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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending March 29, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until April 1, 2002.

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

Human Rights Group Condemns U.S. Government's
Secret Detention of Immigrants

6 Months After Sept. 11 Attack, Hundreds of Detainees Remain
Interview by Scott Harris

In the weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, some 1,200 immigrants were arrested or detained by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in a search for individuals connected to the deadly assaults on New York City and Washington, D.C. Although nearly all of those picked up were guilty of nothing more than minor visa violations, six months later, 300 non-citizens are believed to still be in federal custody, with an unknown number having been deported or released on bond.

A report recently released by Amnesty International accuses the government of depriving a significant number of these detainees of their basic human rights under U.S. and international law. Amnesty states that many of those detained have been arbitrarily imprisoned in secrecy, without access to an attorney or contact with family members. The human rights group has also expressed concern about the punitive conditions under which these individuals have been held -- including prolonged periods of solitary confinement and heavy shackling.

Amnesty has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act demanding that the government release detailed information on those being held and has called for an investigation of the conditions these individuals have been subjected to. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Josh Rubenstein, northeast regional director with Amnesty International USA, who questions the government's justification for withholding basic human and civil rights from these persons.

To obtain a copy of the report, call Amnesty International USA at (617) 623-0202 or visit their Web site at

Bush Administration Poised to Escalate
U.S. Involvement in Colombia's Civil War

Interview by Scott Harris

According to news reports, the Bush administration is laying the groundwork to escalate significant U.S. involvement in Colombia's civil war. The White House is asking Congress to lift all restrictions currently in place on U.S. military aid to Colombia's government. Among the conditions that President Bush wants removed are limits which confine U.S. assistance to counter-narcotics operations; requiring Colombia's Army to abide by human rights standards and a cap on the number of U.S. military personnel allowed in the country. As part of "Plan Colombia," Congress allocated $1.3 billion to Bogota to fight the war on drugs in early 2000, during the Clinton administration.

After the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush administration has consistently labeled Colombia's largest leftist rebel group The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, as a dangerous terrorist organization, generating increased support in Congress for an escalation of U.S. involvement. Since Colombia's president Andres Pastrana broke off talks with FARC in February, the conflict has intensified between the guerilla group, army and right-wing paramilitary units, all accused of gross human rights abuses and participation in the drug trade.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with investigative journalist Al Giordano, publisher of the online magazine Narco News, who takes a critical look at the Bush administration's plan for deeper involvement in Colombia's four-decade-long civil war.

The online magazine, Narco News, can be found on the Internet at

Kenya's Greenbelt Movement Empowers
Women and Poor Communities

Interview by Melinda Tuhus

For decades, Kenya, a land of incredible beauty and abundant natural resources, has suffered under several inter-related catastrophes. The introduction across much of the land of monoculture coffee production for export, forced small farmers in search of firewood and building materials to denude the lush countryside of trees. This environmental devastation, combined with rampant political corruption and the imposition of harsh conditions laid down by international lending agencies, have created a disastrous situation for the people of Kenya.

In 1978, a Kenyan woman named Wangari Maathai suggested the planting of trees as a way to help rural women survive in their difficult new circumstances. Thus was born the Green Belt Movement, one of the most successful grassroots women's empowerment efforts in the world. Maathai has gained international recognition for her work, as well as the enmity of Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi, who has been in office roughly since she founded the Green Belt Movement.

Maathai is teaching this semester at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus interviewed her about the situation that gave rise to her organizing effort and what the movement has accomplished thus far.

For more information, visit the Yale University website at

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

  • Criticism of Zimbabwe's flawed presidential election exposes double standards of U.S. and Britain, and their Western allies. ("Vote for Your Favorite Dictator," In These Times, April 1, 2002)
  • Head of EPA's enforcement division resigns in protest of Bush administration's cuts to his division. ("Fail Safe Point," The Nation, March 12, 2002)
  • Commercial salmon farming has led to pollution, disease and endangered native species. ("Aquaculture's Troubled Harvest," Mother Jones Magazine, November/December, 2001)

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

... MORE ...

Barcelona EU Protests, March 15-16, 2002

500,000 Protest in Barcelona, Spain Against European Union's March Toward U.S.-Style "Cowboy" Capitalism

Hundreds of Thousands Challenge EU in Barcelona

World Economic Forum Protests, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2002

Between The Lines Report, Week Ending 2/15/02. With more related audio files.

Billionaires for Bush, at Columbus Circle, NYC preparing for Feb. 2 march against the elite World Economic Forum. Links to page with MP3 file.

John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO addresses a "Working Families Economic Forum" in NYC as activists prepare for protests against the elite World Economic Forum. 9MB in MP3.

Scott Harris reports on AFL-CIO Workers Forum in NYC for Free Speech Radio News 2/1/02

Global Justice's New Face, AlterNet's series on the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Economic Forum Conference and National Student Mobilization, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, Columbia University, New York City. See conference schedule.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Another World is Possible Coalition

Anti-Capitalist Convergence

New York Independent Media Center

Globalize This!

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 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

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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