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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending March 9, 2001


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual segments below. (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or 8.)

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

The Corrupting Influence of Money in Politics Extends Well Beyond Clinton Pardons
Interview by Scott Harris.

Since Bill Clinton's final day in office, the corporate media have provided saturation coverage on the former president's controversial pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich. Rich was charged in 1983 with evading $48 milllion dollars in taxes and in violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Congressional Republicans allege that the pardon may have been granted in exchange for more than $1 million dollars in contributions made by Rich's ex-wife Denise to the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign and the Clinton presidential library.

Further questions were raised about the pardon process when it was revealed that the brother of former first lady, now New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton had lobbied the president for executive clemency for other convicted felons. These pardons included a well-connected drug dealer, in exchange for $400,000 dollars. The charges of a White House "quid pro quo" deal are now being investigated by the Justice Department and Congressional committees.

But there is a strange climate in Washington, D.C. where the press and the political establishment condemn a president for granting access and influence to the wealthy and powerful, but remain silent on the identical convention practiced daily by virtually all politicians in both major parties. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sheila Krumholz, research director with the Center for Responsive Politics, who discusses the Rich pardon in the context of the corrupting influence of money in politics in Washington, D.C.

Contact the Center for or Responsive Politics by calling (202) 857-0044 or visit their Web site at

Hope for Reviving Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Dim as Labor Party Joins Sharon Government
Interview by Scott Harris.

As the violence which has claimed over 400 mostly Palestinian lives in the West Bank and Gaza continues, Israel is set to install a new unity government to replace that of Ehud Barak's. The Labor Party, soundly defeated by the Likud Party in recent Israeli elections, voted by a 2 to 1 margin to join a government led by newly elected prime minister Ariel Sharon.

The debate leading to the Labor Party decision to share power with the former right-wing general was emotional and divisive, with some in the party believing that their participation would be a "fig leaf" for extremist policies. Others, however, say the agreement, giving Labor the right to appoint eight Cabinet ministers in the new government, may moderate Sharon's position on future relations with the Palestinians. Nonetheless, many Palestinians fear that any government led by Sharon, accused of responsibility for the 1982 murder of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, will provoke more violence.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Mazin Qumsiyeh, associate professor of genetics at Yale University and treasurer with the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, who assesses the prospects for reviving failed peace talks and ending the five-month Palestinian uprising under a Labor-Likud unity government.

Contact the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition by calling (203) 785-6317 or visit their Web site at

Change in the Air as International Support for Iraq Embargo Erodes
Interview by Scott Harris.

After 10 years of United Nations imposed economic sanctions against Iraq, international support for the embargo is eroding. Nations in the Middle East and elsewhere have increasingly defied the no fly zones, sending flights to Baghdad carrying relief supplies and passengers.

Since 1998, two United Nations humanitarian coordinators in Iraq have resigned their posts to protest the role sanctions have played in devastating the nation's civilian health care, education and food distribution infrastructure. UNICEF estimated in 1999 that 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of the sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The Bush administration's decision to launch air strikes against Baghdad on Feb. 16 was seen by many observers as a symbol of a new "get tough" policy which may include arming Iraqi opposition groups bent on overthrowing Sadam Hussein. But, Secretary of State Colin Powell is advocating the modification of sanctions to lift restrictions on some civilian goods while tightening controls on supplies with military applications.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Colin Rowat, Iraq sanctions project coordinator with the Center for Economic and Social Rights, who examines the growing movement to moderate the 10-year-old economic embargo against Iraq.

Contact the Center for Economic and Social Rights by calling (718) 237-9145 ext. 19 or visit their Web site at

Related articles:

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Several thousand Palestinian youths crippled by bullets fired by Israeli soldiers since the latest intifada, or uprising (Village Voice)
  • Right-wing anti-abortion activists using Internet technology to target and harass groups that make or distribute RU-486, the French abortion pill, which was approved for use in the U.S. last fall. (In These Times, Feb. 19, 2001)
  • Global warming is causing higher sea levels, endangering islands in the South Pacific. (World Press Review, February 2001)

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Nigel Rees
News reader: Elaine Osowski
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

April 17-22, 2001 FTAA Summit Protest Resources

"Labor, Environmental and Human Rights Groups Organizing to Oppose April Americas Free Trade Treaty Summit in Quebec City" Between The Lines interview with Alliance for Responsible Trade's Karen Hansen Kuhn, Feb. 26, 2001

"Quebec City Crackdown,", by Darryl LeRoux, Feb. 20, 2001

People's Summit of the Americas II, Grassroots coalition Schedule of Events for people's forums, teach-ins, rallies, mass demonstration. (

Quebec Independent Media Center

Between The Lines/WPKN Report on Pacifica Radio Network-WBAI, N.Y. Crisis
Jan. 8, 2001 Interviews with Utrice Leid, Leslie Cagan, and Bernard White

Foreign Reports on the U.S. Election Cover-Up

"Silence Of The Lambs: The Election Story Never Told", Whistleblowers Section, by Greg Palast, March 1, 2001

Post Inauguration and Electoral Reform Resources

"Making Every Vote Count", The Nation Magazine, Special Section

"Hailing the Thief," The Nation Special Web Exclusive Report, by Ben Ehrenreich

Between The Lines/WPKN 'Profiles Bush Cabinet Nominees' Archive:

"John Ashcroft Sought White Supremacist Political Support"

Interior Department Nominee Gale Norton at Odds with Public Support for Protecting the Environment

"Attorney General Nominee's Career Marked by Opposition to Reproductive Rights and Civil Rights Law"

"From Vietnam to Florida's Disenfranchisement of Black Voters: Unheroic Moments in Secretary of State Nominee Colin Powell's Career"


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