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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Nov. 1, 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 Nov. 6, 2002.

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

Bush Reaction to North Korean Nuclear Weapons Program Contrasts Sharply with War Drive Against Iraq
Interview with David Wright,
of the Union of Concerned Scientists
by Scott Harris

As Congress debated a resolution in early October to provide President Bush the authority to take military action against Iraq, the White House kept secret for 12 days a North Korean admission that it was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program. But when the administration publicly responded to North Korea's nuclear project with a call for quiet diplomacy, critics raised questions about the consistency of U.S. policy -- contrasting Bush's measured approach to Pyongyang with his demand for "regime change" in Baghdad through military force.

George W. Bush came into office openly hostile to a 1994 agreement between the U.S. and North Korea which provided western energy assistance to the impoverished nation in exchange for a pledge from leader Kim Jong II to freeze his government's effort to develop nuclear weapons. North Korea admitted to maintaining a covert nuclear program only after U.S. officials confronted them with evidence that they were in violation of the agreement. But Pyongyang, labeled by Washington as part of the "axis of evil," placed the blame on the U.S. for taking steps which forced them to nullify the accord.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program, who examines the Bush administration's response to North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and the effectiveness of U.S. policies on limiting the global proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Contact the Union of Concerned Scientists at (617) 547-5552 or visit their Web site at

Conference on 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis Offers
Lessons for Today's International Confrontations

Interview with Peter Kornbluh,
of the National Security Archive
conducted by Denise Manzari

On Oct. 10, senior veterans of the Cuban missile crisis arrived in Havana for a historic 40th anniversary conference. Among the attendees were former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, CIA analyst Dino Brugioni, and JFK counsel and speechwriter Theodore Sorenson. Russian veterans also arrived from Moscow, including deputy foreign minister Georgi Kornienko and former defense minister Dmitry Yazov.

Thousands of documents have recently been declassified from the Cuban government, the CIA, the Pentagon, the Soviet Foreign Ministry Politburo, Mexico, Canada and Great Britain, providing for the first time, a multinational perspective on the crisis.

During the conference, it was revealed that President John F. Kennedy, in meetings with Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev's son-in-law Adzhubei in January 1962, compared the U.S. failure at the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Kennedy also assured Adzhubei that the U.S. "will not meddle" with Cuba, while at the same time, Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing "cover and deception plans" that included pretexts for the U.S. invasion of the island nation.

Peter Kornbluh is the director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Project. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the significance of recently declassified documents and the role the conference could play in helping to prevent a future nuclear crisis.

For more information on the Cuban Missile Crisis and the National Security Archive, call (202) 994-7000 or visit their Web site at

Poor Families Likely to Lose as Congress
Debates Reauthorization of Welfare Reform Act

Interview with Debbie Weinstein,
Children's Defense Fund
conducted by Melinda Tuhus.

The 1996 federal welfare reform law ended 60 years of "welfare as we knew it." It created a five-year lifetime limit on support to poor families and gave the states a lot of leeway to design programs and establish income levels.Five years after the legislation was signed into law by President Clinton, the number of people on welfare in the U.S. has dropped by half.

Advocates for the poor say the law has pushed women into low-wage, dead-end jobs, many without adequate day care for their young children or health care. And while supporters of the law claim the 50 percent drop in caseloads is proof that reform is working, critics counter that these statistics prove only that the law is effective at cutting people from the welfare rolls.

The welfare reform law, set to expire on Sept. 30, was scheduled for reauthorization this year, but President Bush signed a stop-gap measure to continue funding through Dec. 30. Meanwhile, the House has passed a bill that requires women on welfare to work a minimum of 40 hours a week to receive benefits while providing minimal child-care and negligible funds for training. The Senate is working on its own less severe version, which mandates a 30-hour a week work requirement, counts education toward work hours and provides more funds for child care.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Debbie Weinstein, director of the Family Income division with the Childrens' Defense Fund, about the critical issues facing poor families and changes to welfare legislation her group is advocating.

Contact the Fund by calling (202) 628-8787 or visit their Web site at:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Poland may lose traditional family farms to big agribusiness when the country joins the European Union in two years. ("Ripe for Corporate Picking," Sierra Magazine, September/October, 2002)
  • State judicial elections target of corporate money working to weaken consumer rights laws. ("State Judges for Sale," The Nation, Sept. 2, 2002)
  • Nevada voters to determine fate of proposal to legalize possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for personal use. ("Amsterdam of the West," In These Times, Oct. 28, 2002)

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

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 10/25/02

March on Washington, D.C. to Oppose the War with Iraq Saturday, Oct. 26

For more information, see

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format) Others to follow on our website.

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

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

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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