"Baghdad Year Zero." The Bushies' problem in post-invasion Iraq wasn't that they didn't have a plan; it was that their plan was an ideological tar pit. The grand scheme wasn't just to reward American contractors with juicy no-bid deals -- it was also to sell off Iraq's assets to private (usually non-Iraqi) corporations and write new laws turning the country into a free-market utopia. Naomi Klein, who's been following this story from the get-go, tells in Harper's Magazine (September) of the myriad ways in which this daydream failed, and why it's been kindling for the fires of armed resistance.
"Bush Administration Policy Makes America's Waters Vulnerable to Development Pollution." Over the past 30 years, the Clean Water Act has helped detoxify America's waterways. But it is a fairly annoying law -- which doubtless is why in January 2003 the White House told federal regulators they could simply ignore it. Four environmental groups including the National Resources Defense Council (Aug. 12) have learned of this policy and report on the role it plays in Bush's continuing war on the environment. www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/040812.asp
"MATRIX Surveillance System Violates Privacy Rights of PA Citizens." You're not paranoid if they're actually watching you. And they just might be, especially in You've-Got-A-Friend Pennsylvania -- one of only five states still participating in the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange, in which a private, for-profit company creates extensive dossiers about everybody (not just terrorist or criminal suspects) based on info from government databases and the private sector, and feeds it to federal and state
law-enforcement officers. See the new ACLU report (Aug. 9) on the growing "surveillance-industrial complex" at www.aclu.org/privatize.
"Porter Goss as CIA Director?" George Tenet is the Bushies' fall guy on WMD, and the CIA their fall agency. So no surprise that the key qualifications of W's nominee to replace Tenet are a history of servitude to Dick Cheney and the implied promise that he'll unfailingly cover the president's back. In a CounterPunch (July 6) piece written a month before Rep. Porter Goss's (R-Fla.) nomination, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains why hiring a partisan Congressperson with minimal relevant experience to lead your most important intelligence arm -- especially after he's done his best to squelch inquiries into 9/11 and WMD -- isn't such a hot idea. www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern07062004.html