Friday, December 10, 2004


Please distribute in San Francisco Bay Area.

BAUAW presents a screening of the new documentary film:

"WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception"
and a discussion afterward with director
Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector".

Saturday, Dec. 11th, 2004
7:30 PM
Embarcadero Center Cinema
One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, San Francisco

The TV networks in America considered their non-stop coverage
of the war in Iraq their finest hour, pointing to the use of embedded
journalists and new technologies. But different countries saw
different wars. Why? WMD explores this story with the findings
of gutsy insider-turned-outsider Danny Schechter, a former
network journalist and one of America's most prolific media
critics. Schechter "self-embedded" himself in his living room,
fastidiously monitoring and tracking TV coverage on a daily
basis. The resulting film busts through so-called "objective
reporting" to challenge media complicity with the government
and its cooperation in presenting the Iraq War the way it did.

WMD web site and movie trailer:

This screening presented by Bay Area United Against War

(Distributed by Cinema Libre Studio,




1380 Valencia Street
(Between 24th & 25th Streets, S.F.)


Fallujah Pictures
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 09, 2004

Two weeks ago someone was allowed into Fallujah by the military to help
bury bodies. They were allowed to take photographs of 75 bodies, in
order to show pictures to relatives so that they might be identified
before they were buried.

These pictures are from a book of photos. They are being circulated
publicly around small villages near Fallujah where many refugees are

The man who took them was only allowed to take photos and bury bodies in
one small area of Fallujah. He was not allowed to visit anywhere else.
Keep in mind there are at least 1,925 other bodies that were not allowed
to be seen.

Information with some of the photos is from those identified by family
members already.

One of the family members who was looking for dead relatives, shared
these photos which were taken from that book.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told of what he saw in his
village during the last few weeks.

"The Americans shot every boat on the river because people were trying
to escape Fallujah by the river. They shot all the sheep, any animal
people owned was shot. Helicopters shot all the animals and anything
that moved in all the villages surrounding Fallujah during the fighting."

He said that none of the roads into Fallujah, or around Fallujah were
passable because anyone on them was shot. "I know one family that were
all killed. There are no signs on these roads that tell people not to
use them-so people don't know they aren't supposed to use them. No signs
in English or Arabic!"

Here are the photos.

More writing, photos and commentary at

Iraq_Dispatches mailing list


Everyone is encouraged to send greetings to Lynne Stewart!




SLIDING SCALE $10 - $20 & up appreciated
(Between 6TH & 7TH Aves.)


San Francisco's Prop N calling on the US Gov to
Bring Our Troops Home from Iraq won by over 63%.
To find out how you can pass a similar proposition in
your town go to:


1) "Somebody has to do it."
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 09, 2004

2) So much loss...
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 07, 2004

3) Relief
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 08, 2004

4) Militant Chief Wounded in Israeli Strike in Gaza
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters)
Thu Dec 9, 2004 07:21 AM ET

5) Rep. Henry A. Waxman Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives
December 9, 2004
Fact Sheet
Halliburton's Iraq Contracts Now Worth over $10 Billion

6) Amputation Rate for US Troops Twice That of Past Wars
by Raja Mishra
Published on Thursday, December 9, 2004 by the Boston Globe

7) From Maytag to Baghdad
SSgt.Jim McGovern, left, stands in a roadside bomb crater
near Baghdad, Iraq.

8) US Army Plagued by Desertion and Plunging Morale
From Elaine Monaghan in Washington
The Times Of London December 10, 2004,,3-1397131,00.html

9) Electronic Intifada: Ain el Hilweh in the heart of Montreal
Ali Abunimah writing from Montreal, Canada,
From:No One is Illegal Montreal
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 15:40:15 -0800 (PST)

10) At risk: 1,000,000,000 of the world's children
One billion children are at risk today from war, poverty and
hunger, failed by the world's governments
By Stephen Khan
10 December 2004

11) Protest the Annual AIPAC Membership Dinners
bayareapalestine Main Page

John Pilger

13) US war criminals hail new puppet regime in Afghanistan
By Peter Symonds
World Socialist Web Site
9 December 2004

14) Freedom Suppressed on Chicago Subways
Subject: [icffmaj] Censorship of Mumia's book in Chicago!
From: []
Sent: 08 December 2004 13:03
South End Press ............

15) Ex-CIA agent says sacked for not faking Iraq WMD reports
Thu Dec 9, 8:15 PM ET


1) "Somebody has to do it."
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 09, 2004

While billions of US taxpayer dollars have been awarded in lucrative
contracts to companies such as Bechtel and Halliburton subsidiary
Kellogg Brown and Root, there are few signs that any reconstruction has
actually taken place in war torn Iraq.

The infrastructure is in a state of collapse, with 70% unemployment.

One reason for this incredibly high rate is that out of $1.5 Billion in
contracts paid out of Iraq's funds, 85% has gone to US and British
companies who rarely hire Iraqis.

Iraqi firms, by contrast, have received 2% of the contracts paid for
with the same Iraqi funds.

Fadl Abid Oda, 30 years old, has taken it upon himself to do something
that western companies in Iraq have failed to do.

In a tiny room off a busy street in the Orfali district of Baghdad, Fadl
stands in his small library.

"Anyone can take a book from here," he says, "People can take smaller
books for three days, six days for larger books. But anyone who wants to
read here in the library, it's ok, he can get any book he wants."

There is a shelf of tattered books on one of the walls. The front of the
library, which is actually an old vegetable stall, opens to the street.
The 8 chairs which line the 12'x12' room are filled with people reading

While companies like KBR have been investigated for overcharging the US
government $61 million for importing fuel into Iraq, Fadl is pleased
with his project.

"We are working on very little finances, so we are trying to connect
with anyone who can get us any book," he says while waving his hand
across the small bookshelf, "The budget for this project is now $200. We
do this by taking 75 cents per month from people who read here. We try
to bring even CD's for computers, and anything else that is cheap."

Hashim Ashure, a 24 year-old who regularly visits the tiny library, sits
in one of the old chairs with a book in his hand.

"My reading is not that good, but we are learning about reading and
writing and how useful it is. Before I was a soldier and it was a very
difficult life and I didn't have any time to read," he says while
shifting an old book back and forth in his hands, "But now it is very
useful for me, and I like to come here everyday at night to read. I find
it is very fun and it's beautiful to learn. I feel like I was blind before."

Last January Bechtel Corporation was awarded another contract which
included repairing Iraq's electricity grids. While the contract is
valued at up to $1.8 Billion, most of Baghdad averages less than 6 hours
of electricity per day.

Fadl bends over to light the two small candles on his table.

"We can't really call this a library, but this is the best we can do.
Somebody has to do it," he says while holding out his arms. "It is a
small place with a few chairs, with one table, and we have a little bit
of books. We wish that our library will help educate people. We want to
educate all the youth in my neighborhood."

More writing, photos and commentary at

(c)2004 Dahr Jamail.
Iraq_Dispatches mailing list


2) So much loss...
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 07, 2004

Last weekend alone, over 70 Iraqis were killed in violence around their
country. Yet these are only those reported as a result of spectacular,
"newsworthy" incidents like car bombs or clashes between the resistance
and occupation forces.

Iraqis are dying everyday from other things, like violent crime,
kidnappings where families can't afford to pay the ransom, stray bullets...

It's all too easy to lose sight of what this means by looking only at
the macro headlines; 32 Iraqis killed by a car bomb, 8 Iraqi Police
killed when Police Station stormed, etc.

The numbers don't tell the story of families the dead are leaving behind.

There are no words to describe the sadness, nor the hopelessness felt,
when meeting with a family left behind when their 30 year-old father was
shot by US forces this past Fall.

In a small, one room house in Sadr City lives Sua'ad, a widow of 8 young

"I can do nothing but look at my children and cry," she says while
weeping throughout the interview, "What are children to do without their
father? A mother can care for them, but it will be different. No matter
what I do, it will be different. Sometimes I need my husband for small
things, and when he's not there I just want to cry."

Her husband, Abdulla Rahman, was killed when caught in the crossfire
between occupation forces and the Mehdi Army.

She describes the day her husband was killed. US forces were attacking
fighters in the area of Sadr City where they lived.

"His last day he worked his job of selling used clothing," she said
quietly. Abdulla had come home for his break to eat with his family. He
played with his 7 year-old son, then went outside to see what was
happening when fighting broke out.

He returned shortly thereafter to tell Sua'ad he needed to go close his
small shop. Roaring jets thundered overhead as bombs dropped, and small
arms fire was audible down the street.

"His shop is all we have," explained Sua'ad, "I asked him not to go, but
he said he would be right back."

But her husband never came back home...

"Some men told me he had been wounded, but when I found him at the head
of the street he was dead," she said softly while weeping.

Abbas, a 17 year-old neighbor hobbles in on his new crutches
One of his legs was amputated because of wounds received from a cluster
bomb that fell near his home.

Sua'ad's oldest child, Ahmed is just 14 years old. Their small house in
the sprawling slum of Baghdad is nearly empty. Aside from infrequent
handouts from neighbors, they have no income.

"He was our father, and we are needing him so much," she explains while
holding her arms out while a small child sits in her lap, "His house
needs many things. His children need many things. They are children. He
was like my mother and my father and everything in my life."

She pauses to catch her breath. She never stops weeping.

"We are living alone now. I have four children with asthma. Sometimes
they can't breathe and I can do nothing for them. All I do is stand with
them and cry," she explains, "He was helping me by taking them to the
hospital and bringing the medicines, but now I am knocking on the doors
of the neighbors. Now we are really needing him."

She looks outside as tears
run down her cheeks. Remembering him, she continues while staring out
the window...

"He sacrificed everything for his children," she says softly, "This
happens for all the good people in the world, not just me."

Her grief is mixed with anger towards the occupiers of her country...

"What can I say for the Americans? God will have the revenge for me. Now
I have 8 orphans, and I am the 9th. As they make us orphans, God is
going to kick them out of our country. All of these young men have been
killed for nothing. They killed them but they did nothing wrong. My
husband did nothing."

She sits in silence. The room is quiet, aside from one of her baby who
is crying in the next room.

Sua'ad offers food, but it is time to go.

She walks to the front gate
as we leave.

I look back once more.

She is still weeping.

More writing, photos and commentary at

(c)2004 Dahr Jamail.
Iraq_Dispatches mailing list


3) Relief
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
December 08, 2004

"Iraq is burning with wrath, anger and sadness...the people of Fallujah
are dear to us. They are our brothers and sisters and we are so saddened
by what is happening in that city."

There are no words better to describe the situation in Iraq, and
particularly Fallujah, than these of Dr. Wamid Omar Nathmi, a senior
political scientist at Baghdad University.

With over 300,000 homeless residents of Fallujah scattered about central
Iraq, daily life for these refugees is a reality filled with searching
for food
medical attention, warmth and clean water.

Mohammad Ali is a refugee at a camp on the Baghdad University campus
He was crying
when I interviewed him, his large body shuddering as he lamented his

"We did not feel that there is Eid after Ramadan this year because of
our situation being so bad. All we have is more fasting."

A man with one leg sitting near the mosque nodding while he smokes his
cigarette while Mohammad continues, "I would like to ask the whole
world-why is this? I tell the presidents of the Arab and Muslim
countries to wake up! Wake up please! We are being killed, we are
refugees from our houses, our children have nothing-not even shoes to
wear! Wake up! Wake up!"

He was weeping even more when he added, "I left Fallujah yesterday and I
am handicapped. I asked God to save us but our house was bombed and I
lost everything."

Another man, Khalil, pointed to several nearby children at the camp and
said, "Eid is over. Ramadan is over-and the kids are remaining without
even a smile. They have nothing and nowhere to go. We used to take them
to parks to amuse them, but now we don't even have a house for them."

He continued while pointing at the children, along with some women
nearby, "What about the children?
What did they do? What about the women? I can't describe the situation
in Fallujah and the condition of the people-Fallujah is suffering too
much, it is almost gone now."

He then explained, "We got some supplies from the good people of
Baghdad, and some volunteer doctors came on their own with some
medicines, but they ran out daily because conditions are so bad. We saw
nothing from the Ministry of Health-no medicines or doctors or anything."

He said those who left Fallujah did not think they would be gone so
long, so they brought only their summer clothes. Now it is quite cold at
night, down to 5 degrees C at night and windy much of the time. Khalil
added, "We need more clothes. It's a disaster we are living in here at
this camp. We are living like dogs and the kids do not have enough

It's a situation similar to that in most of the refugee camps I've seen

But there is a small light amidst this darkness. One international
organization in particular, which shall remain nameless, managed to
raise funds to support many of the refugees of Fallujah.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two of the doctors who are receiving
financial donations from the organization have told of their
accomplishments to date. Under their supervision and assistance, small
relief groups have worked tirelessly to distribute the supplies provided
with the international donations.

At the aforementioned camp alone, thanks to donations this group managed
to send to Baghdad, over $500 worth of blankets, sweaters for children,
and gas heaters were provided.

Over $1,500 worth of blankets, heaters and portable stoves were
distributed to another four refugee camps in Baghdad as well.

A team of volunteer Iraqi doctors was quickly organized to purchase
needed medications to treat refugees. The most common problems in the
camps are influenza, pneumonia, colds, diarrhea and other water borne

Water tanks, pipes, water pumps, and water purification materials are
needed desperately in most refugee camps. Over $3,000 of donations have
been used to supply a refugee camp in Baghdad with what they need to
provide potable water. Of course, much more is needed.

Now, well over $9,000 of general antibiotics
like cipro, tagamet and amoxicillin have been distributed. Needles,
sterile gloves, pain medications, gauze and basic first aid materials
have also been provided to three different refugee camps and used to
treat suffering refugees by small groups of volunteer doctors.

Relief volunteers have even managed to get trunk loads of medicines
and supplements to camps outside of Baghdad.

A doctor in Amiriyat al-Fallujah who received much needed medicines and
was brimming with gratitude.

The main hospital there where he works, is struggling to treat 1,500
patients each day. Before the small city was inundated with refugees,
the hospital saw just 300 patients per day.

"With hundreds of refugee families here, we have not been able to treat
the people. I can't thank you enough for this. These are exactly the
we need," he told the volunteers who brought the medicine, "It is a good
start, but of course we can use more, because we are running out of
medicines every day."

In addition to this, volunteers have plans in the works to make a
another delivery there soon.

Over $1,500 was used to purchase 250 warm blankets and 50 gas heaters
for a large refugee camp near Fallujah.

Another $5,000 has provided portable kerosene heaters, cooking stoves,
and fuel. These have been distributed mainly at the Al-Amiryah
mosque-the main one there that is next to the bomb shelter
memorial-which is where they are distributing these supplies to refugees
staying in that area. These have been critical with the cold weather now
in Baghdad.

Some of the last refugees to leave their homes are in Husabe, a small
city not far from Fallujah. 234 refugees there who arrived 11 days ago
received $2,000 worth of blankets, heaters, food and jackets.

While needs are assessed, more of this money is being spent in camps
where there continues to be little or no relief from the Ministry of
Health. With most NGO's having left Iraq because of the security
situation, this grass-roots effort has filled some of the huge gaps left
in their absence.

"I've been praying for someone to help us here," said Suthir, a mother
of six small children at a refugee camp in the Amiryah district of
Baghdad. "And God has taken care of us now. We've been so cold at night,
but now we finally have a heater."

More writing, photos and commentary at

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(c)2004 Dahr Jamail.
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4) Militant Chief Wounded in Israeli Strike in Gaza
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters)
Thu Dec 9, 2004 07:21 AM ET

GAZA (Reuters) - A militant leader survived an Israeli
missile strike on his car in Gaza on Thursday in Israel's first
apparent assassination attempt in the Palestinian territories
since Yasser Arafat died in a Paris hospital.

Jamal Abu Samhadana, head of the Popular Resistance
Committees (PRC), an umbrella group of militant factions, was
lightly wounded in the attack that also injured two of his
aides, witnesses and medics said.

The Gaza-based group, responsible for numerous attacks on
Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers during a four-year-old
Palestinian uprising, said: "Our revenge will be painful and
like an earthquake."

It was the first time Israel had targeted a top-level
militant chief since Arafat died on Nov. 11 in a Paris

Israel had promised to restrain its military operations in
the West Bank and Gaza as long as calm prevailed during the
run-up to a Jan. 9 election for Arafat's successor. But Israel
reserved the right to strike at what it called "ticking bombs."

The apparent assassination attempt came amid efforts by
moderate former Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, the
leading presidential candidate, to coax militants into halting
suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis.

In Thursday's air strike, the men jumped from their car
just before the missile, launched from an unmanned drone
aircraft overhead, destroyed the vehicle, witnesses said.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the blast,
which took place between the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, an
area of frequent Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

It was the second time in four months that Samhadana had
survived an apparent Israeli attempt to kill him. He escaped a
missile strike on his car in August.

The PRC, along with the militant Islamic Jihad group and
the Abu Rish Brigades, claimed responsibility for a raid that
killed three Israelis soldiers at an army post in a Jewish
settlement in Gaza in September.

The group was also behind the planting of several massive
bombs during the past four years that destroyed three Israeli
tanks, killing seven crewmen.

Palestinian security sources had originally blamed the PRC
for a bombing last year that killed three U.S. security men in
a diplomatic convoy passing through Gaza.

Several suspects were arrested and later released, raising
questions about the PRC's role in the attack. It had denied

(c) Reuters 2004


5) Rep. Henry A. Waxman Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives
December 9, 2004
Fact Sheet
Halliburton's Iraq Contracts Now Worth over $10 Billion

The value of Halliburton's Iraq contracts has crossed the
$10 billion threshold. Halliburton has now received $8.3 billion
in Iraq work under its LOGCAP troop support contract and
$2.5 billion under its no-bid Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) contract,
a total of $10.8 billion.

The mounting value of the contracts has been accompanied
by a growing list of concerns about Halliburton's performance.
Over the last year, government auditors have issued at least nine
reports criticizing Halliburton's Iraq work, and there are multiple
criminal investigations into overcharging and kickbacks involving
Halliburton's contracts. Former Halliburton employees have
testified before Congress about egregious instances of over
billing. Despite these concerns, the Bush Administration continues
to reject the recommendations of its auditors that 15% of
Halliburton's LOGCAP reimbursements be withheld until the
company can provide better substantiation for its charges.

Value of the Contracts

Halliburton has several major contracts in Iraq. The largest,
called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), is a
cost-plus contract to provide support services to the troops. As
of December 2, 2004, the value of Halliburton's Iraq task orders
under LOGCAP was $8.26 billion. (1)

The second largest Halliburton contract is the cost-plus RIO
contract to restore and operate Iraq's oil infrastructure, which
Halliburton was awarded on a no-bid basis in March 2003. The
value of the work Halliburton performed under this contract is
$2.51 billion. (2)

The combined value of these two contracts is $10.77 billion.
This is significantly more than any other contractor has been
awarded in Iraq. For example, the maximum value of Bechtel's
Iraq infrastructure contracts is $2.8 billion. Halliburton will reap
profits of between $133 million and $424 million on its two
contracts. (3)

The actual value of Halliburton's Iraq contracts is likely higher
than $10.77 billion. In January 2004, Halliburton received a follow-
on oil contract for southern Iraq worth up to $1.2 billion. The
Administration has not disclosed the value of the work given to
Halliburton under this contract.

Investigations and Audits

At the same time that the value of Halliburton's contracts is
increasing, auditors are finding extensive problems with Halliburton's
billings, and criminal investigations of Halliburton and its employees

Auditors from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA),
the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Coalition
Provisional Authority Inspector General (CPA IG) have repeatedly
and consistently criticized multiple aspects of Halliburton's
activities in Iraq. In nine different reports, these government
auditors have found widespread, systemic problems with almost
every aspect of Halliburton's work in Iraq, from cost estimation
and billing systems to cost control and subcontract management.

Key findings from these audits include the following:
In December 2003, a DCAA draft audit reported that Halliburton
overcharged the Defense Department by $61 million to import
gasoline into Iraq from Kuwait through September 30, 2003. (4)
On December 31, 2003, a DCAA "Flash Report" audit found
"significant" and "systemic" deficiencies in the way Halliburton
estimates and validates costs. According to the DCAA audit,
Halliburton repeatedly violated the Federal Acquisition Regulation
and submitted a $2.7 billion proposal that "did not contain
current, accurate, and complete data regarding subcontract
costs." (5)

On January 13, 2004, DCAA concluded that Halliburton's
deficiencies "bring into question [Halliburton's] ability to
consistently produce well-supported proposals that are
acceptable as a basis for negotiation of fair and reasonable
prices," and it urged the Corps of Engineers to "contact us to
ascertain the status of [Halliburton's] estimating system prior
to entering into future negotiations." (6)

In a May 13, 2004, audit, DCAA reported "several deficiencies"
in Halliburton's billing system that resulted in billings to the
government that "are not prepared in accordance with applicable
laws and regulations and contract terms." DCAA also found
"system deficiencies resulting in material invoicing misstatements
that are not prevented, detected and/ or corrected in a timely
manner." The report emphasized Halliburton's inadequate
controls over subcontract billings. The auditors "identified
inadequate or nonexistent policies and procedures for notifying
the government of potential significant subcontract problems
that impact delivery, quality, and price" and determined that
Halliburton "does not monitor the ongoing physical progress
of subcontracts or the related costs and billings." (7)

On June 25, 2004, the CPA IG found that, as a result of poor
oversight, Halliburton charged U. S. taxpayers for unauthorized
and unnecessary expenses at the Kuwait Hilton Hotel. According
to the IG, the overcharges would have amounted to
$3.6 million per year. (8)

A July 26, 2004, CPA IG audit report found that Halliburton
"did not effectively manage government property" and that
the company's property records "were not sufficiently accurate
or available to properly account for CPA property items."
The IG "projected that property valued at more than
$18.6 million was not accurately accounted for or
was missing." (9)

In July 2004, GAO found ineffective planning, inadequate
cost control, and insufficient training of contract management
officials under LOGCAP in Iraq. GAO reported that, when
Halliburton acted as a middleman for the operation of dining
halls, costs were over 40% higher. (10 )

In an August 16, 2004, memorandum, DCAA "identified
significant unsupported costs" submitted by KBR, a Halliburton
subsidiary, and found "numerous, systemic issues . . . with KBR's
estimates." According to DCAA, "while contingency issues may
have had an impact during the earlier stages of the
procurements, clearly, the contractor should have adequate
supporting data by now." When DCAA examined seven
LOGCAP task orders with a combined proposed value of
$4.33 billion, auditors identified unsupported costs
totaling $1.82 billion. (11 )

On November 23, 2004, the Special Inspector General for
Iraq Reconstruction (formerly the CPA IG) examined a
$569 million LOGCAP task order and found that Halliburton
"did not provide . . . sufficiently detailed cost data to evaluate
overall project costs or to determine whether specific costs
for services performed were reasonable." The IG concluded
that the Army "did not receive sufficient or reliable cost
information to effectively manage" the task order. (12 )Multiple
criminal investigations of Halliburton's Iraq contracts are
also ongoing. The Justice Department is investigating
Halliburton's admission that two of its employees received
up to $6.3 million in kickbacks to steer LOGCAP subcontracts
to a Kuwaiti contractor. (13 )The Defense Department Inspector
General, the FBI, and the Justice Department are investigating
allegations of fraud and overcharging for gasoline under the
RIO contract. (14 )

Disclosures by Former Employees and Independent Experts

The concerns expressed by government auditors have been
corroborated by the testimony of former Halliburton employees.
Over the past year, six former employees came forward publicly
to provide Congress with information about egregious overcharges
by Halliburton. Others have contacted congressional staff privately
to echo these concerns. For example:

Marie deYoung, a Halliburton logistics specialist, testified about
subcontracts under which Halliburton paid $45 per case of soda
and $100 per 15-pound bag of laundry. Ms. deYoung also disclosed
that Halliburton did not comply with the Army's request to move
Halliburton employees from a five-star hotel in Kuwait, where it
cost taxpayers approximately $10,000 per day to house the
employees, into air-conditioned tent facilities, which would have
cost taxpayers under $600 per day. (15 )

Henry Bunting, a Halliburton procurement officer, described how
he and other buyers were instructed to split large purchase orders
into multiple purchase orders below $2,500 in order to avoid the
requirement to solicit multiple bids. Supervisors routinely told the
employees responsible for purchasing: "Don't worry about price.
It's cost-plus." (16 )

Warren, a Halliburton truck driver, testified that brand new
$85,000 Halliburton trucks were abandoned or "torched" if
they got a flat tire or experienced minor mechanical problems.
Mr. Warren brought these and other concerns to the personal
attention of Randy Harl, the president and CEO of KBR. He was
fired a few weeks later. (17 )

Mike West, a Halliburton labor foreman, described how he and
other Halliburton employees spent weeks in Iraq with virtually
nothing to do, but were instructed to bill 12-hour days for 7 days
a week on their timesheets. In addition, his superior directed him t
o buy unnecessary equipment, telling him: "Don't worry about it.
It's a cost-plus-plus contract." (18 )

Similarly, independent experts have criticized Halliburton's
inflated gasoline prices under the RIO contract. Phil Verleger,
a California oil economist and the president of a consulting firm,
said of Halliburton's price: "It's as if they put the gasoline on the
Queen Mary and take it around the globe before they deliver
it." (19 )Jeffrey Jones, until recently the Director of the Defense
Energy Support Center, stated: "I can't construct a price that
high." (20 )Another expert, who asked that his identity not
be disclosed, characterized Halliburton's prices as
"highway robbery."

Failure To Withhold Funds

Reflecting the growing problems with Halliburton's Iraq
contracts, government auditors have recommended that the
Army begin to withhold partial payment to Halliburton under
LOGCAP as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. On
August 16, 2004, DCAA strongly encouraged the Army to begin
withholding 15% of Halliburton's reimbursements, stating, "It is
clear to us KBR will not provide an adequate proposal until there
is a consequence." (21 )On November 23, the Special Inspector
General for Iraq Reconstruction supported this recommendation
with respect to the $569 million LOGCAP task order
it attempted to audit. (22 )

Instead of following the advice of these independent
auditors, the Army has refused to withhold payments for
the last eight months. To the contrary, the Army has given
Halliburton multiple extensions to provide the adequate cost
estimates and supporting data needed to finalize the terms
of the contract.

(1)U. S. Army Field Support Command, Media Spreadsheet
or AFSC LOGCAP (Dec. 2, 2004).

(2)U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Frequently Asked Questions:
Engineer Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom (Oct. 7, 2004).

(3)Under Halliburton's cost-plus contracts, the government
reimburses the company for its actual costs and then pays an
additional fee. For LOGCAP, Halliburton receives a base fee of
1% of its costs and an additional award fee of up to 2%. This
yields a profit range of $83 million to $248 million. For RIO,
Halliburton's base fee is 2% of its costs and its additional
award fee is up to 5%. This yields a profit range of
$50 million to $176 million.

(4)Department of Defense, DOD News Briefing (Dec. 11, 2003).
The minority staff of the House Government Reform Committee
later determined that the total overpayment to Halliburton through
April 1, 2004, was $167 million. See Minority Staff, Committee on
Government Reform, Halliburton's Gasoline Overcharges
(July 21, 2004).

(5)Defense Contract Audit Agency, Audit Report
No. 3311-2004K24020001 (Dec. 31, 2003).

(6)Defense Contract Audit Agency, Status of Brown &
Root Services (BRS) Estimating System Internal Controls
(Jan. 13, 2004).

(7)Defense Contract Audit Agency, Audit Report
No. 3311-2002K11010001 (May 13, 2004).

(8)Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General,
Federal Deployment Center Forward Operations at the
Kuwait Hilton (June 25, 2004).

(9)Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General,
Audit of the Accountability and Control of Material Assets
f the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (July 26, 2004).

(10 )Government Accountability Office, DOD's Extensive
Use of Logistics Support Contracts Requires Strengthened
Oversight (July 2004).

(11 )Memorandum from Defense Contract Audit Agency
to U. S. Army Field Support Command (Aug. 16, 2004).

(12 )Memorandum from Special Inspector General for Iraq
Reconstruction, Task Order 0044 of the Logistics Civilian
Augmentation Program III Contract (Nov. 23, 2004).

(13 )House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings
on Unprecedented Challenges: Contracting and the Rebuilding
of Iraq (June 15, 2004).

(14 )Letter from John R. Crane, Assistant Inspector General,
Department of Defense, to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (June 30,
2004); FBI Investigating Contracts with Halliburton, New York
Times (Oct. 29, 2004).

(15 )House Committee on Government Reform, Hearings
on Contracting and the Rebuilding of Iraq: Part IV, 108th
Cong. (July 22, 2004).

(16 )Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Hearings on
Iraq Contracting Abuses (Feb. 13, 2004).

(17 )House Committee on Government Reform, supra note 15.

(18 )Statement of Mike West (June 6, 2004).

(19 )The High Price of Gasoline for Iraq, NBC News (
Nov. 5, 2003).

(20 )Army Eyes Halliburton Import Role in Iraq,
Associated Press (Nov. 5, 2003).

(21 )Defense Contract Audit Agency memorandum,
supra note 11.

(22 )Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
memorandum, supra note 12.

This table describes, to the penny, the profits reaped
by Halliburton under the LOGCAP contracts for Operation
Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other
unnamed expenditures. The number at the bottom reads
$9,073,560,035...that is 'billion' with a 'B.'

(c) Copyright 2004 by


6) Amputation Rate for US Troops Twice That of Past Wars
by Raja Mishra
Published on Thursday, December 9, 2004 by the Boston Globe

US troops injured in Iraq have required limb amputations at
twice the rate of past wars, and as many as 20 percent have
suffered head and neck injuries that may require a lifetime of
care, according to new data giving the clearest picture yet of
the severity of battlefield wounds.

The data are the grisly flip side of improvements in battlefield
medicine that have saved many combatants who would have died
in the past: Only 1 in 10 US troops injured in Iraq has died, the lowest
rate of any war in US history.

But those who survive have much more grievous wounds. Bulletproof
Kevlar vests protect soldiers' bodies but not their limbs, as insurgent
snipers and makeshift bombs tear off arms and legs and rip into
faces and necks .More than half of those injured sustain wounds
so serious they cannot return to duty, according to Pentagon

Much attention has focused on the 1,000-plus soldiers killed in Iraq,
but the Pentagon has released little information on the 9,765 soldiers
injured as of this week.

"The death rate isn't great compared to Vietnam, Korea, and World
War II. But these soldiers are coming back to their communities and
people are seeing just how high the price is that these young people
are paying," said Dr. G. Richard Holt, a head and neck surgeon at
the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and
a retired US Army surgeon who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq
earlier this year.

Responding to the large number of amputations, scientists at
Brown University in Providence and the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology yesterday announced a $7.2 million research program
to design more functional prosthetic limbs. The US Department of
Veterans Affairs is paying for the work.

Data compiled by the US Senate, and included in the 2005 defense
appropriations bill in support of a request for increased funding for
the care of amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, reveal
that 6 percent of those wounded in Iraq have required amputations,
compared with a rate of 3 percent for past wars.

According to Brown Medical School's Dr. Roy Aaron, the current
VA medical system "literally cannot handle the load" of amputees.

Aaron is heading up the Brown-MIT effort, which will also include
the Providence VA Medical Center.

"Amputee research has never been a high priority because it's not
. . . fashionable," said Aaron. "Iraq has changed that."

Stephan Fihn, acting VA chief research and development officer,
said that military officials were concerned about the expected
flood of amputees but that the system would "absolutely, without
a doubt" be able to handle them.

"Returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are our highest
priority now," he said.

The new Brown-MIT effort, funded for five years by the VA, will
research methods to build better titanium prosthetic limbs, extend
bone stumps for tighter attachment of prosthetics, and use
computer technology to develop prosthetic devices that can
be controlled by brain sensors implanted in patients. However,
the advances will not be ready for years, and many Iraq veterans
will not immediately benefit, said Aaron.

In today's New England Journal of Medicine, journalist and
Harvard surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, writes: "The nation's
military surgical teams are under tremendous pressure, but
they have performed remarkably in this war. They have
transformed the strategy for the treatment of war casualties."

In World War II, about 30 percent of those wounded died,
and in Vietnam the figure was 24 percent. In Iraq and
Afghanistan, the mortality rate has been 10 percent.

Gawande and others credited improvements made after
Vietnam, when medics noted that most soldiers who made
it to surgical facilities survived. In Iraq, military field surgical
teams work just behind front lines, with four surgeons and
a nursing team able to erect a four-bed surgical unit in one
hour. In the current conflict, the average time it takes
a wounded soldier to go from the battlefield to front-line
care and on to full-service military hospitals in Germany,
Kuwait, and Spain has been about four days, compared
with weeks in previous wars.

In addition to amputations, many soldiers making this
journey have head and neck injuries, frequently injured
by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, essentially
remote-controlled bombs planted in the ground.

"The angle of the force of these IEDs is right for the neck
and face. That's been devastating to folks over there,"
said Holt, explaining that Kevlar helmets do not protect
the underside of heads and necks, where crucial nerves
and blood vessels lie.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael S. Xydakis, a military surgeon,
released a little-noticed study in September at a medical
conference of head and neck surgeons. He found that
over a 14-month period, about 1 in 5 US soldiers treated
at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, which
handles most Iraq casualties, had head or neck injuries.

These injuries, surgeons said, have long-term implications,
with many involving irreversible brain damage, breathing
and eating impairments, blindness, or severe disfiguration.
The study prompted the military to add a full-time head
and neck surgeon to a Baghdad field hospital.

"These folks are just starting to come back, and they
may require care for a long, long time," said Holt.

Copyright 2004 Boston Globe


(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


7) From Maytag to Baghdad
SSgt.Jim McGovern, left, stands in a roadside bomb crater
near Baghdad, Iraq.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jim McGovern's job as a squad leader patrolling
battle-scarred roadways around Baghdad is a far cry from the production
job he held until last April at Maytag's refrigerator plant in
Galesburg, Illinois.

"It's not as hot as some other sectors in Iraq, but this is a very
dangerous place. We take fire and we return fire," says McGovern
of the area he patrols with fellow members of the Illinois National
Guard, F Battery, now attached to the Army's 1st Cavalry Division.

As a 15-year employee at Maytag, McGovern arrived in Iraq a veteran
of another battle: one to save the livelihoods of more than 1,600
co-workers at the legendary appliance maker.

Despite record sales and millions in taxpayer incentives, Maytag
announced in October 2002 it would close the Galesburg facility
and move to Mexico where its workers would be paid as little as
$4.50 per day.

"I understand what's happening," said McGovern of companies like
Maytag that leave the U.S. in search of low-cost locations. "But
I think it's unpatriotic and it's absolutely devastating for a small
town like Galesburg."

McGovern and his squad members are among several thousand
Illinois Army National Guard troops serving in Iraq and Afghan-
istan. Many are college students who joined the Guard to help pay
for tuition. Others, like 37-year old McGovern, joined the Guard
after serving a hitch in the regular Army.

"These are men and women whose service and sacrifice frequently
doesn't get the recognition it deserves," said IAM President Tom
Buffenbarger. "Now they're half a world away fighting to rebuild
a foreign country while their home towns are being reduced to
economic rubble by companies like Maytag. It's time we
recognized there's a war going on right here at home."

McGovern with sons Jimmy, age 11 and Jesse, age nine, before
leaving for Iraq.

On The Home Front
With active duty looming for his Guard unit and Maytag preparing
to move to Mexico, McGovern and his wife Sandy were living
on borrowed time in Galesburg. After her job as a nurse at
Maytag was eliminated, Sandy found new work in Michigan
and moved in with family members.

Several months of long distance commuting followed as Jim
put in his final days at Maytag.

"The separation was good practice for what we knew was
coming," joked Sandy. Soon after the move, Jim's unit
deployed to Iraq.

When he's not patrolling Iraq's mean streets, McGovern
and his squad are based at Camp Victory, the sprawling
U.S. military complex on the outskirts of Baghdad where
soldiers can relax and contact family members via the Internet.

"It's certainly different from the old days," said McGovern,
who logs on regularly from a laptop computer. "I could be
out on a mission in the morning and exchanging emails
with my family that afternoon."

Sandy McGovern is proud of her husband and believes he's
a good man doing a difficult job in a very dangerous situation.
"But," she adds, "for all those families still in Galesburg, the
situation is just as serious. I wonder why no one's coming
to our rescue?"


8) US Army Plagued by Desertion and Plunging Morale
From Elaine Monaghan in Washington
The Times Of London December 10, 2004,,3-1397131,00.html

-Experts are divided over how stretched America's military really is.
But they agree that another conflict would put the military in
overdrive. Another war would require a shift to a "no-kidding wartime
posture in which everybody who could shoot was given a rifle and sent to
the front," according to John Pike, of

While insurgents draw on deep wells of fury to expand their ranks in
Iraq, the US military is fighting desertion, recruitment shortfalls and
legal challenges from its own troops.

The irritation among the rank and file became all too clear this week
when a soldier stood up in a televised session with Donald Rumsfeld, the
US Defence Secretary, to ask why the world's richest army was having to
hunt for scrap metal to protect its vehicles.

The same night, interviews with three soldiers who are seeking refugee
status in Canada, where they have become minor celebrities, dominated
prime time television. They are among more the than 5,000 troops that
CBS's 60 Minutes reported on Wednesday had deserted since the war began.

Many experts say that America's 1.4 million active-duty troops and
865,000 part-timers are stretched to the point where President Bush may
see other foreign policy goals blunted.

The bleed from the US military is heaviest among parttimers, who have
been dragged en masse out of civilian life to serve their country with
unprecedented sacrifice. For the first time in a decade, the Army
National Guard missed its recruitment target this year. Instead of
signing up 56,000 people, it found 51,000.

"This is something that the President and the country should be worried
about," said Lawrence Korb, an assistant secretary of defence under
Ronald Reagan and now a military analyst who opposes the war.

A further sign of strain can be seen in the Army's decision this year to
mobilise 5,600 members of a pool of former soldiers that can be
mobilised only in a national emergency.

More than 183,000 National Guard and reserve troops are on active duty,
compared with 79,000 before the invasion of Iraq. Forty per cent of the
138,000 troops in Iraq are part-timers who never expected to be sent to
the front line.

Instead, as a woman soldier pointedly reminded Mr Rumsfeld on Wednesday,
they face "stop loss" orders that delay their return to civilian life.

Another soldier lost his court battle this week to stop the Army
extending his one-year contract by at least two years. At least eight
soldiers have turned to the courts, accusing the military of tricking
them into enlisting for a fixed term without warning them that they
could be forced to stay longer. Once they get out, soldiers are
increasingly resisting hefty bonuses to re-enlist, an incentive that had
helped to meet recruitment targets in the past.

The crisis may be even deeper than the statistics suggest. Active-duty
Army recruiters exceeded their target of 77,000 by 587 this year only by
dipping into a pool of recruits who had not planned to report until next
year, and by dropping educational standards, Mr Korb said.

At 10 per cent, the death rate among war casualties is the lowest in
history. But maimed men and women are flocking home with horror stories
about the war, which is claiming more and more casualties. Between June,
when the Iraqi interim Government took over, and September, the average
monthly casualty rate among US forces was 747 a month, compared with 482
during the invasion and 415 before the coalition government was
disbanded. With elections looming next month, the toll is expected to

Most soldiers keep their anger under wraps, partly out of patriotism but
also out of loyalty to their units. "There's a thin green line that you
don't cross," said a veteran with the 4th Infantry, who deployed to Iraq
last year to help to plan counterinsurgency operations and train Iraqi

But at his home base in Fort Carson, Colorado, he has resisted a $10,000
re-enlistment incentive and plans to get out as soon as he can.

He illustrates the long-term problem the Army faces. He served for five
years, first in Korea, then in Iraq, where he was a combat soldier for
almost a year. The Americans received little training for the
counterinsurgency they face. "Every day you wake up alive, is a gift
from above," the soldier said.

Few experts are surprised to hear that a recent army survey discovered
that half the soldiers were not planning to re-enlist.

Experts are divided over how stretched America's military really is. But
they agree that another conflict would put the military in overdrive.
Another war would require a shift to a "no-kidding wartime posture in
which everybody who could shoot was given a rifle and sent to the
front," according to John Pike, of


9) Electronic Intifada: Ain el Hilweh in the heart of Montreal
Ali Abunimah writing from Montreal, Canada,
From:No One is Illegal Montreal
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 15:40:15 -0800 (PST)

I went to visit the Ayoub family while I was recently in Montreal. It was
freezing cold and snow was falling as along with two activists with the
Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees, I approached
the side door to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church. We found Khalil Ayoub
huddled outside, smoking a cigarette. The small alley and adjacent yard
are as far as any of the family can go without facing arrest by Canadian

Khalil led us inside, down the steps to the basement, where church members
were holding a rummage sale. We made our way through the tables of books
and clothes and into the small room that has been the Ayoubs' world for
almost one year.

Khalil Ayoub, 67, his brother Nabih Ayoub, 69, and Nabih's wife ThÃ(c)rèse
Boulos Haddad, 62, sought sanctuary in the church after Immigration Canada
issued a deporation order against them in January 2004. The Ayoub brothers
were born in the village of Al-Bassa, near the port city of Akka, in
northern Palestine. In 1948, when Israel was established in their country,
they fled to Lebanon and over the years moved among several refugee camps,
trying to escape the horrors of the Israeli invasion and the Lebanese
civil war. In 2001, they obtained visas to the United States, and in April
that year crossed into Canada and applied for refugee status. Stateless,
with no passports and no where to go, their claim was rejected and they
were ordered deported. This is when they sought refuge in the church.

For many Palestinian refugees living underground in Montreal, the Ayoub
family is a local symbol of the larger Palestinian refugee struggle,
representing the fate of the forgotten majority of Palestinians in the
world who live in diaspora, denied the right to return to their own
country. Whether the Ayoubs and 100 other stateless Palestinians
threatened with deportation will ever find a place they can call home and
live in peace depends most immediately on whether Canada's Immigration
minister will decide to regularize their status in Canada. I had always
thought that Canada has been exemplary in upholding international human
rights and humanitarian principles. But while I was there, Ahmed Nafaa, a
stateless Palestinian, was deported to the United States to face an
uncertain fate. What will become of the Ayoubs if they are deported? Who
will take them in if Canada will not?

What was so shocking and moving about the situation Ayoubs find themselves
in, in their church basement room in Montreal, is how reminiscent it is of
the conditions they fled in Lebanon's Ain el Hilweh refugee camp. The
little room was like so many refugee homes I have visited in Lebanon,
Jordan and Palestine. One room suffices for all the family functions: a
home despite itself. All their clothes and belongings are meticulously
stacked and ordered, sometimes covered with brightly printed cloths to
hide any semblance of clutter.

As we visited with the family, ThÃ(c)rèse sat on a chair, shelling peas,
while Nabih and Khalil joked and speculated on their future. When I told
Nabih that my family is from a village in the West Bank, he told stories
of people he knew from our area, describing moments of his life as if they
had occurred yesterday. But all the stories he told occurred before 1948
-- before his life was incomprehensibly shattered into pieces that have
yet to stop careening in unknown directions. He described the family's
search for shelter after they heard about the deportation order -- the
terror of not knowing what would happen to them from one hour to the next.
After they came to the church, they found a certain tranquility, but no

As we sat and talked, Khalil got up, insisting on making us Arabic coffee,
despite our protestations that he should not trouble himself. This gesture
is the most commonplace among Palestinians, and it is also the most
powerful. To offer someone coffee, to serve it with your own hands, is a
way to say "welcome to my home."

Ali Abunimah is a co-founder of The Electronic Intifada


10) At risk: 1,000,000,000 of the world's children
One billion children are at risk today from war, poverty and
hunger, failed by the world's governments
By Stephen Khan
10 December 2004

They are a billion strong. Diseased, malnourished, uneducated, they
are a people on the run from wars that take the lives of their brothers
and sisters. And they are all children - half the children on earth today.

In shocking revelations yesterday, the grim reality of daily life for the
world's innocent generation was laid bare. More than one billion
children are now being denied the healthy and protected upbringing
promised by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. For
them - the forgotten masses - violence, poverty and Aids are all that
the year's end will bring. In Darfur in Sudan, wretched shivering souls
wait for their parents in refugee camps. In Haiti, they huddle in
shelters, having lost homes and parents to floods. In Iraq, they
trample through the rubble of bombed-out homes.

More than one in six children is severely hungry. One in seven has
no access to health care.

Despite debt reduction schemes and the vast sums of cash donated
by individuals around the world, one factor keeps more than
a billion children in a state of poverty. And that factor is war -
usually over natural resources such as diamonds, oil and coltan,
a mineral used in mobile phones, which are exported to the West.

As two reports showed yesterday, perhaps the most chilling
statistic of all is the number of young lives snatched by conflict.
Since 1990, 3.6 million people have been killed on the front line
in wars around the word - almost half of them were children.

Survival, though, is merely the start of further great struggles to
reach maturity. A billion continue to be "denied a childhood" -
20 million are forced from homes and communities by fighting.
The world's political leaders are failing them, according to the
United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). Governments are not
delivering on long-held promises to protect their rights.

At least 640 million children do not have adequate shelter, while
140 million have never been to school. Safe water is something
that 400 million children are denied while 500 million live without
basic sanitation. And 90 million starved.

From the heart of Africa, where conflict last year tore through
nation after nation, to Latin America, where hurricanes uprooted
families, and Asia, where floods and landslides swept whole
towns away, it is clear that one group of people pays more than
any other - the young and defenceless.

Yet it needn't be that way. "What we are saying in this report
is that choices made by political leaders in many cases are very
often negative when it comes to children," the executive director
of Unicef, Carol Bellamy, told reporters in London at the launch
of The State of The World's Children .

Despite signing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
many governments are failing to fulfil its principles, the report
claims. The convention commits signatories to provide a healthy,
protected and decent childhood for every person born.

Yet last year, 30,000 under-fives died preventable deaths. And
while child mortality rates fell by a fifth over the decade, more than
10 million children perished in 2003.

The shadow of Aids lingers long. Half a million children under 15
died of the disease last year and 2.1 million children across the
world live with HIV. Fifteen million children have lost a parent to
Aids - 80 per cent of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Unicef says the solution is clear. Goals set by the UN in 2000 to
lift poverty across the globe could be achieved at a cost of £52bn.
Last year the world's nations spent £712bn on weapons. And it
is those guns, mortars, mines and shells that maintain the status
quo of suffering.

While more than 1.5 million children died in the front line of
combat zones in the years since 1990, the actual number of
deaths indirectly caused by war is much, much higher. The true
global figure is perhaps impossible to gauge.

Another survey into one of the world's most battle-scarred
regions was released yesterday and it provides an astonishing
picture of death and destruction wreaked by the machines of
death. With the security situation once again rapidly deteriorating
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the International Rescue
Committee issued a mortality survey which revealed that six
years of bloody conflict in the country have claimed 3.8 million

Teams of physicians and epidemiologists found that between
January 2003 and April 2004, more than 1,000 people a day
died in excess of normal mortality rates. Of nearly 500,000
additional deaths, half were children.

Tony Blair, who has described Africa as a scar on the conscience
of the world, has pledged that Britain will take the lead on ending
poverty, debt and war on that continent.

His Commission on Africa is about to launch a report setting
out a strategy. The challenge before him is great. For this is
the continent that remains the ultimate example of
international failure.

(c) 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


11) Protest the Annual AIPAC Membership Dinners
bayareapalestine Main Page

A wide spectrum of organizations are organizing to protest
the annual AIPAC membership dinners, especially the one held
at the Oakland Marriot Monday, December 13th. We will start
the picket at 5:30pm in front of the Marriot (1001 Broadway,
near 12th street BART). Included in the coalition to protest this
event are United for Peace and Justice, Bay Area Chapter; Jewish
Voice for Peace; and the Justice in Palestine Coalition.

In addition to our presence at the event, we hope to dissuade
local officials from attending, and giving this event legitimacy.
AIPAC is very efficient at contacting probably every local official
in the Bay Area, so we need to do the same. We ask that every
one contact their local officials (including City Council people)
and ask if they are attending, and state the reasons for not
doing so, and thank them if they choose not to attend. We
have already dissuaded Mayor Tom Bates from attending this
year, in a break from his previous attendance. For a list of
people we have especially targeted to contact, please see After the event, we will
make contact with those officials who defied our pleas and
attended the dinner

We will create a leaflet to be passed out at the event, based
on the leaflet promoting the event This new leaflet will include
mention of the FBI investigation of AIPAC.

We encourage each organization or coalition to do its own
press release. Each organization (or coalition) should also
have its own spokesperson--media contact present at the
protest itself.

And though we are keeping the focus on the Oakland event,
we hope to have a presence at the San Francisco event as well:
Monday, Dec 13, 11:30 am Moscone Center South, San
Francisco So if you can get the word out on that as well
Even a small symbolic presence will be good there.

The leaflet promoting the protest can be downloaded here: .

Jim Harris
Volunteer, International Solidarity Movement


John Pilger

Muted by the evidence of the Anglo-American catastrophe in Iraq, the
international "humanitarian" war party ought to be called to account for
its largely forgotten crusade in Kosovo, the model for Tony Blair's
"onward march of liberation". Just as Iraq is being torn apart by the
forces of empire, so was Yugoslavia, the multi-ethnic state that
uniquely rejected both sides in the cold war.

Lies as great as those of Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and
Blair in their grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked
attack on a European country. Like the build-up to the invasion of Iraq,
the media coverage in the spring of 1999 was a series of fraudulent
justifications, beginning with US Defence Secretary William Cohen's
claim that "we've now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men
missing... they may have been murdered." David Scheffer, the US
ambassador at large for war crimes, announced that as many as "225,000
ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been killed. Blair
invoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of the Second World War". The
British press took its cue. "Flight from genocide," said the Daily Mail.
"Echoes of the Holocaust," chorused the Sun and the Mirror.

By June 1999, with the bombardment over, international forensic teams
began subjecting Kosovo to minute examination. The American FBI arrived
to investigate what was called "the largest crime scene in the FBI's
forensic history". Several weeks later, having not found a single mass
grave, the FBI went home. The Spanish forensic team also returned home,
its leader complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become
part of "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we
did not find one - not one - mass grave."

In November 1999, the Wall Street Journal published the results of its
own investigation, dismissing "the mass grave obsession". Instead of
"the huge killing fields some investigators were led to expect ... the
pattern is of scattered killings [mostly] in areas where the separatist
Kosovo Liberation Army had been active." The Journal concluded that Nato
stepped up its claims about Serb killing fields when it "saw a fatigued
press corps drifting toward the contrarian story: civilians killed by
Nato's bombs ... The war in Kosovo was "cruel, bitter, savage; genocide
it wasn't."

One year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body
effectively set up by Nato, announced that the final count of bodies
found in Kosovo's "mass graves" was 2,788. This included combatants on
both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the Albanian Kosovo Liberation
Army. Like Iraq's fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used
by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were
inventions - along with Serb "rape camps" and Clinton's and Blair's
claims that Nato never deliberately bombed civilians.

Code-named 'Stage Three', Nato's civilian targets included public
transport, hospitals, schools, museums, churches. "It was common
knowledge that Nato went to Stage Three [after a couple of weeks]," said
James Bissell, the Canadian ambassador in Belgrade during the attack.
"Otherwise, they would not have been bombing bridges on Sunday
afternoons and market places."

Nato's clients were the Kosovo Liberation Army. Seven years earlier, the
KLA had been designated by the State Department as a terrorist
organisation in league with Al Qaida. KLA thugs were feted; Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook allowed them to call him on his mobile phone. "The
Kosovo-Albanians played us like a Stradivarius," wrote the UN Balkans
commander, Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, last April. "We have
subsidised and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an
ethnically pure Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the
perpetrators of the violence in the early 1990s and we continue to
portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the

The trigger for the bombing of Yugoslavia was, according to Nato, the
failure of the Serbian delegation to sign up to the Rambouillet peace
conference. What went mostly unreported was that the Rambouillet accord
had a secret Annexe B, which Madeline Albright's delegation had inserted
on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of
Yugoslavia, a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation. As
the Foreign Office minister Lord Gilbert later conceded to a Commons'
defence select committee, Annexe B was planted deliberately to provoke
rejection by the government in Belgrade. As the first bombs fell, the
elected parliament in Belgrade, which included some of Milosevic's
fiercest opponents, voted overwhelmingly to reject it.

Equally revealing was a chapter dealing exclusively with the Kosovo
economy. This called for a "free-market economy" and the privatisation
of all government assets. As the Balkans writer Neil Clark has pointed
out, "the rump of Yugoslavia... was the last economy in central-southern
Europe to be uncolonised by western capital. 'Socially owned
enterprises', the form of worker self-management pioneered under Tito,
still predominated. Yugoslavia had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car
and tobacco industries, and 75 per cent of industry was state or
socially owned."

At the Davos summit of neo-liberal chieftains in 1999, Blair berated
Belgrade, not for its handling of Kosovo, but for its failure to fully
embrace "economic reform". In the bombing campaign that followed, it was
state owned companies, rather than military sites, that were targeted.
Nato's destruction of only 14 Yugoslav army tanks compares with its
bombing of 372 centres of industry, including the Zastava car factory,
leaving hundreds of thousands jobless. "Not one foreign or privately
owned factory was bombed," wrote Clark.

Erected on the foundation of this massive lie, Kosovo today is a
violent, criminalised UN-administered "free market" in drugs and
prostitution. More than 200,000 Serbs, Roma, Bosniacs, Turks, Croats and
Jews have been ethnically cleansed by the KLA with Nato forces standing
by. KLA hit squads have burned, looted or demolished 85 Orthodox
churches and monasteries, according to the UN. The courts are venal.
"You shot an 89-year-old Serb grandmother?" mocked a UN narcotics
officer. "Good for you. Get out of jail."

Although Security Council Resolution 1244 recognises Kosovo as an
integral part of Yugoslavia, and does not authorise the UN
administration to sell off anything, multinational companies are being
offered 10 and 15 year leases of the province's local industries and
resources, including the vast Trepca mines, some of the richest mineral
deposits in the world. After Hitler captured them in 1940, the mines
supplied German munition factories with 40 per cent of their lead.
Overseeing this plundered, murderous, now almost ethnically pure "future
democracy" (Blair), are 4,000 American troops in Camp Bondsteel, a
775-acre permanent base.

Meanwhile, the trial of Milosevic proceeds as farce, not unlike an
earlier show trial in The Hague: that of the Libyans blamed for the
Lockerbie bomb. Milosevic was a brute; he was also a banker once
regarded as the west's man who was prepared to implement "economic
reforms" in keeping with IMF, World Bank and European Community demands;
to his cost, he refused to surrender sovereignty. The empire expects
nothing less.

First published in the New Statesman -

John Pilger's new book, Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and
its Triumphs, is published by Jonathan Cape.

Readers may email your article submissions
or your comments to

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"Freedom is always and exclusively
freedom for the one who thinks differently"
--Rosa Luxemburg


13) US war criminals hail new puppet regime in Afghanistan
By Peter Symonds
World Socialist Web Site
9 December 2004

When Hamid Karzai arrived to be sworn in as Afghan president on
Tuesday, US Vice President Richard Cheney and Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld were among the hundreds of guests who rose to
give him a standing ovation. With a continuing disaster unfolding
for the US in Iraq, the Bush administration was determined to make
the most of the so-called success story in Afghanistan.

But all the pomp and ceremony could not hide the empty character
of this charade. The proceedings took place under heavy military
protection with snipers on rooftops, US Apache attack helicopters
overhead and soldiers patrolling the streets on foot and in
armoured vehicles. In addition to large numbers of US and NATO
troops, the Afghan army and police were mobilised to block off the
main streets and post guards at every major intersection in the capital.

Inside, the select guests included a number of the notorious
warlords, on whom the US relied to oust the former Taliban regime
in late 2001. But the most telling refutation of the democratic
pretensions of this gathering was the presence of Cheney and
Rumsfeld themselves: the war criminals who are directly
responsible for the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq,
the slaughter of innocent civilians, the arbitrary arrest and
torture of thousands, and ongoing military operations in both
countries that continue the pattern of death and destruction.

Speaking to US troops at the Bagram base north of Kabul, Cheney
declared: "For the first time the people of this country are looking
confident about the future of freedom and peace. Freedom still has
enemies here in Afghanistan, and you are here to make those
enemies miserable." In other words, "free Afghanistan" will remain
subject to a military occupation under which 18,000 US-led troops
roam the country at will, suppressing any opposition to the US-
installed puppet regime in Kabul.

To claim that democratic elections could be held under such
circumstances is absurd. Not only does the US function as the
country's military overlord but it also controls the financial
purse strings. It is hardly surprising that Karzai, Washington's
obvious favorite, won the presidential poll. Even leaving aside
allegations of vote rigging and fraud, among those who
marshalled the vote-the militia leaders, tribal chiefs and local
potentates-there was a recognition that Karzai was the best
means of assuring continued US patronage.

In an interview at the Bagram base with NBC, Cheney boasted:
"We got the job done in Afghanistan... Who would have said
three years ago, here in Afghanistan with the situation that
existed at the time, that we're going to be able to achieve all
that we achieved? [They said] it's never been done in 5,000
years. Right, but we got it done and we're going to get it
done in Iraq."

Of course, Cheney did not explain, nor did NBC ask, exactly
what the US has "achieved" in Afghanistan. Indirectly, Karzai
gave a few clues in his short acceptance speech. After pompously
proclaiming that "a new chapter in our history" was opening up,
Washington's man in Kabul declared that "the destruction of
poppy cultivation" and "security and stability" would be the two
priorities of his new administration.

Just how Karzai is going to tackle these issues is completely
unclear. In three years of US military occupation, Afghanistan
has become what some commentators refer to as a "narco-state".
Prior to its overthrow, the Taliban regime had all but eradicated
opium production. Now it is the world's largest producer,
accounting for an estimated 75 percent of global supply and
rapidly increasing.

According to a recent UN report, opium production in
Afghanistan expanded by a massive 64 percent this year
despite all the efforts of the Kabul regime, backed by US
and British drug enforcement agencies, to curtail it. The UN
estimated the value of the opium crop at $2.8 billion,
equivalent to more than 60 percent of the country's GDP
for 2003.

In releasing the report last month, UN official Antonio Maria
Costa warned: "The fear that Afghanistan might degenerate
into a narco-state is slowly becoming a reality as corruption
in the public sector, the die-hard ambition of local warlords,
and the complicity of local investors are becoming a factor in
Afghan life."

In expressing his determination to tackle poppy production,
Karzai conveniently blamed the problem on "terrorists". "The
war against terrorism has not finished yet. Even though terrorists
are not a very big, destructive danger for us, their drug
smuggling is what concerns us now in the region and in the
world," he declared.

It is not, however, the Taliban or Al Qaeda who are primarily
responsible for the multibillion-dollar opium and heroin
industry but the regional warlords and militia commanders who
hold sway throughout the country. Many of these thugs, notorious
for their brutality, have been close allies of the US military and
part of the previous Karzai administrations.

Senior World Bank adviser William Byrd noted in a report in
September: "Various parts of Afghanistan have been captured
by regional powerbrokers who oppose reform. Their operations
are fuelled by the opium trade and bolstered by their ability to
rule illegitimately by force, relatively unchecked, outside Kabul."

Karzai has on occasions pledged to curb the power of the
warlords. He announced that his new administration would
be free of their influence. Nevertheless, among the guests at
his inauguration were some of the most powerful local warlords-
Ustad Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Mohammed Qassim Fahim and Abdul
Rashid Dostum. Sayyaf is a proponent of Wahabbism-the brand
of Islamic fundamentalism promoted by Saudi Arabia. Fahim
served as defence minister in the previous Karzai cabinet and
Dostum was one of the president's top security advisers.

The nexus between drugs, warlords and Islamic extremism is not
a new phenomenon but goes back to the CIA's operations against
the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul in the 1980s. The CIA, along
with Saudi Arabia, spent billions of dollars arming and training
various Mujaheddin factions. The US agents turned a blind eye,
or perhaps even encouraged, the lucrative opium trade, which
the anti-Soviet militia and their Pakistani advisers exploited to
help pay for their activities.

Encouraged by Pakistan and tacitly the US, the Taliban emerged
in the mid-1990s as a reaction against the brutal and arbitrary
rule of the rival warlords and Mujaheddin commanders who
dominated the country following the collapse of the Soviet-
backed regime in Kabul. What the Bush administration has
"achieved" through its 2001 invasion is to resurrect these local
and regional thugs, along with their opium trade, as the basis
for its domination of the country.

Even the Taliban are not to be left out. While Cheney and
Rumsfeld were hailing the demise of the Taliban regime as
a "success" in the US "war on terrorism", an offer of amnesty
was being made to its former leaders and fighters to participate
in parliamentary elections due next year. Significantly last week's
proposal was not made by Karzai, but by the real power in Kabul-
US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. The aim is to allow Washington
to scale back its military forces in Afghanistan, to allow for
possible redeployment to Iraq.

The Bush administration's decision to court the former Taliban
leaders underscores the fact that the US invasion of Afghanistan
was not based on any fundamental opposition to these Islamic
reactionaries. Still less was it about the welfare of the Afghan
people, most of whom continue to live in abject poverty without
access to basic services. Rather the real achievement of which
Cheney was bragging was the installation of a puppet regime
in Kabul to further US strategic and economic ambitions in
Afghanistan and the neighbouring resource-rich regions.

Copyright 1998-2004
World Socialist Web Site
All rights reserved


14) Freedom Suppressed on Chicago Subways
Subject: [icffmaj] Censorship of Mumia's book in Chicago!
From: []
Sent: 08 December 2004 13:03
South End Press ............

Freedom Suppressed on Chicago Subways
Cambridge, MA Dec 02, 2004 South End Press, a 27-year-old independent
book publisher, has learned that any advertisements promoting Mumia
Abu-Jamal have been banned on Chicago's public transit system. This
action was discovered when the Press investigated a report that a
Chicago police officer had torn down a paid advertisement on Chicago's
Red Line for the award-winning journalist's new book WE WANT FREEDOM: A

When asked for comment, Viacom Outdoor Marketing--a subsidiary of
Viacom, Inc. that manages the advertisements on the Chicago transit
system--informed South End Press "the CTA [Chicago Transit Authority]
can no longer accept any more advertisements on this author [Mumia
Abu-Jamal]." This is not the first time Viacom has acted to prevent even
the mention of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In 2002 Viacom-owned MTV censored a
video by Public Enemy because the song included the line "Free Mumia."
In addition to barring ads including Mumia Abu-Jamal, all South End
Press advertising will be subject to approval before posting.

The caller who brought this issue to South End's attention stated that
while riding the Chicago subway, he witnessed a police officer removing
a We Want Freedom poster from the train's interior. When he asked the
officer why, he was threatened with a citation. And this is not the
first time police have acted to suppress information on the Black
Panthers. WE WANT FREEDOM vividly recounts two occasions when the police
limited the First Amendment rights of Black Panthers. In one instance,
Mumia tells the story of when he was selling papers in downtown Oakland
and crossed the street in the middle of the block. Before he knew it,
two police officers pulled up and arrested him for jaywalking. "If we
were not selling copies of The Black Panther," asks Abu-Jamal, "would
this have happened?" His conclusion is grim: "I don't think so. They
were beating us softly."
Further investigations into the ban on Mumia Abu-Jamal are underway.
Anyone who witnessed the removal of posters for WE WANT FREEDOM, which
South End Press contracted with Viacom Outdoor Marketing to run on the
Red and Blue lines from mid-September to mid-October, is encouraged to
contact the Press.

South End Press
Alexander Dwinell
phone: 617.547.4002


15) Ex-CIA agent says sacked for not faking Iraq WMD reports
Thu Dec 9, 8:15 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A sacked CIA ( news -web sites ) official has sued,
alleging he was fired for refusing to fake reports supporting the White
House position that Iraq ( news -web sites ) had weapons of mass
destruction, local media said.

Described as a senior CIA official who was sacked in August "for
unspecified reasons," the lawsuit appeared to be the first public
instance of a CIA agent charging he was pressured to concoct
intelligence on Iraq.

The suit claims the unidentified ex agent was urged to produce
reports in line with President George W Bush's contention that
Iraq had illegal chemical or biological weapons, which threatened
US and international security.

"Their official dogma was contradicted by his reporting and they
did not want to hear it," attorney Roy Krieger told The Washington
Post of his client.

CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher told the daily she could not
comment on the lawsuit, adding: "The notion that CIA managers
order officers to falsify reports is flat wrong. Our mission is to
call it like we see it and report the facts."

Krieger wrote a letter requesting a meeting with CIA Director
Porter Goss due to "the serious nature of the allegations in this
case, including deliberately misleading the president on
intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction," said
the daily quoting the letter.

The United States overthrew the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam
Hussein ( news -web sites ) in April 2003, but has found no
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq since then. The US
government has acknowledged some of its pre-war intelligence
may have been faulty.

The plaintiff, whose identity is blacked out in the version of
the lawsuit seen by the Post, along with any reference to Iraq,
is of Middle Eastern descent, worked 23 years in the CIA,
much of them in covert operations collecting intelligence on
weapons of mass destruction, said the daily.

The lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Washington on
Friday and made public Wednesday after it was screened by
a judge, said the Post which obtained a copy.

It alleges that the CIA investigated alleged sexual and financial
improprieties by the agent "for the sole purpose of discrediting
him and retaliating against him for questioning the integrity of
the WMD reporting ... and for refusing to falsify his intelligence
reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion" of
matters that were blacked out, according to the Washington

The document states that in 2002 the plaintiff was "thwarted
by CIA superiors" from reporting routine intelligence from
a contact of his and that later he was approached by a senior
officer "who insisted that plaintiff falsify his reporting."

When the plaintiff refused, the lawsuit said, the CIA's Counter-
proliferation Division ordered that he "remove himself from any
further 'handling'" of the contact, referred elsewhere in the
document as "a highly respected human asset."

The former agent's lawyer said the allegations were not true,
and that his client had not been formally charged for any of
them before being fired three months ago.

Krieger, who represents CIA personnel, told CNN television that
such accusations were common practice at the agency.

"In the past seven or eight years I've represented probably in
excess of 100 employees of the Central Intelligence Agency
( news -web sites ) and in our experience when (someone) at
the agency gets into disfavor or gets himself in a position of
opposition to the agency, one of two things -- sometimes
both of them -- happen.

"Either he's subjected to a counterintelligence investigation
based upon trumped-up allegations or he's referred to the
office of Inspector General for investigation of his travel
expenses, his finances and, in this case, payments made to
an asset," Kreiger said.

In 2003, the lawsuit goes on to say, the CIA officer learned
of the investigations against him and that he was refused
a promotion "because of pressure from the DDO (Deputy
Director of Operations) James Pavitt," according to the Post.

In September 2003, the plaintiff was placed on administrative
leave without explanation and in August 2004 he was sacked
also "for unspecified reasons," the Post said.

The lawsuit requests that the plaintiff be restored to his
former position in the CIA and receives compensatory
damages and legal fees.

Copyright (c) 2004 Agence France Presse . All rights
reserved. The information contained in the AFP News
report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
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Agence France Presse.

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