Topic(s): Activism
Date Posted: 06.30.04

"BIOTERROR" CHARGES AGAINST ART PROFESSOR DOWNGRADED TO "MAIL FRAUD" IN STEALTH INDICTMENT \$256 technicality may be face-saving move by FBI - June 29th, 2004

Professor Steve Kurtz was charged today by a federal grand jury in Buffalo, New York--not with bioterrorism, as listed on the Joint Terrorism Task Force's original search warrant and subpoenas, but with "petty larceny," in the words of Kurtz attorney Paul Cambria. (See for background.)

Also indicted was Robert Ferrell, head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health. The charges concern technicalities of how Ferrell helped Kurtz to obtain $256 worth of harmless bacteria for one of Kurtz's art projects.

[Continue Reading]

Reverend Billy -- Protest on Evening News

Topic(s): Media
Date Posted: 06.28.04 Click "Protest Preparation" -- here's the link: We don't know how long they keep the thing posted -- it aired last night. Note from the Rev: It's a good feeling to see "The Church of the United States Constitution"... [Continue Reading]

Rene -- Zizek -- Between Two Deaths: The Culture of Torture

Topic(s): Iraq
Date Posted: 06.26.04

Between Two Deaths: The Culture of Torture

Slavoj Zizek

Does anyone still remember 'Comical Ali', Saddam's information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, who, in his daily press conferences, heroically stuck to the Iraqi line in the face of the most glaring evidence? (He was still claiming that TV footage of US tanks on the streets of Baghdad were just Hollywood special effects when the tanks were only a few hundred yards from his office.) He didn't always fail to make sense, however. Confronted with claims that the US army was already in control of parts of Baghdad, he snapped back: 'They are not in control of anything - they don't even control themselves!' I was reminded of that when news of the weird goings-on in the Abu Ghraib prison broke a few weeks ago.

George W. Bush was understandably keen to have us understand that the photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and humiliated by US soldiers did not reflect what America stands and fights for: the values of democracy, freedom and personal dignity. That the case turned into a public scandal was, in some ways, a positive sign: in a truly 'totalitarian' regime, it would have been hushed up. (In the same way, it is a positive sign that US forces did not find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: a truly totalitarian power would have behaved like a bad cop who plants drugs then 'discovers' evidence of the crime.)

[Continue Reading]

Former Israeli Soldiers Tell of Harassment of Palestinians

Topic(s): Palestine / Israel
Date Posted: 06.25.04

June 24, 2004

TEL AVIV, June 23 - When Israeli soldiers opened an exhibit this month documenting some of their own misdeeds while serving in the tense West Bank city of Hebron, they caused a brief stir.

At a photographic institute in Tel Aviv, the soldiers, all recently discharged, offer video testimony of gratuitous harassment and abuse of Palestinians, like firing tear gas just to get a reaction. Hanging on the wall are dozens of car keys confiscated from Hebron residents, a punishment both common and unauthorized, soldiers say. And a photo taken by a soldier shows graffiti, presumably written by civilians, which reads, "Arabs to the gas chambers."

[Continue Reading]

2 Articles on Seymour Hersh

Topic(s): Media
Date Posted: 06.25.04

[Bad titles, but decent articles. J]

1. The Muckracker (Chicago Tribune)
2. The Avenger (CJR)


The muckraker

Off the South Side streets sprang a groundbreaking journalist who has revealed some of America’s darkest secrets

By David Jackson
Tribune staff reporter

June 25, 2004

His rented Impala paws the asphalt as the legendary investigative reporter takes a slow left off 47th Street and heads into the sunlight of Indiana Avenue.

Seymour Hersh has come home again, to the rough-cut precincts where he spent a good chunk of the 1950s working as a teenager in his father's dry cleaner.

In those days, Hersh says, he delivered pressed clothes to houses of prostitution, and his father accepted steaks from stockyard workers who couldn't come up with cash.

"This building didn't used to be here," Hersh says, peering through the Impala's sloped window at a sheet of fresh brick.

The 67-year-old executes a three-point turn against traffic and stabs a finger at a spot in an alley.

"That was home plate!"

From these streets sprang a groundbreaking journalist who has revealed some of America's darkest official secrets.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Back to the Future

Topic(s): Negri/Hardt
Date Posted: 06.20.04

Toni Negri
Translated by Michael Hardt

Prison and Life

I'm not a masochist who would try to go through some kind of deprivation in order to construct something. I think that really there is no substantial difference between prison and the rest of life. I think that life is a prison when one doesn't make something of it or when the time of life is not grasped freely. One can be free in prison or outside prison. Prison is not a lack of freedom, just as life itself is not freedom -- the life of workers. The problem, then, is not that one must go through prison and the problem is not to make a philosophy out of this. There is no need to go through any deprivation. This is not a condition of philosophy. The fact is that one must make live the positive passions. The positive passions are the ones that construct, whether one is in prison or outside. And the positive passions are the ones that construct community, that liberate relationships, that create joy. And this is completely determined by the capacity to grasp the movement of time and translate it into an ethical process, in other words, into a process of the construction of personal joy, community, and the free enjoyment of divine love.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- The Fine Art of Car Bombings

Topic(s): Art World Stuff
Date Posted: 06.19.04

Rene -- The Fine Art of Car Bombings

WALID RAAD was 15 in 1983 when his family shipped him out of Beirut to Boston, just ahead of the militias that were targeting teenage men for enlistment during one of the most violent periods of the Lebanese wars. Now, in his art, he explores the inner life of hostages, the aftereffects of car bombings and the disconnect between official promises and how secure people feel.

If all that seems newly relevant to us in the age of terror, Mr. Raad would not disagree. "Why wouldn't you ask somebody from Lebanon about these experiences?" he asks. "We've lived through so many of these events, we can prefigure some of the possible scenarios."

[Continue Reading]

Avi -- Hebron Diaries

Topic(s): Palestine / Israel
Date Posted: 06.18.04

Hebron Diaries
By Aviv Lavie
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

During 14 months of service in Hebron, Yehuda Shaul could not bear the moral erosion he saw in himself and his comrades. Now the ultra-Orthodox 21 year-old has organized an exhibit of soldiers' photographs to bring the reality of the territories home.

"I had a friend who had a weapon with a launcher and everyone with a launcher was given riot-dispersal equipment. He was given a lot of tear gas canisters and he loved to shoot all this gas, so he would also steal it from other people who had tear gas launchers and fire it every time he climbed up to his post and came back from it. If he saw a group of people standing and talking, he would fire the teargas just to see them run and cough. He got a big kick out of it." (testimony of D., a fighter in the Nahal brigade who served in Hebron and was demobilized three months ago.

Yehuda Shaul still can't put his finger on the exact moment in which "it all clicked" for him. Maybe it was the day when some settler girls were sitting and playing a few meters away from his post, in Gross Square in the heart of Hebron. An elderly Palestinian woman passed by, loaded down with baskets, and the girls "picked up rocks and started stoning her. When I asked them, `What are you doing?,' they said, `How do you know what she did in 1929?'"

Or maybe it was after Operation Defensive Shield ended, when he returned from Ramallah to Hebron and to the corner post known as "the pharmacy" because of the nearby store. He went up to the second floor of the building, where there was a clinic that soldiers had taken over during the operation. He found a nauseating sight: "Everything was turned upside down. The windows were broken, syringes were scattered on the floor and excrement was smeared over everything."

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Articles on Steve Kurtz & CAE Censorship Case

Topic(s): Art/Politics
Date Posted: 06.17.04

1. From Counterpunch
2. From North Adams Transcript
3. From Buffalo News
4. From Berkshire Eagle Staff (more complete article)
5. From Seattle Pi

1. From Counterpunch

It May Be Even More Sinister Than It Appears
The Persecution of Steve Kurtz


Editors' Note: Here's the latest in the Steve Kurtz case, the Buffalo artist now being harrassed by the FBI. Recall that Kurtz's wife died, he called 911, they looked at his art and his books and called the FBI, and now the Justice Department has empaneled a grand jury to investigate him and the artists he works with. He's a really respectable guy and this whole thing is spiraling out of control.

The great local website Buffalo Report recently stated that "BR has been told that the real reason the Justice Department has scheduled a grand jury in the Steve Kurtz case is to cover up their lunatic overreaction in the first place: 'If the grand jury is looking into this we couldn't have been out of control, right?' Wrong. They're crucifying him just to save face. Your tax dollars at work."

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Secret world of US jails

Topic(s): Prisons
Date Posted: 06.17.04

Secret world of US jails

Jason Burke charts the worldwide hidden network of prisons where more than
3,000 al-Qaeda suspects have been held without trial - and many subjected to
torture - since 9/11

Sunday June 13, 2004
The Observer

The United States government, in conjunction with key allies, is running an 'invisible' network of prisons and detention centres into which thousands of suspects have disappeared without trace since the 'war on terror' began. In the past three years, thousands of alleged militants have been transferred around the world by American, Arab and Far Eastern security services, often in secret operations that by-pass extradition laws. The astonishing traffic has seen many, including British citizens, sent from the West to countries where they can be tortured to extract information. Anything learnt is passed on to the US and, in some cases, reaches British intelligence.

The disclosure of the shadowy system will increase pressure on the Bush administration over its 'cavalier' approach to human rights and will embarrass Tony Blair, a staunch ally of President George Bush.

The practice of 'renditions' - when suspects are handed directly into the custody of another state without due process - has sparked particular anger. At least 70 such transfers have occurred, according to CIA sources. Many involve men who have been freed by the courts and are thus legally innocent. Renditions are often used when American interrogators believe that harsh treatment - banned in their own country - would produce results.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- The Not-So-Velvet Revolution

Topic(s): Georgia
Date Posted: 06.17.04

The Not-So-Velvet Revolution

The New York Times
May 30, 2004

Georgia's president, Mikhail Saakashvili -- called Misha by just about
everyone in the country -- took power on Nov. 22, 2003, by storming
Parliament on live national television. Yelling from the back benches,
he ordered Eduard Shevardnadze, who was widely seen as having stolen
the recent parliamentary elections, to step aside. Shevardnadze, the
former Soviet foreign minister and custodian of Georgia's descent into
poverty and lawlessness, seemed frozen, then shaken by Saakashvili's
rhetorical fire. As Shevardnadze was shuttled out the backdoor,
Saakashvili, who had served a contentious term as justice minister
under Shevardnadze, marched to the lectern, scanned the riotous scene,
found the cameras and drank Shevardnadze's tall glass of tea.

Out in the streets, protesters stuck flowers in the barrels of
soldiers' assault rifles, and the Rose Revolution, as it was called,
was over. Saakashvili, a charismatic 36-year-old graduate of Columbia
Law School, was elected president two months later, winning 97 percent
of the vote. Georgia -- a nation cracked open by three breakaway
regions, racked by corruption and a tsunami of crime, reeling from
two civil wars, pocked by constant electricity and water shortages
and unable to collect taxes from its citizens -- was his to govern.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Sudan: no escape from bloodlust

Topic(s): Sudan
Date Posted: 06.17.04

Sudan: no escape from bloodlust


• Janjaweed militia battle Sudanese rebel forces and Chadian army
• One clash leaves four refugees dead
• UN aid agencies report several cross-border incursions

Key quote "The humanitarian situation is terrible so we are observing the ceasefire for our people to get help but there is a point where we can’t keep folding our arms and seeing things going from bad to worse," - Bahar Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army.

SUDANESE government-backed gunmen have clashed with Chadian army units after crossing the border to kill refugees who have fled the genocide in Darfur and sought sanctuary on land belonging to their western neighbour.

Janjaweed militiamen have fought gun battles with Sudanese rebel forces, who are attempting to protect the refugees, and with Chadian army soldiers inside Chad during the past two weeks. In one clash, four refugees were killed along with a number of Chadian soldiers and an unknown number of militia. The last incursion by the Janjaweed, an Arab militia backed by the Khartoum government, happened last Friday at Senette, just inside the Chadian border.

Yesterday, refugees camped at a wadi at Senette described how a large Janjaweed force rode into the nearby village on horseback at 6am on Friday, firing at people as they came out of their houses, and stealing livestock.

[Continue Reading]

Naeem -- Reagan-Palooza +

Topic(s): Media
Date Posted: 06.17.04

4 Articles assembled by Naeem
compliments of Shobak

2.Reagan & Media: A Love Story
3.Reagan in Truth and Fiction
4.A Nice Guy's Nasty Policies

David Corn
The Nation

Viewed on Jun 16, 2004

is it about Republicans and their distrust of the
mainstream media? As most news outlets are portraying
the dead Ronald Reagan as an iconic and heroic figure,
the Pew Research Center has released a survey that
shows GOPers trust the major media organizations much
less than Democrats. Only 15 to 17 percent of
Republicans believe the network news shows are
credible. Even Fox News Channel is trusted by only 29
percent of Republicans; CNN is trusted by 26 percent
of this band. About a third of Democrats said they
have faith in the networks, and 45 percent said they
consider CNN credible. (Only one in four Democrats
considered Fox a trustworthy news source.) The Pew
report notes, "Republicans have become more
distrustful of virtually all major media outlets over
the past four years, while Democratic evaluations of
the news media have been mostly unchanged."

[Continue Reading]

Avi -- B’Tselem report

Topic(s): Palestine / Israel
Date Posted: 06.17.04

B’Tselem report: Permit System for Crossing Barrier is Racist  

Today, B’Tselem is publishing a report that deals with Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinians access to their farmland that is located west of the separation barrier in the Tulkarm-Qalqiliya area. The primary means for preventing access is a permit system that Israel has instituted in the Seam Area, which are based on racist criteria.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Animal by Any Other Name? Patterson and Agamben Discuss Animal (and Human) Life

Topic(s): BookReview
Date Posted: 06.17.04

I found this to be an interesting review and discussion of Agamben's new book, The Open: Man and Animal. I also think it is interesting in relation to a seminar in 2000 I attended with Derrida at NYU where he took on this same distinction between human and animal and posited that even the most ethical of thinkers have failed to address or question this distinction. I included excerpts from the section on Agamben. The entire text is interesting. -rg


14. It is perhaps fitting therefore that we turn to Giorgio Agamben’s The Open: Man and Animal, since I feel that it is within this work that some of the issues raised in Eternal Treblinka are explored. Agamben’s previous political explorations, particularly his use of Michel Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, are notably applicable to an analysis of the animal (Wadiwel, 2002). In particular, prior to the publication of The Open, I believe there are two significant moments in Agamben’s works that can be said to prefigure his latter concern for the question of animal. The first of these moments is in Homo Sacer, when Agamben contemplates the medieval werewolf story Bisclavret. In Homo Sacer, Agamben argues that western sovereignty is distinct in its production of ‘bare life,’ that is, life that is held in a space of indistinction which is neither accessible to divine intervention or to law. This definition of sovereignty reveals an originary relationship between the sovereign power of exception and the political constitution of life as a biological entity that is found prominently within the concentration camp (Agamben, 1998). Agamben remarks that Bisclavret reveals, "both the werewolf’s particular nature as the threshold passage between nature and politics, animal world and human world, and the werewolf’s close tie to sovereign power are presented with extraordinary vividness" (1998: 107). The sphere of indistinction that Agamben suggests characterises Westernised sovereignty is not merely a juridical threshold but a meeting point of the human and animal: "at issue is not simply fera bestia and natural life but rather a zone of indistinction between the human and animal, a werewolf, a man who is transformed into a wolf and a wolf who is transformed into a man in other words, a bandit, a homo sacer." (1998: 106).

15. Agamben’s second significant encounter with the animal can be found in Remnants of Auschwitz, amidst a detailed discussion of the Muselmänner (or ‘muslims’) of the Nazi concentration camps. Muselmann was the term used by internees in the camps to describe ‘the walking dead’ of the camps, those who through exposure to starvation, deprivation, violence and brutality experience a fundamental "loss of will and consciousness" (Agamben, 1999: 45). What Agamben finds in this figure is the limit condition of human life:

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Migration, Detention, Desertion: A Dialogue

Topic(s): Global Polities
Date Posted: 06.17.04

Migration, Detention, Desertion: A Dialogue

Sandro Mezzadra & Brett Neilson
University of Bologna :: University of Western Sydney

1. Sandro Mezzadra teaches the History of Contemporary Political Thought at the University of Bologna. He is an active figure in the alternative globalisation movement in Italy, and has been particularly involved in bringing the question of migration to the centre of political struggle in that movement. Sandro is the author of works such as Diritto di fuga: Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione (2001) and (with Fabio Raimondi) Oltre Genova, oltre New York: Tesi sul movimento globale (2001). He is also a member of the editorial collective of DeriveApprodi magazine, one of the chief venues in Italy for the critical analysis of contemporary capitalism. We met in Bologna one foggy January afternoon to discuss the global movement, migration, and border control in Europe and Australia.

2. (Neilson) In your talk in the seminar ‘Diritto a migrare, diritto d’asilio’ at the European Social Forum you emphasized that the question of migration had become a central concern for the global movement in Italy. While the issue of migration had not been a primary concern at the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, it had emerged as a fundamental question in the lead-up to the Firenze meetings, particularly in the wake of the G8 protests in Genova. Can you describe how migration became a central issue for the global movement, giving some detail about concurrent developments in border control at the European level?

3. (Mezzadra) First it is necessary to ask what shape the global movement has taken since the first explosion in Seattle in late 1999. Clearly the central platform of the movement has been the struggle against neoliberal capitalism, and in particular against the large agencies of transnational governance such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. I don’t want to deny the analytical importance of the concept of neoliberalism, which serves to emphasize some of the central transformations that capitalism has undergone in the past two decades. Moreover, the ‘mobilizing power’ of the concept cannot be denied, since it has played a central role in that process of ‘naming the enemy’ that is strategic in the constitution of a social movement. Nevertheless, the critique of neoliberalism, as exemplified in publications like Le Monde Diplomatique (very influential within the movement itself), has tended to depict those who suffer the effects of globalisation in the global south as mere victims, denying them a position as protagonists or active social subjects in contemporary processes of global transformation. From this perspective, migration becomes just one in a long line of catastrophes occasioned by neoliberalism. And globalisation becomes a process that passes over the heads of people, something that is inevitable and thus immune to criticism from anything but a nostalgic point of view.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- a fair amount of killing

Topic(s): Iraq
Date Posted: 06.17.04

Interesting text, would be curious what others had to think about it - rg


There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.
Major Ralph Peters 'Constant Conflict' Parameters, Summer 1997, pp. 4-14.

a fair amount of killing

The current war in Iraq is the first large-scale war to have at stake the accelerated globalization of the reproduction of capital. The vestiges of both world wars which organized the contemporary epoch are finally disappearing; all the concurrent poles of global capitalist accumulation have been brutally redefined in their relation to the United States.

[Continue Reading]

Truthout -- Fisk -- Iraq, 1917

Topic(s): Iraq
Date Posted: 06.17.04

Iraq, 1917
    By Robert Fisk
    Independent U.K.

    Thursday 17 June 2004
They came as liberators but were met by fierce resistance outside Baghdad. Humiliating treatment of prisoners and heavy-handed action in Najaf and Fallujah further alienated the local population. A planned handover of power proved unworkable. Britain's 1917 occupation of Iraq holds uncanny parallels with today - and if we want to know what will happen there next, we need only turn to our history books...

    On the eve of our "handover" of "full sovereignty" to Iraq, this is a story of tragedy and folly and of dark foreboding. It is about the past-made-present, and our ability to copy blindly and to the very letter the lies and follies of our ancestors. It is about that admonition of antiquity: that if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. For Iraq 1917, read Iraq 2003. For Iraq 1920, read Iraq 2004 or 2005.

    Yes, we are preparing to give "full sovereignty" to Iraq. That's also what the British falsely claimed more than 80 years ago. Come, then, and confront the looking glass of history, and see what America and Britain will do in the next 12 terrible months in Iraq.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Sex, Art and Videotape

Topic(s): Art World Stuff
Date Posted: 06.16.04

Sex, Art and Videotape

My first thought was, If I'm going to have to sell it, I might as well sell it,'' the artist Andrea Fraser said last week, speaking from a downtown studio. Fraser was referring in a starkly literal sense to her work's medium: a fit 38-year-old brunette in a sexy red V-necked dress, who is in fact herself.

Fraser's videotape ''Untitled'' (2003) was scheduled to go on view at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery in Chelsea on June 10. In it, the artist is seen having sex in what some have characterized coyly as ''every imaginable position,'' with an unidentified American collector who paid close to $20,000 to participate in this curious 60-minute work of art.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- He Lied and Cheated in the Name of Anti-communism

Topic(s): US Analysis
Date Posted: 06.16.04

He Lied and Cheated in the Name of Anti-communism
>>From Iraq, Reagan didn't look so Freedom-loving
by Jonathan Steele

Friday, June 11, 2004
Guardian / UK  
It will be odd for Iraqis to watch TV tonight (power cuts permitting)
and hear the eulogies to freedom-loving Ronald Reagan at his state
funeral. The motives behind US policy towards their country have always
been a mystery, and if Iraqis sometimes explain to westerners that
Saddam Hussein was a CIA agent whose appointed task was to provoke
an American invasion of Iraq, it is largely thanks to Reagan's legacy.

Although Saddam was still a junior figure, it is a matter of record
that the CIA station in Baghdad aided the coup which first brought the
Ba'athists to power in 1963. But it was Reagan who, two decades later,
turned US-Iraqi relations into a decisive wartime alliance. He sent
a personal letter to Saddam Hussein in December 1983 offering help
against Iran. The letter was hand-carried to Baghdad by Reagan's
special envoy, Donald Rumsfeld.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Baghdad Fumes as the Americans Seek Safety in 'Tombstone' Forts

Topic(s): Iraq
Date Posted: 06.16.04

Baghdad Fumes as the Americans Seek Safety in 'Tombstone' Forts
by Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad

Saturday, June 12, 2004
The US army is paralyzing the heart of Baghdad as it builds ever more
elaborate fortifications to protect its bases against suicide bombers.

"Do not enter or you will be shot," reads an abrupt notice attached to
some razor wire blocking a roundabout at what used to be the entrance
to the 14 July bridge over the Tigris. Only vehicles with permission
to enter the Green Zone, where the occupation authorities have their
headquarters, can now use it. Iraqis who want to cross the river
must fight their way to another bridge through horrendous traffic jams.

[Continue Reading]

Truthout -- Bush Is No Reagan, But...

Topic(s): US Analysis
Date Posted: 06.12.04

Bush Is No Reagan, But...
By Steve Weissman

compliments of t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Thursday 10 June 2004

Ronald Reagan is a tough act to follow, as no one feels more this week than George W. Bush.

Reagan walked tall, but spoke softly. Confident rather than cocky, he felt comfortable in his own skin in a way that poor Mr. Bush never will. Sunny rather than brash, he knew his limits, admitted mistakes, and rarely crowed. Always gracious, he extended the hand of friendship to his political foes, and did it without a grimace.

My favorite of his friendly rivals was Tip O'Neill, the six-foot-three, three-hundred-pound Massachusetts Democrat who served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Tip loathed Mr. Reagan's politics. He blasted the president as "Herbert Hoover with a smile" and "a cheerleader for selfishness." Yet, personally, the two men got along well.

[Continue Reading]

Kevin -- Abu Ghraib is No Surprise to Irish Republicans

Topic(s): Ireland
Date Posted: 06.12.04

June 5 / 6, 2004
I Have Been in Torture Photos, Too
Abu Ghraib is No Surprise to Irish Republicans


News of the ill-treatment of prisoners in Iraq created no great surprise in republican Ireland. We have seen and heard it all before. Some of us have even survived that type of treatment. Suggestions that the brutality in Iraq was meted out by a few miscreants aren't even seriously entertained here. We have seen and heard all that before as well. But our experience is that, while individuals may bring a particular impact to their work, they do so within interrogative practices authorised by their superiors.

For example, the interrogation techniques which were used following the internment swoops in the north of Ireland in 1971 were taught to the RUC by British military officers. Someone authorised this. The first internment swoops, "Operation Demetrius", saw hundreds of people systematically beaten and forced to run the gauntlet of war dogs, batons and boots.

[Continue Reading]

Greg -- CAA weigh's in on CAE case

Date Posted: 06.10.04

I encourage you to forward this excellent letter of support from the new president of CAA Ellen Levy and CAA Executive Director Susan Ball regarding the Buffalo Artist v FBI case and the negative impact of the Patriot Act on the arts and academia- gs

Letter From the CAA to the Editor at the New York Times:

To the Editor:

David Staba's June 7th article highlights the vulnerability of the freedom of artistic expression since the enactment of the USA Patriot Act. Based on Staba's report, Steve Kurtz's detention and the grand jury investigation being faced by him and some fellow members of the Critical Art Ensemble appear unwarranted. Such actions adversely affect art and arts-related institutions and chill the right of Americans to question authority.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Hakim Bey -- JIHAD REVISTED

Topic(s): Middle East
Date Posted: 06.08.04

by Hakim Bey

June 5, 2004

In the mid-'90s I was invited to a big philosophy conference in
Libya. I wrote a little paper on the influence of "Neo-Sufism" on
Col. Qaddafi and his Green Book. I wondered if the Libyans would
even allow me to read it. After all, Q came to power in 1969 by
overthrowing a king who was also a Sufi master. Perhaps he had
repudiated the influence of Sufism on his own life and thought?

Turned out the Libyans loved the paper and told me I was correct: in a
sense the Libyan Revolution had been directed against corrupt Sufism on
behalf of reformed Sufism. Unfortunately, Q himself never showed up at
the conference to confirm or deny this, but I'm sure they were right.

Neo-Sufism arose in the 19th century in response to the corrupt
authoritarian Sufism of colonial times and partly in response to
colonialism itself. Anti-French resistance in Algeria was spearheaded
by the great Emir Abdel Kader, guerilla chief and brilliant Sufi
shaykh in the school of Ibn Arabi.

[Continue Reading]

John -- Iraq lies from A-Z

Topic(s): Iraq
Date Posted: 06.04.04

Here's a brief inventory from the London Independent of some of the lies told w/r/t
the war...

The lying gameAn A-Z of the Iraq war and its aftermath, focusing on
misrepresentation, manipulation, and mistakes
01 June 2004

A Mohammed Atta. The Bush administration claimed that a meeting between the lead hijacker of the 11 September attacks and a senior Iraqi intelligence officer proved a connection between al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein. But there is no evidence such a meeting took place.

B Bush and Blair: The two leaders have reacted strongly to all suggestions they
misled their respective electorates over the war, and maintain time will prove they were right to go to war. Both, though, are suffering poll difficulties, as problems in Iraq become worse, and each needs speedy improvement to shore up his position.

C Ahmed Chalabi. The leader of the Iraq National Congress, who is a member of the Iraq Governing Council, is now accused of having duped the Bush administration, as well as the media, into believing that Saddam Hussein represented a direct threat to US and British security.

[Continue Reading]

Rene -- Email shows Cheney 'link' to oil contract

Topic(s): US Analysis
Date Posted: 06.01.04

Email shows Cheney 'link' to oil contract
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

The Guardian
Tuesday June 1, 2004

The US vice-president, Dick Cheney, helped to steer through a huge
contract for the reconstruction of Iraq's oil industry on behalf
of his old firm, Halliburton, Time magazine reported yesterday. The
report, based on an internal Pentagon email, joins a steady stream
of allegations of cronyism involving Halliburton. Since the fall of
Saddam Hussein, the Houston company has won $17bn (£9bn) in contracts
to rebuild Iraq, far outstripping its competitors.

Mr Cheney, who ran Halliburton for five years before he became George
Bush's vice-president in 2000, has maintained that he severed all
links to the company when he entered public life.

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