F.B.I was told to back off the bin Laden family, in spite of intelligence linking members to a charity suspected of being a terrorist front group.

Since 9/11, the international media has pumped an estimated $18.5 million into the economy of Tajikistan's capital city. The country's GDP per capita is $1,140, compared to $36,200 for the U.S.

Why the "big names of the world's premiere media are clueless about what is happening inside Afghanistan."

Lawyers for 9/11 victims reconstruct the horror as they attempt to put a dollar value on pain and suffering.

John Nichols on why the 2000 election must not be forgotten.

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir interviews Osama bin Laden, who says that, "if America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons. We have the weapons as deterrent."

Bin Laden's claim to possess chemical and nuclear weapons doesn't appear in the Urdu-language version of the interview. It may have been dropped for fear of alarming Pakistan's majority Urdu-speaking population.

Reuters reports that Mir "is known to have never previously met bin Laden" and Agence France-Presse calls him Hamid "Gul." CNN sets the record straight, noting that Mir became bin Laden's official biographer after several interviews in Afghanistan.

Read an interview with Mir, in which he discusses his previous meetings with bin Laden. E-mail him for more details.

A BBC team -- the first Western broadcasters to enter Kabul since the bombing began -- reports that the Taliban are operating in small, mobile groups to evade U.S. air strikes.

The French reporter who was arrested trying to enter Afghanistan dressed as a woman, recounts his 25 days in a Taliban jail, where "ignorance is the rule and suspicion triumphs over analysis."

In an interview with the Guardian, two Afghan opposition commanders say they are on the verge of abandoning the fight against the Taliban because their confidence in U.S. military strategy has collapsed.

A Pakistani sheperd stumbles across unexploded U.S. cluster bombs 60 miles south of the Afghan border.

Are al-Qaeda and the Taliban using your conscience as their cover?

Slip Sliding Away Foregoing the usual waiting period for public comment, Attorney General Ashcroft stuns defense lawyers and civil libertarians by approving government monitoring of attorney-client conversations.

What did Peggy Noonan know? "This war happens to be the reason he is president: because something big and bad and dark was coming, and he was the man to lead us through it."

More about Peggy Noonan, and why she doesn't think that "Mideastern looking men" have a future as videographers in the U.S.

One In a Hundred (Million) The FBI now suspects that the anthrax mailer is a "mature male," "likely born in the United States," who is "somewhat educated" and "not a Muslim."

The Boston Phoenix's Dan Kennedy writes that "In a war in which the media are being kept at many arms' lengths, the one indispensable journalist is proving to be Seymour Hersh."

Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark confirms Hersh's New Yorker account of a botched U.S. commando raid, while Slate's Scott Shuger disputes it.

In the trading card wars, the rhetorical battle lines are clearly drawn between Topps' "Operation Enduring Freedom" and Infinite Jest's "American Crusade 2001."

The Lapse Leader Read a profile of Argenbright Security, the nation's largest and most-maligned airport-security company.

Kill and Be Killed The Independent reports on Taliban preparations to confront Allied ground troops in Afghanistan with a kamikaze-style suicide squad.

Taliban troops attempting to cross into Tajikistan shoot it out with Russian soldiers.

One month in, an assessment of the U.S. shifting war strategy.

Got Napalm? Putting political, diplomatic and moral considerations on the back burner, warmongers turn up the heat on the Bush administration.

Flying Blind Jeffrey St. Clair writes that the unmanned Predator, at $25 million a shot, may be this war's bill of goods.

"Air campaign"? "Coalition forces"? "War on terror"? Robert Fisk deconstructs the buzzwords.

The patriotism police are patrolling the TV networks for signs of anti-American bias. Command and control for the operation is the Media Research Center. Don't miss its compilation of outrageous quotes from the liberal media. Then read Media Transparency's take on the MRC.

The op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post appear to be self-patrolled. FAIR analyzes the three weeks following 9/11, and finds that 42 out of 44 op-eds stressed a military response.

Going Dark Howard Kurtz explains what network news chiefs meant when they told Condoleezza Rice they wouldn't air bin Laden tapes live and unedited: "Turns out what they really meant is that they wouldn't air the tapes at all."

Great Britian is thinking about not airing Al-Jazeera at all, if its transmission of bin Laden's latest video statement is judged to incite racial or religious hatred.

Four purported sons of bin Laden make their Al-Jazeera debut, reading poetry near the wreckage of a U.S. helicopter that the Taliban claims to have downed.

A Fox News flak explains why the station declined to run any of the bin Kids footage: "Unlike others, we are not here to do PR work for the Taliban."

A newspaper in Panama City FL says no civilian casualty photos on page 1A and no wire service stories that lead with civilian casualties, unless "scores or hundreds of children" are killed.

The Bush administration's strategy, writes The New Republic's Ryan Lizza, is that when the going gets tough, the president gets gone: "At a time of overwhelmingly bad news, they've decided he's a good-news guy."

Clinton (Bill) Speaks: "We've got to defeat people who think they can find their redemption in our destruction. And then be smart enough to get rid of our arrogant self-righteousness so that we don't claim for ourselves things we deny for others."

Although the star-maker machinery has stumbled in the wake of 9/11, a "war" anchor with GenX appeal gets heavily promoted.

Blair's Their Man A Times of London correspondent explores America's newfound affection for his country's Prime Minister.

The Los Angeles Times reports on the "odd twists and wrong turns" of the F.B.I.'s post-9/11 dragnet. The agency has received more than 400,000 tips.

According to a Pakistani newspaper, at least one-third of those detained in the "ruthless manhunt" are from Pakistan.

Sacrifice is for Suckers Read the boiled-down version of a longer speech by Bill Moyers on wartime opportunism.

Ralph Nader on corporate power grabs since 9/11. Here's his plan for curtailing them.

George Clooney calls Fox's Bill O'Reilly a celeb-baiting liar over accusations that the dispersal of WTC benefit funds is being mishandled.

New Cold War Harper's publisher John MacArthur writes that the U.S. media are so busy proving how patriotic they are, that they've forgotten how to analyze and ask questions.

A Yugoslavian journalist advises her U.S. counterparts on how to avoid sliding "from professionalism into political marketing."

Merchants of Fear The hazard lurking for journalists isn't becoming a propaganda arm for the government, writes Robert Samuelson, but that "our new obsession with terrorism will make us its unwitting accomplices."

Rival clans in Northern Afghanistan clash over who gets to shake down the hordes of invading media, as TV crews pay soldiers to fire off rounds for staged footage.

Taliban and U.S. governments find a common victim.

The Right Result It's deja vu all over again, as the U.S. government intervenes in Nicaragua's domestic affairs.

The Guardian corroborates Seymour Hersh's account of the bungled Delta Forces raid of October 20th.

Appearing on CNN, Hersh says that he doesn't "want to get into a war of words or shading of meaning," with military generals. "Whatever they say publicly, I hope privately they fix it."

Air War Casualty An administration official tells the New York Times: "We've been hearing from Arab leaders and others who support us who say you guys need to do more. They say, 'Al-Jazeera is killing us.'"

The Archbishop of Canterbury goes on Al-Jazeera in a bid to deepen the dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

Saudi Arabia's "de facto leader" charges U.S. media with trying to drive a wedge between the two governments, as the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. goes missing.

Budget Buster The high cost of waging war on Afghanistan.

BLU-182, the world's largest conventional bomb, makes its Afghan debut.

With Blackhawk helicopters patrolling the skies, Vice President Cheney resurfaces to lead a ground assault near Gettysburg.

There's still time, writes Salim Muwakkil in the Chicago Tribune, for the U.S. to take the road less traveled. One that will garner America "the kind of global respect worthy of a secure superpower."

An Egyptian novelist speaks with Cairenes about America's war on terrorism: "There is general agreement among people who have access to western media that Americans are being kept ignorant. 'They're under media siege,' was how one journalist put it."

The Philadelphia Inquirer's man in Afghanistan responds to reader's e-mail questions.

According to October 26th articles in the Telegraph and Independent, U.S. special forces met fierce resistance during an October 20th raid into southern Afghanistan. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh follows up on those reports, which had been virtually ignored by the U.S. media.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disputes Hersh's claims.

Rhetoric Gets Real In spite of their "long-haul" rhetoric, U.S. and British military planners were hoping that the Taliban could be dispatched within months. Now, plans are reportedly being made for the deployment of up to 300,000 ground troops.

The center cannot hold: notes on Afghan hunger and the domestic jihad--the progress of war at home and abroad--from Cursor columnist Steve Perry...

Amidst desperate conditions for Afghanistan's poor, the trash-talkin' Taliban are "fit, well fed and ready for war," as their accounts of what's transpiring in that war become increasingly fantastic.

Although he was reportedly just spotted in Kandahar, there are many factors that make bin Laden difficult to track down. Read the text of his latest TV appearance.

It Ain't Me Norman Solomon on Wrangler's co-opting of Creedence Clearwater's anti-war song, "Fortunate Son." Sample other reaction.

Ari Fleischer berates a Daily News rewrite man for suggesting that President Bush isn't a Yankees fan.

Following 9/11, marketers killed death as a theme for ads and commercials. Before then, death had become a popular sales tool.

People magazine angered Toyota by placing the automaker's ad opposite a photo of NYC firefighters raising an American flag over the WTC rubble, and by reporting that the Taliban tool around in souped-up Toyota Land Rovers.

Virginia politicians are using the 9/11 tragedy to try and lure baseball back to D.C. Many companies are also using it as an excuse for poor performance.

The suicide hijackers were an elite group that was "almost corporate" in its organization and coordination.

Take a look inside the 7,000-page, 11-volume "Encyclopedia of Jihad."

Now, read what TV pundits are saying, without having to watch!

How celebrities and their assistants are dealing with anthrax threats.

Survivors describe the U.S. attack on an Afghan village during which 25 to 35 civilians were killed by bombs and gunfire from C-130 Spectres. And on the previous day in a different village, 23 civilians were killed.

Pentagon officials tell CNN it was no accident: "The people there are dead because we wanted them dead."

Slate's Robert Wright asks: "How many Afghan civilians is one American soldier worth?"

Although international sympathy for 9/11 victims endures, the New York Times finds that "Portraits of the U.S. as a lonely, self-absorbed bully taking out its rage on defenseless Afghanistan are on the rise."

Read an interview with David Rees, the creator of "get your war on."

Clueless The F.B.I. is asking Americans to compare the handwriting on the anthrax envelopes and letters to that of anyone they know! Plus, a weak week.

One analyst says exaggerated U.S. claims are part of a growing schism with the British military: "A command control unit claimed to have been destroyed by the Americans has meant usually a phone inside a hut that does not work."

The Washington Post reports that al-Qaeda, working with European dealers, has realized millions of dollars in profits from trading diamonds mined by rebels in Sierra Leone.

A mining ban went into effect there in July, which is when al-Qaeda reportedly stepped up its purchases.

A lack of intelligence and failure to organize a Taliban opposition causes the U.S. to shift strategy, but front-line observers say that the carpet bombing of Taliban troops by B-52s is missing the mark.

Western journalists visit a remote village north of Kandahar: "Surely, something terrible took place here."

Forget caves, Afghanistan's tunnels (karez) are where the action is.

Who's the Man? According to bin Laden's hand-picked biographer, it's the other guy. But a Pakistani beard specialist says don't sell bin Laden short.

When governments go to war, the media are a menace. Plus, U.S. reporters are still waiting to be called up.

WV judge says no go to high school anarchy club, and founder's t-shirt: "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America.'' Next stop -- state Supreme Court.

"Anatomically correct" costume gets high-schooler suspended, wins first prize.

Details are emerging about the treatment of some of the 1,000-plus detainees in the F.B.I.'s post-9/11 crackdown.

New Yorkers are snapping up canaries to use as an early-detection system in the event of a terrorist gas attack.

DeathtoAmericaLand Iran turns site of '79 hostage crisis into a theme park.

As TV newscasts provide spore-by-spore coverage of the anthrax scare, Republicans are busy pushing the envelope in an attempt to reward corporate benefactors. Arianna Huffington writes that it's time to declare war on war profiteering.

"They're counting on your patriotism to distract you from their plunder," says Bill Moyers in this inspiring speech, in which he preaches vigilance in the face of domestic threats emanating from the nation's capital.

Energy and mining companies based in or near Texas are in business.

The Afghan Holocaust: As the U.S. continues to press its fruitless air war, writes Cursor columnist Steve Perry, millions of Afghan civilians stand to starve. Hey, that's what collateral damage is all about...

A secret White House memo that could change everything. Plus, alone in New Hampshire.

We're With Osama James Ridgeway on the connections between white power groups in the U.S. and terrorist organizations abroad. Read web site postings by far right groups in reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

Spooked Le Figaro reports that when bin Laden was in a Dubai hospital in July he had an unlikely visitor -- the local CIA agent.

PM Tony Blair receives the "diplomatic equivalent of a mauling" at a joint press conference with Syrian President Assad, who condemned the strikes on Afghanistan and hailed Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters

A Mujahidin fighter tells a horrific story about the treatment he received from his Taliban captors.

U.S. officials claim that Pakistan is sending military supplies to the Taliban.

To counter a failing public relations campaign, the U.S. and Britian have established PR war rooms that will operate round-the-clock to provide rapid responses to Taliban claims.

While the global TV audience remains skeptical, U.S. networks are still waving the flag.

Bad News Bearers William Saletan writes that it's the reporters, not the war effort that's getting "bogged down."

A freelance journalist working on a story about airport security enters a post-9/11 twilight zone, where the drug war and the war on terrorism intersect.

Topps has just issued "Enduring Freedom" trading cards. The Washington Times reports that the million freebies being sent to American troops are "meant as an immediate mini-morale booster."

As many of those troops remain idle, the Guardian reports that ground operations are on hold because of a lack of knowledge about conditions in Afghanistan, "an intelligence vacuum." Pentagon sources now say that troops could hit the ground in the Spring.

Also in the Guardian, a British military historian says that bombing Afghanistan is like "trying to eradicate cancer cells with a blow torch," and argues that the result is a "win-win situation" for al-Qaeda.

Read Sir Michael Howard's speech here.

Jeffrey St. Clair reports on the nuke bin Laden crowd. Their weapon of choice is a "mini-nuke," which is also called a "bunker buster." It's a Sadaam-inspired, low-yield nuclear bomb that's awaiting development approval, but according to one weapons expert, it's also easy to retool a conventional nuke into a mini.

December, 2001 Link Archive