Thursday, October 07, 2004


******************PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY*************************


EVERY THURSDAY, from tonight, Thursday, OCTOBER 7, 14,21 & 28,
Starting at 7:00 p.m.



Come to the meeting and help organize community outreach.

War deaths are mounting up on both sides with no end of
American involvement in sight. U.S. corporations are profiting
while job opportunities are shrinking, housing, education and
healthcare costs are skyrocketing and all of our social services
are being cut back.

At the same time we have witnessed huge labor give-backs to
employers who cry poverty while accepting multi-million dollar
bonuses each year. And the U.S. corporations granted contracts
in Afghanistan and Iraq have been raking in billions of dollars of
profits while performing inferior workmanship and laden with
fraudulent practices--doing nothing to improve the lives of the
people of Iraq. Instead, their private police forces kill innocent
Iraqi people who get in their way.
As a result of war profit windfalls, 78% of the "Fortune 500" are
billionaires now, not multi-millionaires!

The bottom line is that we, the American working people,
are financing this war, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan
are dying, while the corporations are profiting.

This is a message we, the voting citizens of San Francisco,
will be telling the world on November 2!


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


Posters, buttons, brochures and other materials will be
available for pick-up at the Global Exchange office beginning
Thursday, October 7, at 7:00 p.m. and during regular Global
Exchange hours until Nov. 2.

Call: 415-255-7296, extension 253 to check for hours.


We all know that all this material costs money. Already
thousands of brochures and posters have
been printed and distributed. Buttons will soon be available.

And we need more material to adequately cover the city with
the YES on 'N' message!

Please send a contribution to help with these costs!
Make your check payable to:

"Bring Our Troops Home Now"

and mail to:

David Looman, Treasurer
325 Highland Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110


1) For Immediate Release
Contact: Marvin Feldman, 415-282-5330
October 5, 2004 415-722-1479 cell

2) In this message:
· Bus information to the Immigrants Rights March
· Million Worker March Update

An open letter to U.S. Law.
(A copy of USLAW's email of non-endorsement of MWM included.)
By Bonnie Weinstein

Forum speakers:
UC Berkeley scholar DR. HATEM BAZIAN,
Journalist Alison Weir, and Dr. Abyass
126 Barrows Hall
(Near Bancroft & Telegraph Aves) UC BERKELEY

5) Books Not Bars presents:
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Free! (suggested donation $5-10)

For Independence, Democracy, Justice

7) Supporters of Bay Area Grocery Workers
"We Will Fight to Defend Healthcare
in Our Communities!"
Major Customer Support Rally for
Bay Area Grocery Workers
Friday, October 15th, 4:00 p.m.
Safeway @ Market & Church Streets, S.F.
Who: Supporters of Bay Area Grocery Workers Labor,
Religious, and Civic leaders
This rally is sponsored by the San Francisco Labor
Council. For more information, please go to

8) From: "Lowell Revolution Youth"

Subject: Support our Prop N youth teach-in
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004

9) Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, shown Jan. 9, 1957,
was head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time the
plans were drawn up and presented to the secretary of defense.
(AP Photo Not Shown...BW)
Friendly Fire
Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize
U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba
By David Ruppe
N E W Y O R K, May 1

10) What happened to me today at Concordia University
By Shujaat Wasty

11) Take them out, dude: pilots toast hit on Iraqi 'civilians'
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
06 October 2004

12) Israel: Palestinian State Shelved with U.S. Blessing
By Mark Heinrich
Wed Oct 6, 2004 06:16 AM ET

13) US Vetoes Resolution Calling for Israeli Halt to Gaza Operations
By Gerald Nadler
Published on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 by the Associated Press

14) U.S. Inspector Says Iraq Had No Banned Weapons
By Vicki Allen and Tabassum Zakaria
Thu Oct 7, 2004 06:59 AM ET

15) Two girls, two shots to the head
Palestinian 15-year-olds among growing number of children
hit by Israeli snipers during 'Days of Penitence'
Chris McGreal in Jabaliya refugee camp
The Guardian
Wednesday October 6, 2004,,1320612,00.html

16) Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.
By Carol D. Leonnig, Jo Becker and David Nakamura
The Washington Post
Tuesday 05 October 2004

By Jonathan Weisman and Robin Wright
** State Department to Rethink U.S. Effort **
Washington Post
October 6, 2004


1) For Immediate Release
Contact: Marvin Feldman, 415-282-5330
October 5, 2004 415-722-1479 cell

Peace Navy Parade of Boats for Peace to Parallel US Navy's Parade of
Ships of War

Who: Peace activists from the Bay Area's Peace Navy, Veterans
for Peace and the Yes on N campaign, and United for Peace and Justice

What: A colorful flotilla of small boats and paddle craft from
the Peace Navy will be will be cruising along the shoreline during the
US Navy Parade of Ships on Saturday. Simultaneously, activists from
the Veterans for Peace and other groups will be onshore with posters
with the faces of some of those who have died as a result of the war
on Iraq.

Date: Saturday October 9, 2004

Time: 11-2 PM

Where: Offshore: Launch at Gashouse Cove (meeting at 9:30
Marina at Laguna--opposite Marina Safeway). Cruising the
waterfront from Crissy Field to Pier 39. Onshore: (Peace Navy,
United for Peace and Justice, Yes on N along the Embarcadero
in front of or just east of Pier 39. (meet at 10:30)

Why: We are out on the Bay and on shore to emphasize that
there is an alternative to military solutions. If the U.S. uses
its great institutions and its enormous resources to create
a just world, terrorists will find no recruits and tyrants will fall.
Our actions are an expression of our love for our country and
our respect for all humanity.

The Peace Navy was formed in response to what we believe
is an inappropriate emphasis on military hardware rather
than human needs and peaceful solutions.We believe that
being a world leader requires the US to set an example by
its humanitarian behavior not by its military strength.
For example, the $10 billion cost of ONE proposed nuclear
destroyer could be used instead to provide clean drinking
water for every person on earth. The goodwill this action
would create throughout the world would make us far
safer than an addition to our already overwhelming
military arsenal.

We support the valiant men and women in our armed
forces and their important work. We therefore do not
want to place them in harms way for any but the highest
purposes-to maintain peace and defend all peoples against
violence. We ask them to do this only when all other
peaceful options have been exhausted. We reject the
corporate greed that is overwhelming many of our
cherished political institutions.

The U.S. already has more military might than all other
nations of the world combined. Our $500 billion annual
military budget is ten times that of any other country.
Rather than glorify our might, we challenge our leaders
to use this power in the service of creating a just world.
We object to the environmental degradation created by
excessive armaments. We object to neglect of human needs
in favor of unnecessary military spending. We believe
that we will best achieve our national goals through the
powerful example of our democratic institutions, rather
than through global domination.


2) In this message:
· Bus information to the Immigrants Rights March
· Million Worker March Update

We will leave from the Mission District in San Francisco at
11:30pm on Friday, Oct. 15 and return after the march ends
on the Saturday, Oct. 16.
Bring your entire family and march together against racism
and discrimination and for the rights of all immigrants.
No human being is illegal!
For more information call: 415-821-6545

We would like to subsidize the cost of transportation for
activists who want to participate but lack the funds to do so.
Please donate today to help more people attend this important
march. Tax-deductible donations of over $50.00 can be made
to Progress Unity Fund at
. Or, call ANSWER and we
can take a credit card donation over the phone at (415) 821-6545.
Checks can be mailed to ANSWER, 2489 Mission St. Rm. 24,
San Francisco, CA 94110.

Following is a link to a recent interview with one of the Oct. 16
March organizers, Juan José Gutiérrez of Latino Movement USA,
discussing the situation facing immigrants and their supporters today.

“Reinvigorating the Struggle for Immigrants Rights”

Sunday, October 17
Gather at 12 noon Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Join thousands of others in Washington DC for this progressive
action organized by labor and community activists. According to
the Million Worker March Committee, "This mobilization is being
proposed in response to the attacks upon working families in
America and the millions of jobs lost during the Bush administration
and with the complicity of Congress." The march has a broad range
of demands, including universal health care, amnesty for all
undocumented workers, repeal of the Patriot Act, and to Bring the
Troops Home Now.

To find out more about the mission and demands of the march, go to .

· Initiated by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10
and endorsed by many labor, community and activist organizations,
including the ANSWER Coalition. The ILWU Local 10 has a proud
history of struggle, from fighting to overturn apartheid in South
Africa to organizing against the U.S. war on Iraq. The unionÂ’s slogan is:
"An Injury to One is an Injury to All!"

· Logistics: For detailed info about transportation, housing and other
logistics for the march, go to:

· T-Shirts: Beautiful Million Worker March t-shirts are on sale for
$15-20 at the ANSWER office in San Francisco and on the website at .
Purchase yours now to help raise funds to support the event.

To subscribe to the list, send a message to:


An open letter to U.S. Law.
(A copy of USLAW's email of non-endorsement of MWM included.)
By Bonnie Weinstein


I am very disappointed at USLAWs decision not to endorse the
Million Worker March and encourage you to reconsider and give
your full support to the Million Worker March this October 17th
in Washington, DC.

As an antiwar activist and labor supporter (I'm unemployed at the
moment) it doesn't make sense to me that USLAW would not play
a leading part in the Million Worker March! (The group I belong to,
Bay Area United Against War, is an affiliate member of USLAW. We
long ago endorsed the MWM.)

By your refusal to endorse you seem to be denying a link between
the financial and human costs of the war on Iraq and the severe
cutbacks of all social services, and degradation of life for workers
here at home. It is disingenuous for you to campaign for workers
rights in Iraq while refraining from supporting worker's rights
here at home.

There is ample evidence to show that employers reaping more
profits than ever before have passed on the costs of this war to
the backs of workers. The Forbes Fortune 500 boasts 78% are
billionaires, not just multimillionaires now!

Corporations are profiting from these wars and from the $5 billion
a year the U.S. Invests, of our tax dollars, in Israel's occupation
of Palestine.

These companies aren't paying, they are profiting hand over
fist-the American worker is paying. Two thirds of American
corporations pay no taxes at all and the rest get huge tax breaks
while the average American worker pays one-quarter to one-third
of his or her gross income in taxes.

Meanwhile the American workers are loosing pay and benefits by
the fist-full in contract after phony contract they are forced to

The grocery workers in the Bay Area are, right now, are being
asked to approve a package that would cut health and other
benefits for half of their members! Two-tier contracts are forcing
workers currently employed to approve contracts that will throw
the new, lower tear workers into poverty and hardship. What does
that say for the future of all of our children?

The job of USLAW is to educate workers about how the war is
affecting them. That is the purpose of the Million Worker March.
And workers need to start speaking up NOW!

What's the problem? Do you think the war and all of it's
corresponding problems will be over if there is a "regime change"?
Is that what you're betting on?

If so, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

Come-on! Let's get together, here!


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War


On 10/5/04 1:21 PM, "U.S. Labor Against War"
Dear USLAW affiliates, members and supporters:

After discussion over the course of several months, the Steering
Committee of USLAW voted 9 to 8 to endorse the Million Worker
March. Because the vote was so evenly divided and because
USLAW's bylaws call for the Leadership Council (composed of
all affiliates) to make policy decisions between national assemblies
on matters of import or controversy, the Steering Committee
referred the issue to the Leadership Council for a final decision.
A referendum of the Leadership Council produced a vote of
27 to 17 against USLAW endorsement. The principal reason
given was one of timing - those opposed said they would have
voted to endorse were the event held after the election.

The fact that USLAW has not officially endorsed should not
be interpreted as opposition to participation in the MWM.
The program of the MWM is fully consistent with the Mission
Statement of USLAW, including the demand for an immediate
end to the occupation of Iraq, return of the troops now, and
reallocation of national priorities to meeting human needs.
Individual USLAW affiliates have endorsed the Million Worker
March. With the consent of the Steering Committee, Gene
Bruskin, Co-convenor, also endorsed as an individual with
organization for identification only.

For those organizations and individuals able to do so, USLAW
encourages participation in the MWM in Washington, DC on
October 17. For more information, check out the MWM website at

U.S. Labor Against War (USLAW)
P.O. Box 153
1718 "M" Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Bob Muehlenkamp and Gene Bruskin, Co-convenors Amy Newell,
National Organizer Michael Eisenscher, Organizer & Web
Coordinator Erin McGrath, Administrative Staff Sam McAfee
and Angelina Grab, Radical Fusion - Website Design


Forum speakers:
UC Berkeley scholar DR. HATEM BAZIAN,
Journalist Alison Weir, and Dr. Abyass
126 Barrows Hall
(Near Bancroft & Telegraph Aves) UC BERKELEY

The Cal Muslim Students Association is hosting a TEACH-IN
on Iraq, Palestine, and the Middle East. With the escalation of
violence by the US military in Iraq and the aggressive incursions
being carried out by the Israelis in Palestine, the question of
resistance, liberation, and self-determination have become
ever more pressing.

Join the MSA for a discussion on the situation and the way
forward in the Middle East.

(Also posted on the newswire,
right-hand column, under Local News.)


5) Books Not Bars presents:
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Free! (suggested donation $5-10)

*** please forward *** please forward widely *** please forward

Come see our new 30-minute, grassroots-driven documentary
that breaks down the current scandal in California's youth prison
system — and how the state can solve it.

We teamed up with the ground-breaking group Witness
( ) to make this film, and now
you can see the WORLD PREMIERE!

CYA is notorious as the most abusive youth prison system
in the nation. Find out why in exclusive interviews with former
CYA youth, parents, advocates and activists. Learn about the human
rights crisis in CYA -- and about the movement to end this crisis
and revolutionize juvenile justice in California.

* A panel discussion with filmmakers, former CYA youth and
parents will follow the screening.

* Suggested donation: $5 - $10 (no one turned away for lack
of funds)

* For more information or to request postcard flyers to be
mailed to you please contact:
415-951-4844 ext 230

Find out about the Books Not Bars "Alternatives for Youth"

We can't survive without the support of individuals like you.
Please take a moment to support us today. Donate here:

SIGN UP: Not on our list-serve yet? (Maybe this message was
forwarded to you.) Sign up to get e-mail updates directly
by going this web page: )

UPDATE: If you are on our list-serve, you can update your
information and preferences:



For Independence, Democracy, Justice

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, in cooperation with the Haiti Support
Network and other progressive forces inside the Haitian community,
is initiating an emergency campaign in support of the Haitian people's
struggle for sovereignty and democracy, and in opposition to foreign

We urge you to join us in showing your support for the Haitian people.
We must act now to show concrete expressions of solidarity. We will
be sending urgently needed medicines to Haiti. The long-term need
in Haiti is for the social and economic transformation of the island and
for the Haitian people to be able to reclaim political and economic
sovereignty over their country. People in the United States are making it
crystal clear that the Haitian people do not stand alone. Two hundred
years ago the Haitian people created what is now the second oldest
republic in the Americas and the first free Black republic in the western
hemisphere following the only successful slave insurrection in history.

The humanitarian catastrophe facing the Haitian people from Hurricane
Jeanne can only be understood in the political and social reality caused
by IMF neo-liberal policies and the anti-people policies flowing from the
U.S. coup that overthrew the democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. Cuba, by contrast, because it has sovereign control over its
economy and resources, has been directly hit by hurricanes in recent
years but has prevented any major loss of life.

The Emergency Campaign to Support the
Haitian People will includesupport for both
political/educational mobilizations and for
the shipment of urgently needed medicines
to Haiti. It will also publicize the struggle of
those in Haiti who are the victims of repression.
The Emergency Campaign to Support the Haitian
People (ECSHP) will act in solidarity with those in
Haiti who are heroically building opposition to
the foreign occupation and its proxy government.
The Haitian people are refusing to return to
colonial servitude and we must support their
right to be the masters of their own destiny.

We urge everyone to support the Emergency Campaign by helping to
organize the upcoming Sunday, December 5 indoor rally in Solidarity
with Haiti that will take place at New York Technical College located
in Brooklyn, New York at 6:00 p.m. This program will feature Mario
Dupuy, former Communications Secretary of State for President
AristideÂ’s government; Ben Dupuy, Secretary General of the National
Popular Party (PPN); former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark,
and other well-known leaders and personalities. This will be an
exciting, inspirational and educational event and we hope you
tell your friends and family to save the date.
Help Send Medicine to Haiti

The death toll from the September 18 floods in Northwest Haiti
caused by Hurricane Jeanne is now close to 2000 and climbing.
Hundreds of thousands are homeless and destitute, their shops,
livestock and crops swept away.

And the worst is yet to come. The receding flood waters, laced
with sewage and the bloated corpses of humans and animals,
are leaving behind diseases such as cholera, dysentery, malaria
and dengue fever. These after-effects will be less noticed but
more lethal.

The hearts of people around the world have gone out to the floodÂ’s
victims in Haiti. Many individuals and organizations are sending
food, clothing and money. But one of the most urgent needs is
for medicine.

Press reports have described hospitals and clinics knee deep in
mud. Doctors have been performing amputations without anesthesia.
Infections from the putrid flood waters are widespread while there
are virtually no antibiotics or other medicines to treat the sick.

In Port-au-Prince, a group of progressive Haitians have formed the
Committee to Aid the Flood Victims (KOPEVI). Working in conjunction
with the International Alliance for Health and Social Development
(AISDS), directed by Father Jean Bien-Aimé and Dr. Max Mondestin,
KOPEVI will collect and distribute medicines to doctors and clinics
in the flood ravaged region.

The Emergency Campaign will be purchasing medicines to send to
KOPEVI, including Metronidazole, Mebendazole, Bactrim, and other
antibiotics. These medicines will save lives, alleviate suffering and
mitigate the effects of water-born disease. All the humanitarian
efforts put together are not enough but these medicines will help.

The Emergency Campaign to Support the Haitian People can only
move forward with your support and with the generous donations
and contributions of those who care about Haiti, those who want
to provide immediate relief to those victimized by the storm and
its aftermath, and those who want to help build a larger political/
education mobilization to expose the role of the Bush Administration,
the IMF and imperialism in perpetuating of the suffering of the
people in Haiti.

You can make an urgently needed contribution immediately to
the Emergency Campaign to Support the Haitian People by going to
to donate by credit card online through our secure server. Credit
card donations are not tax deductible. If you want to make a tax
deductible donation to the Emergency Campaign, you can do so
by writing a check made out to the Progress Unity Fund/Haiti and
send it to Progress Unity Fund, 167 Anderson St., San Francisco,
CA 94110.
Background to HaitiÂ’s Unnatural Disaster:
The role of the IMF and the Bush Administration

The roots of this disaster are political, not natural. The Feb. 29
Washington-backed coup against President Aristide removed a
popularly elected government. All elected local officials, including
mayors and councilpeople who would be on the front lines of relief
efforts, have been replaced by the notoriously brutal former Tonton
Macoutes and Duvalierists whom the people distrust and fear. The
people also recognize that these forces are thieves apt only to plunder
the relief resources. While HaitiÂ’s constitutional government might
not have averted todayÂ’s devastation, it surely would have been better
able to respond if only because it enjoyed popular support,
participation and enthusiasm.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are also to
blame for accelerating the deforestation which contributed to the
floodÂ’s severity. For three decades, they have forced Port-au-Prince
governments to follow neoliberal dictates to lower tariff barriers
and grow cash crops.

These policies have ruined hundreds of thousands of Haitian farmers
who have then migrated to the cities. They cook with charbon, or
charcoal, which is half the weight and efficiency of wood. Peasants
remaining on the land have turned to cutting down trees for charbon
to fuel the growing cities.

These are the root causes of the disaster in Haiti, and in the weeks
ahead we intend not just to send medicine but to organize events
to make these root causes known and to support the democratic
forces in Haiti working to change this status quo.

HaitiÂ’s rain-induced floods were devastating because the country
has been already ravaged by a flood of cheap imports, weakened
by coups and despair, and neglected by a greedy bourgeoisie intent
only on its own enrichment, not its compatriotsÂ’ welfare.

Democracy is a prerequisite for the development that can result
in better infrastructure, housing, irrigation, reforestation, and
governmental disaster preparation and relief. By overthrowing
the popularly elected government, Washington, Paris and the
Haitian ruling class made this yearÂ’s disasters worse.

The Emergency Campaign to Support the Haitian People is an
urgent effort to bring humanitarian relief, specifically medicine,
to Haiti. Recognizing that today's crisis in Haiti is the consequence
of politics and policy, the Emergency Campaign to Support the
Haitian People is also working to support those struggling for
democracy and social justice.

Join in this effort in solidarity with the people of Haiti today.
Mark your calendars for the December 5th rally in Solidarity in
Haiti, and please help with urgently needed support by clicking
here to make a donation today.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War End Racism

National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-533-0417
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
For media inquiries, call 202-544-3389.


7) Supporters of Bay Area Grocery Workers
"We Will Fight to Defend Healthcare
in Our Communities!"
Major Customer Support Rally for
Bay Area Grocery Workers
Friday, October 15th, 4:00 p.m.
Safeway @ Market & Church Streets, S.F.
Who: Supporters of Bay Area Grocery Workers Labor,
Religious, and Civic leaders
This rally is sponsored by the San Francisco Labor
Council. For more information, please go to

This October 15th Please Join Us for a Major Rally in
San Francisco...

Last year hundreds of you came out in support of
Southern California grocery workers in their fight to
protect healthcare for their families.

Now, our contract covering over 30,000 workers in
Northern California is up and we are in need of your
help again. The large grocery companies are trying to
effectively eliminate healthcare for more than half of
their workers by creating a two-tier system for new

The majority of the costs will be picked up by
taxpayers when these families are forced to get their
healthcare from the County public health systems.

Please join us this October 15th in San Francisco to
send a loud message to Safeway CEO Steve Burd and the
other grocers:

We will Fight to Defend Healthcare in Our Communities!

The details:

What: Major Customer Support Rally

When: Friday, October 15th
4:00 p.m.

Where: Safeway @ Market & Church Streets
San Francisco

Who: Supporters of Bay Area Grocery Workers Labor,
Religious, and Civic leaders

This rally is sponsored by the San Francisco Labor
Council. For more information, please go to


8) From: "Lowell Revolution Youth"

Subject: Support our Prop N youth teach-in
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004


In case you have not already heard about it, we are holding a City
Wide High School Students Press Conference and Teach-In to support
Proposition N and to oppose the war in Iraq.

It will be held on Wednesday, October 20th at 4:00 p.m. in the
courtyard of Lowell High School (1101 Eucalyptus Dr. @ 26th Ave.).
The press conference will feature presentations from different high
school students from around the city and from adults and teachers. At
the press conference we will present petitions that we are
circulating throughout the San Francisco high schools. Right after
the press conference, we wil hold a teach-in that will eventually
turn into an open forum.

I would love it if you could come to the press conference and
teach-in and spread the word about these events to adults and
students alike. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns,
please feel free to e-mail me. Please help us to build and strengthen
our youth movement, because our generation will be the most affected
if we do not make changes now!

Thanks so much,
Jake Blanc
Lowell High School 11th grader


9) Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, shown Jan. 9, 1957,
was head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time the
plans were drawn up and presented to the secretary of defense.
(AP Photo Not Shown...BW)
Friendly Fire
Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize
U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba
By David Ruppe
N E W Y O R K, May 1

N E W Y O R K, May 1 - In the early 1960s, America's top military
leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit
acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war
against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods , the plans reportedly included
the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban
refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship,
and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and
the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then
new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military
casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay
and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause
a helpful wave of national indignation."

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a
new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history
of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However,
the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert
McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the
civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

"These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were
held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these
up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told

"The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to
the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military
trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but
that nobody else wants."

Gunning for War

The documents show "the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and
approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever
created by the U.S. government," writes Bamford.

The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of
astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American
into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective
is to provide irrevocable proof ... that the fault lies with the
Communists et all Cuba [sic]."

The plans were motivated by an intense desire among senior military
leaders to depose Castro, who seized power in 1959 to become the
first communist leader in the Western Hemisphere - only 90 miles
from U.S. shores.

The earlier CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles
had been a disastrous failure, in which the military was not allowed
to provide firepower.The military leaders now wanted a shot at it.

"The whole thing was so bizarre," says Bamford, noting public and
international support would be needed for an invasion, but apparently
neither the American public, nor the Cuban public, wanted to see
U.S. troops deployed to drive out Castro.

Reflecting this, the U.S. plan called for establishing prolonged
military - not democratic - control over the island nation after
the invasion.

"That's what we're supposed to be freeing them from," Bamford says.
"The only way we would have succeeded is by doing exactly what the
Russians were doing all over the world, by imposing a government
by tyranny, basically what we were accusing Castro himself of doing."

'Over the Edge'

The Joint Chiefs at the time were headed by Eisenhower appointee
Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who, with the signed plans in hand
made a pitch to McNamara on March 13, 1962, recommending
Operation Northwoods be run by the military.

Whether the Joint Chiefs' plans were rejected by McNamara in the
meeting is not clear. But three days later, President Kennedy told
Lemnitzer directly there was virtually no possibility of ever using
overt force to take Cuba, Bamford reports. Within months, Lemnitzer
would be denied another term as chairman and transferred to
another job.

The secret plans came at a time when there was distrust in the
military leadership about their civilian leadership, with leaders
in the Kennedy administration viewed as too liberal, insufficiently
experienced and soft on communism. At the same time, however,
there real were concerns in American society about their military
overstepping its bounds.

There were reports U.S. military leaders had encouraged their
subordinates to vote conservative during the election.

And at least two popular books were published focusing on a
right-wing military leadership pushing the limits against government
policy of the day. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee published
its own report on right-wing extremism in the military, warning a
"considerable danger" in the "education and propaganda activities
of military personnel" had been uncovered. The committee even
called for an examination of any ties between Lemnitzer and
right-wing groups. But Congress didn't get wind of Northwoods,
says Bamford.

"Although no one in Congress could have known at the time,"
he writes, "Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped
over the edge."

Even after Lemnitzer was gone, he writes, the Joint Chiefs continued
to plan "pretext" operations at least through 1963.

One idea was to create a war between Cuba and another Latin
American country so that the United States could intervene.
Another was to pay someone in the Castro government to attack
U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base - an act, which Bamford
notes, would have amounted to treason. And another was to fly
low level U-2 flights over Cuba, with the intention of having one
shot down as a pretext for a war.

"There really was a worry at the time about the military going off
crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn't for lack
of trying," he says.

After 40 Years

Ironically, the documents came to light, says Bamford, in part because
of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK , which examined the possibility of
a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy.

As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK's release,
Congress passed a law designed to increase the public's access
to government records related to the assassination.

The author says a friend on the board tipped him off to the

Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered
all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed,
says Bamford. But somehow, these remained.

"The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after,"
says Bamford.

The team presents
this information to inspire in you a
desire to strengthen democracy and to
build a better world together. Our website
focuses on providing reliable, verifiable
facts which are being hidden from
public view. By spreading this important
information, each of us can make a

To read the original declassified
Operation Northwoods documents posted on
the National Security Archive of
George Washington University, see
If you don't have time to read the
15-page declassified report, take a look
at the key excerpts below. We invite you
to then ask yourself, is it beyond
comprehension that this same kind of
thinking and planning could have led to 9/11?

Remember that these documents were
approved in writing by the Joint Chiefs of
Staff-the top generals of each branch of
the US armed forces-and submitted to
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
in 1962, though never acted upon. The
plans were classified top secret so that
the American public would not know how
it was being manipulated. They came to
light only because of a Freedom of
Information Act request in the late 1990s.
By going to
you can request these documents yourself from the US Department of


10) What happened to me today at Concordia University
By Shujaat Wasty

Montreal - October 5, 2004 (MMN): I didn't have class today, but I do
have quite a few tests and assignments due soon, since it's midterm
time, so I decided to head to school to do some research and to study.
Little did I know what would happen later that day.

Apparently, Hillel and other Zionist groups organized a "freedom of
speech rally" in front of Concordia, in protest of the Concordia
Administration refusing to let Ehud Barak speak on Campus.
3 friends (who are Muslim of different backgrounds) and I happened
to be walking by, when we decided to stand and listen to the various
speeches, just like others were doing.

Shortly thereafter, we were approached by a couple of plainclothes
policemen who identified themselves to be from the Montreal
Police Force. They asked us to step aside. We were taken aback,
and asked what the problem was. They then asked us which "side"
we were on. We were even more taken aback by this.

We told them we were students at Concordia, standing and listening
to the speeches. I asked them why they were asking us this question,
and why only us, while there were many other people standing around.
They responded by saying they wanted to keep things "peaceful".

We told them this was unconstitutional, this was racial profiling.
I also asked him if it was my skin colour, or my friend's beard that
made them approach us like this. I told them I know the constitution
of Canada and I know my rights, and my standing in front of my
school is not illegal, nor does it warrant them harassing us...and
only us. We informed one officer that this wasn't Israel or any other
repressive state. By this point, I noticed that we were surrounded
by numerous police officers and plainclothes police.

Then every media that was there (CTV/CFCF, CBC/Radio-Canada,
Global TV, 940 News, La Presse, etc.) surrounded us with questions,
and I ended up conducting a Press Conference.

There was a mixture of emotions that went through my mind. How
could us standing there, listening to a speech at an open rally, be
subjected to such behavior?? Why only us?? It was also quite
intimidating, to be surrounded by a bunch of police officers...
like wolves around sheep. They made us feel like criminals, for
standing there, listening to a speech on our school property:
because of the way we looked. It was embarrassing and despicable.

One journalist even said it was probably because my appearance
is Latino or Arab. I responded I'm neither, but EVEN if I was, does
this justify this behavior??

I've been lucky thus far in the sense where I haven't been subjected
to blatant racism of this magnitude...but this was honestly disgusting.
As a born & raised Canadian, I was subjected to open discrimination
for my physical appearance - I actually got a glimpse of how Jews felt
in the late 30's in Germany, of how blacks felt in the US and in
apartheid South Africa.

This world is becoming increasingly Islamophobic, and unfortunately,
even Canadian society is taking that route...yet some of us live in
denial. I urge you all to band together, to get active, to write, to
show that WE ARE Canadians, we are HUMANS, and that intolerant
actions such as this is against our morals as both of those groups.

Honestly, many of us don't feel for the victims of oppression
elsewhere in the world...but it may be that the day is not far where
we might become victims ourselves. What will we do then, when
it's too late??

I'm still shaken up and upset about it... :(

* Shujaat Wasty is a student at Concordia University. He can be
reached at:


11) Take them out, dude: pilots toast hit on Iraqi 'civilians'
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
06 October 2004

The Pentagon said yesterday it was investigating cockpit video footage
that shows American pilots attacking and killing a group of apparently
unarmed Iraqi civilians.

The 30-second clip shows the pilot targeting the group of people in
a street in the city of Fallujah and asking his mission controllers
whether he should "take them out". He is told to do so and, shortly
afterwards, the footage shows a huge explosion where the people
were. A second voice can be heard on the clip saying: "Oh, dude."

The existence of the video, taken last April inside the cockpit of a
US F-16 fighter has been known for some time, though last night's
broadcast by Channel 4 News is believed to be the first time a
mainstream broadcaster has shown the footage.

At no point during the exchange between the pilot and controllers
does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are armed or posing a threat.
Critics say it proves war crimes are being committed.

Also in Americas
The final judgement
No weapons, no programmes: nothing to justify the invasion
Stalemate in TV debate between Mr Grumpy and Mr Vigorous
The shadow of Fire Mountain
US running mates clash over Iraq

(c) 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


12) Israel: Palestinian State Shelved with U.S. Blessing
By Mark Heinrich
Wed Oct 6, 2004 06:16 AM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's plan to withdraw from occupied
Gaza will prevent a Palestinian state emerging and freeze
peacemaking, and all with Washington's approval, a key adviser
to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Wednesday.

Adviser Dov Weisglass effectively dismissed an international
"road map" peace plan.

His remarks, coinciding with a massive Israeli offensive into
Gaza, will help Sharon win over far-right foes opposed to Gaza
"disengagement" and challenging his grip on power.

"The significance of our disengagement plan is the freezing of
the peace process. It supplies the formaldehyde necessary so
there is no political process with Palestinians," Dov Weisglass
said in an interview published in Haaretz daily Wednesday.

"When you freeze the process, you prevent the establishment of
a Palestinian state ... Effectively, this whole package called a
Palestinian state, with all it entails, has been removed indefinitely
from our agenda," Weisglass said.

Palestinian leaders condemned the comments.

"I believe he has revealed the true intentions of Sharon. We told
the quartet (of U.S.-led peace mediators) eight months ago that
the Gaza plan was designed to undermine their road map," said
Palestinian Negotiations Minister Saeb Erekat.

Weisglass said there would be no talks on key issues such as
Palestinian refugees, borders and the status of Jerusalem in
the foreseeable future. "And all this with authority and permission,
all with a presidential blessing."

President Bush in April approved Sharon's plan to pull settlers
from tiny Gaza in 2005 while holding onto larger Jewish enclaves
in the West Bank, displacing the "road map" which promises
Palestinians a viable state.

"By the way the Americans read the situation, the blame fell on
the Palestinians, not on us, Arik (Sharon) grasped that (the Palestinians)
would not leave us alone ... and time was not on our side," Haaretz
quoted Weisglass as saying.

"What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of
the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not
be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns," he said.


Weisglass blamed Palestinian suicide bombings and militant
violence for the diplomatic vacuum. Palestinians blame Israeli
offensives as well as continued settlement activity in the West
Bank. Israel captured both lands in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel's dovish opposition said peace should come first.

"These stalling games will come at our expense. Can Israel
expect to stop diplomatic processes around the world? We should
not delude ourselves," said Labor Party leader Shimon Peres.
"Until we have peace we (cannot expect) calm and security."

Weisglass said 190,000 of the 240,000 settlers would stay
in place under Sharon's plan which suggests 40,000 more
settlers would leave than the "disengagement" plan previously

Palestinian leaders say "disengagement" is a gambit to dash
their statehood dream by confining 2.5 million Palestinians in
the West Bank to patches of land separated by settlement blocs.

They fear Sharon feels free to do as he pleases given
Bush's preoccupation with a re-election campaign in which he
will need Jewish votes, and with a troubled U.S.-led occupation
of Iraq.

Israeli armored forces stormed into northern Gaza a week
ago in a concerted bid to smash militants responsible for
frequent rocket fire into nearby Israeli border areas.

Seventy-five Palestinians have been killed, 30 of them
civilians, according to local hospital figures. Three Israelis
including a woman settler have been killed.

Washington Tuesday vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council
resolution demanding an immediate end to Israel's offensive,
saying it failed to mention Palestinian attacks.

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


13) US Vetoes Resolution Calling for Israeli Halt to Gaza Operations
By Gerald Nadler
Published on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 by the Associated Press

The United States vetoed an Arab-backed UN Security Council
resolution calling for a halt to Israeli military operations in Gaza.

Last night's vote in the 15-member Security Council was 11 in
favour, one against, and three abstentions by Britain, Germany
and Romania.

Palestinian medics carry four children with the youngest being
six months old (R), who were wounded after an Israeli tank fired
a shell while they were sleeping at their home, in Beit Lahiya town
north of Gaza Strip October 6, 2004. Israeli tanks shelled a town
in the in the northern Gaza Strip early on Wednesday, killing three
Palestinians and wounding 10 children in their houses, witnesses
and medics said. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The US called the resolution "lopsided and unbalanced" but its
veto was followed by a chorus of denunciations.

Israel launched the operation six days ago after a Palestinian
rocket killed two children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
The drive into Gaza has left at least 75 Palestinians dead.

The US Ambassador John Danforth cast the veto after British and
German efforts to find compromise language failed. He said of the
resolution: "It is dangerously disingenuous because of its many
material omissions. Because of this lack of balance, because of these
omissions, the resolution lacks credibility and deserves a 'no' vote."

Mr Danforth said that while condemning Israeli acts of violence,
it did not mention that the Palestinians have fired more than
200 rockets against Israeli towns this year alone. He said:
"There's an old saying that silence means consent. The silence
here is deafening."

The resolution put the blame on Israel "and absolves terrorists
in the Middle East - people who shoot rockets into civilian areas,
people who are responsible for killing children."

Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian representative, said that "the
council failed to take a stand against the bloodshed ... by the
Israeli forces" because of Washington's veto.

He said the veto was the seventh by the Bush administration on
the Israeli-Palestinians conflict and the 29th since 1976. He heard
much talk about the two Israeli children killed in the rocket attack,
but none about a 13-year-old Palestinian girl that he said was
riddled with 30 bullets as she walked to school.

Citing the high casualty toll and extensive destruction during the
Israeli offensive, Algeria's UN Ambassador Abdallah Baali, the only
Arab member of the council, said, "It is a sad day for the Palestinians
and it is a sad day for justice."

The resolution would have condemned "the broad military incursion
and attacks by the Israeli occupying forces in the area of northern
Gaza Strip, including in and around the Jabaliya refugee camp,
resulting in extensive human casualties and destruction and
exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation."

The defeated draft demanded "the immediate cessation of all military
operations in the area of northern Gaza and the withdrawal of the
Israeli occupying forces from that area."

It called for a cessation of violence, adherence to international
humanitarian law, and for Israel and the Palestinians to immediately
implement the long-stalled "road map" to peace backed by the
United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia.

The Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman defended the Israeli operation,
saying Israel has a right to defend its citizens.

"All we are trying to do in this operation is to try to get those
missiles out of the range of our cities and out of the bodies of
our children. And I think anything we do should be justified
because it is the clearest manifestation of self-defence."

(c) 2004 Associated Press



14) U.S. Inspector Says Iraq Had No Banned Weapons
By Vicki Allen and Tabassum Zakaria
Thu Oct 7, 2004 06:59 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq had no stockpiles of biological
and chemical weapons and its nuclear program had decayed before
last year's U.S.-led invasion, the chief U.S. weapons inspector
said on Wednesday, in findings contrary to prewar assertions of
the Bush administration.

President Bush had cited a growing threat from Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction as one of the main reasons for
overthrowing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Despite the new
findings and a growing Iraqi insurgency, Bush told a campaign
rally on Wednesday the war was justified.

"I still do not expect that militarily significant WMD
stocks are cached in Iraq," Charles Duelfer, the CIA special
adviser who led the hunt for unconventional weapons, said in
testimony to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

He said Iraq's nuclear weapons program had deteriorated
since the 1991 Gulf War, after which U.N. weapons inspectors
were in Iraq, but Saddam did not abandon nuclear ambitions.

"The analysis shows that despite Saddam's expressed desire
to retain the knowledge of his nuclear team, and his attempts
to retain some key parts of the program, during the course of
the following 12 years (after 1991) Iraq's ability to produce a
weapon decayed," Duelfer said.

Some chemical weapons were uncovered in postwar Iraq but
they all predated the 1991 Gulf War, Duelfer said. His report
said Iraq had destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991
and there was no evidence that it resumed production.

Iraq also appears to have destroyed its stocks of
biological weapons in 1991 and 1992, but if it decided to
restart that program it could have produced mustard agent in
months and nerve agent in less than a year, Duelfer said.

Iraq's arms capability has been a prominent campaign issue
for the Nov. 2 U.S. presidential election, with Democratic
challenger Sen. John Kerry saying Bush rushed to war without
allowing U.N. inspections enough time to investigate Iraq's

Duelfer's report "is a very significant commentary on the
mistaken case for war presented by this administration," Mike
McCurry, a senior Kerry adviser, told reporters in Colorado.

Bush said in a speech in Pennsylvania that the concern was
that terrorists would get banned weapons from Saddam.

"There was a risk, a real risk, that Saddam Hussein would
pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist
networks," Bush said. "In the world after September the 11th,
that was a risk we could not afford to take," he said.

A persistent insurgency in postwar Iraq has targeted
U.S.-led forces, foreign workers, and Iraqi civilians involved
in forming a new government, with bombings and kidnappings.
More than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died since the invasion.


Duelfer said that since he last briefed the U.S. Congress
in March, a risk had emerged that chemical weapons experts from
Saddam's former regime could have linked up with insurgents
fighting the U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

"I believe we got ahead of this problem through a series of
raids throughout the spring and summer," he said.

On what has been a contentious issue, Duelfer's report said
there was no evidence that Iraq sought uranium from abroad
after 1991.

Bush in his State of the Union speech before the war had
said Iraq had been seeking to buy uranium from Africa. It was
later discovered that the claim was based partly on fake

The Duelfer report said Saddam ended Iraq's nuclear program
after the Gulf war, and there was no evidence of concerted
efforts to restart it.

White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice had
evoked in 2002 a potential nuclear threat when she said: "We
don't want 'the smoking gun' to be a mushroom cloud."

A shipment of aluminum tubes seized in 2001 had been cited
by U.S. officials as key evidence that Iraq was reconstituting
its nuclear program. However, Duelfer said, "those tubes were
most likely destined for a rocket program."

The WMD hunt uncovered labs run by Iraqi intelligence that
showed production of small amounts of poisons, including ricin
-- but for use in assassinations, not military weapons.

The Duelfer report, which includes assessments based on FBI
interrogations of Saddam, said the former Iraqi leader intended
to rebuild his weapons capabilities once U.N. sanctions were
lifted. (Additional reporting by Greg Frost in Colorado)

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


15) Two girls, two shots to the head
Palestinian 15-year-olds among growing number of children
hit by Israeli snipers during 'Days of Penitence'
Chris McGreal in Jabaliya refugee camp
The Guardian
Wednesday October 6, 2004,,1320612,00.html

Islam Dwidar's classmates were still taking in her shocking death -
the teacher weeping outside before facing the girls, her closest
friend recounting how they walked to school together each day -
when the news arrived about Tahreer Abu El Jidyan.

The two 15-year-old pupils at Jabaliya's school were both shot in
the head by Israeli soldiers inside their homes just a few blocks and
several hours apart. Islam died almost immediately after the bullet
smashed through her forehead as she baked bread with her mother
in their yard on Sunday. Tahreer is still on life support at a Gaza
hospital after an operation to remove shards of shattered skull
from her brain.

She lies motionless, with little to suggest she is alive other than
gentle breathing. Doctors do not expect her to survive.

Tahreer's mother, Intisar, was at her bedside yesterday.

"Oh Tahreer, my heart. I wish I were lying in this bed, not you,"
she whispered to her child. "She was sweeping the floor in front
of the door," said Mrs Abu El Jidyan. "I was standing talking to her.
We knew the Israeli soldiers were around, we knew they had snipers
in the buildings on our street but we didn't expect what happened.
They just shot her in the head. Her brains spilled out. She said: 'Mum,
I'm hit'. She praised God and she collapsed."

There were two bullets. The first struck Tahreer in the head. As
she fell, the second hit the wall behind her. "I've no doubt a sniper
shot her deliberately. There was no fighting in the area. There were
no other shots, only the ones that hit Tahreer," said her mother.

With her stood Tahreer's 14-year-old brother, Naser, who was
wounded by shrapnel last week. Israeli forces killed their father
11 years ago during the first intifada.

Mrs Abu El Jidyan regrets preventing Tahreer from walking to
school on Sunday morning. She thought it would be too dangerous
to venture out of their home in Jabaliya's Sikka neighborhood
because it is on the edge of the area occupied by Israeli troops and
tanks last week. Snipers are posted in buildings overlooking their
street and a tank is less than a block away.

"I wouldn't let her out of the house but it was dangerous at home
too. When there was fighting, bullets came through the walls. We
stopped using some rooms on the side where the Israelis are,"
she said.

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups say that about half of
the nearly 80 people killed by the army over the past week of
"Operation Days of Penitence" are civilians. The military says it
has carefully targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters with
missile strikes.

But while the numbers are in dispute - in part because it is often
hard to say whether youths in their mid to late teens are bystanders
or part of the Palestinian resistance - there is no doubt that a
growing number of children have been felled by Israeli snipers.

At Islam and Tahreer's school in Jabaliya yesterday morning, the
headmistress, Rukaya Kamal al Budani, fielded calls from parents
wanting to know if it was safe to send their girls. "If they can get
here, it's safe," was her stock reply. But of 1,150 pupils, fewer
than 200 turned up.

Before word reached the school about Tahreer, Mrs al Budani
was getting to grips with the death of Islam.

"This is our first casualty at the school," she said. "I don't know
how to deal with the girls. It's going to have a big impact on her
classmates and friends. I'm shocked that no one in the free world
condemns the killing of a child."

Then one of the male teachers tells Mrs al Budani about the
shooting of Tahreer the previous day. The headmistress sits
in silence.

Until June, the two young women had been classmates, but
then Tahreer failed her exams and was held back for a year.
Asmaa Abu Samaan walked to school with her each morning.

"I met her in front of my house each morning to walk to school.
I did my homework with her. I keep thinking that if she is brain
-dead and not killed perhaps she is still suffering. I can't stand
it," she said.

Asmaa walked to school yesterday morning without her friend.
"I walked against the wall hoping the soldiers can't see me.
I want to go to school because I know the Jews do not want us
to study because we need to be educated to build our country,"
she said.

But the killing went on as the conflict claimed the life of another
teenage girl in the Gaza strip yesterday. Palestinian medics said
Israeli soldiers fired about 20 bullets into 13- year-old Iman
al-Hams, including five into her head.

The military said she had entered a forbidden zone in Rafah
refugee camp, and that she dropped a bag that soldiers feared
was a bomb.

The Palestinians said Iman was walking to school when troops
entered the camp and that she dropped her bag as she ran
away in fear.

The bag was not found to contain a bomb.
Guardian Unlimited (c) Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


16) Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.
By Carol D. Leonnig, Jo Becker and David Nakamura
The Washington Post
Tuesday 05 October 2004

Utilities manipulate or withhold test results to ward off regulators.
Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used
to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of
Americans at risk of drinking more of the contaminant than their
suppliers are reporting.

Some cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, have thrown out
tests that show high readings or have avoided testing homes most
likely to have lead, records show. In New York City, the nation's largest
water provider has for the past three years assured its 9.3 million
customers that its water was safe because the lead content fell below
federal limits. But the city has withheld from regulators hundreds
of test results that would have raised lead levels above the safety
standard in two of those years, according to records.

The result is that communities large and small may have a false
sense of security about the quality of their water and that utilities
can avoid spending money to correct the problem.

In some cases, state regulators have helped the utilities avoid
costly fixes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is
supposed to ensure that states are monitoring utilities, has also let
communities ignore requirements to reduce lead. In 2003, records
show, the EPA ordered utilities to remedy violations in just 14 cases,
less than one-tenth of the number ordered in 1997.

Taken together, the records point to a national problem just
months after disclosures that lead levels in the District's water are
among the highest in the country, a problem the city's utility
concealed for months. Documents from other cities show that
many have made similar efforts to hide high lead readings, taking
advantage of lax national and state oversight and regulations riddled
with loopholes.

The Washington Post examined 65 large water systems whose
reported lead levels have hovered near or exceeded federal standards.
Federal, state and utility records show that dozens of utilities
obscured the extent of lead contamination, ignored requirements
to correct problems and failed to turn over data to regulators.

Jim Elder, who headed the EPA's drinking water program from
1991 to 1995, said he fears that utilities are engaging in "widespread
fraud and manipulation."

"It's time to reconsider whether water utilities can be trusted
with this crucial responsibility of protecting the public. I fear for
the safety of our nation's drinking water," said Elder, now a water
consultant. "Apparently, it's a real crapshoot as to what's going to
come out of the tap and whether it will be healthy or not."

Recent attention to the dangers of the District's drinking water
has prompted scientists and some members of Congress to call for
revamping the lead rules in the 30-year-old Safe Drinking Water Act,
which was aimed at limiting dangerous contaminants flowing out of
the tap. EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt declined to be interviewed
for this article, but his agency has said that a major overhaul to its
regulations is unnecessary.

"We have not identified a systemic problem," EPA Acting Assistant
Administrator Benjamin H. Grumbles told Congress in July. In an
interview, Grumbles said, "We are going full throttle" to pinpoint
lead levels across the country. "So far," he said, "we have not seen
anything that closely resembles the District in the data we've received."

EPA data analyzed by The Post identified 274 utilities, which
together serve 11.5 million people, that have reported unsafe lead
levels since 2000. Those numbers do not include cities where testing
methods concealed true lead levels.

Utility officials defend their testing methods, saying that they are
not designed to deceive the government and that state regulators
approved their practices. Others argue that they should not have to
spend millions to remove lead that often leaches from their customers'
own fixtures.

Some suppliers have worked hard to avoid lead problems. The
utility in Kansas City, Mo., tested its water more frequently and
treated it more aggressively than the law required. And after the
District's problem surfaced, several other jurisdictions in the
Washington region voluntarily tested their water and found less
contamination than in the city.

Lynn Stovall, a Greenville, S.C., utility manager and member of
the American Water Works Association, said many utilities are
"hard-pressed" and need more public funding to comply with
mounting regulations and improve aging plants.

"The drinking water community faces a complex array of
expensive new federal requirements and new standards," Stovall
told Congress at this summer's hearing on lead.

Lead exposure can cause serious health problems, including
lower IQs in children and brain and kidney damage in adults.
Although health experts agree that no amount of lead in drinking
water is considered safe, there is some dispute about how much
tainted water has to be consumed to cause permanent damage.
Because the effect is cumulative, lead in water is particularly
problematic in older, urban areas where children are more likely
to also be exposed to lead paint, which utilities note is a more
prevalent threat.

Despite the health risk caused by lead in water, efforts to
eliminate it have run up against other realities, including the
high cost of replacing underground pipes that contain lead.
Recognizing that states lacked the resources to carefully monitor
more than 90 contaminants covered by federal law, the EPA
issued lists of priorities starting in 1996. In both cases, its top
concern was microbes, which can sicken large populations
overnight. Lead did not make the list, and this year, the EPA
dropped drinking water altogether from its enforcement
priority list, records show.

Competing interests were also in play in 1991 when the
EPA wrote new rules on lead. The compromise that emerged
requires that, when lead levels exceed 15 parts per billion,
utilities must inform the public, treat the water to make it less
corrosive or, in some cases, replace pipes.

Because of the cost, many utilities are reluctant to act. In
the District, where the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority is under
an order to replace service lines, water customers are expected
to pay for most of the $350 million project over the rest of the

Withholding Results

Water suppliers are required by law to test for lead regularly
- the largest utilities must check the water in at least 50 homes
once every three years. They must follow a strict regimen, trying
consistently to test the same "high risk" homes most likely to
have lead problems. High-risk homes are defined as those with
lead service lines or built in the 1980s, before lead solder in
plumbing was banned.

Because so few homes are tested, the results of just one or
two can mean the difference between passing and failing.
Utilities are required to report to regulators all their test results
- good and bad.

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority knew in the summer of
2001 that its water contained unsafe lead levels, but it withheld
six high test results and said the water was fine, records show.
When it tested over the next two years, records show, WASA
dropped half of the homes that had previously tested high for
lead and avoided high-risk homes.

The EPA, which cited WASA for violations in June, called the
utility's practices unprecedented and a "serious breach" of the

Documents show that water systems across the country
have used similar practices.

In such cities as Boston and Detroit, records indicate that
utilities have failed to test the high-risk homes they were
required to check. State regulators and the EPA discovered in
the spring that at least one-fourth of the locations tested in
the Boston area were not high risk and ordered the utility to
revamp its program, records show.

After several years of above-the-limit test results, New
York water officials reported that tests in 2000 showed lead
had fallen to safe levels. But the city had not reported all of its
results Records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act
request revealed more than 300 withheld test results that, if
reported, would have given New York water a failing grade for
safety in 2001 and 2002. That would have required the city to
alert the public to the problem and take expensive steps to fix it.

Christopher O. Ward, commissioner of New York's Department
of Environmental Protection, said his agency is "highly confident"
the city's water is safe. He said extra tests were taken to ensure
that the city had a sufficient number to report to regulators, though
he said the agency did not formally notify state and city regulators
of this practice or seek their approval. Ward said that he believed
this complied with the rules and that it was unfair now to count
irrelevant results.

"In light of the issues that have recently been raised, DEP is in
the process of reviewing our lead and copper monitoring to ensure
that all requirements in the regulations are being met," Ward said.

In a similar situation, when WASA said the six test results it
withheld were replacement or backup samples, the EPA cited
the utility and said it was a violation of the law.

In Philadelphia, state and utility officials said they could
produce none of the required documentation for their decision
to toss out a high test result in 2002. The federal law does not
allow utilities to discard high tests except under very limited
circumstances, and the utilities must carefully document their

Utility director Gary Burlingame said in an interview that the
high test result "didn't jibe" with past tests and that the utility
decided it should be discarded after learning the house had
undergone plumbing work. Had that test been counted, records
show, it would have put Philadelphia over the federal safety limit
and required corrective steps.

The law prohibits throwing out tests for the reasons given in
Lansing, Mich., in 2001 - that homeowners did not follow directions
in collecting them. Four discarded tests would have put the water
over the federal lead limit, documents show. In one case, the
homeowner disputed the reason the utility gave for tossing her
sample - that the occupants had been away overnight.

"That's a big, fat lie," said Jennie Horiszny, an 85-year-old
Lansing resident. She said she had not gone out of town and
had carefully followed the utility's instructions not to run the water
overnight. She remembers pouring glasses of water before going
to bed in case she or her husband became thirsty - and taking the
sample first thing in the morning. "That's what the directions said
to do, and that's what I did," she said. "It was a clean sample."

John Strickler, a spokesman for the Lansing water system, said,
"I find it hard to believe that any of our employees would have
made that up." He said the city has voluntarily embarked on an
aggressive plan to replace lead service lines, in part because "we
started seeing news stories" about the District's problem.

Federal law also requires utilities to try to test the same homes
over time and prohibits dropping any merely because they have
tested high.

After exceeding the acceptable limits in 2000, the Ridgewood,
N.J., water system dumped "hot" houses that had tested high,
records show. Frank Moritz Sr., director of operations for
Ridgewood's water department, said that was not done by
design. "Each year, we take out the previous year's list and
ask if they want to participate," he said.

But five residents whose homes showed high lead readings
said in interviews that the utility never informed them of the
results or asked them to test again.

"It would have been nice if someone had looked out for us,"
said Matthew Criscenzo, whose son was 4 at the time. "Obviously,
this news is causing some alarm."

Bradley M. Campbell, New Jersey's commissioner of
environmental protection and an EPA official in the Clinton
administration, said that his agency is "actively investigating"
testing irregularities uncovered by The Post in Ridgewood and
other communities in northern New Jersey and that it could take
action against some utilities. "The public has a paramount right
to know" the true lead levels in those communities, he said.

Just as dropping tests can lower the official lead figures, so
can adding tests.

The utility in Providence, R.I., exceeded safe lead levels in
2002. Instead of informing the public, as required, records
show that the utility waited and, the next summer, sampled
30 more homes, most of which showed very low lead and
brought levels below the federal standard. Utility officials said
they believed that their actions complied with the law. June
Swallow, the Rhode Island official charged with overseeing utilities,
said Providence did not comply and that the state will in the future
ensure that utilities test within the requisite four-month period.

Frequent Irregularities

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states must oversee
utilities to ensure that they follow the law and the EPA is
required to step in when states fail to correct problems.

For the most part, states take the word of utilities, doing
little to check whether they are testing properly. The EPA's most
recent audits point out that testing irregularities are common. Also,
states frequently miss the violations or fail to force utilities to take
required steps to reduce lead, according to the audits.

The latest EPA audit of Hawaii's program, for instance, found in
2001 that regulators there "put an emphasis on 'helping' " utilities "
rather than enforcing the law."

Records show that regulators rarely force communities to replace
lead service lines, even in such cases as Yonkers, N.Y., where the law
required it because repeated tests showed excessive lead levels.

In Seattle, the city missed a 1997 deadline to reduce lead by
making its water less corrosive. The state of Washington gave it
six extra years to correct the problem, allowing high lead to persist
until last year. Denise Clifford, director of the state's office of drinking
water, said the delay gave Seattle time to build treatment facilities
that will reduce lead and other more serious contaminants.

"I know this doesn't look like a good decision to a lot of people,"
she said, but "there are more acute public health risks than lead."

In the interim, more than 43,000 Seattle residents - including
Nimi Sandhu - gave birth, according to vital records statistics.
Sandhu used unfiltered tap water to make her babies' formula,
unaware of the lead levels.

"It's outrageous - the state is supposed to be protecting us,"
said Sandhu, whose children are 5, 4 and 10 months old. "I don't
know how they can live with themselves knowing that they were
possibly endangering children."

State officials say they are forced to engage in a form of triage.

"It's tough, given all the other priorities out there for drinking
water, to oversee this rule at that level of detail," said Barker G.
Hamill, chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.

If states fail to enforce the law, the EPA is the last line of
defense. But the agency devotes four times the staff to enforcing
the laws that govern sewage released into rivers and lakes as it
does to safeguarding the nation's drinking water supply, records
show. The agency has 72 enforcement employees to oversee the
nation's drinking water laws - one employee for every 2,238 water

"We can't afford to do these kind of checks everywhere, and neither
can the states," said Jon M. Capacasa, water administrator in the EPA's
mid-Atlantic office.

Officials at EPA headquarters say the need for intervention has
declined over the years, because more utilities understand and
comply with the law. But sometimes the EPA is without the
information it needs to act.

A March report by the agency's inspector general found that
the data the EPA uses to assess water quality are "flawed and
incomplete" because states are not reporting violations, despite
legal requirements.

But even when it is aware of a problem, the agency does not
always enforce the law, records show.

It didn't do so in Portland, Ore., for instance, where excessive
lead persisted through much of the past decade. The state
approved the city's decision to launch a public education campaign
on lead dangers rather than build an expensive treatment plant to
comply with the law.

Lead levels climbed, and in 2002 the EPA stepped in, but not
to discipline the city. Instead, the agency suggested testing more
homes in the suburbs. The utility dropped more than half the homes
with lead higher than the federal limit, replacing them with suburban
homes that had, on average, significantly lower levels, records show.

"That change in the sampling population helped" the city slip
back under the federal limit, said Mark Knudson, the Portland
Water Bureau's director of operations. EPA officials said that that
was not their goal and that they had recommended the changes
to get a fuller picture across the area.

Although top EPA officials have contended that the law does
a good job of catching most problems, those charged with enforcing
it do not always agree. EPA regulators who met in the spring in
Newport, R.I., noted in a three-page memo a series of loopholes
that weaken the law. Among them: Nothing requires utilities to
notify individual homeowners that their water has high lead, and
the regulation does not allow the same stiff sanctions for high lead
that it does for other contaminants such as bacteria.

At headquarters, the EPA's Grumbles has said in recent weeks
that he will push to ensure that cities are complying with the law
when they test and that he will consider changes early next year,
such as stricter rules for notifying the public. But critics fear that,
without much tougher laws and enforcement, unsafe water in other
communities may not come to light.

"The problems we know about are just the tip of the iceberg,"
said Erik D. Olson of the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense
Council, "because utilities are gaming the system, states have
often been willing to ignore long-standing violations and the
EPA sits on the sidelines and refuses to crack down."


By Jonathan Weisman and Robin Wright
** State Department to Rethink U.S. Effort **
Washington Post
October 6, 2004

As little as 27 cents of every dollar spent on Iraq's reconstruction has
actually filtered down to projects benefiting Iraqis, a statistic that is
prompting the State Department to fundamentally rethink the Bush
administration's troubled reconstruction effort.

Between soaring security costs, corruption and mismanagement, contractors'
profits, and U.S. governmental costs, reconstruction funding is being
away, leaving little left to improve the lives of Iraqis, according to an
analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Senior administration officials and congressional experts on the
reconstruction effort called the analysis credible. One senior U.S.
familiar with reconstruction suggested as little as a quarter of the funding
is reaching its intended projects.

The State Department will acknowledge the problem in a quarterly report to
Congress today and say that the United States is trying to accelerate aid
redirect how it is spent, U.S. officials said yesterday. But the Bush
administration is still not meeting the goal it set this summer to inject
million to $400 million monthly into Iraq's economy by Sept. 1, the

"We're moving funds faster, but not at the rate we set for ourselves," a
senior U.S. official involved in Iraq policy said.

With little fanfare, Congress last week approved the Bush administration's
request to reallocate $3.46 billion from long-term infrastructure projects
more pressing security and job-creation programs. The transfer marks a
significant refocusing of the year-old, $18.4 billion effort to rebuild

But administration officials, lawmakers and think tanks say major changes
needed not only in what the reconstruction money is spent on but also how it
is spent. Too much money has been filtered through major American
such as Halliburton Co. and Bechtel Corp. on large-scale electricity, water
and oil infrastructure projects, and not nearly enough has gone to smaller,
more decentralized reconstruction efforts that could be handled by Iraqis,
they say.

"When you're doing these large-scale programs, these design-and-build
contracts and mega-program projects, you eat up a lot of money in
administration and management costs," said a senior U.S. official familiar
with the reconstruction effort. "What we've learned is that we have to use
Iraqis, provide more employment, lower our costs and deliver a project that
would be close enough to what they want, even if it's not perfect by
standards. We're moving in that direction -- finally."

Politically unpopular foreign aid programs have traditionally been sold to
taxpayers as ultimately benefiting them because most of the money goes to
companies, said Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Appropriations
Committee's subcommittee on foreign operations, which is responsible for the
reconstruction funding. Iraq has been no different.

"We have to have a complete change of mind-set," Kolbe said.

In a report released a week ago, Iraq Revenue Watch, a watchdog group funded
by liberal philanthropist George Soros, analyzed contracts worth more than
million that have been funded with Iraqi oil revenue over the past year. Of
the 39 contracts so far, U.S. and British firms have received 85 percent of
the value, the group said. Iraqi firms have received 2 percent.

Of the $7.1 billion so far obligated to reconstruction projects, nearly a
third will be spent on security, according to the CSIS. Roughly 6 percent
will be taken as contractor profit, 10 percent finances U.S. government
overhead, and more than a quarter will be lost to mismanagement, corruption,
insurance costs and the soaring salaries of non-Iraqi workers.

Mounting violence has sent the cost of security skyrocketing. Routine
convoys now need constant security surveillance. And increasing demand has
more than doubled the salaries of security guards, said Doug Brooks,
of the International Peace Operations Association, a trade group
private security contractors. A year ago, a U.S. security firm could hire a
Nepalese Gurkha soldier for $1,000 a month. Now the cost is more than
Former U.S. Special Forces soldiers can command $700 a day to protect
"high-value" targets.

"When you have risks this high, the profits are going to be high," Brooks
said. "That's inevitable."

On top of that, bribery has become "just the reality of doing business,"
Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the inspector general of the Coalition
Provisional Authority.

What is left is 27 cents on each dollar to build roads and schools, prepare
for elections, and repair decrepit water and electricity systems, the CSIS
analysis concluded.

Administration officials called that breakdown "credible." Kolbe suggested
that overhead and security costs swallowed half the $1.1 billion spent so
on reconstruction. As violence escalates, that percentage could get worse
before it gets better.

"Little is being accomplished," said Rep. Nita M. Lowey (N.Y.), the ranking
Democrat on the Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee. "The Iraqi
people are not seeing much benefit."

Senior State Department officials are beginning to change course, Lowey
acknowledged. Most of the $3.46 billion being shifted from large
infrastructure programs will go toward training Iraqi security forces. But
$380 million will be earmarked for economic reforms, private-sector
development and agriculture programs. And $286 million will go to
"make-work" projects, enough to employ 800,000 Iraqis in short order, State
Department officials say.

That would be a dramatic increase from the 74,770 Iraqis currently employed
the reconstruction effort, Mitchell said.

In the run-up to January's scheduled election in Iraq, U.S. authorities hope
to inject $300 million to $400 million a month into Iraqi-identified
and job-creation efforts. The success of that effort could have enormous
consequences for pro-Western candidates as Iraqis go to the polls to elect
country's first democratic government.

But administration and congressional sources cautioned the shift may not
A high-ranking official in the now-disbanded provisional government said
occupation authorities set up a make-work program early on, aiming to hire
100,000 Iraq is to clean up canals, dig ditches and do other "messy, dirty"
jobs as day laborers. At its height, 60,000 workers signed up.

"It's not like somebody slapped his forehead and said, 'Oh, short-term work
creation is the way to do it,' " said the official, who spoke on the
of anonymity at the request of his current employer. "We didn't do it as
as we wanted, but we did try."

In some cases, large U.S. contractors are employing Americans to do work
Iraqis could handle for a fraction of the cost, such as driving buses, the
former occupation official said. But some reconstruction efforts will still
have to stay in the hands of Western contractors, Kolbe said. "You can't do
electrical distribution in little, decentralized projects," he said.


Hello Prop N Supporters:

We have 14 events coming up in SF that are good opportunities
for promotion -- details below. We still need people to go to 6 of
the 14 -- those 6 have "**" in front of them.

People or groups that have already offered to canvass at some events
are also listed below.

Prop N posters and pamphlets can be picked up at Global Exchange:
2017 Mission St. (at 16th).

Remember that tonight is the next organizing meeting. 7-9 PM at
Global Exchange.

Thanks to all the folks who helped pass out stuff at the "Struggle
for Palestine" conference, Castro St. Fair, Reggae in the Park and
at today's Voter Registration event at SF State.

-- Jon

Upcoming SF Events

The Women's Building 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit
Thursday, October 7th 2004 07:00 pm
PROP N PROMOTION: Material at Global Exchange Table

In The Street Theater Festival
October 8 (Friday) - October 9 (Saturday)
PROP N PROMOTION: Nancy and Krista
location: Tenderloin
(500 block of Ellis Street between Leavenworth and Hyde)
schedule of events:
October 8 » 5 pm - 10 pm
October 9 » 11 am - 6 pm

Fahrenheit 9/11 Showing
October 8 (Friday) - October 9 (Saturday)
PROP N PROMOTION: Material at Global Exchange Table
location: Ft. Mason

** The Cal-Italia Wine & Food Tasting
October 9 (Saturday)
location: Washington Square Park in the heart of North Beach,
San Francisco. North Beach is San Francisco's historic Italian
district, filled with restaurants, shops, galleries and tourist sites
time:2PM - 6PM (trade welcome at noon)
admission: Tickets are $35 advance/ $40 day

** Burning Man Decompression Party
October 10 (Sunday)
location:Café Cocomo, Indiana and Mariposa, Potrero Hill
time: 11 am to midnight
admission: $20

** The George Bush Going Away Party
Saturday, October 9th 2004 08:00 pm
Tix: $22.50, $25, & $27.50
Location: The Herbst Theatre 401 Van Ness Ave @ McAllister
San Francisco 94102

** Doggone Fun Run
Benefiting Pets Unlimited & PAWS
October 10 (Sunday)
location: Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park
30th Avenue and Fulton Street entrance, near Spreckles Lake
San Francisco, CA 94110
time:9 am - 2 pm, 9 am (Fair & Warm-ups), 10 am (Run)

The Big Band Duel & BBQ Cook-Off
October 10 (Sunday)
location: Fillmore & Eddy Street Lot
time: 11 am - 6 pm

Italian Heritage Parade
The oldest and largest Columbus Day parade in the West
October 10 (Sunday)
location: The Parade action begins at 12:30 pm at the foot
of Jefferson and Stockton Streets in Fisherman's Wharf,
proceeds south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue,
and ends in Washington Square in front of Sts. Peter and Paul
time: 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Clement Street Festival
San Francisco, CA
October 16 10:00 am
October 17 10:00 am
admission: Free

Fiesta on the Hill
October 17 (Sunday)
location: Cortland Avenue between Folsom and Bocana
San Francisco, CA
Accessible by Muni #24, 14, 67
time: 11 am to 7 pm
admission: Free

** Rock n' Register 04
Voice your Vote
October 17 (Sunday)
location: Dolores Park (Dolores St. between 18th & 21st)
San Francisco, CA 94110
time:12 noon - 6 pm

** Day of Meditation and Prayer for Peace
Saturday, October 23rd 2004 10:00 am
Admission is free but registration is required. To register, visit
Location: Herbst Pavilion Fort Mason San Francisco

San Francisco Comedy Day Celebration
October 31
Time: Noon-5pm
Location: Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park