Journalist deaths hit record high in 2005; TIME insists Abramoff-Bush photos exist; Robert Dreyfuss on Iraq election results; red states itching for abortion fight; Bush nominee Payne broke law; reconstruction in Iraq at a standstill; and more … Browse our continually updating front page at https://www.truthout.org
t r u t h o u t | 01.23
TIME Says Abramoff-Bush Photos Exist
TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush’s aides have downplayed.
Journalist Deaths Hit Record in 2005
A record number of media workers died last year while doing their job, amid a growing trend toward the targeted killing of journalists, the International Federation of Journalists said on Monday.
Red States Itching for Abortion Fight
Taking direct aim at Roe vs. Wade, lawmakers from several states are proposing broad restrictions on abortion, with the goal of forcing the US Supreme Court – once it has a second new justice – to revisit the landmark ruling issued 33 years ago today.
The New York Times | Judge Alito’s Radical Views
Judge Alito is exactly the kind of legal thinker President Bush wants on the Supreme Court. He has a radically broad view of the president’s power, and a radically narrow view of Congress’s power. The real risk for senators lies not in opposing Judge Alito, but in voting for him.
Robert Dreyfuss | Civil War-Elect
The Iraqi body politic is shattered, with little hope now of avoiding an all-out civil war. That’s the only conclusion that can be reached by looking at the results of the December 15 elections in Iraq, whose official returns were announced on Friday. Robert Dreyfuss takes a close look at the bad news, item by item.
Destruction Easier Than Reconstruction
While politicians deliberate over Iraq’s future, Iraqis are dealing with the reality of the present. They are looking at the debris of a country where reconstruction has come to a standstill.
Bush Nominee Broke Law
Judge James H. Payne nominated by President Bush to one of the highest courts in the nation apparently violated federal law repeatedly while serving on the federal bench.
General Marcel Valentin | Military Effectiveness in the Face of Terrorism
General Marcel Valentin argues that “a nation’s ability to settle crises may no longer be measured solely in terms of the power or precision of its weaponry,” but rather by the state of peace they establish.
Robert Parry | Alito Filibuster: It Only Takes One
Robert Parry writes: If confirmed, Alito would join at least three other right-wing justices – John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas – who believe that George W. Bush should possess near total control of the US government during the ill-defined War on Terror. If Anthony Kennedy, another Republican, joins them, they would wield a majority.
Norman Solomon | Other Shoe Dropping on Classified Leaks and Journalists
Norman Solomon writes: With the vice president’s former top aide Lewis Libby under indictment and Karl Rove still in the special counsel’s sights, the Bush administration is eager to go on the offensive about classified leaks. Loyal Republicans now claim higher moral ground as they decry the leak of classified information about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying that surfaced on the New York Times’s front page in mid-December.
US Troops Given Contaminated Water by Halliburton
Troops and civilians at a US military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn’t get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.
Ex-MP Blames Top Brass for Prisoner Torture
An enlisted officer giving a tour of the US facility in October 2003 pointed to a group of detainees chained to a cell. He said the bars had often “been decorated like a Christmas tree,” with prisoners as ornaments.
Iran Sanctions Could Drive Oil Past $100
Prices could soar past $100 a barrel, experts say, if the UN Security Council authorizes trade sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation, which the West accuses of trying to make nuclear bombs, and Iran curbs oil exports in retaliation. A sharp, global economic slowdown could follow.
Tom Engelhardt | Two Letters from Vietnam Vets on “Collateral Damage” in Iraq
Tom Engelhardt publishes two letters from Vienam Vets. Wade Kane writes: Killing innocent women and children is okay, “just” collateral damage…. If this is “okay,” then why wasn’t what Lt. Calley did in Vietnam okay? Similarly, why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki okay, but My Lai wasn’t? Somehow, when our soldiers shoot innocents at close range we are appalled, but when it is done via bombs or artillery it’s “okay.”
Morales Vows to Nationalize Bolivian Natural Gas
Bolivian President Evo Morales repeatedly vowed to “recover our natural resources” at his inauguration before Congress and later while addressing 100,000 supporters at an open air plaza.
Politics Alleged in Voting Cases
The Justice Department’s voting section has been thrust into the center of a growing debate over recent departures and controversial decisions in the Civil Rights Division as a whole.
Ron Paul | Recurring, Constant, and Pervasive Corruption
“Comparing the current scandal to the ‘big’ one, the Abramoff types are petty thieves… Take a look at the undeclared war we’re bogged down in 6,000 miles from our shores…Considering the war had nothing to do with our national security, we’re talking big bucks being wasted and lining the pockets of many well-connected American corporations. Waste, fraud, stupidity, and no-bid contracts characterize the process…Now this is a rip-off that a little tinkering with House rules and restraints on lobbyists won’t do much to solve.”- Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
Jason Leopold | Fitzgerald Eyes Plame-Niger Conspiracy
State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some of the information they discussed is still classified, indicated that the White House had substantial motive for revealing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to reporters.