"Executive Privilege." Launched in March, Harper's Magazine's Briefings section on important election-year issues is already indispensable. In the April edition, read about CEO COM LINK, the exclusive phone hotline the corporate titans of something called the Business Roundtable have created to patch them in to the Department of Homeland Security in the event of a security crisis. Tim Shorrock reports that the secretive group has set up a secure, open line to the top levels of federal government -- a privilege not currently afforded anyone else, including public-health officials, firefighters, police and hospitals -- and how that setup could allow for "a kind of ad hoc governance by the Roundtable and its un-elected CEOs."
"Bush's Lies About Iraq." With more than 500 Americans and uncounted Iraqis killed in Iraq in the past year, it's helpful to revisit President Bush's war rationales. Capsulizing and updating main points from their book The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq, Christopher Scheer, Robert Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry address in The Nation (March 29) Bush's continuing efforts to misleadlingly link the invasion to the war on terror, and why prospects for the promised democracy remain dim. (www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040329&s=scheer)
"2IraqShrink2." The Bush Administration assures us life in occupied Iraq is improving by the day. Many Iraqis say otherwise, as Pittsburgh activist Vince Eirene learned first-hand on a March fact-finding mission. Hear what an Iraqi health specialist has to say about his country's brain drain and a pervasive climate of fear -- plus other full-length interviews -- on downloadable sound files at www.notowar.com/nightflighttobaghdad/ (March 25).
"Iraq Under the U.S. Thumb." The expansion of terror bulls-eyes in Iraq beyond occupation targets has meant more than an increase in sheer physical danger for civilians there. It's also given the U.S. and its occupation chief, Paul Bremer, the opportunity to press for a wholly U.S.-controlled interim government (known locally as "the governed council") without those pesky protests from Iraqis who flooded the streets as recently as a month ago. Writing in Canada's Globe and Mail (March 24), Naomi Klein tells why making Iraq seem incapable of self-governance is very useful indeed for the U.S. corporations who hope to profit there in the years to come. Find Klein's article on the Web site Common Dreams. (www.commondreams.org/views04/0324-05.htm)