Saturday, September 18, 2004


Don't forget the next Bay Area United Against War (BAUAW) meeting
coming up this Wednesday, September 22, 7:00 p.m.,
1380 Valencia Street, between 24th & 25th Streets in S.F.


Sunday, September 19, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

2) FBI data sought in bid to free Indian activist
News Staff Reporters

3) ANSWER Activist Meeting
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7pm
2489 Mission St. Room 30 (at 21st St.)
Help us launch a new national campaign -
the People's Anti-War Referendum –
Vote No on War & Occupation!

4) US Soldiers Shoot First, No Questions Asked
by Gethin Chamberlain
Published on Friday, September 17, 2004
by The Scotsman (Scotland)

5) NEWS: Constitution be damned:
CIA acting director opposes release of 1947-1970
CIA budget totals

6) Dozens more die in Iraq violence
·45 die in Falluja raids
·Baghdad car bomb kills 13
·UK may send extra troops
The Guardian
5pm update
Friday September 17, 2004,2763,1306807,00.html

7) From: No One is Illegal Montreal
From the Family of the Late FAROUK ABDEL-MUHTI:
A Statement of Solidarity for the Coalition Against the
Deportation of Palestinian Refugees in Montreal
on the eve of the September 18th
STATELESS and DEPORTED Demonstration.
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 21:19:08 -0700 (PDT)

8) This Is Bush's Vietnam
September 17, 2004

According to Human Rights Watch 200,000 employees in
the U.S. were fired in the last decade because of
their union activities.
Where is the "War on Corporate Terror"?
Tidbit from: Howard Keylor

10) Subject: [ufpj-disc] RE: March Count
From: "John Bostrom"
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 13:30:46 -0400


Sunday, September 19, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.

Join the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation,
Library Users Association, San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free
Union and other opponents of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
technology at the San Francisco Public Library for a rally and
informational picket line in front of the Main
Library at Larkin & Grove Streets in San Francisco.

The SF Public Library plans to
spend $300,000 in the next fiscal
year and $3 million over the next 6
years to replace its existing bar code system with
RFID chips and wireless readers.
RFID chips can be read anywhere without
the knowledge or consent of the
library user, even through a book bag,
enabling anyone with access to RFID
technology to identify and track the
movement of library materials and users.
The threats posed by RFID
technology to Library user privacy
are real, and the radiation emitted by
portable and stationary wireless
RFID readers has uncertain public health
implications and should be avoided
as a precautionary measure. If the
$300,000 the Library is requesting
for RFID is not approved by the Board of
Supervisors, the money is designated
to fund youth jobs at the Library

So come to the Main Library on Sunday,
September 19 at 2:00 p.m., bring a
friend and send a message to the Board
of Supervisors: No to RFID at the SF
Public Library! Yes to jobs for youth
at the Library!

See you on the 19th!


2) FBI data sought in bid to free Indian activist
News Staff Reporters

Leonard Peltier, 60, is serving two
sentences of life imprisonment in the
deaths of two FBI agents in 1975.

Leonard Peltier's nearly 30-year quest
for freedom brought his defense team
to a Buffalo courtroom Monday seeking
FBI documents it believes could lead
to a new trial for the nationally known
Indian activist convicted of murder.

Peltier, sentenced to two terms of life
imprisonment in the 1975 shooting
deaths of two FBI agents in South
Dakota, wants a local judge to order the
release of 15 pages of documents,
part of a nationwide effort aimed at
proving that he was railroaded by the FBI.

Long championed as a "political prisoner"
by groups such as Amnesty
International, Peltier is a member
of the American Indian Movement. In the
eyes of the federal government, he
is a brutal killer who should never go

"The FBI is hellbent on blocking the
disclosure of this information and
keeping Leonard Peltier in jail for
the rest of his natural life," Michael
Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer and a
member of Peltier's defense team,
said in court Monday.

At issue before U.S. District Judge
William M. Skretny, who reserved
decision Monday, are 15 pages of
documents the FBI has withheld since 1975
on grounds of national security and
protection of confidential sources.

Peltier was not in court Monday,
but his attorney argued that the FBI is
withholding documents in order to
cover up its misconduct, an allegation the
government denies.

"The FBI has acted in good faith in
the processing of all these requests,"
Preeya M. Noronha, a U.S. Justice
Department attorney, told Skretny.
"There's no evidence that anything
improper was done."

Skretny took issue with Noronha's
contention, reminding her that two federal
appeals courts have criticized the
FBI's conduct in the Peltier case. One
panel of judges said the government's
decision to withhold and intimidate
witnesses should be "condemned."

Peltier, who contends that he was
framed by the government, has spent the
last several years seeking FBI
documents through the Freedom of Information
Act. Earlier this year, the government
acknowledged that more than 142,000
pages of documents pertaining to his
case were never turned over to his

The catalyst for the Buffalo case is a
heavily excised 1975 Teletype message
from the Buffalo office of the FBI to
then-FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley.

Kuzma said the Teletype message
indicates that a New York informant was
trying to infiltrate Peltier's defense effort.
Kelley later testified that
the government used informants
against the American Indian Movement, or AIM.

Peltier's attorneys learned of the
Teletype message after a FOIA request and
a subsequent lawsuit against the
FBI's Buffalo office pried loose 797 pages
of documents - some partially blacked
out - containing telex messages,
articles, letters and other memorandums.

"It appears a Buffalo source was
trying to infiltrate the defense team in
1975," Kuzma said during an interview
before the trial. "If we can show that
had a destructive role or impact on
the defense or the attorney-client
relationship, it could blow the case open."

The FBI tells a far different story.

Nearly 30 years after FBI Special
Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A.
Williams were killed at the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota,
the agency insists that Peltier is guilty.

"I stand behind the review of the
(U.S.) Supreme Court that he is a
convicted murderer," said Peter J.
Ahearn, special agent in charge of the
FBI's Buffalo office.

Ahearn said he has continued to
review material on the case through the
years and has found no reason to
believe that Peltier was innocent.

Among FBI agents, it is a case that
evokes great passion. Four years ago,
about 500 active and retired agents
held a march outside the White House to
dissuade President Bill Clinton from
granting clemency to Peltier. That view
was echoed by then-FBI Director
Louis J. Freeh in a public letter to the

Despite the FBI's strong stance against
a new trial, Peltier's lead attorney
said the information they seek could
have a potentially explosive impact on
the case.

"It would be grounds for a new trial,
one which we'd relish because we know
they couldn't prove Leonard did it,"
said Barry Bachrach. "It could even be
grounds for an outright reversal."

Allan Jamieson, a Cayuga Indian who
lives in Buffalo and has tried to raise
public awareness about Peltier, agrees.
He sees the case as a symbol of the
injustices committed by the U.S.
government against Native Americans.

He also wonders why information
regarding Peltier can still be considered a
matter of national security nearly 30 years later.

"I don't understand how this information
can be perceived as a threat at
this point in time," Jamieson said.

Peltier, 60, is serving his two terms of
life in prison at Leavenworth
Federal Penitentiary in Kansas.



3) ANSWER Activist Meeting
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7pm
2489 Mission St. Room 30 (at 21st St.)
Help us launch a new national campaign -
the People's Anti-War Referendum –
Vote No on War & Occupation!

The U.S. elections give us no say on the critical issue of war and
occupation. Rather, the big business candidates fight over who
will spend more money on the “war on terrorism” and who will
send more troops to Iraq.

Join the peopleÂ’s anti-war ballot, a national independent grassroots
referendum to demonstrate and organize the breadth of opposition
to the U.S. wars and occupations and to bring the troops home now.

Unlike U.S. elections, our referendum doesnÂ’t discriminate by age,
immigration status, or prison history. We are all affected by the U.S.
policies of war and occupation, and we should have a say.

When you vote in the PeopleÂ’s Anti-War Referendum, your name
will not be sent to any branch of the government. Signatures will
be collected and the results presented to the media just before
the November election in a display of the strength of the
opposition to the war.

Join us this Tuesday at the ANSWER Activist Meeting to help
organize this important new campaign, set-up street polls
and tabling.

We will also have a political update on the Middle East, a
report on the Oct. 1 March Against Racism Discrimination
in the Castro and the Oct. 16 March for Immigrant Rights.

We will have break-out committees to work on these areas.
Get involved!

For more information, contact 415-821-6545 or

To subscribe to the list, send a message to:


4) US Soldiers Shoot First, No Questions Asked
by Gethin Chamberlain
Published on Friday, September 17, 2004
by The Scotsman (Scotland)

BAGHDAD - His name was Ahmed Hameed and he was 36 years old.
He had taken the wrong turning up to the checkpoint on the July 14
Bridge which spans the Tigris on the south-eastern edge of what
used to be known in Baghdad as the Green Zone, but which has
now been renamed the International Zone.

Now he lies in a body-bag a few yards away from the US army gun
tower which opened fire on him as he tried to turn his moped around.

Soldiers from the US Airborne surround him, those at the back
peering over the shoulders of the ones in front to get a better
view as the bag is unzipped. In the tower, the heavy .240-calibre
machine-gun hangs limply on its mount, pointing at the ground.
The gunner is leaning on the parapet, looking out across the city.

Ahmed's head is turned away to one side, his mouth open, the
blood which streaks his face already dry. His right hand is by his
side, the left curled across his stomach. The fingers stop a few
inches from the inch-wide hole just above his groin. Someone
has tried to stem the bleeding from another hole in the top of
his chest, but there was too much blood. It has soaked his T-shirt,
which is pulled up to expose the wounds, and poured down his
body, mingling with his sweat, leaving pale rivulets across the skin.

Twenty yards away, his maroon Honda Spacy moped lies on its
right-hand side in front of a concrete barrier. There is a sign
painted on the barrier: it says "Do not enter or you will be shot",
in English and Arabic. There is a small bullet entry hole in the
top left-hand side of the seat, and a much larger exit hole on the
right-hand side of the rear fairing. The bike must have been
upright when the bullet struck, and almost sideways on to the
gun tower. Petrol has leaked from the tank and on to the tarmac.

Captain Mohammhad Mahde is taking in the details of the scene.
Mahde is an officer in the Iraqi police service, based inside the
International Zone. He bends low over Ahmed's body, pushing
down his black nylon boxer shorts with the blue stripe around
the waistband which poke out above his grey trousers, so that
he can get a better look at the lower wound.

"He was coming the wrong way," a US soldier is explaining to him,
gesturing towards the end of the bridge's exit ramp away around
the curve of the concrete wall on the right-hand side of the road
looking south.

"He didn't stop. They hit him and he got up, and they fired at him
again. He got up again and started running away, and because he
was running away they didn't shoot him. But then he just sort of

The body-bag is zipped closed. Mahde stands up and walks
towards the moped, and the soldier follows. "We yelled at him
to stop," he says. "He passed a few of the signs to stop, but he
just kept going."

Mahde walks past another concrete barrier, painted in English
and Arabic with three signs: "Exit only", "Do not enter", and "No
Stopping". There is no problem with the Arabic, he says. It is
quite clear. At the foot of the exit ramp, a small crowd watches
the soldiers and the policemen as they walk slowly towards them.
This is the reason the soldiers called Mahde's police station; they
wanted help to control the crowd. Mahde, though, wants to know
what happened. The soldiers eye him warily, but no-one tries to
stop him.

Mahde pulls out a notebook, writes down a few things, asks the
troops some more questions. He walks on to a thin patch of sand
that has been deposited on the tarmac. It is damp in a couple of
places, a slightly darker orange than the rest. There is a small
bloodstain on the checkpoint side of the line of sand which has
not been covered over. On the low concrete wall about three
feet away there are splashes where blood has sprayed up, and
a couple of flecks of flesh stick to the wall a foot or so closer to
the gun tower. "They killed him here," he says.

The soldiers say no. "The man got back here and collapsed," a
captain says. "We just covered up the blood."

Ahmed's shoes lie on the tarmac about four feet apart, between
where his body now lies and the spot where he died. The left
shoe is closer to the blood-stained sand, the right back towards
the gun tower. They are brown leather, quite new, a picture of a
stag and the name of the maker, the Dawara Company, embossed
on the inner sole. On the bridge side of the final concrete barrier
between the shoes and Mahde's body, there are four rough hollows
where bullets struck. An American soldier points them out; he refers
to them as splash marks.

The call came in to the police station a little after 10am from a US
captain in the Airborne. Dwight Murphy took it; he was sitting in
Mahde's office at the time, chatting to the captain. Murphy is the
deputy commander for support operations with the Civilian Police
Assistance Training Team, the organisation set up by coalition
forces to rebuild the Iraqi police service.

They got into Mahde's police Land Cruiser, with its blue and
white livery and blue and red flashing light, and drove to the
bridge. When they reached it, there was a US Bradley armoured
vehicle parked across the carriageway at the southern end, the
checkpoint end. Its main cannon was trained on the approaching
police car, as was the gun of the soldier in the turret.

With the index finger of his right hand, the soldier made a
horizontal circling gesture, then pointed back up the carriageway,
indicating that the car should turn around and leave. Murphy held
up his US identification card. The soldier repeated his gesture.

The driver began to swing the vehicle around, but Murphy had
taken out his mobile phone and was speaking to the captain
who had called the police station. The car stopped. The soldier
in the turret was speaking into his headset, his eyes still on the
police car. He gestured the policemen forward.

Murphy is crouched next to the sand, looking at the blood
splashed up the wall. "He was probably shot back here where
his body fell," he says.

"Maybe he was afraid," Mahde said. "Maybe he had explosives?
He lived in this city, he worked here, he knew this way. Why go
here?" The two men walk slowly back towards the moped. "We
haven't opened it up yet," one soldier tells them.

One of the soldiers picks up the machine and rests it on its stand.
The right-hand mirror has twisted round slightly, but there is no
other obvious damage, save for the bullet holes.

Another soldier has fetched a jemmy; he pokes it under the seat
and leans down on it to pop open the lock. It takes a quarter of a
minute, perhaps a little longer, before the lock gives. The soldier
places the seat on the ground. Inside, there is nothing but a thin
black plastic bag of the type used in some of the city's shops.
Inside the bag are two sheets of paper. The soldier hands them
to a captain, who looks at them briefly and hands them to Mahde.
They are Ahmed's identity papers. There is nothing else in the bag.

Mahde asks them to take the body to the morgue. The Americans
do not like the idea. Why can't the body be collected by the morgue,
they ask. Mahde says his men will take the body and the bike. He
looks around him. "This guy made a mistake, but he didn't put the
bike in that place or the shoes in that place," he says.

"Are you done here?" the US captain asks. "Can we open the
checkpoint again?" Mahde nods. They can, he says. He has no
authority over the US soldiers, but he will make a report.

He and Murphy start to walk back towards the police car. The
US soldiers follow, grumbling among themselves. They do not
understand what is happening. One can be heard complaining:
"All the other bodies, they just put in the truck and took them away."

(c) 2004 The Scotsman


Common Dreams NewsCenter
(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


5) NEWS: Constitution be damned:
CIA acting director opposes release of 1947-1970
CIA budget totals

[On page 12 of his recently
published book, *The Sorrows of Empire*
(Metropolitan Books, 2004), historian
Chalmers Johnson writes: "A revolution
would be required to bring the Pentagon
back under democratic control, or to
abolish the Central Intelligence Agency,
or even to contemplate enforcing
article 1, section 9, clause 7 of the
Constitution: 'No money shall be drawn
from the Treasury, but in Consequence
of Appropriations made by Law; and a
regular Statement and Account of the
Receipts and Expenditures of all public
Money shall be published from time to
time.'" -- Steven Aftergood, of the
Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy
News project, has been engaged in a
long-term project to have Article I,
Section 9, Clause 7 respected by the CIA.
Here's his latest report in an ongoing
battle. --Mark]

By Steven Aftergood

Secrecy News
September 17, 2004

Acting Director of Central
Intelligence John E. McLaughlin told a federal
court this week that releasing
the amounts of historical CIA budgets from 1947
through 1970 would compromise intelligence methods.

Mr. McLaughlin's statement was
presented in opposition to a Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit brought
by the Federation of American Scientists.

"I have carefully considered the
ramifications of releasing the total CIA
budgets for fiscal years 1947-70
and a few budget numbers from other agencies
for fiscal year 1947," he said in a sworn declaration.

"I have concluded that publicly
disclosing the intelligence budget information
that plaintiff seeks would tend to
reveal intelligence methods that, in the
interest of maintaining an effective
intelligence service, ought not be
publicly revealed," he wrote.

Acting DCI McLaughlin's insistence
on preserving the secrecy of even
half-century old budget figures
contrasts with the recommendation of the 9/11
Commission that current and future
intelligence agency budgets "should no
longer be kept secret."

DCI McLaughlin's September 14
declaration is posted here (1.25 MB PDF file):

In accordance with Attorney General
Ashcroft's FOIA policy, the CIA's position
on budget secrecy is being vigorously
defended by the Department of Justice
Office of Information and Privacy. See the
defendant's motion for summary
judgment here:

A reply from FAS is due on September 29.

"We must do something about the problem
of overclassification," said Secretary
of State Colin Powell at a hearing of
the Senate Governmental Affairs
Committee on September 13.
"Today, the intelligence community routinely
classifies information at higher
levels and makes access more difficult than
was the case even at the height of the Cold War."


6) Dozens more die in Iraq violence
·45 die in Falluja raids
·Baghdad car bomb kills 13
·UK may send extra troops
The Guardian
5pm update
Friday September 17, 2004,2763,1306807,00.html

More than 50 people were killed today in separate incidents in Iraq,
ending one of the bloodiest weeks since George Bush declared an
end to the Iraq war just over 12 months ago.

US strikes on militant targets in the city of Falluja killed 45 people
and injured 27.

Hours later at least 13 people died and 50 were wounded when a
car bomber struck near a major police checkpoint in central
Baghdad, the Iraqi health ministry and US military officials said.

According to a statement by the US military, the strikes,
which began last night, targeted a compound in Fazat Shnetir,
about 12 miles south of the Sunni stronghold of Falluja, where
militants loyal to the Jordanian-born al-Qaida ally Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi were gathering to plot attacks on US-led forces in Iraq.

Militants who survived the strikes later sought refuge in near
by villages, but US forces quickly broke off an offensive to hunt
them down in an effort to avoid civilian casualties, the statement said.

"The number of foreign fighters killed during the strike is estimated
at approximately 60. The terrorists targeted in this strike were
believed to be associated with recent bombing attacks and other
terrorist activities throughout Iraq," the US military said.

But a health ministry spokesman, Saad al-Amili, said at least 17
children and two women were among the wounded. Hospital
officials in Falluja said women and children were also among
the dead, but exact figures were not immediately available.

Residents of Fazat Shnetir were seen digging graves today
and burying the dead in groups of four.

Doctors at Falluja general hospital struggled to cope with the
wave of casualties, many of whom were transported in private
cars as the ambulance service was overwhelmed.

Relatives pounded their chests in grief and denounced the US
while religious leaders switched on loudspeakers at the mosque
to call on residents to donate blood and chanted "God is great."

US forces have not patrolled inside Falluja since the end of a
three-week siege that left hundreds dead. Insurgents have
strengthened their grip since then, mounting regular attacks
against US positions and military convoys on the town's outskirts.

In Baghdad, the bomb exploded beside a line of police vehicles
set up to seal off routes to nearby Haifa Street, where US and
Iraqi forces had spent the morning raiding insurgent hideouts.

The midday attack occurred on a busy market day, and officials
said the number of casualties was expected to rise.

As the death toll mounts in Iraq, Britain said today it was
prepared to send more troops if needed to bolster security ahead
of elections in January.

"We will deploy those numbers of troops that are required given
the situation. If it is necessary to put a few extra troops in to
provide appropriate security for the elections we will do that,"
the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, told reporters at a meeting
of EU defence ministers in the Netherlands.

·The British engineer kidnapped by gunmen from his house in
Baghdad was Kenneth Bigley, the Foreign Office confirmed today.
Guardian Unlimited (c) Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


7) From: No One is Illegal Montreal
From the Family of the Late FAROUK ABDEL-MUHTI:
A Statement of Solidarity for the Coalition Against the
Deportation of Palestinian Refugees in Montreal
on the eve of the September 18th
STATELESS and DEPORTED Demonstration.
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 21:19:08 -0700 (PDT)

Below is a statement of solidarity from the family of the late Farouk
Abdel-Muhti a stateless Palestinian refugee, who died in July 2004. With
Farouk's passing the struggle for Palestinian liberation lost one of its
leading fighters in the US.

Farouk Adbel-Muhti was born in 1947 in Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the
occupied West Bank of Jordan. Like many Palestinians, Farouk lived the
uprooted life of a stateless refugee, traveling from country to country
until finally settling in New York in the 1970s.

He came to the attention of US immigration officials in the mid-1970s
after overstaying his visa. An immigration judge ordered him deported,
however, there was no way to carry out the deportation, since the West
Bank was now controlled by Israel, which did not allow the return of
people who left the Palestinian territories before the Israeli occupation
of 1967.

Farouk continued to live openly in the New York area, engaging in a number
of public political activities, with a focus on the struggle for
Palestinian liberation and issues relating to immigration and Latin

In March 2002, Farouk began working regularly at Pacifica Radio station
WBAI. He used his contacts to arrange interviews with Palestinians in the
Occupied Territories. One month later, three New York police officers and
an INS agent, came to his Queens apartment without a warrant. They claimed
they wanted to ask Farouk some questions about September 11th.

Farouk was detained on April 26, 2002 and jailed in various facilities
around the country for two years. He was never charged with a crime. He
was often held in solitary confinement, subjected to extensive
interrogation, and often denied food. His health was failing but he
remained handcuffed and shackled whenever he went to the health clinic.
Two years after his detention, a US federal judge ordered Farouk to be
deported, charged or released. He walked out of prison on April 12, 2004.

Farouk died in July 2004 of a hear attack, after giving a speech in
Philadelphia. In his last speech, Farouk called for unity among groups
fighting for Palestinian liberation and social justice. His death came
just three months after he was released from jail where he was detained
for two years without charge.

Statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian Refugees of Canada
From the Family of the Late Farouk Abdel-Muhti:

This statement is to express solidarity with the Palestinian refugees of
Canada, on this very important occasion, the Montreal demonstration
against the deportation of Palestinians from Canada, on the eve of the
Sabra and Chatila massacres, as we approach the twenty-second anniversary
of the heinous crimes committed against the Palestinian people by the
Lebanese right-wing Christian militia, the Phalange, on the orders of
Ariel Sharon, who gave the orders to enter the camp when the Palestine
Liberation Organization had already left, to slaughter the innocent people
in the camps. In this brutal act of genocide, more than three thousand
unarmed Palestinian civilians, men, women, and children, including babies,
were brutally massacred, their bodies dumped mostly in mass graves, while
the world looked on in horror, but did nothing.

Twenty-two years later, we see the sons and daughters of this generation
still suffering, as war rages in Palestine, as Israel continues to
practice ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, imprisoning
them, demolishing their homes, and now building an apartheid wall that
cuts deep into Palestinian lands, separating families from their lands,
their livelihoods, and each other. Meanwhile, in Canada, Palestinian
refugees who escaped the horrors and degradation of life in the refugee
camps of Lebanon and throughout the world are now facing deportation from
Canada, having committed no crime, but being Palestinian. These stateless
Palestinians have truly inherited the experience of their parents, and are
feeling the intense pain of being stateless refugees. It is for this
reason that the world must realize the urgency of the Palestinians
achieving their independence, in a Palestinian state of their own, with
Jerusalem as its capital. The vulnerable position of the Palestinian
deportees in Canada, in Lebanon, in the United States and all over the
world obviates this fact and disproves any argument that the Palestinians
can be "absorbed" into the polities of any other country, including Arab

In the meantime, however, the countries where they reside, such as Canada,
have an obligation to accept the Palestinians, and to extend to them the
rights and dignities that are extended to all their other citizens and
residents, including granting them political asylum.

Palestinian refugees of Canada, we share your pain. Our dear brother,
Farouk Abdel-Muhti, who is now deceased, was also a stateless Palestinian.
As such, he lived for thirty some odd years in the United States, with no
serious problems until, after September 11th, he was picked up by
immigration authorities, incarcerated for nearly two years, 8 months of
which was spent in solitary confinement, tortured, beaten, withheld
medication, belittled and called a terrorist, simply for being a
Palestinian in the post-September 11th climate of paranoia and xenophobia
in the United States.

Our dear brother was ultimately released in April of this year, but the
irreparable damage was already done, to his life and to ours. Farouk died
exactly one hundred days after his release, weakened from the terrible
treatment, food, and conditions he endured in the immigration jails of the
United States, Allah yarhamouh! His only crime was being a stateless
Palestinian. We are left to live with the tragic reality of this and other
misfortunes which are largely a result of the unjust, inhuman and
misguided policies directed at Arab and Muslim immigrants, especially
Palestinians, since 9/11, by the Bush Administration in the United States,
and by other governments. We see similar policies being implemented in
Canada against immigrants, in what the Bush Administration is attempting
to portray as a "global war on terror". But what do these immigrants,
especially the Palestinians, have to do with this, being victims of the
state terror and genocide inflicted upon them by the Zionist State and its
war machine for the last 56 years?

We must not let what happened to our brother Farouk, who fought tirelessly
for the rights of workers and the oppressed all over the world, especially
for his people, the Palestinians, happen to Palestinians in Canada, who
have migrated there to seek a better life, and better opportunities, away
from war-torn lands and squalid refugee camps. We must demand that this
inhuman treatment of immigrants be stopped, once and for all.

Our struggles are the same, and we send this statement of solidarity to
express to you that we are behind you in your struggle, we feel your pain,
and we say to you, you must continue to fight for justice until your human
rights and your dignity is acknowledged, in Canada, in the United States,
and in Palestine, where ultimately you will prevail, with the
establishment of your own state, where you the Palestinians, not an
occupying power where World-War Two era fascists and murderers masquerade
as a government, will be free to determine your own destiny. We wish you
peace and success, and offer you solidarity on this very special occasion,
where you are taking your struggle to the streets and demanding your
rights, letting the world know how unjustly you are being treated. May the
struggle continue until you win! If Farouk were with us today, he would
encourage you to keep going, to network with all of us, for us all to work
together until we achieve social justice, human rights, equality, civil
and political rights! We will see the phoenix rising from the ashes, if we
remain steadfast in our fight to end oppression, racism, and imperialism,
and to demand justice and rights for all peoples, regardless of their
race, religion, or nationality. His spirit remains with us, and if we
continue, we will win; our dignity, our independence and our inalienable
right to be free!

With Revolutionary Fervor and Congratulations!
With Love and Solidarity!
Long Live Palestine!

Sharin Chiorazzo (the fiancée of Farouk Abdel-Muhti)
and Tariq Abdel-Muhti (Farouk's Son)

For more information, please see, or e-mail us at or
Phone: (201) 951-6919, (212) 674-9499.


8) This Is Bush's Vietnam
September 17, 2004

The rows of simple white headstones in the broad expanses of brilliant
green lawns are scrupulously arranged, and they seem to go on and on,
endlessly, in every direction.

It was impossible not to be moved. A soft September wind was the only
sound. Beyond that was just the silence of history, and the collective
memory of the lives lost in its service.

Nearly 300,000 people are buried at Arlington National Cemetery,
which is just across the Potomac from Washington. On Tuesday
morning I visited the grave of Air Force Second Lt. Richard VandeGeer.
The headstone tells us, as simply as possible, that he went to Vietnam,
that he was born Jan. 11, 1948, and died May 15, 1975, and that he
was awarded the Purple Heart.

His mother, Diana VandeGeer, who is 75 now and lives in Florida,
tells us that he loved to play soldier as a child, that he was a helicopter
pilot in Vietnam and that she longs for him still. He would be 56 now,
but to his mother he is forever a tall and handsome 27.

Richard VandeGeer was not the last American serviceman to die in the
Vietnam War, but he was close enough. He was part of the last group
of Americans killed, and his name was the last of the more than 58,000
to be listed on the wall of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. As I
stood at his grave, I couldn't help but wonder how long it will take us
to get to the last American combat death in Iraq.

Lieutenant VandeGeer died heroically. He was the pilot of a CH-53A
transport helicopter that was part of an effort to rescue crew members
of the Mayaguez, an American merchant ship that was captured by the
Khmer Rouge off the coast of Cambodia on May 12, 1975. The
helicopter was shot down and half of the 26 men aboard, including
Lieutenant VandeGeer, perished.

(It was later learned that the crew of the Mayaguez had already
been released.)

The failed rescue operation, considered the last combat activity
of the Vietnam War, came four years after John Kerry's famous
question, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for
a mistake?"

Although he died bravely, Lieutenant VandeGeer's death was as
senseless as those of the 58,000 who died before him in the fool's
errand known as Vietnam. His remains were not recovered for 20
years - not until a joint operation by American and Cambodian
authorities located the underwater helicopter wreckage in 1995.
Positive identification, using the most advanced DNA technology,
took another four years. Lieutenant VandeGeer was buried at
Arlington in a private ceremony in 2000.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation put me in touch
with the lieutenant's family. "I'm still angry that my son is gone,"
said Mrs. VandeGeer, who is divorced and lives alone in Cocoa
Beach. "I'm his mother. I think about him every day."

She said that while she will always be proud of her son, she
believes he "died for nothing."

Lieutenant VandeGeer's sister, Michelle, told me she can't think
about her brother without recalling that the last time she saw
him was on her wedding day, in May 1974. "He looked so
handsome and confident," she said. "He wanted to change
the world."

Wars are all about chaos and catastrophes, death and suffering,
and lifelong grief, which is why you should go to war only when
it's absolutely unavoidable. Wars tear families apart as surely as
they tear apart the flesh of those killed and wounded. Since we
learned nothing from Vietnam, we are doomed to repeat its agony,
this time in horrifying slow-motion in Iraq.

Three more marines were killed yesterday in Iraq. Kidnappings are
commonplace. The insurgency is growing and becoming more
sophisticated, which means more deadly. Ordinary Iraqis are
becoming ever more enraged at the U.S.

When the newscaster David Brinkley, appalled by the carnage in
Vietnam, asked Lyndon Johnson why he didn't just bring the troops
home, Johnson replied, "I'm not going to be the first American
president to lose a war."

George W. Bush is now trapped as tightly in Iraq as Johnson was
in Vietnam. The war is going badly. The president's own intelligence
estimates are pessimistic. There is no plan to actually win the war
in Iraq, and no willingness to concede defeat.

I wonder who the last man or woman will be to die for this
colossal mistake.

Paul Krugman is on vacation.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


According to Human Rights Watch 200,000 employees in
the U.S. were fired in the last decade because of
their union activities.
Where is the "War on Corporate Terror"?
Tidbit from: Howard Keylor


10) Subject: [ufpj-disc] RE: March Count
From: "John Bostrom"
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 13:30:46 -0400

Thank you, Bob, and whoever else is responsible, for taking the time
to address this issue. This is the first time I've ever seen any major
march organization dare to publish and its methods for arriving at
its claimed of march numbers. The mere fact of doing that so is a
plus for our credibility. And that's the real question here, our
credibility. The often-repeated perception that "everyone always
overestimates their march numbers" doesn't really reflect well on
the validity or moral stature of what we're doing.

The questions now are, how accurate are the methods we used,
and can we improve on them to get more accurate numbers? The
calculations and measurements used are certainly way better than
simple wild guesstimates, but I would suggest that we can, and
should, do much better.

As for the basic calculation of numbers, there are three basic
factors: duration, length, and density. Two of these were covered
with actual verifiable measurements::

Duration: the elapsed time measured at 23rd Street. Front of
the march: 11:36 AM to just after 1:00 PM or 1.5 hours.
Front to end, 11:36 AM to 2:36 PM or 3 hours.

Length: the length of the march was measured as 43 blocks.
For density, however, we're relying solely on estimates:
Density (1): a reported police estimate of 5000 people in a
tightly packed block

Density (2): a report from two observers at 23rd Street that
"for the entire three hours the entire march was tightly packed."

Everything else is calculation based on those factors. Length
was doubled to 86 blocks based on the difference between
duration measurements, 3 hours being twice 1.5 hours Then,
applying duration, 86 x 5000 = 430,000. And the estimated
("very large") numbers of people who joined above 23rd Street
were then added to get 500,000. This would be 70,00 people
- a large estimate to say the least.

There should be no problem with the fact that a large percentage
of people left the march at 34th Street to go to Central Park.
Those people should definitely be counted as participating in
the march. But there are several dubious points about the basic
data and calculation.

Observers: Where exactly was or were the observation points
on 23rd Street? That's a long stretch of street. Were the
observers standing together at one point, or at different points?
And why only at 23rd? Why not post observers every three
blocks or so all along the route, have them take notes, count,
or film?

Length: How was "43 blocks" arrived at? All blocks are not the same.
Distances along east-west Streets like 23rd and 34th are significantly
greater (perhaps between two to three times as long) than those
along north-south Avenues like Fifth and Seventh.

Density (1): First, it's hard to believe we're relying on police
estimates for our basic calculations. How do we know they aren't
skewed? It's nice that they agree this time. but what about when they
don't? Independently verifiable, science-based methods are much better.
Further, which type of blocks are used in this 5000-person estimate?
North-south blocks along Avenues, or east-west blocks along Streets?
It's a major difference.

Density (2) The entire calculation rests on the validity of this point,
and unfortunately it's very seriously flawed. The density of "entire"
march simply can't be generalized from any one observation point.
The march was definitely packed like sardines from the point of
origin at 11:30 all the way up to 23rd Street. But as soon as it
turned the corner on 23rd, it started to thin out, and by the time
it turned up Seventh, it was far, far thinner. At Eighteenth Street,
where I stopped to rest and film from around 12:30 to 1:00,
it got extremely spaced out and straggly, with frequent ten-yard
holes all the way across the street, followed by less than dozen or so
marchers spaced several yards apart But a tightly packed block of
5000 people at one point simply does not mean that the rest of the
march is just as tightly packed.

We can do much better. Actual counts of marchers passing
several given observation points at key march locations would be
much more accurate and verifiable. A single video camera at a
given location could provide irrefutable, verifiable evidence. In
fact, I believe CSPAN recorded the entire march at 34th and 7th.
That tape could be analyzed.


From: Bob Wing [ ]
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 10:53 AM
To: John Bostrom; Shirley H. Young;;ufpj-;; andrea Buffa
Subject: March Count

Dear All,

I have been asked how we
arrived at the 400,000-500,000 count
of marchers on Aug. 29. I
might start by saying that
the NY Times, based on their
observation, our estimate, as well as
a late estimate of the police, accepted
the 500,000 number. Here's how
we came up with the number.

1. We had two people stationed at
23rd Street for the entire day. They
report that the beginning of the march
stepped off at 11:36 AM. They
further report that the last people
passed 23rd Street at 2:36 PM, exactly
3 hours after the first folks began,
and they report that for the entire
three hours the march was tightly packed.

2. The front of the march arrived at
Union Square just after 1 PM, meaning
it took them one and a half hours to
march the route. Of course, the head
of a march always takes longer than
any other section of the march because
it must constantly stop so as to avoid
big gaps behind it. Plus we stopped a
number of times specifically for photo
ops. In other words, on average it took
most of the march less than 1.5 hours
to march the whole route.

3. From points 1 and 2, we deduce that
the march was more than twice the
length of the march route. The march
route was approximately 43 blocks long.
That means the march was at least 86
blocks and probably 5 to 10 more. The
police estimate a packed block to be
5,000 people. From this alone, then, we
can say the march was 400-500,000 people.

4. We know from personal experience that
thousands of people joined the march
above 23rd Street, meaning they never
passed 23rd Street. We have no estimate
of this factor, but it was very large.

5. The last marchers arrived at Union
Square at 5:35 PM, almost 4-1/2 hours
after the leaders of the march arrived.
There was one disruption at Madison
Square Garden that prolonged the end.
But on the other side thousands of people
left the march along 34th Street to go to Central Park.


Friday, September 17, 2004


1) This announcement concerns the unprovoked
second arrest by MIT campus cops of
Aimee Smith, a long time Palestine support activist.

2) U.S. Report to Say No WMD Found in Iraq
Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:00 PM ET

3) GIs claim threat by Army
Soldiers say they were told to re-enlist
or face deployment to Iraq
By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
September 16, 2004

4) March & Rally for Immigrants Rights
Sat. October 16, 12noon
Olympic and Broadway, Los Angeles

5) ADC Update
22 Years Later, Sabra and Shatila Remembered
Washington DC, Sept 16

6) US may run out of guard and reserve
troops for war on terrorism: report
Wed Sep 15, 4:14 PM ET


1) This announcement concerns the unprovoked second
arrest by MIT campus cops of
Aimee Smith, a long time Palestine support activist.

MIT hires private police agency to
investigate its own police abuses.
MIT has hired Pinkerton Inc., a for-hire
police agency, to investigate the second
false arrest, by the same MIT police officer
Joseph D'Amelio, of MIT alumna Aimee
Smith (PhD '02). Aimee Smith was first
falsely arrested by officer D'Amelio for
handing out flyers on a public sidewalk
before Commencement ceremonies on
June 4, 2004. MIT subsequently dropped
those charges. On August 25, the same
officer again falsely arrested Aimee and
attacked her after she discussed the First
Amendment with three MIT police officers.
The same day, Aimee filed a
complaint with MIT against D'Amelio.

MIT has claimed that they have brought
in an "independent third-party investigator
to examine the case." MIT has not stated
how much they are paying the Pinkerton
corporation, a private police agency with
a history of violently suppressing union
organizing and spying on political activists
(see web links below) and now in the
business of protecting the interests and
investments of large companies. How can
a private police agency, paid by MIT, be
independent in its judgment of abuse by
MIT police? Many Pinkerton employees are
recruited from the ranks of the police and
the FBI. The Pinkertons are known to
cooperate closely with law enforcement
agencies and sell intelligence on a range
of groups, including political organizations.
It is as if a private mercenary company were
asked to investigate complaints about war
crimes committed by a state army.
The outcome of any report from
Pinkerton is certain to be a whitewash.

The MIT police, while paid by MIT, are
deputized by the County of Middlesex
and, therefore, have jurisdiction over the
whole county. Nevertheless, any public
(i.e. democratic) oversight of the MIT
police is non-existent. Unlike the Cambridge
police, there is no publicly accountable
police over-sight board, made up of
representatives from the citizenry, to
investigate police misconduct.

It is unacceptable that MIT has hired a
private police agency to investigate abuses
by its own police force. It is absurd that
MIT claims that this investigation is being
performed by an "independent third-party."
Please write to President Vest and demand
that a truly independent committee composed
of people from the general public and not paid
for by MIT, is assembled to investigate MIT
police abuse. Furthermore, demand that MIT
drop the charges of this second false arrest
of Aimee Smith and that these charges be
fully expunged from her record.

Please cc on
any correspondence with the MIT administration.
For more information about the false arrests
visit: also ask
president Vest: ~ is it MIT policy to arrest
someone for discussing First Amendment
rights with MIT police officers? ~ Is it MIT
policy to allow MIT police to arrest someone
because they don't like what they're saying
or because they have a personal dislike for
them? ~ Why wasn't D'Amelio removed from
the MIT police force the first time he abused
his authority. ~ How long will the MIT
administration continue to allow female
members of its community to be threatened,
bullied, harassed, and physically assaulted
by a predominantly male campus police
force? ~ When will MIT ensure that the MIT
police force is subject to the Cambridge
Police Review Board, as a first step to establishing a
fully effective complaint/review process of the police at MIT?

Please cc
on any correspondence with
the MIT administration. For more information about the
false arrests visit:

Also ask president Vest:

~ Is it MIT policy to arrest someone for discussing First
Amendment rights with MIT police officers?

~ Is it MIT policy to allow MIT police to arrest someone because
they don't like what they're saying or because they have a personal
dislike for them?

~ Why wasn't D'Amelio removed from the MIT police force the first
time he abused his authority.

~ How long will the MIT administration continue to allow female
members of its community to be threatened, bullied, harassed,
and physically assaulted by a predominantly male campus police

~ When will MIT ensure that the MIT police force is subject to the
Cambridge Police Review Board, as a first step to establishing a
fully effective complaint/review process of the police at MIT?

Contact info
President Charles Vest
phone: (617) 253-0148
address: 77 Mass Ave, Rm. 3-208
Cambridge MA, 02139
FAX: (617) 253-0036
[Goes to the Vice President's office across the hall. Label
with "Please deliver immediately to president Charles Vest"
and it should get to him.
President's House on Memorial Drive contact info:
FAX: (617) 253-3100
Provost Robert Brown
phone: (617) 253-4500
address: 77 Mass Ave, Rm. 3-208
Cambridge MA, 02139
FAX: (617) 253-8812
Chancellor Phillip Clay
phone: (617) 253-6164
address: 77 Mass Ave, Rm 10-200
Cambridge MA, 02139
FAX: (617) 258-6261
Special assistant to the president
Kirk Kolenbrander
phone: (617)-253-3365
address: 77 Mass Ave, Rm 10-205
Cambridge MA, 02139
FAX: (617) 258-6261
Director of Security and Campus Police
John DiFava
phone: (617) 252-1703
address: 77 Mass Ave, W31-114
Cambridge MA, 02139
FAX: (617) 253-8822

References on Pinkertons

* Ward Churchill places the origins of the police state not with
the founding of the FBI in 1913, but in 1852 with the creation
of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The Pinkerton Detective
Agency was a private investigative organization hired by both
the federal government and the leaders of private industry to
investigate labor dissent. It is here that Churchill finds the
first connection between industry and government, and all the
necessary ingredients that ultimately led to the establishment
of the FBI.

* Pinkerton early strike breakers, planted evidence, etc.

* FBI to award Pinkerton for assistance this October

* Pinkerton boasts about intelligence gathering on political movements:

Political activists will be interested to know that Pinkerton
Global Intelligence Services (PGIS) sells
intelligence on a range of groups,
including political organizations. Its website
global/groupProfiles.html> )
"The Group Profiles provide a detailed overview of
high-profile fringe organizations and terrorist groups.
The Group Profiles highlight both global and domestic
organizations. PGIS covers the following groups:
politically-based, environmentalists, anti-globalists,
anti-Western groups, extremist religious factions,
recognized terrorists, among many others."

Similar claims at the bottom of the following website:
Pinkerton is also able to provide specific information about a
range of terrorist and activist groups which operate in the
UK, Europe and worldwide."

Announce mailing list


2) U.S. Report to Say No WMD Found in Iraq
Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A draft report by the top U.S. weapons
inspector in Iraq concludes no stockpiles of weapons of mass
destruction were found, but there was evidence Saddam Hussein
intended to resurrect weapons programs, U.S. government sources
said on Thursday.

Charles Duelfer, the CIA-appointed leader of the weapons hunt, was
still finalizing the roughly 1,500 page-report, which was expected
to say no stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons were found,
the sources told Reuters.

The perceived threat from weapons of mass destruction was the
main justification used by the Bush administration for the U.S.-led
invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that toppled Iraqi President Saddam

Duelfer is expected to complete the report in the next several weeks.
His predecessor, David Kay, said when he stepped down in January
that no large stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons existed
in Iraq when the United States went to war.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Colin Powell told lawmakers he
now thought stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons would
probably never be found.

The most specific evidence of an illicit weapons program was
uncovered in labs operated by the Iraqi Intelligence Service,
which could have produced small quantities of chemical and
biological agents, The New York Times reported on its Web site,
citing government officials.

The report will leave open the possibility that illicit weapons may
have been moved to other countries, which has not been substantiated,
the newspaper said.

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


3) GIs claim threat by Army
Soldiers say they were told to re-enlist
or face deployment to Iraq
By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
September 16, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS - Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say
they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years
or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq.

Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were
presented with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series
of assemblies last Thursday, said two soldiers who spoke on
condition of anonymity.

The effort is part of a restructuring of the Army into smaller, more
flexible forces that can deploy rapidly around the world.

A Fort Carson spokesman confirmed the re-enlistment drive is under
way and one of the soldiers provided the form to the Rocky Mountain
News. An Army spokesmen denied, however, that soldiers who don't
re-enlist with the brigade were threatened.

The form, if signed, would bind the soldier to the 3rd Brigade until
Dec. 31, 2007. The two soldiers said they were told that those who
did not sign would be transferred out of the 3rd Brigade Combat

"They said if you refuse to re-enlist with the 3rd Brigade, we'll send
you down to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which is going to
Iraq for a year, and you can stay with them, or we'll send you to Korea,
or to Fort Riley (in Kansas) where they're going to Iraq," said one
of the soldiers, a sergeant.

The second soldier, an enlisted man who was interviewed separately,
essentially echoed that view.

"They told us if we don't re-enlist, then we'd have to be reassigned.
And where we're most needed is in units that are going back to Iraq
in the next couple of months. So if you think you're getting out, you're
not," he said.

The brigade's presentation outraged many soldiers who are close to
fulfilling their obligation and are looking forward to civilian life, the
sergeant said.

"We have a whole platoon who refuses to sign," he said.

A Fort Carson spokesman said Wednesday that 3rd Brigade
recruitment officers denied threatening the soldiers with Iraq duty.

"I can only tell you what the retention officers told us: The soldiers
were not being told they will go to Iraq, but they may go to Iraq,"
said the spokesman, who gave that explanation before being told
later to direct all inquiries to the Pentagon.

Sending soldiers to Iraq with less than one year of their enlistment
remaining "would not be taken lightly," Lt. Col. Gerard Healy said
from the Pentagon Wednesday.

"We realize that we deal with people and with families, and that's
got to be a factor," he said.

"There's probably a lot of places on post where they could put
those folks (who don't re-enlist) until their time expires. But I don't
want to rule out the possibility that they could go to a unit that
might deploy," said Healy.

Under current Army practice, members of Iraq-bound units are
"stop-lossed," meaning they could be retained in the unit for an
entire year in Iraq, even if their active-duty enlistment expires.

A recruiter told the sergeant that the Army would keep them "as
long as they needed us."

Extending a soldier's active duty is within Army authority, since
the enlistment contract carries an eight-year obligation, even if
a soldier signs for only three or four years of active duty.

The 3rd Brigade recruiting effort is part of the Army's plan to
restructure large divisions of more than 10,000 soldiers into
smaller, more flexible, more numerous brigade- sized "Units of
Action" of about 3,500 soldiers each.

The Army envisions building each unit into a cohesive whole and
staffing them with soldiers who will stay with the unit for longer
periods of time, said John Pike, head of the defense analysis think
tank Global Security.

"They want these units to fight together and train together. They're
basically trying to keep these brigades together throughout
training and deployment, so I can understand why they would
want to shed anybody who was not going to be there for the
whole cycle," Pike said.

But some soldiers presented with the re-enlistment message last
week believe they've already done their duty and should not be
penalized for choosing to leave. They deployed to Iraq for a year
with the 3rd Brigade last April.

"I don't want to go back to Iraq," said the sergeant. "I went through
a lot of things for the Army that weren't necessary and were risky.
Iraq has changed a lot of people.''

The enlisted soldier said the recruiters' message left him troubled,
unable to sleep and "filled with dread."

"For me, it wasn't about going back to Iraq. It's just the fact that
I'm ready to get out of the Army," he said.

Soldiers' choice at Fort Carson


€"Elect not to extend or re-enlist and understand that the soldier
will be reassigned IAW (in accordance with) the needs of the Army
by Department of the Army HRC (Human Resources Command) . . .
or Fort Carson G1 (Personnel Office).''


€Soldiers who sign the letter are bound to the 3rd Brigade Combat
Team until Dec. 31, 2007.

€Soldiers who do not sign the letter might be transferred out of
the brigade and possibly to Iraq.

Copyright 2004, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.


4) March & Rally for Immigrants Rights
Sat. October 16, 12noon
Olympic and Broadway, Los Angeles

Speakers include Dolores Huerta

Call to action on Immigrant Rights

Nearly ten years ago, on October 16, 1994, the Latino immigrant
community and its allies convened and held the largest ever mass
march and rally by Latinos in the history of the United States. The
main issue then was the movement to defeat Proposition 187, which
aimed to deny basic human services and constitutional and labor
rights to immigrants. That historic march united the Latino community
and their allies like never before and unleashed a rise in the political
consciousness of millions of people in California and throughout the
rest of the country.

To commemorate that historic march is important. We must also
elevate the level of struggle to win full rights for undocumented
workers and their families at this critical time.

Broad unity is needed

On October 16, 2004, everyone is invited to join the massive march
and rally in downtown Los Angeles to demand full rights for
undocumented workers, and to stop the raids and racism against
immigrants. We seek broad unity to build this event. All progressive
individuals and organizations who believe that the fight for immigrants'
rights is an important one are welcome and encouraged to participate.
A strong, united march and rally in downtown Los Angeles will
demonstrate the incredible strength and resolve of the movement
for immigrants' rights in the United States today.

This call for a demonstration on October 16, 2004 was initiated two
years ago by a pro-immigrant coalition led by Latino Movement USA
Hermandad Mexicana Nacional on October 22, 2002, during the rally
held at the Immigrant Rights March in downtown Los Angeles.

With continuing violent attacks by vigilantes and racist groupings
against immigrants, along the U.S.-Mexico border, on the rise; with
mass terrorizing raids in predominantly Latino communities by border
patrol agents, and other law enforcement units multiplying; with no
end in sight to the mass arrests of Latino immigrants at U.S. airports;
and with the prospect that this police terror campaign against immigrants
may increase in the aftermath of the November Presidential election,
the October 16 March and Rally represents a critical political test of
how we all understand our respective roles and political responsibilities
in the ongoing political battle to safeguard the human and labor rights
of the weakest sector of the U.S. working class, the undocumented worker.
Transportation and Flyers

Contact 415-821-6545 or for information
regarding transportation from San Francisco to LA.

To download flyers for the March for Immigrants Rights, go to .
Youth Student Contingent
If you are interested in joining the Youth Student A.N.S.W.E.R.
Contingent in the March for Immigrants Rights, contact Silvia or
Nathalie at 415-821-6545 or
Organizations from around the country have endorsed this event,
including the following sponsors:

Latino Movement USA, Hermandad Mexicana Nacional,
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Asociacion Nacional de Salvadorenos
Americanos, Alianza Hondurena de Los Angeles, Casa Nicaragua,
Ecuadorians Residing Abroad, Frente Civico Zacatecano, Federacion
de Clubes de Jalisco, Familias Unidas de Lynwood, Centro Azteca,
Free Palestine Alliance, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five,
Fuerza Revolucionaria Salvadorena, Dr. John Fernandez, Roosevelt
High School, Apostolic Church, Jovenes Inc., Coalicion Latinoamericana,
Moviemento Popular Inmigrante, Fundacion Pro-Inmigrante,
Club Ancon, Jornaleros del Valle de San Gabriel, Union Sin Fronteras,
National Network on Cuba (NNOC), California Congreso of U.S.-
Mexican Women Voters, Casa del Sinaloense, Zacatecanos en
Marcha, Federacion de Zacatecanos, American Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee (ADC), Palestinian American
Women's Association (PAWA), and many more.

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to complete the transaction.


5) ADC Update
22 Years Later, Sabra and Shatila Remembered
Washington DC, Sept 16

Today, September 16, marks 22 years since of one of the bloodiest
and most brutal massacres in recent history, the 1982 massacre of
Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

Twenty two years ago, shortly after the Israeli army seized control
of West Beirut, Lebanon, right wing Phalangist militia forces, under
the direction of Israeli forces, made their way into the Palestinian
refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila located on the outskirts of the
city. Once in the camps the militias massacred hundreds of
defenseless men, women and children.

Israeli troops, who were in control of the area, allowed the
militias into the camps, prevented the refugees from fleeing for
their lives, and lit the night sky with a continuous series of
flares as the killing raged for two days. The US had pulled its
troops out of Beirut just days prior to the massacres, and had
given a guarantee of protection to the residents of the refugee

Following massive outrage and protest from the international
community as well as from Israeli citizens, the Israeli government
formed The Kahan Commision of Inquiry. The Commission found
that Israel was responsible for participating in the violence and
recommended the dismissal of the Army Chief of Staff. Rafual Eitan.
Then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was also forced to resign after
the Commission concluded that he bore personal responsibility for
the massacre, and should never hold public office again. Sharon is
now the Prime Minister of Israel.

ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, "We must take the time on
September 16 to remember the victims of the horrific Sabra and
Shatila massacre. The massacre is a reminder to us all of the
tragedy of exile of Palestinian refugees who have been excluded
from their homeland for more than half a century and their
vulnerability as a stateless people. It underlines the necessity for
a just settlement to the refugee issue based on the Right of Return,
which is enshrined for all refugees in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and was
specifically applied to the Palestinian refugees in UN Resolution 194."

To learn more, see the BBC's documentary on the Sabra and Shatila
massacre and also the court case against Ariel Sharon:

ADC DC Chapter Participating in Lebanon's 22nd
Commemoration of the Sabra & Shatila Massacre

The Washington, DC Chapter of the American-Arab Anti
Discrimination Committee helped to coordinate and is part
of a delegation participating in the 22nd Anniversary of the
Sabra and Shatila massacre. Lebanese and Palestinian NGOs in
Lebanon are hosting delegations from around the world from
September 10 - 19. The nine-day tour provides the opportunity
for a deeper understanding of Lebanon as a country, and provides
the means to engage in dialogue with local Lebanese and Palestinian
leaders and activists. Some itinerary highlights include: visiting the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, participating in UNESCO events,
meeting with the support committee regarding the case brought in
Belgium against Ariel Sharon, and touring the area. For more
information contact the ADC- Washington DC Area Chapter at


6) US may run out of guard and reserve
troops for war on terrorism: report
Wed Sep 15, 4:14 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military may run out of national
guard and reserve troops for the war on terrorism because of
existing limits on involuntary mobilizations, a congressional
watchdog agency warned in a report.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the government
has considered changing the policy to make members of the
1.2 million-strong guard and reserve subject to repeated involuntary
mobilization so long as no single mobilization exceeds 24 consecutive

In commenting on the report, however, the Department of
Defense ( news -web sites ) (DOD) said it planned to keep
its current approach.

"Under DOD's current implementation of the authority, reserve
component members can be involuntarily mobilized more than
once, but involuntary mobilizations are limited to a cumulative
total of 24 months," the report said.

"If DOD's implementation of the partial mobilization authority
restricts the cumulative time that reserve component forces can
be mobilized, then it is possible that DOD will run out of forces,"
the report said.

The guard and reserves are crucial to the US war effort because
they include specialized units such as military police, intelligence
and civil affairs that are in high demand but short supply in the
active duty force.

The Pentagon ( news -web sites ) also has turned to guard and
reserve to ease the strain on active duty infantry divisions that have
had to deploy repeatedly to Iraq ( news -web sites ).

More than 47,600 members of the guard and reserve were serving
in Iraq as of August 1, about a third of the 140,000-member US
force there. When those who are deployed in Afghanistan ( news -
web sites ) and rear areas are added, the total is in excess of 66,000,
according to Pentagon figures.

Since September 11, 2003, more than 335,000 guard and reserves
have been involuntarily mobilized for active duty -- 234,000 from the
army alone, according to the report.

"The Department of Defense cannot currently meet its global
commitments without sizeable participation from its national
guard and reserve members," the GAO said in a cover letter to
the report.

The GAO said the Pentagon has projected it will continuously
have about 100,000 to 150,000 reserve members mobilized
over the next three to five years.

The Pentagon considered increasing the pool of available guard
and reserve troops by changing its mobilization policy.

"Under such a revised implementation, DOD could have mobilized
its reserve component forces for less than 24 consecutive months,
sent them home for an unspecified period and then remobilized
them, repeating this cycle indefinitely and providing an essentially
unlimited flow of forces," the report said.

Piecemeal policy changes already undertaken to increase the pool
of available guard and reserve troops have created uncertainties
among reservists that could affect retention, recruitment and the
long-term viability of the reserves, the report noted.

"There are already indications that some portions of the force are
being stressed," it said.

The army national guard, for instance, has failed to meet recruiting
goals in 14 of 20 months from October 2002 through May 2004,
the report said. It was 7,800 soldiers below its recruiting goal at
the end of fiscal 2003.

Copyright (c) 2004 Agence France Presse

Thursday, September 16, 2004


1) U.S. Intelligence Offers Gloomy Outlook for Iraq
By Tabassum Zakaria
Thu Sep 16, 2004 09:44 AM ET

United Press International
September 15, 2004

3) Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan
Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian
Thursday September 16, 2004,3858,5017264-103550,00.html

4) Far graver than Vietnam
Most senior US military officers now believe the war on
Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian,3604,1305360,00.html

5) Two Americans and Briton Are
Kidnapped by Rebels in Baghdad
September 16, 2004

6) UPDATE on Hostages in Iraq
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004
From: "Barbara Deutsch"

7) Torture for Profit
Private contractors face legal
action for crimes in Abu Ghraib
by David Phinney , Special to CorpWatch
September 15th, 2004

8) Intelligence Proposals Gain in Congress


1) U.S. Intelligence Offers Gloomy Outlook for Iraq
By Tabassum Zakaria
Thu Sep 16, 2004 09:44 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. intelligence report prepared for
President Bush in July offered a gloomy outlook for Iraq through
the end of 2005, with the worst scenario being a deterioration
into civil war, a U.S. government official said on Thursday.

The National Intelligence Estimate, which is a compilation
of views from various intelligence agencies, predicted three
possible scenarios from a tenuous stability to political
fragmentation to the most negative assessment of civil war, the
official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"There doesn't seem to be much optimism," the official said.

The New York Times first reported on the existence of the
50-page classified intelligence report, saying it had not
appeared to alter the more optimistic tenor of the Bush
administration's public statements on Iraq.

Iraq has been gripped by an insurgency involving constant
attacks on U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians and the kidnapping
and beheading of foreigners. More than 1,000 American troops
have died.

The July estimate was initiated under former CIA Director
George Tenet, who stepped down in July. The conclusions were
reached before the recent worsening of Iraq's security situation.

The previous National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in
October 2002 has been highly criticized for its assessments
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, when no large
stockpiles have been found since the U.S. invasion in March

The 2002 report was a key piece of intelligence used by the
Bush administration in making its case for going to war. It was
later criticized for not taking into account dissenting views
from some intelligence agencies about the status of Iraq's
banned weapons programs.

National Intelligence Estimates are produced by the
National Intelligence Council, which is like a government think
tank that compiles assessments from various intelligence

The National Intelligence Council reports to the CIA
director in his dual role of director of central intelligence
in which he has responsibility for overseeing the 15
intelligence agencies.

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


United Press International
September 15, 2004

Washington, DC -- The Pentagon has
nearly 17,000 service members medically
evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan
not listed on their public casualty

According to military data reviewed by
United Press International those
evacuees appear to fit the Pentagon's
own definition of war casualties.

The military has evacuated 16,765
individual service members from Iraq and
Afghanistan for injuries and illnesses
not directly related to combat,
according to the U.S. Transportation
Command, which is responsible for the
medical evacuations. Most are from
Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But the Pentagon's public casualty
reports, available at,
list only service members who died or
were wounded in action, even though the
Pentagon's own definition of a war
casualty is: "Any person who is lost to
the organization by having been declared
dead, duty status -- whereabouts
unknown, missing, ill, or injured."

In addition to those evacuations,
32,684 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan
now out of the military sought medical
attention from the Department of
Veterans Affairs by July 22, according
to VA reports obtained by UPI. The
number of those visits to VA
doctors that were related to war is unknown.


3) Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan
Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian
Thursday September 16, 2004,3858,5017264-103550,00.html

The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly
for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.

Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security
council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter. In an
interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was
asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: "Yes, if you wish."

He then added unequivocally: "I have indicated it was not in
conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and
from the charter point of view it was illegal."

Mr Annan has until now kept a tactful silence and his intervention
at this point undermines the argument pushed by Tony Blair that
the war was legitimised by security council resolutions.

Mr Annan also questioned whether it will be feasible on security
grounds to go ahead with the first planned election in Iraq
scheduled for January. "You cannot have credible elections if
the security conditions continue as they are now," he said.

His remarks come amid a marked deterioration of the situation
on the ground, an upsurge of violence that has claimed 200 lives
in four days and raised questions over the ability of the interim
Iraqi government and the US-led coalition to maintain control
over the country.

They also come as Mr Blair is trying to put the controversy over
the war behind him in the run-up to the conference season, a
new parliamentary term and next year's probable general election.

The UN chief had warned the US and its allies a week before
the invasion in March 2003 that military action would violate
the UN charter. But he has hitherto refrained from using the
damning word "illegal".

Both Mr Blair and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, claim that
Saddam Hussein was in breach of security council resolution
1441 passed late in 2002, and of previous resolutions calling
on him to give up weapons of mass destruction. France and
other countries claimed these were insufficient.

No immediate comment was available from the White House
late last night, but American officials have defended the war as
an act of self-defence, allowed under the UN charter, in view of
Saddam Hussein's supposed plans to build weapons of mass

However, last September, Mr Annan issued a stern critique of
the notion of pre-emptive self-defence, saying it would lead to
a breakdown in international order. Mr Annan last night said that
there should have been a second UN resolution specifically
authorizing war against Iraq. Mr Blair and Mr Straw tried to
secure this second resolution early in 2003 in the run-up to
the war but were unable to convince a sceptical security council.

Mr Annan said the security council had warned Iraq in resolution
1441 there would be "consequences" if it did not comply with its
demands. But he said it should have been up to the council to
determine what those consequences were.

Guardian Unlimited (c) Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


4) Far graver than Vietnam
Most senior US military officers now believe the war on
Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian,3604,1305360,00.html

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency
in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed
and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day,
in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is
"winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the
National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent
retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William
Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush
hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front.
That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too.
It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving
Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and
head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going
to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good
options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being
conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so
unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The
priorities are just all wrong."

Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said:
"I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has
become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation
in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in
Germany and Japan."

W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic
studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't
think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the
anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding
several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and
becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me.
"We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are
getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are
x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can
get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to
regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the
ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more
hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they
are confirmed in that view."

After the killing of four US contractors in Fallujah, the marines
besieged the city for three weeks in April - the watershed event
for the insurgency. "I think the president ordered the attack on
Fallujah," said General Hoare. "I asked a three-star marine general
who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me.
I came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the
White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order was rescinded,
and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base.

"If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by
a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist
that occupation," Terrill explained. "Most Iraqis consider us
occupiers, not liberators." He describes the religious imagery
common now in Fallujah and the Sunni triangle: "There's talk of
angels and the Prophet Mohammed coming down from heaven
to lead the fighting, talk of martyrs whose bodies are glowing and
emanating wonderful scents."

"I see no exit," said Record. "We've been down that road before.
It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an
Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches
the imagination. They will be tainted by their very association
with the foreign occupier. In fact, we had more time and money
in state building in Vietnam than in Iraq."

General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't
as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly
went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But
now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse
shape with our allies."

Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the
no-go areas "could become so controversial that members of the
Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted
military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political
legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a
decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in
November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs
are all there."

He compares any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez
al-Asad's razing of the rebel city of Hama. "You could flatten it," said
Hoare. "US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there
would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their
leadership would escape, and civilians would be caught in the middle.
I hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in
the street, a beacon for democracy."

General Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration
the senior military officers over Iraqi was worse than any he has ever
seen with any previous government, including Vietnam. "I've never seen
a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose
interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin
Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the
equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by
pouring more in there. Tragic."

·Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is
Washington bureau chief of



5) Two Americans and Briton Are
Kidnapped by Rebels in Baghdad
September 16, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 16 - Insurgents kidnapped two American
and one British contractor in a brazen dawn raid on their home in
one of Baghdad's most upscale neighborhoods, underscoring the
rapidly growing perils confronting foreign nationals in this war zone.

The three men worked for the Gulf Services Company, based in the
United Arab Emirates, and were believed to be involved in construction,
said neighbors and an American embassy official. The company was
operating in Iraq under the name of Al Khalij, said Col. Adnan Abdul-
Rahman, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Neighbors said the
men had received prior threats.

The incident took place without a struggle and without shots being
fired, neighbors said. The men were simply dragged from their homes
in the Mansour neighborhood and put into one or two cars. The
insurgents had head scarves swathed around their faces and at least
one wore all black, though it was unclear whether they carried any
guns, neighbors said.

"Come on, get in, get in the car!" one of the kidnappers said,
according to a 32-year-old neighbor who gave her name as
Um Brahim.

The abductions echoed those of two 29-year-old Italian women and
two of their Iraqi co-workers on Sept. 7. In both cases, the hostage
takers had no qualms about staging their raid during daylight hours
in the heart of the capital, when witnesses would likely be roaming

These incidents are quickly forcing changes to the way foreigners
live and work here, with security advisors scrambling to boost the
presence of armed guards at private homes or move residents into

In short, the insurgents are succeeding in tightening the circle in
which foreigners think they can safely operate, slowly squeezing in
the edges until a single ice floe remains among turbulent swells.

No group took immediate responsibility for the kidnappings today.

No armed guards worked at the two-story concrete home in which
the three victims lived, according to several neighbors. The three
foreigners were clearly trying to maintain a low profile in the area.
But as was the case with the Italian women, taking a soft approach
to security ultimately left them vulnerable amid the rising hostilities.

"I feel so sorry for what happened to them," said Um Brahim as she
stood in her driveway, right next door to the victims' home. "They
weren't working for a military company. It was a construction company."

The raid unfolded at around 6 a.m., when a blackout prompted two
of the victims to open the black metal gate of their home to turn on
a large generator sitting outside a four-foot front wall surrounding
the house. As the gate swung open, masked men rushed into the front
yard and seized the foreigners, said Bahir Saleem, a student living on
the block who said he spoke with several witnesses.

The insurgents then took a third man from the house.

Several neighbors said that up to two foreign Arabs usually lived
in the house and were responsible for maintaining the generator
and driving the Westerners around, but that they had left just a
day or two earlier.

One neighbor, Suham Moiyed, said a young boy emerged from the
house across the street to help start the generator, since that house
also received electricity from the machine, but that the kidnappers
told the boy's mother to get him back into the house.

The home, in which the Westerners had lived for about a year, is a
drab building in a middle- to upper-class area that had no visible
defenses. The wall around the house functions more as decoration
than protection. Four white plastic chairs surround a circular table
sit on the tiny front lawn.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


6) UPDATE on Hostages in Iraq
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004
From: "Barbara Deutsch"

Last Friday, Sept. 10, I sent around a Petition
for the Italian anti-war activists kidnapped in
Iraq. I wrote that the kidnappers were "most
likely in the pay of the CIA, and at the very
least are doing the work of the U.S. government
by kidnappings and executions directed against
civilian anti-war activists."

I received two comments from ostensibly radical
professors who criticized my comments for being
inaccurate and harmful to the cause. They
focused blame on Moslem extremists.

Below, I reprint an investigatory article from
today's British "Guardian" newspaper by Naomi
Klein and Jeremy Scahill which buttresses the
claim I made, with specific evidence, such as:
"The attackers were armed with AK-47s, shotguns,
pistols with silencers and stun guns -- hardly
the mujahideen's standard-issue rusty
Kalashnikovs. Strangest of all is this detail:
witnesses said that several attackers wore Iraqi
National Guard uniforms and identified
themselves as working for Ayad Allawi, the
interim prime minister."

There's lots more.

Just about every Islamic group, including the
leaders of the resistance in Iraq, have
condemned this kidnapping of the leaders of the
Italian antiwar movement and their fellow

I am amazed that some folks, despite their
decades of education at elite universities, or
most likely because of it, are unable to read
through the lines and understand what is really
happening in this world and who is behind the

Thank you Naomi Klein. Thank you Jeremy Scahill.
And most of all,


- Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party of NY

Who seized Simona Torretta?
This Iraqi kidnapping has the mark of
an undercover police operation

Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian

When Simona Torretta returned to Baghdad in
March 2003, in the midst of the "shock and awe"
aerial bombardment, her Iraqi friends greeted
her by telling her she was nuts. "They were just
so surprised to see me. They said, 'Why are you
coming here? Go back to Italy. Are you crazy?'"

But Torretta didn't go back. She stayed
throughout the invasion, continuing the
humanitarian work she began in 1996, when she
first visited Iraq with her anti-sanctions NGO,
A Bridge to Baghdad. When Baghdad fell, Torretta
again opted to stay, this time to bring medicine
and water to Iraqis suffering under occupation.
Even after resistance fighters began targeting
foreigners, and most foreign journalists and aid
workers fled, Torretta again returned. "I cannot
stay in Italy," the 29-year-old told a
documentary film-maker.

Today, Torretta's life is in danger, along with
the lives of her fellow Italian aid worker
Simona Pari, and their Iraqi colleagues Raad Ali
Abdul Azziz and Mahnouz Bassam. Eight days ago,
the four were snatched at gunpoint from their
home/office in Baghdad and have not been heard
from since. In the absence of direct
communication from their abductors, political
controversy swirls round the incident.
Proponents of the war are using it to paint
peaceniks as naive, blithely supporting a
resistance that answers international solidarity
with kidnappings and beheadings. Meanwhile, a
growing number of Islamic leaders are hinting
that the raid on A Bridge to Baghdad was not the
work of mujahideen, but of foreign intelligence
agencies out to discredit the resistance.

Nothing about this kidnapping fits the pattern
of other abductions. Most are opportunistic
attacks on treacherous stretches of road.
Torretta and her colleagues were coldly hunted
down in their home. And while mujahideen in Iraq
scrupulously hide their identities, making sure
to wrap their faces in scarves, these kidnappers
were bare-faced and clean-shaven, some in
business suits. One assailant was addressed by
the others as "sir".

Kidnap victims have overwhelmingly been men, yet
three of these four are women. Witnesses say the
gunmen questioned staff in the building until
the Simonas were identified by name, and that
Mahnouz Bassam, an Iraqi woman, was dragged
screaming by her headscarf, a shocking religious
transgression for an attack supposedly carried
out in the name of Islam.

Most extraordinary was the size of the
operation: rather than the usual three or four
fighters, 20 armed men pulled up to the house in
broad daylight, seemingly unconcerned about
being caught. Only blocks from the heavily
patrolled Green Zone, the whole operation went
off with no interference from Iraqi police or US
military - although Newsweek reported that
"about 15 minutes afterwards, an American Humvee
convoy passed hardly a block away".

And then there were the weapons. The attackers
were armed with AK-47s, shotguns, pistols with
silencers and stun guns - hardly the
mujahideen's standard-issue rusty Kalashnikovs.
Strangest of all is this detail: witnesses said
that several attackers wore Iraqi National Guard
uniforms and identified themselves as working
for Ayad Allawi, the interim prime minister.

An Iraqi government spokesperson denied that
Allawi's office was involved. But Sabah Kadhim,
a spokesperson for the interior ministry,
conceded that the kidnappers "were wearing
military uniforms and flak jackets". So was this
a kidnapping by the resistance or a covert
police operation? Or was it something worse: a
revival of Saddam's mukhabarat disappearances,
when agents would arrest enemies of the regime,
never to be heard from again? Who could have
pulled off such a coordinated operation - and
who stands to benefit from an attack on this
anti-war NGO?

On Monday, the Italian press began reporting on
one possible answer. Sheikh Abdul Salam
al-Kubaisi, from Iraq's leading Sunni cleric
organisation, told reporters in Baghdad that he
received a visit from Torretta and Pari the day
before the kidnap. "They were scared," the
cleric said. "They told me that someone
threatened them." Asked who was behind the
threats, al-Kubaisi replied: "We suspect some
foreign intelligence."

Blaming unpopular resistance attacks on CIA or
Mossad conspiracies is idle chatter in Baghdad,
but coming from Kubaisi, the claim carries
unusual weight; he has ties with a range of
resistance groups and has brokered the release
of several hostages. Kubaisi's allegations have
been widely reported in Arab media, as well as
in Italy, but have been absent from the
English-language press.

Western journalists are loath to talk about
spies for fear of being labelled conspiracy
theorists. But spies and covert operations are
not a conspiracy in Iraq; they are a daily
reality. According to CIA deputy director James
L Pavitt, "Baghdad is home to the largest CIA
station since the Vietnam war", with 500 to 600
agents on the ground. Allawi himself is a
lifelong spook who has worked with MI6, the CIA
and the mukhabarat, specialising in removing
enemies of the regime.

A Bridge to Baghdad has been unapologetic in its
opposition to the occupation regime. During the
siege of Falluja in April, it coordinated risky
humanitarian missions. US forces had sealed the
road to Falluja and banished the press as they
prepared to punish the entire city for the
gruesome killings of four Blackwater
mercenaries. In August, when US marines laid
siege to Najaf, A Bridge to Baghdad again went
where the occupation forces wanted no witnesses.
And the day before their kidnapping, Torretta
and Pari told Kubaisi that they were planning
yet another high-risk mission to Falluja.

In the eight days since their abduction, pleas
for their release have crossed all geographical,
religious and cultural lines. The Palestinian
group Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the
International Association of Islamic Scholars
and several Iraqi resistance groups have all
voiced outrage. A resistance group in Falluja
said the kidnap suggests collaboration with
foreign forces. Yet some voices are conspicuous
by their absence: the White House and the office
of Allawi. Neither has said a word.

What we do know is this: if this hostage-taking
ends in bloodshed, Washington, Rome and their
Iraqi surrogates will be quick to use the
tragedy to justify the brutal occupation - an
occupation that Simona Torretta, Simona Pari,
Raad Ali Abdul Azziz and Mahnouz Bassam risked
their lives to oppose. And we will be left
wondering whether that was the plan all along.

· Jeremy Scahill is a reporter for the
independent US radio/TV show Democracy Now;
Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences
and Windows,3604,1305523,00.html


7) Torture for Profit
Private contractors face legal
action for crimes in Abu Ghraib
by David Phinney , Special to CorpWatch
September 15th, 2004

Employees of two high-profile defense contractors are accused
of involvement in close to one third of the torture and abuse
incidents cited in a recent Army investigation of Abu Ghraib
prison in Iraq. In late August, following release of the report,
Defense department officials turned over the names of six CACI
International Inc. and Titan Corporation employees to the U.S.
Justice department for possible prosecution. But efforts to hold
private contract employees truly accountable may fall short due
to untested laws on contractor accountability and a U.S.
administration that critics say has repeatedly redefined torture
in its 'war on terror' and in the war on Iraq.

The 176-page Army report, produced under the direction of
Maj. Gen. George R. Fay and Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones,
graphically details 44 incidents of abuse taking place at Abu
Ghraib involving military intelligence personnel and contractors.
It confirms prior findings of torture including head blows and
other physical assault, sodomy, rape, stripping prisoners of their
clothing, forcing detainees to masturbate and perform sex acts,
the use of unmuzzled dogs and other atrocities and abusive

Of the 44 documented incidents, from July 2003 to February 2004,
interrogators employed by CACI International, Inc., of Arlington, Va.,
and translators working for Titan Corp. of San Diego are accused of
being connected to 14.

Army investigators found evidence that these contract employees
violently assaulted prisoners, demanded that prisoners be forced
into unauthorized stress positions and threatened prisoners with
dogs. It also documents allegations of rape by one witness who
told investigators of a civilian, believed to be a translator who was
wearing a military uniform.

The report asserts that 35 percent of the interrogators provided
on contract by CACI "lacked formal military training as interrogators"
for what the Pentagon considers a critical military function that
should not be outsourced only in extreme and pressing situations.
The report also claims that the Army failed to properly investigate
the backgrounds of many of the contract employees.

The day after the Fay/Jones report was made public August 24,
Defense Department officials turned over the names of four CACI
and Titan employees accused of active participation in the abuse.
Also turned over for possible prosecution were two more employees
accused of failing to report torture and abuse that they witnessed.

From a variety of perspectives, "the use of contract interrogators
and linguists at Abu Ghraib was problematic," the report finds.
Leadership at the prison was "unprepared for the arrival of
contract interrogators and had no training to fall back on in
the management, control, and discipline of these personnel."

It also says, "Several people indicated in their statements that
that contractor personnel were 'supervising' government personnel
or vice versa. [One] Sergeant indicated that CACI employees were
in positions of authority, and appeared to be supervising government
personnel." The report concludes. "It would appear that no effort
to familiarize the ultimate user of the contracted services of the
contract's terms and procedures was ever made."

One CACI contractor, accused in the report of dragging a handcuffed
prisoner and drinking alcohol at the prison, is cited as being
belligerent to military command. At one point he is said to have
protested: "I have been doing my job for 20 years and do not
need a 20-year-old to tell me how to do my job."

Both companies have regularly denied such allegations and a
CACI internal investigation this summer found no wrongdoing
on the part of its employees, a source familiar with the review
said. And while the companies intend to aid government
investigations of Abu Ghraib, the spokesmen also said the
recent Army findings are far less damning than what was
originally claimed when the prison scandal originally surfaced
last spring.

In a company statement CEO Jack London said "Nothing in
the Fay report can be construed as CACI employees directing,
participating in or even observing anything close to what we
have all seen in the dozens of horrendous photos." London
stopped short of an unequivocal defense of his employees.
"Nonetheless, we are disappointed and disheartened by the
news that any of our employees or former employees are
alleged to have engaged in any improper or inappropriate

Justice department prosecutors say they are still determining
how to proceed on the cases. But since both Justice and
Defense have rewritten the definition of torture several times
and because the Pentagon has yet to investigate the roles
played by the two companies, actual prosecutions are uncertain.

Meanwhile, private lawyers are waging two separate court
battles claiming that the torture is far more brutal and
widespread than what Pentagon investigators publicly
acknowledge and that the companies involved should
share the blame for the abusive treatment of detainees.

Titan and CACI are named as defendants in a suit filed in
Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. by Australian
lawyer Michael Hourigan. He's suing under the Alien Tort
Claims Act, on behalf of four former Abu Ghraib prisoners
and the widow of one detainee who died in custody. The suit
aims to determine what responsibility the contractors may
have in the events at Abu Ghraib, says Atlanta attorney
Roderick Edmond who is working with the plaintiffs.

"People really were tortured and real people really did die,"
he says. "These corporations need to be held accountable if
they were derelict in their responsibilities of training and
supervision and their employees were involved with directing

CACI rejects and denies the allegations and denounces the
suit as "malicious and farcical recitation of false statements
and intentional distortions."

A second suit, filed by the Center for Constitutional rights,
alleges even wider pattern of torture and is brought under
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act,
the 1970 law often used by prosecutors to go after organized
crime, which imposes both criminal and civil liability. The suit,
filed in Federal Court in San Diego, California alleges violations
of the Geneva Conventions, 8th, 5th, and 14th Amendments
to the U.S. Constitution as well as other U.S. and international

The Titan employees will be considered for prosecution under
the still untested Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. Passed
in November 2000, the law permits prosecution in U.S. federal
courts of Defense Department contractors who commit crimes
while working with the military outside the United States.

But the law applies only to crimes carrying a minimum one-year
sentence and that may not include incidents of simple assault
says Michael Nardotti Jr., a law partner at Patton Boggs in
Washington in a May 11 interview with American Lawyer.

"Suppose the behavior involves humiliating the detainee, or
stripping him naked," said Nardotti, who served as judge
advocate general of the Army from 1993 to 1997. "What crime
would that constitute? You'd have to look at the whole list of
federal offenses and find one that is punishable by more than
one year."

Alex Ward, a legal fellow for Amnesty International, agrees. "It's
a very foggy area," he says. "But assuming that, at the very least,
the worst of what the contractors did is true, I imagine that would
be punishable."

Interrogators employed by CACI pose a more complex problem
for prosecutors. The company performed its interrogation work
for the Army under a contract originally intended to provide
information technology through the Interior Department. Because
CACI was technically operating through Interior - and not the
Defense Department - wrongdoing by CACI employees may be
outside the jurisdiction of the untested Military Extraterritorial
Jurisdiction Act.

Faced with that dilemma, a Justice Department task force under
the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia is
considering the U.S. criminal code covering torture for possible
prosecution, says spokesperson, Frank Schultz.

That statute, Title 18, amendment 2340a, defines torture as
inflicting "severe physical or mental pain or suffering" and
requires that "Whoever outside the United States commits or
attempts to commit torture" may be fined or imprisoned for
not more than 20 years.

"That's part of what is being looked at right now," Shultz said.
"It's the prosecutorial process."

Defining torture
That process may not go very far, says Scott Horton, an
attorney who is president of the New York based International
League of Human Rights. The group joined other human rights
organizations in a May 7 letter to President Bush that claims
that the patterns of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib are
widespread at other detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan
and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It requests that the president
rein in those responsible and assure that the treatment of
detainees is consistent with international humanitarian law.

"We are talking about an administration and attorney general
who have issued opinions saying that torture isn't torture, so
it's difficult to believe they seriously intend to prosecute anyone,"
Horton says. "They have established a policy at the highest level
to create an atmosphere of ambiguity."

In August, 2002, Jay Bybee, head of the justice department's
office of legal counsel wrote Alberto R Gonzales, the White House
counsel. "Certain acts may be cruel, inhuman, or degrading, but
still not produce pain and suffering of the requisite intensity to
fall within [a legal] proscription against torture."

Elisa Massimino, director of Human Rights First in the Washington,
D.C., office, says these and other memos from the Justice
Department, the White House and the Pentagon seek to bend
the rules on torture. "The laws are clear," she says. "The only
thing that became hazy is the administration."

Calls for wider investigation
On Sept. 8, 2004 eight retired generals and admirals joined
Human Rights First in a call for an independent investigation of
Abu Ghraib and other detention centers, saying that previous
probes fall short in providing a comprehensive assessment of
abuse or meaningful recommendations to address them.

"The use of contractors for what is a military function is a huge
issue," said retired Navy admiral, John Hutson, who served as the
Navy's judge advocate general from 1997 to 2000 and joined in
the call for an independent investigation. "It's a problem when
contractors are inserted in the chain of command."

The Fay report also points an accusing finger up the chain of
command, claiming that senior officers in Iraq neglected to
provide needed oversight or and lay out "clear, consistent
guidance" for the treatment of detainees. Another investigation
of Abu Ghraib led by former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger
released Aug. 24 aimed even higher. It blames senior civilian and
military leaders at the Pentagon for fostering confused guidance,
poor planning and plodding response after problems at Abu
Ghraib became known.

While none of the dozen reports dealing with the treatment of
detainees has found direct responsibility by CACI or Titan
management for the events at Abu Ghraib, one investigation
spearheaded by the General Services Administration (GSA) did
review the CACI's interrogation task orders after the prison
abuse began making headlines. Because the Army awarded
these under a contract managed by the Interior Department
for technology services, GSA determined that interrogation
was clearly out of scope of the agreement's intent and could
be possible grounds for debarring or suspending CACI from
future government work. The GSA review also discovered
that a CACI employee, Thomas Howard, took part in writing
for the Army the very guidelines for the work (called in
contract jargon a "statement of work" ) to be performed by

After the review, GSA suspension and debarment official
Joseph Neurauter said, in a July 7 letter to the company,
that he would not take formal action against CACI. Still,
Neurauter expressed concern that "CACI's possible role
in preparing statements of work continues to be an open
issue and potential conflict of interest." Neurauter
requested further response from the company.

Following further private discussions with GSA, CACI vowed
to comply with federal acquisition regulations in the future.
The Army then discontinued funneling the contract through
Interior and wrote a new agreement with CACI to continue the
interrogation work. "I do not feel that, at this time, it is
necessary for me to take any formal action to protect the
interests of the federal government," Neurauter concluded.
The new contract, announced by CACI on August 10, is for a
period of four months, worth $15.3 million, and has two
optional extensions worth up to $3.8 million each, for a
total value of $23 million.

Meanwhile, the Fay/Jones report found that it remains unclear
"who, if anyone, in Army contracting or legal channels approved
the use" of the original Interior contract.

Lawsuits may help investigations
The civil suits against CACI and Titan may have more hope
of shedding light on the role of the contractors than the GSA
investigations. Among other things, the Center for Constitutional
Rights lawsuit seeks to prove that CACI and Titan knowingly
collaborated with the Defense Department in the prison abuse.

Detroit attorney, Shereef Akeel, who is working on the lawsuit,
says that he discovered that abuse and torture are widespread
at the 23 U.S. detention facilities in Iraq. During a recent fact-
finding trip, he visited with detainees, former prisoners and
families who said they lost loved ones at the centers.

"It is horrific and devastating," Akeel says, adding that the abuse
begins when the military raids homes at night in search of suspected
insurgents. "Families would be robbed. They are stripped of their
dignity and property. The normal routine is a raid with translators
carrying guns asking where the father is and where the gold is."

Once at the facilities, Akeel says that detainees are subjected to
brutality, rape and other forms of abuse.

"This is torture for profit," he claims. "The government is there is
to promote 'democracy' while companies have two competing
masters - shareholders and the government - and they are there
for profit."


8) Intelligence Proposals Gain in Congress

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 - The momentum behind creation of a new,
powerful job of national intelligence director gained force on
Wednesday with the introduction of a bipartisan Senate bill to
grant sweeping budget authority to such an official and a
simultaneous promise by House leaders to pass a related bill
before going home this fall to campaign for re-election.

The bill, introduced by the Republican and Democratic leaders of
the Governmental Affairs Committee, would establish the post of
national intelligence director and provide the director with control
over most of the government's estimated $40 billion annual
intelligence budget, including virtually complete authority over
spending by the C.I.A., the National Security Agency and the
intelligence programs of the F.B.I. and the Homeland Security

Creation of such a post was the central recommendation of the
independent Sept. 11 commission, and the idea has been
endorsed by President Bush over the initial objections of some
senior aides.

The Governmental Affairs Committee bill has been designated
by Senate leaders as the chamber's chief legislative vehicle for
responding to the commission's recommendations for overhauling
the executive branch, and the bill's authors say it is has been
packaged for quick adoption in the Senate, possibly as early as
next week.

Although House Republican leaders have been notably cooler than
their Senate colleagues in their response to the commission's
findings and at one time suggested that there would be no time
to take up intelligence legislation before the November elections,
they vowed on Wednesday that they would approve a related
intelligence-overhaul bill before adjourning next month.

"We will vote on a final bill before Congress adjourns in October,"
said the House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay,
Republican of Texas.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said in a statement that the Republican
leadership would introduce a "comprehensive bill early next week"
with the goal of "having the bill on the House floor by late September."

House leaders have been unwilling to discuss many of the details
of their planned legislation, and members of the Sept. 11
commission and some lawmakers have said they fear that the
House may try to water down the commission's main
recommendations, creating a conflict with the Senate bill
and derailing final approval.

John Feehery, a spokesman for Mr. Hastert, said that while
the speaker supported the idea of a national intelligence
director, he was still uncertain how much budgetary and
other power should be granted.

"That's the big issue," Mr. Feehery said, "and it's a matter of
negotiation not only with our committees but also with the
White House."

The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Susan Collins, the
Maine Republican who is chairwoman of the Governmental
Affairs Committee, and Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut,
the panel's ranking Democrat. Committee aides said that final
mark-up of the bill was scheduled for next Tuesday and
Wednesday, with the possibility of a final vote on the Senate
floor days later.

"We must transform our intelligence system to meet the threats
of today and the future," Senator Collins said at a news
conference to announce the bill. "We establish a national
intelligence director with strong authority - strong budget
authority, strong personnel authority."

She said that if the intelligence director "did not have strong
budget authority, we really would just be creating another
level of bureaucracy."

Senator Lieberman said the bill would produce "revolutionary
changes" in the way the government gathered and shared

"Under our plan, when somebody asks, 'Who's in charge?' the
question will not be met with blank stares and nonanswers,
which greeted the 9/11 commission every time they asked
somebody that question," Mr. Lieberman said.

While the Senate bill differs in significant ways from some of
the proposals made by the Sept. 11 commission - among other
things, the bill would not have senior officials of the C.I.A., the
F.B.I. and the Pentagon serve as deputies to the intelligence
director - it was still welcomed by the bipartisan commission.

In a joint statement, the commission chairman, Thomas H. Kean,
a former Republican governor of New Jersey, and the vice chairman,
Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic House member from Indiana
and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,
welcomed the Senate bill, describing it as a "significant
breakthrough" that "appears to incorporate some of the
most important structural recommendations contained in our

"We consider this legislation an important first step in moving
our nation in a direction that will greatly increase the safety of
the American people," they said.

Their statement was released by their newly opened educational
foundation, the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, which has been
created to continue to lobby the White House and Congress on
behalf of the commission's recommendations.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company