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COLUMN 110, OCTOBER 1, 2004
(Copyright 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist) 

As usual, Pete forwards interesting email: Take your choice:

BUSH'S OCTOBER SURPRISE?

Subject: FW: US To Attack N Korea?-October Surprise?
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 14:54:08 -0700
From: 
"Peter Coyote" Peter@wdprod.com 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

Buried in an article in today's International Herald Tribune, without any particular emphasis, was a significant item of information: -- The United States has scheduled naval exercises off the coast of North Korea at the
end of October. I can imagine only one explanation for a decision to schedule such naval exercises (by definition, optional) at precisely that time. Bush-Cheney-Rove wants to have the option, if Bush's election does not appear assured in the week prior to election day, to either (1) seek to provoke a genuine North Korean attack on an American ship -- and retaliate or (2) in good Gulf of Tonkin style, claim a non-existent North
Korean attack -- and retaliate or (3) launch a frankly "preventive" or "pre-emptive" attack against North Korea.Where such courses of action would lead the region and the world cannot be determined in advance but, presumably, would be of limited concern to Bush-Cheney-Rove. Any of such alternative approaches to war would almost certainly assure the election of the Commander-in Chief on November 2.


Congressional Switchboard: 877-762-8762 & 202-224-3121. Senate:
http://www.senate.gov House: http://www.house.gov  ##

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THE HANDOVER THAT WASN'T

Subject: The Handover that Wasn't
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 09:31:20 -0700
From: "Peter Coyote" Peter@wdprod.com 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

'the Hand-Over That Wasn't?

Illegal orders give the U.S. a lock on Iraq's economy. 
By Antonia Juhasz 
August 5, 2004 

This gives a lot of details on the orders which were issued to ensure continued US control of Iraq's economy. We may be sure that Negroponte, the new US ambassador to Iraq, will draw on his experience in working with death-squad controlled countries in Latin America to endevour to keep these orders in place. 
Carolyn Scarr 
August 7, 2004 

Officially, the U.S. occupation of Iraq ended on June 28, 2004. But in reality, the United States is still in charge: Not only do 138,000 troops remain to control the streets, but the "100 Orders" of L. Paul Bremer III remain to control the economy.  These little noticed orders enacted by Bremer, the now-departed head of the
now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority, go to the heart of Bush administration plans in Iraq. They lock in sweeping advantages to American firms, ensuring long-term U.S. economic advantage while guaranteeing few, if any, benefits to the Iraqi people. 

The Bremer orders control every aspect of Iraqi life " from the use of car horns to the privatization of state-owned enterprises. Order No. 39 alone does no less than "transition [Iraq ] from a centrally planned economy to a market economy" virtually overnight and by U.S. fiat. Although many thought that the "end" of the occupation would also mean the end of the orders, on his last day in Iraq Bremer simply transferred authority for the orders to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi " a 30-year exile with close ties to the CIA
and British intelligence. CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT.

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THE 'PLUG FACTOR'---THE 'RECOVERY' IS A STEW OF COOKED BOOKS

Subject: No New Jobs--cooked books
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 10:41:29 -0700
From: "Peter Coyote" Peter@wdprod.com 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

This quote, from a non-liberal Financial newsletter, was sent to me by a serious investor friend with the note that Financial institutions need reliable data. This is serious.

THE PLUG FACTOR
by Dr. Kurt Richeb?cher

At first look, the May consumer income and outlays numbers - which we were eagerly awaiting last month - appear excellent: Incomes are up 0.6%, and spending is up even a full percentage point. At second look, after adjustment for inflation, the reality is pretty ugly. 

The increase in disposable income melts to less than 0.1% in real terms, and that of spending to 0.4%, of which well over half came from the burst in motor vehicle promotion. Spending on nondurable goods has been flat for two months. The whole of the extra increase accrued from a blip in spending on services.

Amazingly, this sharp slowdown in consumer spending, though lasting for half a year, has been met with flat denial all around. During the five months to May, it was up in real terms by $78 billion, or $186 billion annualized. This is less than half of the consumer spending growth in the second half of last year - $376 billion annualized. Meanwhile, we know that June was another horrible month for consumer spending. 

One important reason for the general indifference to this drastic reversal in consumer spending was apparently the fabulous job figures for the three months March-May that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) miraculously pulled out of the hat, reporting almost 1 million new jobs during these three months.

It shocked us to see how readily and uncritically research institutions, economists and media around the world 
accepted these numbers at face value, even though they came like a bolt from the blue in the face of otherwise rather mixed economic data. For the few who wanted to see, these numbers were bluntly suspect. CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT ABU GHRAIB PRISON

Subject: FW: "Abu Ghraib: The Hidden Story"
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 08:40:47 -0700
From: "Peter Coyote" Peter@wdprod.com 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

Dear Friends,
this astounding piece was written by my friend Mark Danner. It will appear in the New York Review of Books next Friday. Coupled with the article on the front page of Sunday's Chronicle about the catastrophic state of the economy (various think tanks and gov't agencies reporting an actual 43-72 TRILLION dollar deficit; talking about raising taxes 70%, forever; cutting Medicare and Medicaid 45% forever, or cutting all discretionary spending of the government) Mark's article represents the moral equivalent of fiscal bankruptcy.
What has happened to this country? As far as I can determine, these two stories corral the entire political class. Better to know, I suppose, and hence this missive. 

pete

* * *


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