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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 31, 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 June 5, 2002.

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

"White House Responds to Tough Questions About 9/11 Warning
by Challenging Patriotism of Those Calling for Public Inquiry"

Interview by Scott Harris

Revelations that the White House received warnings from the FBI and CIA in August 2001 about possible hijackings and attacks being planned by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, have motivated some politicians on Capitol Hill to call for an independent inquiry. After the explosive leaks captured headlines on TV networks and newspapers, Vice President Dick Cheney and others from the administration questioned the patriotism of those who were asking for an investigation into possible failures of U.S. intelligence agencies. Cheney warned that new terrorist attacks were imminent and war-time conditions demanded unchallenged secrecy.

After eight months of promoting patriotism, the media -- for the first time since the September 11th -- have begun asking tough questions about the Bush administration's honesty and conduct in the months prior to the assault on New York and Washington. But some in the media have risen to echo the warnings issued by Dick Cheney, asking the press and the public to back off and place their trust in those occupying the White House.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with syndicated columnist and author Norman Solomon, who examines the way in which the media has covered the 9/11 warnings that came to president Bush and the culture of secrecy that has characterized the White House dealings with many issues, including the Enron scandal.

Read Norman Solomon's Media Beat column online at:

Related links:

Bush Counters Carter Visit to Cuba
with Tougher Sanctions and Aid to Dissidents

President and his brother Jeb cultivate Cuban American votes
critical to GOP's electoral strategy

Interview by Denise Manzari

On May 20, Cuban Independence Day, President George W. Bush gave his "Initiative for a New Cuba" speech that reinforced his hardline policy against Cuba. Bush's policy is in sharp contrast to Jimmy Carter's call to normalize U.S. trade and travel with the island nation.

Bush gave his policy address before Miami's Cuban American National Foundation an audience comprised mostly of wealthy Cuban exiles, where he denounced the Castro regime. With assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, Otto Reich at his side, he announced that the U.S. would intensify its economic and politica isolation of Cuba by maintaining the existing travel ban and trade embargo. He also stated his administration would provide increased aid to political dissidents on the island and new U.S. produced anti-Castro TV and radio broadcasts.

However, critics charge that the Bush administration's policy seeks to maintain political support in Florida's hardline Cuban American community, which helped secure his victory in the 2000 presidential election and will assist his brother Gov. Jeb Bush's re-election in November.

Larry Birns is the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, based in Washington, D.C. He spoke with Between the Lines' Denise Manzari about what he says is an auctioning off of U.S.-Cuba policy in exchange for financial political support from the right-wing anti-Castro constituency in Miami.

For more information, call the Council on Hemispheric Affairs at (202) 216-9261 or visit their Web site at

U.S.-Russia Nuclear Weapons Treaty Misses Historic Opportunity
for Deep-Cuts in Both Nation's Arsenals

Interview by Scott Harris

The nuclear weapons reduction treaty that will be signed in Moscow by presidents Bush and Putin on May 24, has been billed by some in the administration as an official end to the Cold War. The agreement will reduce the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons on both sides by two-thirds over the next decade, cutting the current number of missiles, of between 5,000 and 6,000, to levels between 1,700 and 2,200. But the treaty also allows each side to store, rather than destroy de-activated weapons, permitting them to be re-activated on short notice.

This agreement is being signed as the Bush administration moves forward with its plan to build an anti-missile defense system, necessitating a U.S. pull out from the ABM treaty -- while the White House proposes developing new low-yield battlefield nuclear weapons. The Pentagon is also getting ready to increase its spending by more than $30 billion over the next five years, to upgrade U.S. nuclear weapons programs. Arms control advocates caution that while reductions of nuclear weapons are all to the good, this treaty misses an historic opportunity to make more dramatic cuts in both nation's arsenals and lead the world's other current and future nuclear powers toward effective disarmament.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Matt Bivens, former editor at The Moscow Times, and the Nation Magazine's online Failsafe Point columnist, who takes a critical look at this latest nuclear weapons reduction treaty and the continuing dangers posed by Russia's loose nuclear weapons and both sides' tactical weapons not addressed in the treaty agreement.

Read Matt Bivens' column The Failsafe Point on the Nation's Web site at:

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

  • After the death of Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi and his U.S.-backed army which fought a grueling 27-year civil war, the U.S. should now provide assistance to rebuild the African nation it helped destroy. ("Angola after Savimbi," The Nation, April 29, 2002)
  • Cambodians still waiting for a war crimes tribunal to try Khmer Rouge leaders. ("Dust and Bones," In These Times, April 15, 2002)
  • Militant antiabortion activists' Web site, posts photos of female patients who visit abortion clinics. ("Antiabortion Ambush," by Sarah Schmidt, Mother Jones, May/June 2002)

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

... MORE ...


We are undergoing changes with our listserv provider for the next few weeks. Please bear with us.

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 5/24/02

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Washington, D.C. Indymedia Web site April 20 Stop the War at Home and Abroad March on Washington. Independent Progressive Politics Network

Depleted uranium weapons use in Afghan War

U.S. Uses Unprecedented Quantities of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Afghan War Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert James Parsons, Week Ending March 22, 2002

"America's big dirty secret,"by Robert James Parsons, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2002 (English translation)

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

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

"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 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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