Friday, September 10, 2004


Dear readers,

At our meeting last evening we resolved to throw our efforts
in the coming weeks before the elections, into the Proposition N
antiwar campaign in San Francisco.

Proposition N reads:

"It is the Policy of the people of the City and County of San
Francisco that: The Federal government should take immediate
steps to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and bring our troops
safely home now."

To this end we have already entered a ballot argument in support
of Prop. N at a cost of over $600.00 and have contributed an
additional $50.00 to the Prop. N campaign committee last evening.
However our funds are getting very low. We wish to publish material
so that we can cover the city with Yes on Prop N material.

Very few people even know about the initiative yet. We need to
change this and make it a central focus for the movement here.
There should be window signs in every window on every block
urging a YES on N vote.

We are a voluntary organization and have no outside funding
other than contributions from folks like you. We have no paid
staff or office so all the money we get is spent on antiwar
organizing efforts-posters, brochures, flyers, forums, teach-ins,
street meetings and mailings-and now we want to focus on
YES on N material and community organizing up until the

This means we need money for printed material and
for sound permits (at $60.00 each) for community street meetings,
etc., to get out the YES on N vote.

We are appealing to our readers to make a financial contribution to
help us in this work.

Please send a contribution to:

Bay Area United Against War
P.O. Box 318021
San Francisco, CA 94131-8021

If you can send an amount over $50.00 and wish to take a
tax deduction then make your check payable to:

Bay Area United Against War/NVM
P.O. Box 318021
San Francisco, CA 94131-8021

We want to ensure nothing less than a landslide victory for
Proposition N in San Francisco this year and we need your support!

Peace and solidarity,


P.S. We will be launching our redesigned web site soon with links
to all major antiwar groups. The site will include all the latest news
and information of actions and activity in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Keep a lookout for the opening launch soon!

The next BAUAW meeting will be:



1) U.S. Hid Dozens of Iraqi
Prisoners, Investigators Say
By Vicki Allen
Thu Sep 9, 2004 05:41 PM ET§ion=news

2) New Documents Reveal that USAID Provided $2.3 Million
to Venezuela's Opposition in 2003
By: Eva Golinger -
New York, September 8, 2004

3) Ashcroft Strikes Out, Third Federal Court Rules
Federal Abortion Ban is Unconstitutional
and Cannot Be Enforced
Decision Echoes Rulings in San Francisco and New York
September 8, 2004

4) Gaza Emergency
"Barbara Lubin"
Thu, 9 Sep 2004 16:12:16 -0700 (PDT)


1) U.S. Hid Dozens of Iraqi
Prisoners, Investigators Say
By Vicki Allen
Thu Sep 9, 2004 05:41 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United
may have kept up to 100 "ghost
detainees" in Iraq off the books and
concealed from Red Cross observers, a far
higher number than previously reported,
an Army general told Congress on

Estimates were rough because the CIA has
withheld documents on concealed
detainees, Army generals who investigated
U.S. abuses of Iraqi prisoners told
lawmakers. Republican and Democratic
senators blasted the CIA, and called for it to
turn over the material.

At a Senate committee hearing, Gen. Paul
Kern, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel
Command, said he believed the number of
ghost detainees held in violation of
Geneva Convention protections was "in the
dozens to perhaps up to 100," far
surpassing the eight people identified
in an Army report.

Maj. Gen. George Fay, deputy commander
at the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security
Command, said he expected it may be
two dozen or more. "We were not able to get
documentation from the Central Intelligence
Agency to answer those types of
questions. So we really don't know the
volume," he said.

The Geneva Conventions require countries
to disclose information on prisoners to
the International Committee of the Red
Cross, which monitors their treatment.

The Senate and House of Representatives
Armed Services Committees held hearings
on an Army probe of the role of military
intelligence in abuses at Abu Ghraib prison
near Baghdad, as well as broader findings
on U.S. mistreatment of prisoners by an
independent panel headed by former Defense
Secretary James Schlesinger.

The reports depicted more widespread
abuses than the acts of a handful of soldiers
accused when the images of horrific
sexual and physical humiliation and torture at
the Abu Ghraib prison first came to light last spring.


While the panel led by Schlesinger blamed
top Pentagon civilian and military leaders
for contributing to a climate that led to
the sadistic treatment of detainees,
Schlesinger said U.S. forces in Iraq had
behaved far better overall than in previous
wars, including World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

He said the 66 cases of confirmed
abuse, although higher than the Bush
administration first disclosed, "is a s
mall number -- comparing quite well ... with
previous wars."

Senators called the CIA's failure so far
to turn over information sought by Army
investigators unacceptable.

"The situation with the CIA and ghost
soldiers is beginning to look like a bad movie,"
said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican.

"I think that this is something that needs
to be asked ... of the incoming director of
the CIA," McCain said, referring to Rep.
Porter Goss, a Florida Republican tapped by
President Bush to run the CIA.

The Senate Intelligence Committee
scheduled a confirmation hearing for Goss on
Sept. 14.

Warner said the Intelligence Committee
also was pressing the CIA for information,
and said the Armed Services Committee
would more closely examine the ghost
detainees issue.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the
agency's inspector general was conducting
"a comprehensive review of the agency's
involvement in detention and interrogation
activities," and the agency was "determined
to examine thoroughly any allegations of

The findings of the Army investigation,
headed by Fay and Lt. Gen. Anthony Jones
and released in August, listed 44 instances
of prisoner abuse, 13 directly involving

It said 27 military intelligence personnel --
23 soldiers and four contractors --
directly took part in abuse or induced
others to do so, while another eight -- six
soldiers and two contractors -- failed to
report abuse they had witnessed. All have
been recommended for possible criminal charges.

Lawmakers said those higher up the chain
of command also must be held
accountable for failing in key duties.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina
Republican, worried that the "only people that
are court-martialed here are privates and
sergeants ... Dereliction of duty will be
redefined one way or the other after this
investigation." (Additional reporting by Will
Dunham, Jim Wolf and Tabassum Zakaria)

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


2) New Documents Reveal that USAID Provided $2.3 Million
to Venezuela's Opposition in 2003
By: Eva Golinger -
New York, September 8, 2004

New York, September 8, 2004-
Documents recently obtained from the U.S.
Department of State under the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by> demonstrate that more
than $5 million annually during the
past two years was given by the United
States Agency for International Development
(USAID) to various organizations in Venezuela,
many of which are aligned with the
opposition. One of the
key groups collaborating with
USAID is Súmate, the organization that promoted the
recall referendum campaign against
President Hugo Chávez and is now rejecting the
results that have been certified by the
most credible international observers and even
by the U.S. government. Súmate,
despite its numerous undemocratic positions and
actions, has also been a recipient of
U.S. government funds from the National
Endowment for Democracy in 2003.

However, these new documents
obtained by have all been
censored by the U.S. Government
despite the use of the FOIA, which intends to
ensure transparency in U.S. Government
operations. The Department of State has
withheld the names of the organizations
receiving financing from USAID by
misapplying a FOIA exemption that is
intended to protect "personnel and medical
files" of individuals. Such clear censorship
indicates that USAID and the U.S.
Government clearly have something to hide
regarding their collaborations with the
Venezuelan opposition. Despite USAID's
ongoing crusade to encourage transparency
in foreign governments, the withholding
of information that does not fall under any
available exemptions clearly demonstrates
a double standard applied by the U.S.
Government in this case.

USAID is financed by the U.S. Congress and
is controlled by the Department of State.
Founded by President John F. Kennedy in
1961, USAID was established as a fund
dedicated to humanitarian intervention around
the world. Despite Kennedy's humane
intentions, USAID has more recently been
used, in many instances, as a mechanism to
promote the interests of the U.S. in strategically
important countries around the
world. In the case of Venezuela, USAID
maintains a private contractor in Caracas
monitoring and facilitating its projects
and funds and also has a local operating
center, the Office of Transition Initiatives
(OTI) that was established in 2002, after the
failed coup d'etat against President Chávez.
The private contractor, Development
Alternatives, inc. (DAI), manages and
supervises grants approved by USAID to
Venezuelan organizations.

Under a program entitled Venezuela: Initiative
to Build Confidence, DAI has awarded
67 grants to Venezuelan organizations in
various sectors and areas of interest. These
grants equal $2.3 million, just during 2003.
In total, DAI 's program in Venezuela
counts on $10,000,000 in funding for the
period August 2002 through August 2004
-$5 million annually to "focus on common
goals for the future of Venezuela".
According to the documents obtained
under FOIA and DAI's project description
(available on> )=

none of the project grants or programs
have been in collaboration with the
Venezuelan government.

In fact, many of the same recipients of U.S.
government funds through the National
Endowment for Democracy (NED) have
also received USAID funding through DAI.
Despite the illegal withholding of names
on the USAID-DAI grants, one document
apparently was skipped, at least in part.
The name, Súmate appears on a grant
intended to encourage "electoral participation"
in the recall referendum, citing
$84,840 as the total grant amount.
Combined with the NED grant of $53,400 given to
Súmate in 2003-2004, the organization
that is now crying fraud about the recall
referendum against President Chávez, the
results of which have been recognized as
absolutely credible by the Carter Center
and the U.S. Department of State, has
received, at minimum, more than $200,000
in just one year for promoting its
attempts to remove Venezuela's President
from office.

Other recipients of USAID funds through
DAI which are apparent in the censored
documents include the organization
Liderazgo y Visión for its project, "Un Sueño para
Venezuela", ("A Dream for Venezuela") a
project created in 2002-2003 with the intent
of offering an alternative vision and agenda
for those opposing President Chávez's
administration. Liderazgo y Visión has also
been a recipient of NED funds over the
past few years. More than 6 organizations
have been given funding for political and
social formation and development in Petare,
a poor neighborhood in the outskirts of
Caracas, in the Miranda State. The work in
Petare and the more than $200,000 that
have been funneled into that neighborhood
in the past year, appear to have been
aimed at converting a community that was
traditionally pro-Chávez, into one that
supports the opposition. The recall referendum
results from August 15, 2004 show
the opposition gaining substantial numbers
in Petare, and Miranda state was one of
only two states in the entire nation that
gave victory to the opposition in the

One grant from USAID/DAI focuses on
the creation of radio and television
commercials during the December 2002-
February 2003 strike imposed by the
opposition, during which the private media
dedicated its airwaves 24-7 to opposition
propaganda. One of the most striking aspects
of the media's dedication to the strike
was the use of anti-Chávez commercials to
indoctrinate viewers' opinions on
Venezuela's political situation. The USAID/DAI
grant shows funding originating from
the U.S. government for some of these
anti-Chávez commercials, collaborating with
former Fedecámaras President Carlos
Fernandez, who was one of the leaders of the
strike, in the project.

These new documents from USAID provide
evidence for a clear focus on two major
projects in Venezuela: The Recall Referendum
and the Formation of a National
Agenda that would serve as a transitional
government post-Chávez (assuming the
referendum was won by the opposition).

The documents are available for public
viewing on>


3) Ashcroft Strikes Out, Third Federal Court Rules
Federal Abortion Ban is Unconstitutional
and Cannot Be Enforced
Decision Echoes Rulings in San Francisco and New York
September 8, 2004

NEW YORK CITY - In the third of three
federal court rulings, a Nebraska judge has
struck down the federal abortion ban passed
by Congress last October and signed by
President Bush. Planned Parenthood
Federation of America (PPFA) applauded the
ruling issued today in Carhart v. Ashcroft .

"Today's ruling should be a cease and desist
order for Attorney General Ashcroft and
his taxpayer-funded anti-choice pursuits,"
PPFA President Gloria Feldt said. "Like the
San Francisco and New York courts, the
Nebraska court recognized that women's
health, medical privacy and the U.S.
Constitution trump anti-choice ideology. Women
and doctors should make private, personal
health care decisions - not John Ashcroft
or any other politician."

On June 1, 2004, in Planned Parenthood
Federation of America v. Ashcroft, a federal
court in northern California struck down
the federal abortion ban. In doing so, the
federal court ruled that Attorney General
Ashcroft cannot enforce the federal abortion
ban against any Planned Parenthood affiliate,
or its "officers, agents, servants,
employees, [or] contractors," whether the
abortion is performed in a facility owned or
operated by Planned Parenthood or elsewhere.

On August 26, the federal court in New
York City struck down the ban again in
National Abortion Federation (NAF) v. Ashcroft .

All three cases included the overwhelming
testimony of highly respected ob/gyns
from around the country who testified that
this law would ban abortions as early as
12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy, abortions
they say are safe and among the best for
women's health. The ban would further fail
to safeguard women because it does not
contain an exception to protect their health.
The American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG) and many other
major medical organizations join PPFA in
opposing the ban.

In an attempted sweeping invasion of
medical privacy earlier this year, Attorney
General John Ashcroft tried unsuccessfully
to obtain thousands of confidential
medical records of women who obtained
abortions. Among the records subpoenaed
were those from Planned Parenthood health
centers nationwide, but PPFA successfully
blocked the effort. Ashcroft's calculated
fishing expedition was in response to the
effort to block the federal abortion ban.

On March 29, 2003, three federal courts
began hearing legal challenges to the
"Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003," a
new law passed by Congress in October
2003 and signed by President Bush in
November 2003. The lawsuits were brought by
PPFA on behalf of Planned Parenthood
Golden Gate, the affiliate in San Francisco, and
the physicians, staff and patients of
Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide; the
American Civil Liberties Union and Wilmer
Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP on
behalf of the National Abortion Federation
and other doctors; and the Center for
Reproductive Rights (CRR) on behalf of
Dr. LeRoy Carhart and other doctors.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
is the nation's largest and most trusted
voluntary reproductive health organization.
We believe that everyone has the right to
choose when or whether to have a child -
and that every child should be wanted and
loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate
nearly 850 health centers nationwide,
providing medical services and sexuality
education for millions of women, men, and
teenagers each year.
Colleen McCabe (212) 261-4729
Joel Lawson (202) 973-4880


4) Gaza Emergency
"Barbara Lubin"
Thu, 9 Sep 2004 16:12:16 -0700 (PDT)

All of us at the Middle East Children's Alliance are concerned, as I'm
sure you are, about the worsening situation in Palestine and
particularly the latest news coming out of northern Gaza. I, MECA's executi=

director, spoke with a friend and doctor in Gaza City this morning and was =

told that 19 Palestinians had been admitted into the Al-Awda hospital
last night with serious injuries. The Israeli army has stated that this
an open ended invasion. We fear that this will become another operation
like those in Rafah and Beit Hanoun, leaving many more Palestinians
killed, injured, and homeless.

We felt we had to send out a message to our friends and supporters to
update you on the tragedies being paid for by our US tax dollars.
Please find below a number of excerpts with the links to full articles. We =

hope you will pass on this information to your friends and families.

Thank you,
Middle East Children's Alliance

901 Parker Street
Berkeley, California 94710
United States

No US Aid to Israel. End the Occupation.
Support Divestment and Sanctions.

From the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR):
files/PressR/English/2004/110-2004.htm "At the time of
writing, 4 Palestinians,
including a 10 year old child,
have been killed and 53 others, mostly children, have been injured by
the Israeli gunfire and shelling. PCHR's investigations strongly
indicate that Israeli troops used excessive lethal force against unarmed
Palestinian civilians, without adhering to the principles of proportionalit=

and distinction."

"...At approximately 12:00, Israeli troops indiscriminately shelled
[Jabalya] camp. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child,
were killed."

"PCHR reminds the international community of Israeli violations of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
Time of War of 1949 (Fourth Geneva Convention), particularly article 33
which prohibits collective punishment, and article 147 which considers
"extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by
military necessity, and carried out unlawfully and wantonly" a grave
breach that may amount, in some circumstances, to be a war crime under
article 85-3 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions."

10-Year Old Girl Hit in UNRWA Classroom by Israeli Gunfire
UNRWA Press Release- September 7
6b9f5e29011585b585256f08004f231b?OpenDocument At 07:45 10-year old Raghda
Adnan Al-Assar was struck in the head by
Israeli fire while sitting at her desk in UNRWA's Elementary C Girl's
School in Khan Younis camp. She is now in the European
Gaza Hospital where
she has undergone major surgery.

UNRWA's Commissioner-General Peter Hansen said: "The kind of live
firing into refugee camps that is so indiscriminate that it makes classroom=

dangerous for 10-year old children is totally unacceptable. UNRWA will
protest this violation of the sanctity of its school in the strongest
possible terms to the Israeli authorities."

Story about the extrajudicial assassination of a Palestinian at an
internet café in Jericho.
content_1962652.htm "A special Israeli undercover unit stormed
the West Bank city of Jericho Wednesday night and assassinated a
Palestinian member of Al Aqsa
martyrs brigades, Palestinian security sources said on Thursday.
"...Witnesses confirmed that the soldiers opened intensive gunfire
directly on Abedeia who tried to pull out from the café.

"Three of the café visitors were wounded by Israeli soldiers
who opened fire haphazardly in the café, added the witnesses."

What you can do:
-Invite MECA to speak to your community group, school, church,
synagogue, mosque, union, etc.
-Send a contribution to MECA for emergency medical aid
Donate online:
Checks can
be mailed to:
901 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
-Email this message to as many people as possible
-Tell your US senators and congress representatives to stop aid to

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