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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending Sept. 21, 2001



LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below.

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

New York-Washington Terror Attacks Aggravate
Xenophobia and Could Erode Civil Liberties

Interview by Scott Harris.

The coordinated terrorist strikes against New York City's World Trade Center and Pentagon in Washington, D.C., resulted in a catastrophic loss of life, with the number of dead and injured difficult to calculate in the days immediately following the attack. As the world learned Sept. 11th, two hijacked airliners struck each of the World Trade Center twin towers, causing the 110-story buildings to collapse. About an hour later, another hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon causing one side of the building to fall. A fourth hijacked plane later crashed in Pennsylvania.

Speculation as to which organizations or nations may have been responsible for the assault reverberated in the nation's media. President Bush, speaking to the nation, said that "the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

In this special report, Between The Lines presents three interviews examining the repercussions of the terrorist attacks.

In our first interview, Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sarah Wunsch, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild, who considers the shocking terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. and their likely impact on civil liberties for U.S. citizens and immigrants.

Contact the National Lawyers Guild by calling (617) 227-7335 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

Search for Answers: Who Will Bush Target for Retaliation?
Interview by Denise Manzari.

Since the first horrifying reports of the terror strikes in New York and the Pentagon, defense and intelligence experts openly speculated that these highly coordinated attacks may have been the work of Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, accused of an earlier bombing at the World Trade Center in 1993, was himself the target of U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan not long after the Clinton Administration blamed him for planning and financing two deadly attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. Fearing accusations of complicity in the New York and Pentagon assaults and possible U.S. retaliation, an official of Afghanistan's Taliban government quickly condemned the World Trade Center-Pentagon terrorist attacks and rejected suggestions that bin Laden could be behind them.

But some U.S. commentators, remembering the false assumptions made early on as to the identity of the Oklahoma City bomber, were cautious in pointing a finger at any individual or group. Between The Lines' Denise Manzari spoke with retired Navy Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll of the Center for Defense Information, who looks at the forces that may have been responsible for the terror attack and how the Bush administration and the U.S. military may react.

Contact the Center for Defense Information by calling (202) 332-0600 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

Corporate Media Coverage of Terror Strikes
Ignore Root Cause of Hostility Toward U.S.

Interview by Scott Harris.

Not long after the first video images of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were broadcast, TV newsrooms presented their reports, adorned by designer logos and dramatic theme songs. Typical was CNN's title logo "America Under Attack" projected over an ominous soundtrack. This was the context in which initial reports covering the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing wrongfully blamed Arab terrorists. Of course, TV viewers later learned that U.S. based right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were responsible.

With the subordination of journalism to the demands of ratings and profit margins, many broadcast news divisions have transformed their reports on breaking news stories to something more akin to a game show. The world of infotainment, as it has been dubbed in broadcast and cable TV, often focuses more attention on style than substance. Today's corporate television executives have found it far less expensive and more profitable to invite several guests into a studio to shout at each other rather than devote resources needed to hire skilled investigative journalists to uncover the truth. This has led many critics to charge the media with gross negligence of their professional ethics that in the end deprives the public of vital information.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Robert Jensen, associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas, Austin, who evaluates the credibility and bias found in mainstream corporate media reporting of the devastating New York-Washington terror attacks.

Contact the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting or FAIR to read more about media omission and bias by calling (212) 633-6700 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

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

  • Declassified U.S. military documents show that the U.S. government set out to deliberately destroy Iraq's water supply system 10 years ago. ("The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply," by Thomas J. Nagy, The Progressive, Sept. 2001)
  • Mexican President Vicente Fox expelling poor migrants from southern Mexico while pleading for immigration reform in the U.S. ("Mexico's Southern Plan: The Facts," by Velia Jaramillo, World Press Review, September 2001)
  • Milk industry consolidation, not the Northeast Dairy Compact, is responsible for recent price increases. (Milking Profits, Maine Times, Aug. 2, 2001)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Arch Currie
Segment Producer: Denise Manzari
News reader: Denise Manzari
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Commentary on America's Crisis, from the Producer

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart"

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart," audio file in MP3.

Between The Lines Special Interviews

Ali Abunimah, vice president of Chicago's Arab American Action Network, interview in RealAudio, Sept. 12, 2001

In-Depth News Analysis

  • Third World Traveler, Foreign Policy section, collection of resources on

    "They can't see why they are hated: Americans cannot ignore what their government does abroad" by Seumas Milne, Guardian Unlimited, UK's Special Report on Terrorism in the U.S., Sept. 13, 2001

    Economic Globalization Resources

    ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

    "The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

    Post Inauguration and Electoral Reform Resources

    "National Lawyers Guild Considers Campaign to Impeach Supreme Court Justices Who Stopped Florida Vote Count" Between The Lines interview, Aug. 10, 2001

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

    Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

    Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

    Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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