June, 2002 link archive

With wages at maquiladoras doubling in the past 10 years -- an entry-level factory worker in Tijuana now earns $1.50 to $2 an hour -- Mexico is pricing itself out of the world labor market. In the past two years more than 500 maquiladoras have closed.

How Exxon Mobil is attempting to use the U.S. war on terrorism to shield itself from charges that it sponsored terrorism in Indonesia.

Is America the new Roman Empire? Can one percent of humanity rule the other ninety-nine percent?

Exhausted delegates to Afghanistan's Loya Jirga head home complaining of poor organization, an undemocratic climate and the make-up of the new cabinet. Delegates react angrily to the lack of debate.

The Baltimore Sun's television writer has won an investigative reporting award for his stories discrediting a report by Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera on a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan.

William Saletan on the logic of Israel's land grab strategy. Plus: Israel's history of aiding Hamas.

Israel touts the virtues of its security fence at a military trade show in Paris.

Prominent Palestinians condemn suicide bombings in a full-page newspaper ad.

Arab League nations are planning a $20 million media campaign against Israel and seeking to ban Arab television stations -- specifically Al-Jazeera -- from interviewing Israeli officials.

Oliver Stone, who is completing a documentary on Yasser Arafat, tells Variety that "The Israelis have no business in the West Bank" and he likens some Jewish settlers to "vigilantes of the Old West in America." Plus: Mario Cuomo's plan for peace.

A battle between two California ghost towns over "official" state status, pits "historical purity against high-octane visitor experience."

What was reported in one week and what wasn't reported on one day.

The winners of the 2002 Webby Awards have been announced.

The U.S. Justice Department argues that prisoners declared enemy combatants do not have the right to a lawyer and that the American judiciary cannot second-guess the military's classification of such detainees. It's the i-said-so test.

How all the president's men buried Coleen Rowley.

Documents obtained by AP show that just weeks before Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement received several warnings that Islamic terrorists were seeking to strike on American soil and that a likely target was government buildings.

In a major policy change, the Israeli government says that it "will respond to terrorist acts by capturing territories of the Palestinian Authority. These territories will be held by Israel as long as terror continues. Further terrorist acts will bring about further (retaking) of territory."

A Jerusalem Post analysis says that Hamas is sending a message to the U.S. with the timing of its suicide bombings: "Do not delude yourselves, in Washington, to think that your ideas and your diplomacy (and for that matter, your power) will determine the course of events in the Middle East."

Ha'aretz reports that Israeli security and rescue personnel are trained to actively aid in the PR effort following a terrorist attack.

Ted Turner backs away from remarks that both the Israelis and Palestinians are involved in terrorism.

A military investigation has found that a U.S. fighter pilot did not follow proper procedures when he mistakenly bombed Canadian troops in April, killing four soldiers.

Chump Change Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who sold between $20.5 million and $91 million in assets last year to avoid conflicts of interest, complained to the Office of Government Ethics that the "excessively complex and confusing" forms cost him more than $60,000 in accountants' fees to compile.

Georgia's straight-talking defense minister chagrined Rumsfeld when he strayed from the party line during a Pentagon briefing, to reveal how much money the U.S. was pumping into his country and how few al-Qaeda forces are there.

One day after Bush administration officials "repeatedly insisted" that they had no information about any Americans being detained in Pakistan, they now say that there were two Americans detained there, but that they had no ties to terror. Pakistani officials say that more are still being held.

War Games "Now that President Bush has specifically approved authorized American covert-operations forces to remove Hussein," writes former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, "the Iraqis will never trust an inspection regime. The true target of the supposed CIA plan may not be Hussein but rather the weapons inspection program itself."

National Security Agency joins the FBI and CIA in congressional crosshairs.

James Ridgeway profiles the small cartel of conservative lawyers who are crafting terror war laws for the Bush administration. Plus: How the Federalist Society is transforming American law.

Since 9/11, the so-called material-witness statute -- an obscure federal law designed to guarantee the presence of a key witness at a criminal proceeding -- has emerged as the weapon of choice in the Bush administration's legal arsenal.

After receiving more than 435,000 post-9/11 calls from citizen tipsters, the FBI has disconnected the phone line that it set up to field reports and started prosecuting sources they believe are lying.

When Warren Buffet makes one of his frequent predictions of future terrorist attacks, it's not analysis, it's lobbying.

The real reasons that companies opt to reincorporate in Bermuda and why it's time for a maximum income law.

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura decides to walk, not run. Once-ardent supporters say good riddance and a Twin Cities jackal writes that "by not running, not losing, he chiefly protects the franchise, Jesse, the one-man show."

Barking Head? Eric Alterman thinks that all of the cable news networks will "salivate at the thought" of hiring Ventura: "His opinions are kind of wishy-washy for a national cable audience, but he's got street cred because -- it's ridiculous -- he's an ex-professional wrestler and a critic of the media."

Another jackal says he believes that Ventura's tendency to lash out at the media is the flaw of a person who has trouble taking responsibility for his mistakes. So "whenever he gets in a corner, it's the media's fault."

A Los Angeles Times analysis of Ventura's impact and exit overstates the media coverage of his family, inaccurately characterizing it as "relentless." And like hundreds of other articles, it mistakenly refers to the one-time frogman as a "former Navy SEAL," a myth that Ventura has aggressively perpetuated.

In her new book "Slander," Ann Coulter sprays a "volley of invective" at the media establishment for its "liberal lies about the American Right," and calls Katie Couric "the affable Eva Braun of morning television."

Florida activists plan to monitor voting in November.

Salon interviews Sandra Mackey, author of "The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein," who argues that the U.S. must ask itself which is the greater potential danger: The weapons of mass destruction that Saddam probably has and may use, or the radical destabilization of Iraq that is likely to follow if his regime is toppled by the West.

Following up on the news that President Bush has given the CIA the green light to take out Saddam, the Independent offers a rundown of previous CIA plots and asks: "If the Iraqi leader is quaking at the news, is it from fear or just laughter?"

A USA Today report goes into great detail about feuding between the CIA and the Pentagon in Afghanistan, and suggests that the two agencies might have a difficult time working in concert to topple Saddam.

The U.S. military may be on the verge of wearing out its welcome among Afghans. One villager tells Time that "We were better off under the Russians."

Ben Cohen asks "Why does the Defense Department need $400 billion a year to fight enemies armed with $5 box cutters?" He notes that the 'axis-of-evil' nations (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) spend $12 billion annually on their militaries combined.

U.S. officials are expressing puzzlement at reports that Pakistan is holding two Americans captured more than a month ago while trying to cross the border from Afghanistan, and that there may be more Americans among their prisoners. Is the U.S. feigning ignorance while allowing Pakistani interrogators to have at the prisoners?

Saudi Arabia announces the arrest of seven members of al-Qaeda on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks in the kingdom. The Interior Ministry says the arrests were made several months ago.

The Washington Post reports that the U.S.-led effort to track money belonging to terrorist groups is being hampered by bureaucratic infighting and the fact that long before Sept. 11, al-Qaeda operatives began shifting money out of bank accounts and into gold and precious stones.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Hamas is claiming responsibility for the suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem. The bomber reportedly boarded carrying a large suitcase, which he detonated just after the bus pulled away from its stop.

In an interview with the Guardian, Ted Turner says that "The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism." Both sides respond.

Militant memorabilia is all the rage among Palestinian youth. "I used to have plenty of Pokémons -- my school bag was half full of them," said fourteen-year-old Saleh Attiti. "I threw them all away. They're not important now. The pictures of martyrs are important. They're our idols."

FAIR is blasting the Washington Post for trumpeting the adulation that greeted President Bush when he delivered the commencement address at Ohio State University, but failing to report, as other media outlets did, that students were warned ahead of time that they faced arrest for showing any signs of dissent.

The "Turn Your Back on Bush" protest at OSU was communicated via this Web site, which is now chronicling the protest's aftermath and attempting to expand the campaign.

Journalists were in no mood to listen when Sen. Maria Cantwell, proposed an unusual idea to protect civil liberties, reports David Corn: "No one could envision a headline: 'Senator Proposes Civil Liberties Director for FBI.'"

An Observer reporter travels to Texas to investigate how big oil got in bed with big politics and what effect that has had on people living downwind. The Toronto Star profiles one of them, a Texas rancher who's taking on Alcoa.

In a Q & A with the New York Times Magazine, Ralph Nader defines "electronic child molestation," identifies the one product on the market today that makes him think of Corvair, and explains why the so-called welfare queens of the Reagan years provoked much more anger on Main Street than white-collar criminals do now.

According to bankruptcy documents, Enron's 144 senior managers were paid $744 million in the year before the company's collapse. Plus: A how-to guide for aspiring CEO supervillains.

Steve Brill on Salon's inability to deliver the goods with John Dean's e-book that named four Deep Throat suspects instead of one: "Obviously, it's a big bust. I guess that's what happens when you get in bed with a Nixon guy."

Appearing on the PBS "NewsHour," Carl Bernstein said "the real trends in journalism in the past 30 years have been toward gossip, sensationalism, manufactured controversy." According to Bob Woodward "There is a lot of good journalism, but the environment is, 'Hey, that's on CNN. My God, let's go chase it.'"

Mexicans left crying in their cerveza as the gringos do it again.

U.S. officials tell the New York Times that classified investigations of the al-Qaeda threat by the FBI and CIA, have concluded that the war in Afghanistan failed to diminish the threat to the U.S. and that it might have complicated counterterrorism efforts by dispersing potential attackers across a wider geographic area.

Three Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda operatives, captured in Morocco, told interrogators that after escaping from Tora Bora, a bin Laden decree ordered them to flee Afghanistan to whatever areas of the world they had previously operated from and to launch terrorist attacks once they had become established.

Visa Express, a U.S. State Department program with Saudi Arabia, allowed three of the 9/11 hijackers to obtain visas from a travel agency without ever visiting a U.S. embassy or consulate.

The Los Angeles Times quotes a Justice Department official as saying that al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan are "hiding in plain sight" and reports that privately, "many U.S. officials are increasingly voicing concerns that Musharraf's crackdown on local terrorist groups has largely failed."

Terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay run the gamut from "rich to poor, preppies to layabouts."

As one thousand Afghan delegates walk out of the Loya Jirga's general assembly, foreign aid agencies are threatening to pull out of Afghanistan following attacks.

How the long-standing suspicion that both the FBI and CIA have about Israel's Mossad and its ongoing activities in the U.S. contributed to the pre-9/11 intelligence breakdown.

A State Department analyst accuses the U.S. media of treason for publishing information that identifies the country's vulnerabilities for terrorist groups.

In a speech to federal judges, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, reviewing the history of civil liberties during wartime, said that "One is reminded of the Latin maxim inter arma silent leges. In time of war, the laws are silent."

On the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, Salon's Bruce Shapiro writes that "The Bush administration rivals the Nixon White House when it comes to secrecy and unchecked power, with John Ashcroft as our modern-day John Mitchell." Plus: The Washington Post revisits Watergate.

In his Salon e-book, "Unmasking Deep Throat: History's Most Elusive News Source" John Dean settles on four possible "Throats," including Pat Buchanan, after Dean's main man threatened to sue.

Journalism students investigating Deep Throat finger Buchanan. Plus: Other likely suspects.

"Instead of viewing the best Watergate reporting as a model to build on," writes Norman Solomon, "for the most part the biggest media outlets soon regarded it as a laurel to rest on."

Are the scandals and doubts enveloping a growing number of major institutions inspiring a malaise among Americans?

The Telegraph reports speculation that Secretary of State Powell's frustration at being undermined by the White House over Mideast policy could cause him to step down after November's elections.

As Israel begins fencing off West Bank towns, an open letter published in Ha'aretz calls on "Settlers of Judea and Samaria" to come home.

Don't Come 'Home' The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Home Depot, in a possible attempt to skirt compliance with federal laws and executive orders on hiring and employment practices, has told its 1,400 stores not to do business with the U.S. government or its representatives.

Michael Kinsley memorializes Slate's Scott Shuger, who died Saturday in a scuba diving accident.

CIA and FBI reportedly agree to turn off the spigot in leak war.

John Prados connects the dots to show how the Bush administration uses terrorist threats to its advantage.

Minister of Fear CBS News commentator Dick Meyer writes that "The way the attorney general detonated the 'dirty bomber' case this week completes his metamorphosis from a common press hog to a genuine fear monger."

After initially going "along for the ride" on Ashcroft's scare, the press defused the hype.

Referencing Steven Spielberg's soon-to-be-released Minority Report, about a futurist police agency called "Precrime," Slate's Dahlia Lithwick writes that "For want of a Federal Department of Precrime, John Ashcroft is seeking ways to stop terrorists who haven't necessarily done anything bad enough to warrant a criminal conviction in civilian courts."

The Justice Department told a closed meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the U.S. can hold Abdullah al Muhajir until President Bush decides the war against terrorism is over.

Who's more popular, Abdullah al Muhajir or Jose Padilla?

Muslim extremist groups take a recruiting cue from the American extreme right and author Ted Conover talks about the increasing popularity of Islam in U.S. prisons.

Alexander Cockburn asks: "Now suppose al-Qaeda was to plan something really nasty, like shipping spent nuclear fuels by rail from every quarter of the U.S. to a fissured mountain in Nevada not that far from one of America's prime tourist destinations?" Find out if you're upwind or down.

Mild earthquake rumbles beneath the desert near Yucca Mountain.

David Corn debunks Michael Ruppert, the ex-Los Angeles cop who became a 9/11 conspiracy king. Ruppert has compiled a time line -- "Oh Lucy! - You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do" -- which he contends shows that the CIA knew of the attacks in advance and that the U.S. government likely had a hand in them.

Corn also examined 9/11 conspiracy theories in an Alternet article, "When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad" and in a recent Nation article, "The September 11 X-Files," that prompted this response from Ruppert.

The Air Force Colonel who accused President Bush of having advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and allowing them to happen in order to prop up his presidency, will not be court-martialed.

A bomb blast outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi killed at least 11 Pakistanis, less than a day after Defense Secretary Rumsfeld left the country. Photos here.

How long is Afghanistan's road to democracy?

Police are investigating reports that an Israeli gambling ring is taking bets on where the next Palestinian suicide bomber will strike.

An Arab boycott targeting U.S. companies with ties to Israel, homes in on Starbucks.

An Appellate Court says no tank you to an Illinois man who sued the federal government, seeking the return of a Persian Gulf War tank that he had bought from the U.S. Army. He also sought $23 million in damages for injuries he claimed to have suffered when federal agents "roughed him up" while repossessing the tank.

As Enron continues to pursue public financing for international operations, read how $200 million in U.S. financing helped Enron build a natural-gas pipeline directly through South America's largest remaining undeveloped swath of dry tropical forest, a region rich with endangered wildlife and plant.

New York's attorney general, says that he'll sue the Bush administration over its plan to change air pollution rules to give utilities more leeway in modernizing power plants without also being required to improve their pollution-control equipment.

Paul Krugman writes that "the Gilded Age looked positively egalitarian compared with the concentration of wealth now emerging in America."

Wichita parish finds that it's not in Kansas anymore.

Iceland bans Falun Gong members from entering the country on Icelandair during Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit.

In an apology to readers for running an article from The Onion as fact, the Beijing Evening News wrote that "Some small American newspapers frequently fabricate offbeat news to trick people into noticing them, with the aim of making money. This is what The Onion does."

The Guardian follows up on a BBC report that NATO surveillance flights in the Balkans are beaming their pictures over an insecure satellite link, allowing Europeans to tune in and watch the operations live.

Ted Lewis and Jason Mark argue that the Bush administration's claim that future terrorist attacks are "not a matter of if, but when," represents an admission that the current strategy of relying on force to defeat terrorism is a failure.

Any attempt to find a motive for the crime of terror "will touch far too sensitively upon U.S. foreign policy," writes Robert Fisk, "indeed upon the very relationships that bind America to the Israeli Prime Minister and to a raft of Arab dictators."

The head of an al-Qaeda cell operating in Saudi Arabia reportedly attempted to shoot down an American plane with a portable anti-aircraft missile.

A new documentary film, "Massacre at Mazar," claims that U.S. troops tortured Taliban prisoners and assisted in the disappearance of thousands of others in the war in Afghanistan.

TomPaine.com documents the case of 53 Indian men who were lured into a life of "virtual slave labor" in the American heartland.

Palestinian and Israeli 10th graders debate whether Sharon or Arafat has the longer pinocchio nose and Haaretz's Amira Hass offers a scary future scenario of life under perpetual siege.

Varying answers to the question "What is the West Bank?" trip up the peace process.

Palestinian fighters are resorting to hit-and-run warfare to harass Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.

A prominent Washington attorney has called for the execution of family members of suicide bombers.

Boston Phoenix media critic Dan Kennedy explains why he changed his mind and now supports his paper's decision to publish a link to the Daniel Pearl video.

The Senate has defeated an effort to permanently repeal the estate tax. It is estimated that repeal would have cost the federal government $740 billion in the decade after 2010. A small business trade group is calling for ballot box revenge.

Vermont is about to become the first state to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose their gifts and cash payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Plus: Medical residents to be limited to a mere 80-hour work week.

The president of PBS calls on the companies that own TV networks to quit pandering to the "fabled" 18-to-34-year-old demographic.

Shop Till They Drop Rage spreads beyond "road" and "air."

ABC has reportedly rescinded an offer to country singer Toby Keith to perform his jingoistic hit, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," on a July 4th special, after anchor Peter Jennings heard the song and vetoed it.

Not So Secret Society How John Gotti's celebrity got in the way of running the store.

Warlords crash the loya jirga! "I was amazed to see in the first and second rows those so-called warlords sitting together," said the European Union representative. "It tells me only one thing: the interim administration has decided to try to integrate former warlords into policy-making in Kabul. If they succeed, that will be an achievement."

Slate's correspondent is posting a daily diary of the loya jirga proceedings.

In an interview with CBS News, the author of the just-published "Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror," says that "At any given time, al-Qaeda would be planning, preparing, conceptualizing at least 100 attacks."

Pakistani sources tell UPI that as many as a half-dozen men "of U.S. origin" have been captured in the tribal areas of Pakistan and handed over to the U.S.

The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. authorities have interrogated a second dirty bomb suspect -- a man from an Arab country in the Middle East.

British and European security officials are skeptical of U.S. claims that the alleged dirty bomb plotter, Abdullah al-Muhajir, was preparing to unleash a radioactive attack. Could al-Muhajir be John Doe #2?

U.S. prisons seen as a breeding ground for "Jihad Yanks."

"It's bad enough that the terrorists are using fear as a device, writes Maureen Dowd. "Does the Bush administration have to do the same thing?" Plus: White House backs away from Ashcroft's hype.

A Moroccan secret service agent, who reportedly was in Washington, being briefed by U.S. intelligence agents when the 9/11 hijackers struck, says that for two years he successfully infiltrated al-Qaeda, before breaking cover last summer to warn of a "large-scale operation in New York in the summer or autumn of 2001."

Clinton's anti-terrorism coordinator is said to have gone into detail about "planes as weapons" during a closed-door session of the joint congressional panel examining the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies. Panel co-chairman Rep. Porter Goss said of 9/11: "We should have known."

The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg looks inside the minds of suicide bombers and profiles the men behind them. Plus: "A Martyr's Birthplace" photo essay.

Suicide Chauffeur A Palestinian prisoner describes scouting out targets and evading Israeli forces as he drove would-be "martyrs" to their deaths. (LA Times, registration required)

How the 1.3 million population of the Gaza Strip has been effectively cut in half by checkpoints set up in large part to safeguard the travel of 7,100 Jewish settlers.

Twelve years after being arrested in the bombing of their own car, two Earth First! activists have been awarded $4.4 million in a federal suit claiming they were framed by Oakland Police and FBI agents.

"The Executioner's Last Songs," a musical manifesto against the death penalty, reinterprets old-time music that came from cotton field workers and hillbillies, juke joints and charismatic churches.

Parodists Betty Bowers and Reverend Billy are taking aim at the hijacking of a religion.

Revenge of the Underlings Literary whistle-blowers are making a subversive sweep of the publishing industry, cashing in on the fame and follies of their rich and famous former employers.

How Google and blogs are rocking Big Media's world. Plus: Life in the "bloghetto."

The Washington Post and the Washington Times offer differing takes on the GAO's 217-page report of its investigation into Bush administration charges that Clinton aides vandalized the White House as they left. The GAO estimated damages of $19,000 and was "unable to conclude whether the 2001 transition was worse than previous ones"

The bulk of the report, 130 pages, is described by the Washington Post as an "extraordinary exchange between the White House and the GAO. Though Bush officials have said repeatedly they had no interest in furthering the controversy, they responded to the GAO report paragraph by paragraph." Download the report (1.3 MB) and get Freeper reaction.

The news that the White House's secretly-crafted blueprint for a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security is very much a work in progress, is further reason to believe that the timing of last week's surprise presidential announcement was more about politics than policy.

CBS reports that U.S. officials now admit that they're not sure what dirty bomb suspect Abdullah al Muhajir's plans were when he returned to the U.S. last month. Al Muhajir's "unusual odyssey."

USA Today notes that other U.S. citizens might also have been associated with al Muhajir and that Pakistani authorities have handed over ''several'' U.S. citizens to U.S. officials.

William Saletan writes that unlike a nuke, a dirty bomb "doesn't have a physical chain reaction to magnify its destruction. It requires a human chain reaction. It requires ignorance, fear, and panic."

Andy Borowitz decodes the FBI: "We are making technological improvements at headquarters." Translation: "We now have call-waiting."

Quick, name the government agency whose culture is defined by drugs, drinking, casual sex, pornography, and bar fights.

Czech voters face a difficult choice between the party offering free alcohol and the one using topless women in its campaign.

As reports of fresh atrocities in Chechnya emerge, The Economist calls on the West to tell it like it is about Russia's behavior.

Less than a week after Israeli forces opened fire on an armored car carrying two journalists working for Reuters, the Israelis took over the Reuters office in Ramallah A cameraman said soldiers were sleeping in the office and had set up their own laptop computers and maps.

Arms-selling kibbutz echoes a shift in Israeli values.

The challenge of selling America around the world.

In "A worm at the core of Capitalism," the Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby writes that "Enron has created a natural moment for a smart assault on capitalist excess. The wonder is that political leaders and social activists alike do not seem to have seized it."

The New York Times reports that Congress has lost its ardor for tough, post-Enron reform and Arianna Huffington explains why the bang turned into a whimper

The Times quotes Texas Sen. Phil Gramm -- whose wife Wendy resigned from the Enron board last week -- as declaring that "The feeding frenzy is pretty much over." A Business Week analysis -- "What Corporate Cleanup?" -- reports on how Gramm is "orchestrating the counter-reformation."

Last weekend Gramm accused Texas Democrats of trying to divide Texans along racial lines, citing a Democratic debate that was held in Spanish.

ALEC? The most powerful lobby you've never heard of. And where does ALEC get all that money? Plus: Lobbyists to legislators ratio.

A novice in the art of media spin discovers the symbiotic relationship between journalists and lawyers.

Media Whores Online responds to Salon's "Rabid Watchdog" profile.

How The Nation is utilizing the tools of capitalism to approach break-even.

Cheney's Business As the SEC launches a preliminary investigation to determine if Halliburton Corp. did anything wrong when the vice president was its CEO, Democrats are asking: Did Cheney do anything right?

Molly Ivins on why "Cheney's mess" is worth a close look.

John Gotti has gone down, but a tribute site is up and running. Gotti's funeral promises to be a who's who of gangsters.

The Washington Post reports that in "a radical shift from the half-century-old policies of deterrence and containment," a new Bush doctrine will add "preemption" and "defensive intervention" as formal options for striking at hostile nations or groups that appear determined to use weapons of mass destruction against the U.S.

"Who is this guy, Napoleon?" Chris Matthews on President Bush's desire to change the Department of Defense back into a War Department.

The Black Commentator reports on charges of racism and corruption at Huntsville, Alabama's Redstone Arsenal, one of the nation's most sensitive military installations: "When George W. Bush blew his bugle, dividing the world into 'us' and 'them,' Redstone managers decided that African Americans were not part of 'us.'"

Tentacles of what later became al-Qaeda first appeared in the U.S. as early as 1986.

London's Sunday Times reports that two years before 9/11, Britain's foreign intelligence service warned the U.S. about terrorist plans to use civilian planes in "unconventional ways, possibly as flying bombs." Plus: More pre-attack tips surface.

A senior Taliban official says that he approached U.S. representatives in 1999 for help in replacing the hard-line Islamic leadership but was told Washington was leery of becoming involved in internal Afghan politics.

Howard Kurtz unravels the mystery behind a New York Times article about the al-Qaeda threat that briefly appeared on the paper's Web site on Sept. 8, but never made it into print. Read the scrubbed article here.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation catalogs Web sites that have been shut down or had information removed from them since 9/11.

Philippines Defense Secretary contradicts Pentagon's version of botched rescue operation of hostages, insisting that the U.S. had prior knowledge.

How Hollywood and the Pentagon mobilized for "Operation Product Placement."

Who Unknows? "There are things we know that we know," said U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "There are known unknowns - that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know but there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."

Gay Afghan warlord says Royal Marines prettier than U.S. special forces.

Comedy of Eros Only the FBI could spend a year in the French Quarter and find just 12 prostitutes. (LA Times, requires registration.)

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how the FBI, working covertly with the CIA and then-Gov. Reagan, spent years unlawfully trying to quash the voices and careers of students and faculty deemed subversive at the University of California.

A surefire plan to topple Saddam: Send in the pundits!

Frank Rich writes that "the White House has lost control of a hagiographic story line that portrayed it as a steely, no-nonsense team of razor-sharp executives running government like a crack Fortune 500 corporation."

How the White House hijacked the news cycle with President Bush's call for a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

Al Gore says that President Bush is hurting the country by using the war on terrorism as "a political wedge." Plus: Bush/Cheney team closing in on $90 million raised for this fall's congressional elections.

Retailers are betting that red white and blue will translate into July 4th green.

Yasser Arafat cryptically threatens that if Israel doesn't retreat from Palestinian Authority-ruled areas, there will be "a disastrous explosion that will impact not only the region but the stability of the whole world."

Are Israeli settlers more of a threat to the peace process than Palestinian suicide bombers?

Although no war has been declared, the conflict between India and Pakistan is now raging all across their 1,800-mile border.

When violence came to Kashmir -- an ancient symbol of peace and tolerance -- it was usually brought by outside forces and states, grasping for the mountain paradise.

Beijing's most popular newspaper runs an article from The Onion as a straight news story.

How the FCC is paving the way for a few big companies to control everyone's high-speed Internet access.

As the White House tries to regain the initiative, Clinton administration veterans express grudging admiration for secrecy surrounding the plan to create a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

Home Team Security White House officials said that President Bush's announcement was designed in part to steal some attention from the congressional hearings.

Republican mavericks could make it difficult for the White House to paint congressional inquiries as a partisan exercise. Plus: Sen. Richard Shelby, face-time king.

When told of the 9/11 attacks, the CIA director's immediate reaction was "This has bin Laden all over it . . . I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training?'' A former CIA analyst writes that "As warnings of a major terrorist operation against the U.S. poured in last summer, we know that George Tenet kept warning everyone who would listen. It seems to me certain that he would have kept the vacationing president up to date, including the fresh information on Moussaoui."

Secret Agent Scam Is the FBI attempting to become a domestic CIA?

A loan officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture tells ABC how four of the 9/11 hijackers tried to get government loans to finance their plots, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, who sought $650,000 to modify a crop-duster.

An attorney for relatives of dozens of men detained at Guantanamo Bay says that of the 384 detainees, some 24 may actually be al-Qaeda or Taliban. He also says that Arabs captured by Gen. Dostum's forces were ransomed for up to $30,000 each, while Pakistani captives commanded much less.

U.S. officials say they're convinced that violence will surround Afghanistan's loya jirga, and believe that an attack on the American Embassy in Kabul is being planned for June 17, the day after the loya jirga ends.

Salon teases a "Premium" article on a memo by military chief Mohammed Atef that showed al-Qaeda was closely monitoring U.S. negotiations with the Taliban over an oil pipeline.

The U.S. government's global warming report to the UN is "at least as cynical as the denial of reality it replaces," writes Bill McKibben. "Now, instead of pretending that climate change is an insignificant and unproved irritant, the administration insists that it is so enormous that very little can be done about it."

The Bush administration's business-as-usual approach to climate change is increasingly out of step at home and abroad.

An Esquire article prompts this question: Is the White House chief of staff an idiot?

As Rep. Tom Delay gives the "new" CNN high marks for balance, another top AOL Time Warner executive is courting Republicans, and disavowing the "Turner viewpoint" that led to charges of "Communist News Network."

CNN's Lou Dobbs ends "war on terror," switches to "war against Islamists." Other potential labels.

Argentineans looking to World Cup for "reality bypass."

Can Minute Maid escape the naming rights curse?

On the 30th anniversary of the publication of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," Hunter S. Thompson talks to a Las Vegas alt-weekly about writing the book. View covers of foreign language editions, including Hebrew.

An Atlantic Monthly correspondent who interviewed Thompson on the 25th anniversary writes: "A shade before two o'clock in the morning I saw my copy of Thompson's latest book shot through with a .45. And I heard Thompson hold forth for three hours about the state of politics, journalism and the American Dream." Plus: Sven Birkets on "Dr. Thompson and the Sprit of the Age."

In an interview with the New York Times, a leader of Islamic Jihad says that Yasser Arafat can't stop the suicide bombings. Officials of Islamic Jihad and Hamas rejected Arafat's offer to join his cabinet, saying that it would commit them to doing Israel's bidding on security matters.

The Israeli Defense Forces blow up three buildings -- including the Palestinian intelligence headquarters -- in retaliation for Wednesday's suicide bombing. Among the 26 people still hospitalized is the bus driver, who survived his fourth Palestinian attack: "It's getting to the point where I see as much action on the roads as I did in combat."

With the Mideast pattern being repeated in Kashmir, a Christian Science Monitor reporter finds the most important similarity to be that "In both cases, the stronger party has had some success in defining its aim as the defeat of terrorists."

The Telegraph reports that India's military is seeking final authorization to invade the Pakistani side of Kashmir within two weeks to destroy Islamic militants' camps. Military sources compare it to America's campaign in Afghanistan, in which air strikes would be followed by special forces ground assaults.

A nuclear warning from those who have been there.

The New York Times notes a White House shift from "mounting ferocious partisan assaults on Democrats to one of self-inoculation." "The president had the upper hand, with Cheney's denouncing people," says a Republican strategist. "Well, guess what? After a couple of weeks, the line in the sand got washed over."

F.B.I.P.R. Although FBI Director Mueller did say that government may have been able to prevent the 9/11 attacks, a TomPaine.com op ad charges him with employing public relations' first rule of crisis management -- changing the subject -- by calling for reforms before answering what went wrong and why.

In a luncheon interview with the Washington Post, Mueller makes the pitch that the bureau is taxed -- that it has been "pushed, really pushed" to keep up with the "substantial" number of terror suspects under constant surveillance.

Unnamed law enforcement officials tell the AP that Mohammed Atta's roommate was kept from entering the U.S. on at least four occasions, but his money transfers, that led directly to the eventual hijackers, weren't tracked.

The claim that the 9/11 hijackers used box-cutters may be nothing more than a functional fictoid.

Virtuous Vulnerability The Guardian's Julian Borger writes that although mistakes made by the CIA and FBI "appear to have been embarrassing and tragic, there is a common thread running through these failings that paradoxically reflects well on the United States as a society."

A reporter finds out first hand that a hotel restaurant in Amman, Jordan, is a hotbed for credit card fraud. He ordered waffles, but ended up paying for tools of war.

The Washington Post investigates the Der Spiegel item that said President Bush had asked Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, "Do you have blacks, too?"

The Angry Liberal asks, "Can Bush Outwit a Clever Enemy?"

The New York Observer sees increasing signs that Rudy Giuliani wants to ride his post-9/11 popularity to the White House.

Andy Rooney tells Larry King that "interviewers have backed off being tough. And it's a shame. I mean, Ashcroft has put the fear of God into reporters." Plus: How might Larry King be convinced to assassinate Saddam Hussein?

In "Lad No More," a former Maxim editors reveals how the sausage is made. Plus: Houston's home cookin'.

Why the daily newspaper isn't working for workers and how alt-weeklies became more scared and less idealistic.

Ralph Nader and the League of Fans are calling on NBA commissioner David Stern to launch an investigation into the officiating of Game 6 of the Western Conference final. Read their letter.

The CIA and FBI are digging up intelligence to annihilate the enemy. "The only problem is," writes Maureen Dowd, "their enemy is each other."

James Ridgeway on the revolving door that connects intelligence committees and spy agencies. Plus: New CIA plan is good news for unsavory characters.

Read what happens when a native Farsi speaker tries to join the war on terrorism.

U.S. prosecutors apparently violated Justice Department guidelines when they sent a subpoena to MSNBC demanding a reporter's notes, e-mails and other information, as part of an investigation into a young hacker who broke into computers at the New York Times.

More Americans becoming simply "American."

How President Bush uses "the American people."

A U.S. Air Force colonel could be court-martialled for calling President Bush "a joke" and accusing him of allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen because "his presidency was going nowhere."

Friends of John W. U.S. News reports that an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 jihadists left America during the 1990s alone, with as many as 400 recruits from America receiving training in Pakistani and Afghan jihad camps since 1989.

U.S. investigators have fingered a Kuwaiti man as the likely mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is also accused of working with Ramzi Yousef in the 1993 bombing of the WTC and in the 1995 plot to bomb planes flying between Asia and the U.S., that included a plan to crash a plane into the CIA.

An Egyptian-born financial analyst who prosecutors said may have had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, has agreed to be returned to New York to face charges of using confidential FBI information to manipulate stock prices.

With investors now loath to believe anything good about a public company, stock market scammers have switched tactics, moving from the "pump and dump" strategy of the late 90s to today's "short and distort."

The Vancouver Sun reports that pilots from the U.S. fighter squadron that mistakenly bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan, had told their commanders shortly before the fatal accident that they were exhausted and needed more rest between missions. They were advised to speak to a flight surgeon about "go/no pills" -- amphetamines and sedatives.

In a "Frontline" interview, Rick Atkinson, the author of "Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War," said that about two-thirds of the American pilots used speed at one time or another.

Israeli tanks enter Jenin following latest suicide bombing.

The Guardian profiles a still-defiant Mordechai Vanunu, who is approaching the end of his 18-year jail sentence for exposing Israel's nuclear secrets. In 1986 he leaked photographs of and information about the country's nuclear facilities to London's Sunday Times, destroying Israel's policy of "nuclear ambiguity."

A British journalist decries Japan's use of hooligan profiling during the World Cup.

With the number of Wal-Mart Supercenters expected to double to 2200 in the next four years, the company's history of putting local retailers out of business and its policy of seldom advertising in newspapers presents a devastating threat to small-town papers.

Most journalists at the Washington Post withhold bylines to protest contract offer. Plus: The "duck-billed platypus" of the newspaper world.

Since TV news is now entertainment, it's time to replace anchors with "news hosts."

Economically Incorrect Why ABC canned Bill Maher and replaced him with shock comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who said "Bill Maher's controversial stuff is serious, important stuff. My controversial stuff is nonsense. It's showing a monkey's penis on TV."

With few clearly formulated domestic interests at stake in Kashmir, "the new world order's moral leaders are looking the other way," writes George Monbiot. "In waging war, Bush and Blair were tumid with moral leadership and purpose. In waging peace, they display only vapidity and irresolution."

The estimated 3,000 Pakistani Islamic militants inside India's portion of Kashmir are a blessing and a curse for General Musharraf.

Eric Margolis writes that "India, like Israel and Russia, has jumped on George Bush's anti-terrorism bandwagon in order to crush enemies who are fighting as much for land and freedom as they are for Islam."

Afghan cave search leaves soldiers wondering if there's anyone left to fight.

President Hosni Mubarak says that a week before Sept. 11, Egyptian intelligence issued a non-specific warning to U.S. officials that bin Laden's network was in the advance stages of executing a significant operation against an American target.

U.S. claims it had agents inside al-Qaeda prior to 9/11.

CIA strikes back at FBI as "cloaked" public relations fight escalates.

"As a dazed and confused FBI attracted flak for months, the senior managers at CIA headquarters -- officially dubbed the George Bush Center for Intelligence in 1999 -- skated by," writes David Corn. "Now they have hit a rough patch. Let's see how much political protection comes from naming a building for the president's father."

Did an FBI official lie to Congress when he claimed that the bureau conducted a "vigorous investigation" of Zacarias Moussaoui in the month prior to Sept. 11?

National Security Agency campaigns for military personnel to zip lips.

The publisher of the Boston Phoenix and the president of an online hosting company explain their decision to disseminate the Daniel Pearl murder video. Read publisher Stephen Mindich's editorial rationale for linking to the video.

One week before France's parliamentary elections, Jean Marie Le Pen is again denying allegations that he was part of a torture campaign during the 1957 "Battle of Algiers."

The Arab world's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" has ridden pro-Palestinian sentiment -- even including "martyrs' mothers" as guests -- to become one of the most popular programs in the Middle East.

The Liability A Boston Globe report details the disastrous consequences of the 1998 merger between Halliburton Corp. and Dresser Industries, that was engineered by VP Dick Cheney when he was CEO of Halliburton.

How Washington's "most powerful legal recluse" could be deposed for his role in Halliburton's questionable accounting practices. Plus: Scandal containment made E-Z and Dick Cheney, the Enronergizer bunny.

A CEO abruptly departs, a treasurer dies in an apparent suicide and stocks tumble as mistrust deepens about corporate America's top management and finances.

The wave of scandal now engulfing American business isn't about morality, it's about management theory that ties compensation to stock price, writes Paul Krugman. And the theory's fatal flaw is that "a system that lavishly rewards executives for success tempts those executives, who control much of the information available to outsiders, to fabricate the appearance of success."

Investigative Reporters and Editors conference attendees told that Wall Street shapes what Main Street sees, hears and reads. Plus: Jimmy Breslin leaves journalists silent.

Hartford Courant columnist Denis Horgan on the confusing array of newsroom bias charges: "I can never keep this straight. Is that boss over there at the water cooler the anti-Semite or the anti-Asian? I think the reporter next to him is the anti-Catholic, although she could be the anti-gay or anti-woman woman."

A Web site founded by a Pennsylvania priest that featured images of young wrestlers in bikini briefs, with nicknames like HardKore Kid, Latin Heat and Bad Brad, has been shut down. The Smoking Gun has photos from "a wrestling web site that would even embarrass Vince McMahon."

Scroll down for a review of the premiere issue of "Gene Simmons Tongue."

ESPN magazine reports the harrowing story of a 15-year-old child prodigy who claims that she was sexually abused by football players at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

As nuclear neighbors teeter on the brink of Armageddon, peace activists find that nuke lovin' Indians are a hard sell.

Does General Musharaff have the power to hold back militants crossing into Indian Kashmir?

A Times of London graphic details the nuclear capabilities of India and Pakistan and the size of the cities that are within striking range.

As the hunt for terrorists merges with the race to avert a major war in South Asia, an al-Qaeda spokesman reportedly warns of another attack: "So beware, America. Get ready. Get prepared. Put on the safety belt."

What Price Empire? "Before, not after, the next terror attack on this country, America's leaders should start telling the truth," writes Pat Buchanan. "Evil though they may be, Islamic killers are over here because we are over there." Plus: The terrorist's one advantage that can't be overcome.

As U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia get trickier, conservatives in Washington are calling for a shift towards Russia and more fuel-efficient cars to reduce dependence on Saudi oil.

A group of oil experts challenges the conventional wisdom that the peak in world oil output is decades away and the Bush administration, for the first time, blames human actions for recent global warming.

The Bush administration is also reportedly blocking an international plan that would attempt to halve the number of people who have no sanitation. Currently some 2.4 billion people -- two-fifths of the population of the planet -- lack indoor facilities.

William Safire writes that the seizure of new powers of surveillance by the FBI is nothing more than "a smokescreen to hide failure to use the old power." Plus: Thomas Oliphant on the FBI's shifting versions on missed 9/11 warnings.

The Washington Post follows up on a Newsweek report that the CIA had tracked two of the 9/11 hijackers for more than a year without alerting the FBI and other agencies that they had returned to the U.S.

According to the Telegraph, the "front line of the fight against terrorism" has shifted to Herat, where Iran and the U.S. are vying for influence over Ismail Khan, the self-styled amir of western Afghanistan. Khan maintains a 30,000-strong army and a "ruthless desire" to maintain his independence, which threatens the authority of Kabul's interim government.

Operation Enduring Payouts The Los Angeles Times reports on the "tens of millions of dollars" that the CIA is said to have spent in Afghanistan: "The CIA's small army of operatives often has worked less like James Bond than like bagmen handing out bundles of $100 bills to buy intelligence and support."

Ted Rall writes that "Here in America, reputable media outlets pride themselves on refusing to pay for news. But out in Afghanistan, all bets were off."

In July 1942, thanks to a plan dreamed up by a publicist for Hearst, the Stars & Stripes appeared on the cover of almost every imaginable U.S. magazine. A fascinating Smithsonian exhibition documents this coordinated effort to flog the flag.

Suggesting that diminishing returns are beginning to set in from the $100 billion a year spent on advertising in the U.S., Daniel Akst writes that "Modern-day business fails to recognize the level of abuse to which it is subjecting the commons of consumer consciousness."

Theodore Roszak calls Kevin Phillips the Judas of the GOP and writes that in his new book, "Wealth and Democracy," Phillips "may be raking the same pile of muck over again, but his message bears as much repetition as any Pepsi commercial: Mr. and Mrs. America, you're getting screwed."

Why are corporate insiders dumping their stock?

Billy Bragg says that it's time for labor unions in the U.S. to start sponsoring rock concerts.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that India has secretly told the U.S. and Britain that it will wait two weeks to see if international diplomatic pressure halts infiltration of Islamic militants into Indian territory. If not, India says it will carry out a 10-day assault in Kashmir.

As the Israeli government continues its expansion of West Bank settlements, the head of the Israel Broadcasting Authority is attempting to prohibit the use of the terms "settler" and "settlements" on radio and TV broadcasts.

Noam Chomsky and Bill Bennett face off on CNN, two weeks after Chomsky said that "CNN International interviews me a lot, but the U.S. channel doesn't dare."

Eminem and Bono both stuck in a moment they can't get out of.

Google yanks ad by Body Shop founder Anita Roddick that called John Malkovich "a vomitous worm."

As one Afghan warlord gives himself a political makeover, another calls for a holy war against the U.S. and Britain.

Afghanistan campaign becoming "Operation 'What's Up Doc?'"

U.S. government issues alert that Islamic terrorists have smuggled shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles into the country.

In an analysis of White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's spin style, The New Republic's Jonathan Chait writes that Fleischer "has broken new ground in the dark art of flackdom: Rather than respond tendentiously to questions, he negates them altogether."

With no prospect of real reform legislation coming out of Congress before the November elections, Arianna Huffington writes that "After the outrage generated by Enron, Arthur Andersen, Merrill Lynch, and all the other corporate scumbags undermining the modern private enterprise system, the end result will be a continuation of the rotten status quo. And that means fresh disasters down the road."

Michael Kinsley asks: "Shouldn't Halliburton be blaming Cheney instead of its accountants?"

A new study by the Brookings Institution finds that the percentage of Americans saying that they "trust the federal government to do what is right just about always or most of the time," dropped from 57 percent last October to 40 percent in May.

Democratic senators contend that the Justice Department didn't address the most politically sensitive issues in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, particularly allegations of illegal purges of voter lists and the denial of voting rights to minorities.

Jonathan Turley argues that the FBI was right when it determined that there wasn't probable cause to secure a search warrant for Zacarias Moussaoui's computer and personal effects.

The dangers of driving while female and the consequences of heckling a former president.

A Chicago rabbi recruits the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed for a campaign to institutionalize U.S. evangelical support for Israel.

The host of MSNBC's "Alan Keyes is Making Sense," whose supporter base has been largely made up of Christian evangelicals, is making friends in the Jewish community with his outspoken support of Israel.

"Making Sense" is about to be bumped from MSNBC's prime-time lineup to make way for Phil Donahue's new talk show. FAIR founder Jeff Cohen has just signed on with Donahue as a senior producer.

Conservative columnist rails against New York Times' gayness.

Eric Olsen pays tribute to the National Spelling Bee contestants: "I still have to look up 'occasion,' and that hellhole to the south, 'Cincinnati' (that one just drives me insane). How can they spell words they have never even heard before?"

The Wall Street Journal profiles Raymond Cromley, who at 91 is the oldest of the more than 500 reporters covering the Pentagon and the sole representative of the Cromley News Agency. He hasn't written a column since 1996 when the last of his news service clients moved on, but he dutifully attends the daily press briefings.

David Samuels wrote about the press briefing for Harper's in "On message: a theater of war at the Pentagon."

Alicia Mundy diagnoses a Washington disease: "To cover the FBI, you have to be trusted by the FBI, so, for the most part, reporters don't want to bite the hand that feeds them."

The director of the ACLU responds to the government's easing of limits on domestic spying: "It seems when the FBI fails, the response by the Bush administration is to give the bureau new powers, as opposed to seriously look at why the intelligence and law enforcement failures occurred."

The ACLU has led the charge against face-recognition software, which recently failed an airport test, forcing the manufacturer, Visionics, to counter "special interest claims." The claims.

An alleged stock scam with an FBI connection may have an eerie link to 9/11.

Americans come down with a relapse of the 9/11 jitters after "warnings week."

A Washington Post analysis finds that although President Bush "assuaged some European concerns about his policies" during his recent trip, he "aggravated doubts about himself." The Post fails to mention a doubt aggravator from Der Spiegel, but gwbush.com is making the most of it.

European consumers of Israeli-grown organic fruits and vegetables may be making a different political statement than they had in mind.

And what is Israel's hottest export to the U.S.?

China Syndrome Artist Charles Krafft's "Porcelain War Museum" features life-size ceramic weaponry -- machine guns, grenades and ammunition -- designed to be "so gorgeous and patently functionless that it will bedazzle and confound everyone who sees it."

Virtually every non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal is made in one Oklahoma factory. Fast Company profiles the operation and its operators. Plus: Building a better bomb.

Straight Shooter A U.S. Army private who participated in Operation Anaconda tells his hometown newspaper that "We were told there were no friendly forces. If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children to kill them."

Bob Kerrey changes his recollection of Vietnam raid in a new memoir.

A Stratfor analysis of the Kashmir conflict details the strategies of India, Pakistan and the U.S.

New Kashmiri militant groups have shifted the ideological emphasis of the movement from a nationalistic and secularist one to an Islamic one.

The Times of London interviews a leader of a banned Islamic militant group, who trains young Muslim volunteers to infiltrate India. Hundreds of Pakistan-based Islamic militants are said to have reached the Indian side of Kashmir in recent weeks.

The U.S. government plans for a possible evacuation of 63,000 U.S. citizens and 1,100 troops from India and Pakistan.

Startled British marines returning from an operation deep in the Afghan mountains speak of an alarming new threat "more terrifying than the al-Qaeda."

Lionel Chetwynd writes that Canadians were "stunned" by the lack of empathy that American people and media outlets showed for the four "sons of the Maple Leaf" who were killed by U.S. friendly fire in Afghanistan.

In a Washington Monthly cover story entitled "Bomb Saddam?", Joshua Micah Marshall buys into the neocon hawk's argument for attacking Iraq, but thinks that their "record of breezy planning, reckless prediction, and indifferent fidelity to the truth," make them incapable of carrying it out.

Mark Bowden's profile of Saddam, "Tales of the Tyrant," is now available online.

As the Senate gets set to decide if the estate tax should be permanently repealed, William Gates Sr. argues in favor of taxing dead multimillionaires, estimating that repeal will cost the U.S. treasury $800 billion between 2011 and 2021.

"Crossfire" host James Carville notes a Der Spiegel report that during last week's European summit, President Bush asked Brazil's president: "Do you have blacks, too?" (scroll far down)

Blame is Back "Bush got the credit for 9/11, transforming himself politically and personally; the frat lizard became a lion," writes Michael Wolff. "What's happening now is that the blame, which has been icily kept from the table like some rude remark that polite people haven't deigned to acknowledge, is back; it's becoming respectable."

Blame Italy! Italian newspapers are reporting that Milan police intercepted conversations between suspected al-Qaeda militants in 2000 and early 2001 that contain possible references to the 9/11 attacks, including plans to use airplanes and stage a surprise strike that "will never be forgotten."

A March 2000 memo details how the FBI destroyed evidence in a bin Laden case after its e-mail wiretap system (Carnivore) mistakenly captured information to which the bureau was not entitled.

One day after the commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan said that al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders had been driven into the tribal areas of western Pakistan, intelligence officials with Pakistan's I.S.I. claim instead, that they've filtered across the country into major cities, where they're intensifying their collaboration with indigenous terrorist groups.

USA Today reports that according to "U.S. intelligence officials and foreign diplomats," al-Qaeda and Taliban members are helping organize a terror campaign in Kashmir to foment conflict between India and Pakistan.

In a November interview, Robert Kaplan said that "while Afghanistan may not stay in the news beyond another six months or so, Pakistan will be on and off the front pages through the decade. It will be a major story."

Thomas Friedman on the aftermath of "the Suicide War" and Michael Massing on why the U.S. media is reluctant to report on the pro-Israel lobby.

Egypt packages Arafat and a Saudi English-language daily tells Arabs to face the facts.

Paul Berman writes that an anti-semitic wind is blowing, and that "It is not so easy to put up a fight against a wind, a tone against an indefinable spirit of hatred that has begun to appear even in the statements of otherwise sensible people."

Washington Post reporters blasted for spreading Matt Drudge's sludge.

Mother Jones reports on how Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton that provides support services to Army bases around the world, operates on a contract with the Pentagon that allows it to earn more by spending more.

Although the privatization of services at military camps is a relatively new concept, Brown & Root has been in the business of war since Vietnam.

The Halliburton Years: "Cheney Takes Another Spin Around the Washington Revolving Door."

A new study challenges the pharmaceutical industry's claim that it needs high profits to fund its risky and highly innovative research, portraying drug makers as becoming more about marketing than research and development.

7-UP yanks TV ad containing allusions to jail rape.

Anti-abortionists use new weapon to target women.

Eric Margolis writes that "a wrong move, new attack, or even a mistake, could plunge 20 percent of humankind into disaster" and a U.S. intelligence report predicts that a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would kill between nine and 12 million people.

Read a dispatch from the 450-mile border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan and view a guide to the conflict.

A U.S. commander says that virtually the entire senior leadership of al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been driven out of Afghanistan and are now operating in tribal areas of western Pakistan, plotting terrorist attacks to disrupt the selection of a new government in Kabul next month. Plus: Top Taliban move freely in Pakistan.

India's defense minister says that many al-Qaeda and Taliban troops fled to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

How to not get bombed at an Afghan wedding.

Afghan villagers are enraged by a U.S.-led assault that they say resulted in the death of their 100-year-old leader and a 3-year-old girl.

An Arizona Cardinals football player walks away from a multi-million dollar contract to join the Army. Other prominent enlistments as of early February.

Israel's defense minister denounces a plan to recruit settlers to the West Bank and claims that 90 percent of suicide bombings are foiled. Plus: Suicide bomber in Perth gets his man.

Bush administration officials tell the New York Times that U.S. Middle East policy has been effectively frozen by a debate over whether to press for the removal of Yasser Arafat.

Robert Fisk writes that there's a firestorm coming and President Bush is provoking it.

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh on why the U.S. government didn't know what it knew about the 9/11 attacks and how the hijackers seem to have violated a fundamental rule of clandestine operations.

Time reports on and publishes an edited version of "The Bombshell Memo."

William Safire asks: "Why did Mueller desperately stamp "classified" on last week's memo to him from the Minneapolis agent and counsel Coleen Rowley?"

Military analyst William Arkin on the Bush administration's return to Cold War-style secrecy and its end-justifies-means attitude. Read a profile of "explosive analyst" Arkin.

In an interview with Larry King, Bill Maher says that President Bush "had a golden opportunity, he had a window of about six weeks, maybe two months, when we were ready to change as a people. And he did not take advantage of that opportunity. And now, that window is completely closed."

A tired and testy President Bush ridicules NBC reporter David Gregory after he raises the question of European anti-Americanism.

Republican Kevin Phillips on the political implications of the new Gilded Age, which by 1999 saw the 30 largest U.S. family and individual fortunes grow to roughly ten times what they had been in 1982.

Bill Moyers interviews Phillips and Paul Kennedy reviews his new book, "Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich."

Lawyers for tens of thousands of ex-felons barred from voting in Florida are seeking a trial so they can try to prove the ban was designed a century ago to dilute the black vote.

Newspaper columnist duped by Patsy Cline satire.

The Pentagon is developing plans to use Valium as a potential weapon against enemy forces and to control hostile populations.

No classified documents are required to connect the post-9/11 dots writes Frank Rich: "We are the richest, most can-do country in the world, but at home we're pursuing the war on terrorism with a management style that's pure Kmart."

VP Cheney is shocked by the politicization of 9/11.

Rehash or Crown Jewels? The Boston Globe's Tom Oliphant points out that Cheney has used the word "rehash" to describe contents of the briefing that President Bush received on August 6, but on the other hand "he resists turning over this document referring to it as, the 'crown jewels of our intelligence gathering' and it obviously can't be both."

Tom Daschle contradicts Cheney over 9/11 investigation warning.

FBI whistle-blower Coleen Rowley charged that headquarters rewrote Minneapolis agents' pre-9/11 request for surveillance and search warrants for Zacarias Moussaoui and removed important information before rejecting them.

Jesus of Siberia "It's all very complicated," says the Russian former traffic cop and factory worker. "But to keep things simple, yes, I am Jesus Christ."

Military men play doves to Pentagon's civilian hawks.

A new version of the Nigerian "419" e-mail scam, employs a purported American "Special Forces Commando" in Afghanistan who needs help getting terrorist drug money out of the country.

Pakistan announces plans to shift Afghan border troops to Kashmir.

The Cannes Film Festival gets political.

Minneapolis' Star Tribune reports on the hometown FBI agent who charged Washington headquarters with throwing up a "roadblock" to the pre-9/11 investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui.

Minneapolis agents decided to seek a special warrant after interviewing a flight school classmate who told them that Moussaoui believed it was "acceptable to kill civilians who harm Muslims" and approved of Muslims who died as "martyrs" in such attacks.

Christopher Hitchens writes that the true pre-9/11 failure is and was a political one, "involving an American 'national security' class that looked (and looks) upon the Pakistani secret police and the Saudi Arabian royal family as friends and allies." Check out The Nation's "Clueless?" cover.

A former Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor reports that just weeks before 9/11, "Jordan, beyond a doubt, and Morocco, with some certainty, advised U.S. and allied intelligence that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorists were preparing airborne terrorist operations in the continental United States."

What war was the Bush administration fighting before 9/11?

Pentagon acknowledges spraying sailors with nerve gas during Cold War tests.

FAIR's new study of the television network's evening newscasts finds that during 2001, 92 percent of all U.S. sources interviewed were white, 85 percent were male and, where party affiliation was identifiable, 75 percent were Republican.

July, 2002 Link Archive