SECTION NINE

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COLUMN SIXTY-SEVEN, JANUARY 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz)

1.  Carlos Geovanny - We Will Not Forget

A student from the National University at Bogota, Colombia was shot dead when police forces invaded university campus. At about noon, there were clashes between students protesting war in Afganistan and police forces. Then a shot was heard.  Medicine student Carlos Geovanny Blanco Leguizamo was found wounded by the shot and taken to the hospital. He died a few moments later. 

National University has cancelled classes for today and tomorrow. Carlos was part of a growing network of independent activists in Colombia fighting economic globalization and the war at Afganistan. Police deny they were the authors of the shootings but many witness assure the shot came from behind police lines. Corporate media in Colombia have almost ignored the case. Please don't let this be forgotten. Send letters and protest at the nearest Colombian embassy or consulate. After Carlo Giuliani is with sadness that we see an anti-globalization/ anti-war protester shot dead in South America.  

From: Pablo Ortellado <paort@uol.com.br>
Brazil Independent Media Center Volunteer

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2.  Gulf of Tonkin Was a Lie

PRESIDENT Johnson admitted in a secret tape recording that the incident he used to win congressional approval for the Vietnam war probably never happened, according to a book published yesterday.

In 1964, days after an alleged North Vietnamese attack on US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, Congress approved a resolution authorizing the President to take all necessary steps, including the use of force to help America's southeast Asian allies.

Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to drag America ever deeper into the Vietnam war, to the consternation of many Congressmen.

In a secret recording Johnson berated Robert McNamara, his Defense Secretary, for misleading him. You said: Damn, they are launching an attack on us, they are firing on us. When we got through with all the firing, we concluded maybe they hadn't fired at all.

The book, Reaching for Glory, was edited by the historian Michael Beschloss from Johnson's tapes and the diary of Lady Bird, his wife.  

The Times (London)
November 7, 2001

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3.  True Liberals

WASHINGTON -- In an unusual political alignment, several potential Democratic presidential contenders in 2004 are urging President Bush to intensify and expand the war against terrorism.

While not criticizing Bush's management of the war so far, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware in varying ways have taken positions more hawkish than the president. On issues from the use of ground troops in Afghanistan to the targeting of Iraq and policy toward Saudi Arabia, Lieberman and Kerry in particular have echoed conservative activists pressing Bush to pursue the war more aggressively.

"In certain ways, Lieberman and . . . Kerry have been closer to us than parts of the Bush administration," said conservative strategist William Kristol, a leader among Republicans hawks.  

LA TIMES
November 9 2001

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4.  Fun Facts About Anthrax

Anthrax Treatment From Facing South:

*       Cost of a 60-day supply in the U.S. of the anthrax-fighting antibiotic Cipro, patented by Bayer: $700

*       Cost of a generic alternative, not available in the U.S. due to Bayer's patent: $20

*       Amount of profits made by U.S. pharmaceutical industry last year, in billions: $27

*       Amount that U.S. consumers would save if imports of generic alternatives of all drugs were allowed in the U.S., in billions: $30

*       Amount that George Bush is willing to reduce costs of Cipro by overriding the Bayer monopoly, as the  government of Canada did last month: 0

*       Amount that Georgie Porgie Bush received from the pharmaceutical industry for his presidential campaign: $472,333

*       Number of former drug company executives in Bush's cabinet: 2

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5.  Exciting New Game For Children

U.S. radio broadcasts into Afghanistan now include a safety warning:  

   airdropped food parcels are square, unexploded
   cluster bombs are can-shaped, and both are yellow,
   so it is important to tell them apart.

"Attention people of Afghanistan!" the broadcasts in Persian and Pashto say. "As you may have heard, the Partnership of Nations is dropping yellow Humanitarian Daily Rations. The rations are square-shaped and are packaged in plastic.

"They are full of good nutritious, Halal food," prepared according to Islamic precepts. "In areas far from where we are dropping food, we are dropping cluster bombs," the radio spots say, according to a transcript obtained on Monday. "Although it is unlikely, it is possible that not every bomb will explode on impact. These bombs are a yellow color and are can-shaped ...

"Once again, we will not be using these bombs in areas near where we are dropping relief supplies. Please, please exercise caution when approaching unidentified yellow objects in areas that have been recently bombed."

Reuters

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6.  Need  Some Space

HUNDREDS of Chagos islanders, who were evicted from the Indian Ocean archipelago by Britain three decades ago, have launched a round-the-clock protest outside the British High Commission in Mauritius until they are allowed to return to their homes.

The Chagossians, who were removed between 1965 and 1973 to make way for a US military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands, claim that they have been prevented from returning, despite a landmark victory in the High Court in London against the British Government. Diego Garcia has been a launching point for American B52 bombers pounding Afghanistan.

More than 4,500 islanders and their descendants have been languishing on Mauritius since their expulsion from what was known as the British Indian Ocean Territory. 

THE TIMES (London)
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 07 2001

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7.  Need  Some More Space

TASHKENT, Nov 7, 2001 -- (dpa) The United States has established its first long-term military presence in a former Soviet republic, television reports in Uzbekistan said Tuesday.

Under an agreement signed one month ago between the Uzbek government and Washington, U.S. forces may continue to use a military air base in the republic even after conclusion of the anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan, the reports said.

The details of the agreement signed in Tashkent October 7 were not released.

An extended U.S. military presence in the region will annoy Moscow, which still regards the former Soviet republics as falling within its perceived sphere of influence.

dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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8.  Santeria Muralista

Rainbow-splashed murals cover the cracked walls of the Callej?n de Hamel, or Hamel's Alley, where one artist turned a couple of blighted blocks into an outdoor shrine to African-Cuban religion.

Some of Salvador Gonz?lez's radiant, swirling murals stretch three stories high. Their bright colors evoke Santeria's deities: red for Chang?, yellow for Och?n, blue for Yemaya.

Fragments of poetry and popular proverbs are written alongside allegorical paintings referring to Santeria's legends. Large, protective eyes are a recurring symbol.

Gonz?lez, and his wife, Maritza Galano, moved to the alley in 1971, when the sidewalks were piled high with trash and it was a poorly lighted hangout for neighborhood thugs.

Although Santeria -- a blend of West African rituals with Roman Catholic saints -- has strong roots here, it was driven underground after the 1959 revolution along with all other religions. A self-taught artist and Santeria practitioner, Gonz?lez painted his first mural in the alley in 1990 as a favor to a friend. Soon after, he realized he could use his art to bring Santeria out of central Havana's back rooms, where it was practiced in secret, and into the public eye.

From: CubaNews@yahoogroups.com

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9.  Electronic Pussy

The CIA tried to discover Russia's Cold War secrets by installing bugging devices in a cat and using its tail as an antenna.

Recently declassified documents show agents inserted the transmitters into the cat they called Acoustic Kitty.

A former officer says the experiment - carried out in 1966 - ended when the cat was run over.

They hoped the cat would allow them to listen to secret conversations from window sills and park benches.

Victor Marchetti told The Sunday Telegraph: "They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him. They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that."

He adds: "They took it out to a park and put him out of the van, and a taxi comes and runs him over. There they were, sitting in the van with all those dials, and the cat was dead."

The document has been declassified from the Science and Technology Directorate.

  From: Stasi <stasi@lineone.net>

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10.  Just Being Hungry-Like

Job Losses Hit 415,000 as Rate Jumps to 5.4 Percent

The jolt to the U.S. labor market from the September terrorist attacks and their aftermath was more severe than generally predicted as businesses reduced payrolls by 415,000 and the unemployment rate vaulted to 5.4 percent in October, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the largest job loss total since May of 1980.

The latest jobs numbers are "recession-like" to forecasters, says Maury Harris, chief economist at UBS Warburg in New York. Policymakers and private economists were braced for bad news in the October employment report, but the figures described a wider and deeper deterioration than all but the most pessimistic analysts had predicted.  

DAILY LABOR REPORT
November 5, 2001,

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11.  War Means $$ for the Fat Cats

WASHINGTON " General Motors, IBM and Kmart are among corporations that would receive billions of dollars in tax refunds under a $100 billion House Republican economic-stimulus package. Democrats say it is far too generous to companies and does too little for individuals.

Seven companies would get a total of $3.3 billion in refunds of alternative minimum taxes they paid as far back as 1986. The tax, which the House legislation also would repeal outright, is intended to ensure a basic minimum income tax is paid by companies and individuals that claim numerous deductions and credits.

IBM would get a $1.4 billion refund, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. GM would get $832 million, Kmart $102 million and General Electric $671 million. Others specified for big refunds include energy giant Enron, at $254 million; U.S. Steel, $39 million; and grocery chain Kroger, $9 million.

In addition, the study found that Ford would get a refund that could total $2.3 billion, while Chevron's could reach $314 million.

Counting repeal of the tax, corporations would get more than $25 billion in tax relief from these minimum-tax provisions in 2002 alone. In addition, the bill would make permanent a temporary tax break for financial-services firms doing a lot of overseas business, providing them $21 billion in tax relief over 10 years.  

Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001
The Associated Press

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12.  Fun Facts About Tax Theft

Profitable corporations that will receive a total of $7.4 billion in immediate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) rebates if the economic "stimulus" bill recently passed by the House of Representatives becomes law are also major campaign contributors, giving $45.7 million to federal elections since 1991, according to a new report released today by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), and Public Campaign.

The report examines 41 companies that contributed a total of $150 million to federal candidates and parties since 1991 while, between 1996 and 1998 alone, receiving $55 billion in special tax breaks. Several of these same companies are in line to be major beneficiaries if the AMT repeal in the recently passed House bill should become law.

Major findings of the study include:  

 * Members of Congressional tax-writing committees "
   the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance
   Committees " collected $9.7 million from top tax-
   avoiding companies since 1991. The top recipients
   include Senate Finance Committee Members Sen. Orrin
   Hatch (R-UT), who received $355,430, and Sen. John
   B. Breaux (D-LA), who received $251,150.  

 * After the GOP took over Congress in 1994 " and
   control of writing tax laws " top tax-avoiding
   companies sharply increased their contributions to
   the Republican Party and its candidates. In the 1992
   and 1994 election cycles, the GOP received 54
   percent of the contributions from these companies
   while the Democrats received 45 percent. By the 2000
   election cycle, Republican candidates and party
   committees received more than twice as much campaign
   cash as the Democrats. Thus, campaign cash followed
   the power to make laws the companies wanted " not
   any ideological preference or principle.  

 * Energy industries that will collect about $27
   billion over ten years, if the energy bill passed by
   the House of Representatives in August 2001 becomes
   law, contributed $209 million to political campaigns
   from 1989 through June 2001. The oil and gas
   industry already pays the lowest effective tax rate
   of any industry in America " just 5.7 percent in
   1998.  

 * The "Big Five" accounting firms, which beefed up
   their tax lobbying practices in the late 1990s and
   built a reputation for securing tax loopholes for
   corporate clients from Congress and the Treasury
   Department, are also major campaign contributors.
   They contributed $29 million to federal candidates
   and party committees from 1989 through June 2001.  

 * Industries benefiting from a special tax credit for
   research and experimentation (R&E) costs poured $148
   million into political campaigns and parties from
   1989 through June 2001. The pharmaceutical and
   computer industries are pushing hard to make the R&E
   tax credit permanent. One of their major champions,
   Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), received more than half a
   million dollars from these industries between 1995
   and 2000. Five days after Hatch offered an amendment
   in committee in July 1999 to make the credit
   permanent, he received a bundle totaling $10,000
   from a who's-who list of top Pfizer executives.  

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>

 

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13.  Two Lawyers on an Island

Two lawyers had been marooned on a desert island for almost a year after their ship had sunk during a terrible storm. One day while walking along the beach, the two lawyers find a beautiful unconscious woman washed up on the shore.

The first lawyer asks the second lawyer, "Think we should fuck her?", and the second lawyer replies,

"Outta what?"

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14.  Our Friends in Afghanistan

They hauled Taliban soldiers by the thousands into the desert and shot them.

Others, they threw into wells, then tossed grenades in after them.

That 1997 massacre represents just one charge from a new Human Rights Watch report detailing alleged war crimes by America's ally in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance. Along with Amnesty International, the watchdog group is asking the U.S. to withhold military assistance to alliance forces until its leaders address past abuses and, ideally, bring to justice the four chiefs responsible for the worst horrors.

"The senior commanders are really beyond the pale," says Human Rights Watch's Joost Hiltermann. "These were commanders who were in charge when atrocities were committed."

This is hardly the first time the U.S. has gotten into bed with less-than-savory characters in the name of short-term strategic needs. During the '80s, the U.S. armed and trained Islamic fundamentalist guerrillas?including Osama bin Laden'to beat back the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

As the Human Rights Watch report demonstrates, the civil war compromised virtually every faction in Afghanistan. Hiltermann says the U.S. should at least try to pinpoint and isolate the worst offenders, but instead the White House has thrown in its lot with a rogues' gallery of brutal warlords. Their ability to govern Afghanistan humanely is, at best, dubious.

FACTION ETHNIC BASE COMMANDERS ALLEGED ATROCITIES:

Jamiat-i Islami Tajik Ahmad Shah Massoud,Burhanuddin Rabbani

- Rape and looting in a Hazara neighborhood of Kabul, March 1995

Killing of between 76 and 180 civilians in a nighttime rocket attack on a market, September 1998 Hizb-i Wahdat Hazara Muhammad Karim Khalili Haji Muhammad Muaqqiq* " Routine torture and execution of detainees in Bamiyan Province, circa 1994 Junbish militias Uzbek Abdul Rashid Dostum* Abdel Malik Pahlawan* " Summary execution of 3000 Taliban soldiers in and around Mazar-e Sharif, May 1997

Indiscriminate air raid on residential areas of Kabul killed several civilians Ittihad-i Islami Pashtun, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf,Harakat-I IGeneralslami-yi Hazara Ayatollah Muhammad, Asif Muhsini, Anwari Jamiat-i Islami and Ittihad-i Islami Tajik and Pashtun - Rape and killing of between 70 and 100 Hazara civilians in Kabul, February 1993

Several factions - Killing of 25,000 civilians in struggle for Kabul. Several factions engaged in widespread rape, summary executions, arbitrary arrest, torture, and ''disappearances'' of civilians, circa 1994.

Several factions involved in persecution of ethnic Pashtuns and Tajiks, including summary executions, looting, and burning of houses in the Sangcharak district, 1999 and 2000

* Commander named individually by Human Rights Watch  

the VILLAGE VOICE
November 7 - 13, 2001

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15.  The Constitution of the United States Is in Jeopardy

Katie Sierra postponed an interview with Court TV Monday afternoon. She was trying to catch up on her schoolwork and earn enough credits to become a high school sophomore.

Sierra's unsuccessful attempts to start an anarchy club at Sissonville High School and wear T-shirts opposing the bombing of Afghanistan have generated national and international attention during the past several days.

Sierra, 15, has been interviewed by YM magazine, Hispanic Link news service, the Weekly Reader and several talk-radio stations.

MTV plans to interview Sierra this week. And TV Asahi, a Japanese television network, plans to send a reporting crew to Sissonville.

In San Diego, students at a high school and two universities are circulating petitions in support of Sierra.

"It's the first incident we've had of suppressing speech since the war started," said Roger Forman, Sierra's attorney. "It's all the more important that something be done. The whole world is looking at us."

On Monday, Forman requested an emergency hearing before the state Supreme Court.

"The Constitution of the United States is in jeopardy," he said.

Last week, Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky sided with the Kanawha County school board, saying Sierra and her attorneys failed to prove the irreparable harm needed to grant a preliminary injunction.

The week before, Sissonville High Principal Forest Mann suspended Sierra for three days for promoting the anarchy club.

Mann also told Sierra she could not wear T-shirts with anarchy symbols and handwritten messages such as "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America."  

Charleston Gazette
Tuesday November 6, 2001

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MIKE ALEWITZ

alewitzm@ccsu.edu  

Phone: (860)832-2359

________________________________________

LaBOR aRT & MuRAL PRoJECT (LAMP)

To subscribe to AGITPROP NEWS, the LAMP digest of news and humor for artists and activists... send a blank email to: subscribe-agitprop@listserv.ccsu.edu  

MIKE ALEWITZ
LaBOR aRT & MuRAL PRoJECT
Department of Art
Central Connecticut State University
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT  06050  

Phone: 860.832.2359  ##

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