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Collection of interviews and Web sites with contacts for breaking news about the global social justice movement. (Audio files in MP3 and RealAudio formats.)


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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Dec. 6, 2002


We have recently moved our office. Our new phone number is (203) 268-8446. Due to the move, our email service at was temporarily interrupted Nov. 26-30 and has been restored as of today, Monday, Dec. 2. We apologize for any inconvenience and kindly request that you resend any email sent to us during the period our service was disabled. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Dec. 11, 2002.

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

The Pentagon's Total Information Awareness Program
Evokes Specter of Big Brother

Interview with Gabe Rottman,
of the American Civil Liberties Union,
conducted by Scott Harris

One week before President Bush signed legislation creating the new Department of Homeland Security, several developments in the courts and at the Pentagon served to alarm civil liberties activists across the country. The secret U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review granted the Justice Department sweeping new powers to employ electronic surveillance to prosecute U.S. citizens in criminal matters. But even more alarming to many, was the Defense Department's announcement of a new data collection system called the Total Information Awareness Program.

Total Information Awareness is described as a prototype database being developed by the Pentagon to detect "patterns indicative of terrorist activity," by tracking all purchases made by every U.S. citizen. But progressive and conservative critics of the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 attack on civil liberties assert that this new program is nothing short of an Orwellian nightmare come true. Further stoking fears of the potential abuse of such a system was the naming of Rear Admiral John Poindexter to head the project. Poindexter, who served as National Security Advisor to President Reagan, was convicted in 1990 of misleading Congress and making false statements in the Iran-Contra scandal, a conviction later overturned on a technicality.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Gabe Rottman with the American Civil Liberties Union, who discusses concerns shared by a wide spectrum of activists that elements of the Bush administration's anti-terror program threatens critical provisions of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Contact the ACLU by calling (202) 254-9375 or visit their Web site at:

A Woman's Right to Choose Under Severe Attack
as GOP Consolidates Control of U.S. Government

Interview with Terry O'Neill,
a membership vice president of NOW
conducted by Denise Manzari

Since George W. Bush has been in office, his attacks against women's reproductive freedoms have been relentless. His first official act was to cut the $34 million in funding for for the United Nations' Population Fund, which would have assisted poor women in preventing unintended pregnancies and controlled the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV-AIDS.

Bush proclaimed Jan. 20, 2002, "National Sanctity of Human Life Day," likening the terrorism of Sept. 11 to abortion.

He now wants to appoint right-wing religious activist Dr. David Hager, who is working to overturn the FDA's approval of mifepristone, more commonly known as RU-486, or the "abortion pill," to the FDA's influential Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee.

In October of this year, the Bush administration issued regulations making fetuses, but not their pregnant mothers, eligible for health care coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

The fate of Roe vs. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling which legalized abortion nationwide, now rests in the hands of a conservative Supreme Court. With the GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate, Republicans now have the power to confirm Bush administration nominees, bolstering the ranks of anti-choice justices.

Terry O'Neill is the membership vice president of NOW, the National Organization for Women, based in Washington, D.C. She spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about how Republican control of all three branches of government could quietly, but relentlessly, reverse nearly 30 years of progress in women's rights -- especially reproductive freedoms.

For more information, contact NOW at (202) 628-8669 or visit their Web site at

Money Continues to Buy Elections While Activists Fight for Public Financing at State Level

Interview with Nick Nyhart,
of Public Campaign
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The 2002 midterm congressional election was the last federal ballot to be conducted without the McCain-Feingold ban on soft money. The campaign finance reform bill, which was signed into law earlier this year, does not go into effect until the next election cycle. But many advocates of reform point out that the two major political parties have been hard at work to find loopholes in the new law, allowing big donors to continue their dominance of U.S. politics.

Following the pattern established over many decades, candidates who spent the most money in 2002, overwhelmingly won their races with very few real contests for congressional seats. Public Campaign, a national organization committed to winning comprehensive campaign finance reform, contends that full public financing of elections is one of the key reforms necessary to restore confidence in the U.S. electoral system. Fewer than 40 percent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots in November's election, underscoring Public Campaign's contention that without meaningful electoral reform, the public will continue to lose faith in America's democracy.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign, about the impact of big money in the recent election, the barriers to campaign finance reform, and some recent successes at the state level.

Contact Public Campaign by calling (202) 293-0222 or visit their Website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage

  • Latin American rebellion against U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), a hemisphere-wide free trade agreement, gains momentum in recent elections. ("Trading Places," In These Times, Dec. 9, 2002)
  • Colombian government undercuts human rights investigation into brutal Army abuse. ("Colombia: Attorney General Undermines Human Rights Investigations," Human Rights Watch, Nov. 11, 2002)
  • In July, the women of Nigeria's Niger Delta region led a series of militant actions, taking over oil fields run by ChevronTexaco to demand jobs for their children, more local economic investment and improved infrastructure. ("The Rise of the Women of the Niger Delta," World Press Review, October 22, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
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 11/29/02

March on Washington, D.C. Against the War with Iraq, 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


Between The Lines
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