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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Jan. 24, 2003


WEBCASTING: This week, we will begin providing a 32-kbps, constant bitrate, 24 khz MP3 file to aid radio stations and Internet sites that currently or would like to Webcast our program. Please let us know if you are using this version and send us any comments, suggestions or questions at

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    LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Jan. 28, 2003.

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

    Reports of U.S. Complicity in Torture of Prisoners
    Triggers Demand for a White House Investigation

    Interview with Jamie Fellner,
    director of U.S. Programs at Human Rights Watch,
    conducted by Scott Harris

    As the White House prepares for war against the government of Saddam Hussein, the attention of the world has long since moved from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf. But with thousands of U.S. troops still deployed in Afghanistan, questions have been raised about the conduct of American military and intelligence agency personnel toward suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists they now hold.

    A recent Washington Post article described how prisoners held in the CIA interrogation center at Bagram air base in Afghanistan are subject to "stress and duress" techniques, which include "standing or kneeling for hours." Other allegations of improper conduct include the withholding of medical care or pain medication from injured prisoners and the turning over of suspects to third countries with documented records of employing torture to extract information. Because the secret detention center at Bagram and another on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia are not subject to U.S. standards of due process, what goes on at these sites is unmonitored by Congress or human rights groups.

    Since the Washington Post report was published on Dec. 26, Human Rights Watch has demanded that the Bush administration investigate these allegations of abuse and mistreatment "or risk criminal prosecution." Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jamie Fellner, director of the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch, who examines the charges that U.S. forces have engaged in torture.

    Contact Human Rights Watch by calling (202) 612-4321 or visit their Web site at

    Bush Tax Cut Designed to Assist the Wealthiest
    and Boost President's Re-Election Bid

    Interview with Joel Friedman,
    senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
    conducted by Scott Harris

    In a Jan. 7 speech at the Economic Club of Chicago, President Bush unveiled his economic stimulus plan -- a proposal for $674 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years. The largest break would go to corporate shareholders whose stock dividends would no longer be subject to federal tax. Other features of the package include an across the board rollback of tax rates, a reduction in the marriage tax penalty and a boost in credits for families with children.

    Opposition to the White House tax proposal was immediate with charges from critics that Mr. Bush's plan was skewed to benefit the wealthiest Americans while doing little to assist the ailing economy. Opponents point out that the plans'middle class tax cuts are temporary, while the elimination of taxes on corporate dividends -- largely benefiting the wealthiest sector - are permanent. The states, already facing their worst fiscal crisis since World War II, stand to lose $4 billion to $5 billion in revenue from any elimination of the federal tax on dividends.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joel Friedman, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who assesses the likely impact of President Bush's proposed $647 billion tax cut and the political calculus that may have gone into its formulation.

    Contact the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities by calling them at (202) 408-1080 or visit their Web site at:

    Teacher Fired After Serving Prison Sentence
    for Engaging in Nonviolent Protest

    Interview with Janice Sevre-Duszynska,
    former Lexington, Ky. high school teacher,
    conducted by Melinda Tuhus

    In November 2001, 43 people were arrested at Fort Benning, Ga., and charged with criminal trespass as part of their campaign to shut down the School of the Americas. The school, now known officially as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, trains thousands of Latin American military personnel, with a disturbingly large percentage of these students who return to their home countries and commit rape, torture and murder against their own people. Protests against this Pentagon school have been organized for the past dozen years by the group known as School of the Americas Watch.

    One of those arrested at the 2001 protest was Lexington, Ky., high school teacher Janice Sevre-Duszynska. She was convicted of criminal trespass by Judge Mallon Faircloth and served three months at a women's federal prison in Kentucky. She returned home in early December to find a letter from her employer, Henry Clay High School, where she had taught English as a Second Language for the past 12 years. In the letter, Interim Schools Superintendent Duane Tennant terminated her employment, labeling her arrest and imprisonment for nonviolent protest as, "insubordination and conduct unbecoming a teacher."

    Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Janice Sevre-Duszynska about her motivation to engage in this act of conscience, and about the retaliatory action taken against her, which she believes poses a threat to activists everywhere.

    For more information on Janice Sevre-Duszynska's case or on the campaign against the School of the Americas, contact the School of the Americas Watch by calling (202) 234-3440 or visit their Web site at

    An appeal hearing will be held Jan. 22. Act now to support Janice in regaining her employment. Here's what you can do:

    • Send a letter of support for Janice to the editor of the Lexington Herald Letters to the Editor,; fax: (859) 255-7236 or Letters to the Editor, Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Ave., Lexington, KY 40508. Letters to the editor generally should be no more than 250 words.
    • Send a copy of that letter to the interim schools superintendent: Dr. L. Duane Tennant, Interim Superintendent, Fayette County Public Schools, 701 E. Main St., Lexington, KY 40502 or email:; phone: 859-384-4104; fax: 859-381-4303

    This week's summary
    of under-reported news

    Compiled by Bob Nixon

    • The drug, eflornithine, is available to effectively combat "sleeping sickness" in Africa, but the pharmaceutical industry fails to market the drug there, as many executives believe it is unprofitable to treat poor people. ("An Unprofitable Disease," The Progressive, September 2002)
    • There is a new climate of censorship at elite American universities when it comes to critics of Israel. ("Censorship 101," The Nation magazine, Dec. 23, 2002.)
    • Environmentalists win the first round in court to stop U.S. Navy's plan to deploy high-intensity underwater sonar systems. ("Save The Whales," In These Times, Dec. 23, 2002)

    Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
    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 01/17/03

    War With Iraq

    200,000 to 500,000 at Anti-War March, 1/18/03 in Washington, D.C. Interviews with International A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer Brian Becker, Institute for Policy Studies' Phyllis Bennis and Vietnam War veteran, Jaime Velazquez. Organizers say 200,000 to 500,000 attended the protest

    "U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup: Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds" By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002, Page A01

    U.S. Facing Bigger Bill For Iraq War Total Cost Could Run As High as $200 Billion, by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2002, Page A01

    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)

    "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


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