March, 2002 link archive

A leading Middle East commentator, Egypt's Mohamed Heikal, interviews Muammar Kadahfy about the Arab world's deadly silence over Israel and Afghanistan. "The question that has him, along with many others, so baffled: 'What has happened to the Arab street?'"

In an October interview with the Guardian, Heikal spoke of the disconnect between "the street" and its leaders: "The people did not choose these governments and in any free election none of them would succeed. They are not legitimate governments; they do not represent anything other than power."

Kenyan women are taking to the streets to reclaim their drunkard husbands, forming posses to crack down on bars and distillers of changaa, a moonshine which they say is wrecking their families. "You could see the anger on their faces," said one bar owner. "I had to run for my life. They would have killed me."

As al-Qaeda and Taliban forces begin waging guerilla war, -- forcing coalition troops to call in air support to repel one sustained attack -- the U.S. awaits General Musharraf's response to its politically-loaded request to jointly pursue the enemy into the Pashtun-dominated border area of Pakistan.

Pakistan says U.S. incursions could provoke resistance from Pashtun tribesmen. The presumed leader of the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the area is Jalal Uddin Haqqani, a former Taliban commander who the U.S. has repeatedly attempted to kill.

To rally public support against the Soviets, Afghan resistance fighters -- who also used Pakistan as a safe haven -- circulated propaganda pamphlets called "night letters." A new version has appeared, advocating armed struggle against the U.S. and its coalition allies.

As many targets go underground, a move is on to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons. Plus: mini-nukes pack maxi-punch, and Mark Fiore animates "bunker buster, the friendly nuke."

The Washington Post has obtained a tape of Karl Rove's speech to the Family Research Council, in which he informs the group that President Bush will continue to nominate conservatives as federal judges. See photos of Rove and other family friendlies in attendance.

One was Peggy Noonan, about whose hollow punditry The New Republic's Jonathan Chait writes: "For Noonan and her ilk, conservative ideology and personal virtue are so deeply intertwined that it is virtually impossible for a good person to pursue liberal policies or for a conservative politician to be morally flawed."

Sample Noonan's hero-worshiping columns, which Chait describes as exhibiting "little interest in the president's policies except as windows into the greatness of his character."

After George Will invoked Hemingway to describe Bush's rhetorical style, Norman Mailer wrote: "You can't stop people who are never embarrassed by themselves. Will's readiness to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse can be cited as world class sycophancy."

The latest batch of Nixon tapes has one listener asking: "Just what was Dick smoking?"

Read about the "Friends of Enron," preferred investors in the company's private partnership deals. And Enron finally wins one, dominating the 101 dumbest moments in business.

The New Yorker leads the list of National Magazine Awards finalists with nine nominations, including best reporting for three war features by Seymour Hersh: "What Went Wrong," "King's Ransom" and "The Iran Game." See the complete list of nominees.

Maxim sleazes its way across America, with 13 different versions of a "Greatest City on Earth" issue.

David Corn and Justin Raimondo savage the soundbite patriotism of "Big Bill" Bennett and his "AVOTistas."

Bennett blasts the Bush administration for its "concession to terrorism" in the Middle East.

An Israeli TV station has defied the military by broadcasting uncensored footage of a raid on a Palestinian refugee camp.

Sharon issues an exile threat to Arafat and raises the ire of once-docile Bedouin farmers.

Peace Before War The leader of the Israeli peace movement's Gush Shalom, writes that after six months, the U.S. has finally realized that even it cannot undertake action against Iraq without the support of the Arab world.

Thomas Friedman argues that the U.S. won't be able to sustain a successful Middle East policy -- whether it wants to invade Iraq or do anything else in the region -- unless it's prepared to station American troops on the ground, indefinitely, around both Afghanistan and Israel.

U.S. resistance has killed the prospects for an expanded peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld challenged security assessments by the U.N. and the Afghan government, saying that no "serious security problem" exists.

Kathy Gannon, the AP's Pakistan bureau chief, reports that up to 1,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders are hiding in Pakistan and planning a Taliban comeback in Afghanistan.

Gannon, who has covered Afghanistan since 1988, writes about what it was like to be one of only two Western correspondents there for more than two weeks during the U.S. bombing campaign.

The CIA director offers a detail-free assertion that Iraq has had contacts with al-Qaeda.

Read an interview with the former head of the U.N.'s humanitarian program in Iraq, who says an American invasion would be an international crime and would make the U.S. even less safe.

USA Today reports that American citizens, including military veterans, are taking advantage of the huge volume of U.S. defense exports -- $55 billion in fiscal 2000 -- to illegally sell American-made weapons to the "axis of evil" countries.

American Spinmeister in London Tucker Eskew, the number two media affairs person in the Bush administration, discusses the British press and the five months he spent in London, coordinating the war propaganda effort.

Journalists continue to voice frustration at the U.S. military's control over information.

Fortune investigates the Carlyle Group and finds "a firm that's been built on the backs of Bush and other big shots who have lent Carlyle their names, their golden networks of friends in high places, and their insights into how government works."

Fightin' Whities turn publicity bonanza into good cause.

See visuals and a detailed map of the Antarctic ice shelf that separated from the continent.

The New Republic's Peter Beinart writes that the Bush administration would have us believe that non-believers are less American than believers.

As the U.S. Supreme Court reviews student drug tests, a South Carolina urine seller loses his appeal.

A Berlin undertaker on the impact of anti-ageing creams and food preservatives: "Bodies that went into the ground 30 years ago look like they went in last week. It's like people have been pickled in preservatives."

The marketing plan for a new computer game raises grave concerns.

Tommy Can You Heal Me? The Who turn rock opera into TV jingle for allergy drug. Plus: Alfred E. Neuman's journey from "Mad" to Madison Avenue.

Osama Yo Mama Vocabulary of 9/11 becomes comic relief for teens.

Yo Mama, Osama In an interview with CNN, a half brother of bin Laden says that his mother received a phone call three weeks ago saying that her son was alive and well.

U.S. military goes on the defensive over Afghan body count and enemy escapes.

Although Gen. Tommy Franks declared that Operation Anaconda was a "an unqualified and absolute success," Jason Vest writes that the U.S. Army has trouble at high levels.

"Chicken Hawks" quick to pounce on anyone questioning war aims. The Chicken Hawk database.

Conservative commentator Robert Novak asks: "What's Bush up to on Iraq?"

Iranian cartoonists bite back over country's inclusion in the "axis of evil."

In a letter to Ariel Sharon denouncing the Israeli offensive, Kofi Annan writes that "the fighting has come to resemble all-out conventional warfare"

An Israeli peace group claims that its government has established 34 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Sharon became prime minister.

U.S. urges Arab governments to halt anti-Jewish incitement in the media, citing this Al-Riyadh newspaper editorial.

Marc Cooper writes that "Shows like 'Nightline' feed a harmful fiction: that a person can be educated by watching serious TV news. But using the tube as an instrument of public instruction is like trying to use a hockey match to teach personal manners."

The make-believe world of local TV news and network radio.

President Bush's "fabulous" obsession, and how campaign finance reform could lead to the resurrection of Bill Clinton.

Captured members of Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist group operating in Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Iraq, claim ties with al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's intelligence service.

Writer Jeffrey Goldberg discusses the New Yorker article and his trip to Kurdistan.

More on Ansar al-Islam, including charges that it has murdered women for not wearing burqas.

Arab leaders united in rejecting Iraq attack.

Party Boy President Bush takes time out from fighting terror war to stock GOP war chest.

Mormon women pine for their men on a mission.

A satirical twist on the six months since 9/11, and the daunting challenge of lampooning TV.

Afghan temp worker tells of al-Qaeda gig at Shah-i-Kot: "They gave us food and goat meat, and we were laughing every day. We were having a very good time -- it was like a picnic."

Where have all the bodies gone?

Retired Marine lieutenant general Bernard Trainor writes that a Pentagon shell game is keeping the American people from knowing what's happening on the ground in Afghanistan. Plus: Hiding the truth about a missile defense system.

How much did the U.S. military spend while you were reading this sentence?

What President Bush really means when he says bin Laden has been marginalized.

More about William Bennett's holy war on dissent. Could Bennett muzzle Alec Baldwin?

Red squad alive, well and snooping in Denver.

In the wake of the Enron scandal -- and CEO compensation of $531 for every dollar taken home by a typical worker -- the U.S. media can no longer avoid reporting on corporate excess.

Alexander Cockburn on tipping and tip-skimming in America.

A call for giving SUVs the special treatment they deserve.

A BBC "Newsnight" investigation explores the possibility that the anthrax attacks resulted from a CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail, that spiralled out of control.

"Given a Washington that will hand big media anything they want in the name of deregulation," writes Frank Rich, "there can be no illusion: these corporations now have minimal obligations to the public interest and could dump news entirely."

Public interest group takes on FCC.

Snake Charmers? Afghan officials and local commanders are at odds with the U.S. military over Anaconda success and body count claims.

Russia vows to stand by coalition, even if the U.S. launches a unilateral strike against Iraq.

Is Saddam really as dangerous as the U.S. makes him out to be?

Don't ask for evidence, writes Mark Steel, just nuke Baghdad.

In a cover story titled "Enough is Enough," Fortune finds plenty of white collar crime, but hardly anyone who's doing the time.

Red meat, bacon and peas are all part of the cynical political stew that determines positions on ANWR and mileage standards.

Party-line vote sends Pickering packing.

Could Venezuela's reformist president Hugo Chavez be the next Allende?

As President Bush attempts to marginalize Osama, David Lee Roth joins the hunt.

Read an interview with Jon Ronson, author of "Them: Adventures With Extremists."

How Knight Ridder's new cookie cutter Web sites strip local papers of identity and erase history.

Journalism's worst kept secret leaks out.

Linda Tripp vs. Monica? "Celebrity Boxing" tout hopes "pool of names looking to participate will grow because of the success of the show." Plus: Cultural critics weigh in on "lowbrow pummeling."

Bush administration demands that Israel pull all its military forces out of Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank and Gaza.

Lawmakers from both parties lash out at adminstration over "severe attitude problem."

The Senate kills a plan that would have required car, truck and SUV manufacturers to increase the average MPG of their fleets from 24 to 35 by 2015. The Sierra Club and Public Citizen respond.

How America learned to stop worrying and love the SUV.

Crisis communication's consultant Nick Nichols has tarred the green movement as extremists, by deftly blurring the distinction between eco-terrorists and legitimate environmental groups.

His company's attack-dog themed Web site offers defense against "marketplace assault."

For President Bush, secrecy is a matter of loyalty and his administration is setting new standards for playing it close to the vest.

The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is peddling "national defense briefings" about the war on terrorism to campaign donors for $250 a pop. More on the GOP's "Private Benjamins."

"Candidate" Gore returns from the dead to whack Bush administration policies.

U.S. military officials shoot from the hip in estimating al-Qaeda and Taliban deaths at Shahi Kot. With little evidence of the "staggering loss of life" that U.S. officials say their enemies suffered, was it another great escape?

Pentagon downsizes bin Laden bounty, claiming big bucks concept lost on Afghans.

Why the Predator drone is hazardous to Afghan civilians and U.S. taxpayers.

President Bush delivered a harsh rebuke to Israel during a news conference in which he failed to even mention Yasir Arafat.

Is the return of Bush's "vision" for a Palestinian state tied to attempts to secure support for an Iraq attack? Plus, "Gulf War II: The Vengeance," opening soon?

"Crossfire" debates "Fightin' Whities" jab at Indian mascots.

Alexander Cockburn adds aspirant war criminal to the sins of Billy Graham.

President Bush's corporate accountability proposal contains the radical concept that CEOs sign and personally attest to the accuracy of the financial numbers their companies make public.

"CEO Link" to facilitate post-attack communication among the well connected.

Beyond Warhol An additional minute of fame leads us down a "strange celebrity rat hole."

The U.N. Security Council backs a Palestinian state, and for the first time, Secretary General Kofi Annan publicly characterizes Israel's occupation as unlawful.

A. Raffaele Ciriello has become the first foreign journalist killed in 17 months of Israeli - Palestinian fighting. Ciriello's "Postcards From Hell" Web site chronicles his career as a war photographer. View his photographs on Afghanistan.

North Korea responds to its inclusion in the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review: "A nuclear war to be imposed by the U.S. nuclear fanatics upon the DPRK would mean their ruin in nuclear disaster." For more rhetorical flourish, check out the Korean Central News Agency's Web site.

A group of neo-con war hawks, led by former drug czar William J. Bennett, has just launched "Americans for Victory Over Terrorism" (AVOT), a public relations campaign designed to counter dissent of the war on terrorism.

Bennett, who became a CNN commentator last week, and has a new book, says AVOT is a way to battle the critics who "are finding their voice on college campuses and through print media and on television." One "critic" cited by AVOT is Harper's magazine editor Lewis Lapham, who calls Bennett a "wrong-headed jingo and an intolerant scold."

Manufacturing Dissent USA Today's Walter Shapiro writes that "Bennett and his allies seem determined to create an anti-war movement in order to defeat it."

More on AVOT's primary funder, Lawrence Kadish, and other Bennett benefactors.

The Clinton's brotherly love and the Bush administration's family affairs.

A company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has been sued for $1 billion for assisting hackers to crack the secret viewer-access codes used by rival pay TV operators, and then distributing the information to counterfeiters across the world.

Who's the loser in the debate over media deregulation?

Everyone's a winner in this first-person tale by a "nontraditional ticket reallocation specialist."

INS works off backlog on student visa paperwork.

"The Trench," is a new BBC reality TV show in which participants spend two weeks in a mock-up of a World War I trench. How best to report on life in a trench? Dig your own.

Pro-western leaders in the Arab world have grave concerns about the theory of "regime change," writes Robert Fisk: "For if Iraqis were helped to overthrow their dictatorial government, what if Egyptian or Saudi citizens also decided on a little 'regime change' of their own?"

On March 5, U.S. Major Bryan Hilferty declared that the fighting at Shahi Kot will "go as long as the Taliban don't surrender, or until they're all dead." One week later he said: "We'd love to have them surrender. But so far, they have all decided to die."

But the New York Times reports that "The oft-repeated ultimatum, surrender or die, may have been less apt a slogan for the situation than skedaddle and live." And according to the Times of London, "the militants may have been tipped off and allowed to flee or retreated deeper into the cave complex."

A French defense source claims the U.S. is launching "cosmetic strikes" at Shahi Kot.

Security concerns are keeping the globetrotting Karzai from travelling within Afghanistan.

Mr. Sharafat Israeli novelist Amos Oz writes that Sharon and Arafat "are hostages to one another, so much so that the entire historical dynamic of the conflict of the Middle East has become captive to their fears, their immobility."

The New Yorker's Nicholas Lemann examines the charge that the F.B.I. is dragging its feet in finding the person responsible for last fall's anthrax attacks, and the Times of London reports on the F.B.I.'s failure to expose al-Qaeda networks.

Two British scholars say the U.S. strategy for defeating al-Qaeda is in fact having the opposite effect. They describe the military response to 9/11 as "deeply counter-productive"

Read their briefing paper for "A Never-Ending War? Consequences of September 11."

The Sydney Morning Herald's Craig Nelson reports that Taliban values are alive and well in Afghanistan, which "is better off for the international attention, but far from free of the shackles that made it an appealing launching pad for terrorist attacks in the first place."

Peter Symonds questions how many "hard-core al-Qaeda terrorists" are fighting near Gardez, and speculates that the real goal of Operation Anaconda is to shore up the Karzai government by sending a message to other local warlords not to challenge its shaky rule.

An Afghan commander on U.S. troops: "They were not trained for the kind of fighting we do in the mountains and, in these conditions, their kind of fighting is useless. They were weakening our morale, it was better for them to go."

A U.S. sergeant on an Afghan commander: "He punked out on us. I don't know how much we paid him, but I'll shoot him myself."

Cheney's No Dummy! "As if to underline his reputation as the President's ventriloquist, Mr. Cheney displayed an unnerving habit of talking out of the side of his mouth as he tried to play down reports of the U.S. considering nuclear strikes against Iran and Iraq."

Read a capsule analysis of how major European nations line up on a strike against Iraq.

An Electronic Media survey names the best and worst talk show guests.

As Ted Koppel cries collateral damage, a proposal for him to team up with Letterman.

Read an interview with the Alliance for Better Campaigns' Paul Taylor, who explains how broadcasters and legislators both made out like bandits when language lowering the cost of campaign ads was removed from the Shays-Meehan bill.

China condemns the U.S. on its human rights record. Read the report.

Iranians find Islamic twins to be no match for Barbie and Ken.

In "The Year of Living Dangerously," T. R. Croft chronicles the "mass epidemic of really evil runs on the public trust. 'Thousands screwed and laid off' has been published so many times, it doesn't mean as much to the public as it once did." provides low-cost relief for laid-off dot-commers.

Sen. Robert Byrd offers a spirited response to critics who insinuate that any questioning of a wartime president is divisive and unpatriotic: "What dangerous nonsense this is. Congress not only has the right to question a president's policies, but also the duty."

Is the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review the "Fallout of Desperation" or "Unthinkable, but Not Unusual?"

The Washington Post reports that since 9/11, the U.S. government has bypassed extradition procedures and legal formalities in secretly transporting dozens of people suspected of terrorist links to countries where they can be interrogated using tactics that are illegal in the U.S.

The Observer investigates the threat posed by al-Qaeda's worldwide network.

Deeper U.S. involvement in Asia will likely lead to more risk of terrorist attacks, writes Eric Margolis: "America has been scourged by terrorist attacks because of its often heavy-handed interventions abroad, not because Muslims hate democracy or McDonald's."

A Dutch professor argues that the aftermath of 9/11 parallels George Orwell's "1984."

How the U.S. auto industry is hurting the war on terrorism, as it lobbies to defeat higher mandatory gas mileage.

Was a shadow government in place well before 9/11? Plus: The boo-boos that businessmen make.

Drinking for a cause -- a 21-can salute to 9/11 victims.

A Stratfor analysis concludes that Operation Anaconda signals the beginning of a protracted guerrilla war: "Dominant air power will remain the only sufficient means to win battles, but it might not be enough to win the war in Afghanistan."

An Afghan satellite TV installer offers a glimpse of life in the caves near Shahikot. He claims to have been kidnapped and held prisoner by Taliban fighters who wanted his help in setting up a dish to receive Al-Jazeera.

Stephen Gowans writes that the "worst day of the war" for the U.S. is an endless succession of worst days for Afghans. More on the Pentagon's "body count" strategy.

Joel Miller on why his fellow Republicans are in no mood to answer critics: "We're bomb-lobbing for Uncle Sam, mom and apple pie. Who could disagree? You can't disagree; at least, not without coming off like some sort of grade-A, America-hating jackass."

Is the six-month moratorium on bashing President Bush coming to an end?

Christopher Deliso contends that the U.S. government shot itself in the foot by attempting to place all of the blame for 9/11 on bin Laden, but a new poll finds that most Americans no longer believe that the war on terrorism will be won only if he is killed or captured.

A Toronto Globe and Mail reporter, who visited Baghdad on the eve of the Gulf War, returns to profile "Saddam Land."

Slow Leak The Washington Times reports on new information suggesting that Iraq is holding captive a U.S. Navy pilot shot down during the Gulf war. The "new information" was provided to the U.S. by British intelligence "several months ago."

How the U.S. army was duped into paying $100,000 to fund a porn site.

"No Logo" author Naomi Klein on why America's attempt to brand itself abroad is destined to fail.

Magazines have always manufactured celebrities, now celebrities are manufacturing magazines. More on "Gene Simmons' Tongue" magazine and a Brandweek interview with its namesake.

Billy Bragg clashes with the British Parliament.

The Pentagon Paper The Bush administration, in a classified report obtained by the Los Angeles Times, has directed the military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries and to build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations.

Local warlords are not happy about the arrival of 1,000 Northern Alliance troops to assist in the US.-led assault on Taliban and al-Qaeda forces.Plus: Afghans itching to renew fueds.

The commander of the Shahi Kot fortress has been elevated to celebrity status among anti-American elements in Afghanistan.

Cartoonist Ted Rall responds to critics of 9/11 cartoon, claims e-mails "are running four to one in favor of it."

Holger Jensen examines the "curious doublespeak" that Israelis and Palestinians use "to justify the excesses of a conflict that grows bloodier by the day."

Bush administration assails Israel over attacks.

The Times of London reports that VP Cheney will make it clear during his mission to the Middle East next week that the U.S. is prepared to take unilateral military action against Iraq.

Sunni Side Down The American Prospect's Frank Smyth writes that before going into Iraq, we ought to at least know who lives there.

U.S. armed forces are now active in more countries than at any time since World War II.

In advance of his return to Afghanistan, former King Mohammad Zaher Shah says the war on terror is "a stupid and useless war and it would be better if it ended immediately."

Who's (secretly) trading with the enemy?

They Rule This contribution to the 2002 Whitney Biennial allows you to mine the connections between the members of the boards of the world's largest corporations. Plus: The art of spying.

Enron admits to spending three times as much -- $2.5 million -- on first-half 2001 lobbying than previously reported. Molly Ivins on her love for Enron -- the scandal.

Arianna Huffington says it's good-bye to soft money, hello to hard choices.

With an anti-drug budget of $19 billion, the U.S. government spends almost half as much money fighting drugs as it does on education.

Where's the Man? How crime fell following 9/11 -- for about one week.

Texas hit and run victim doesn't live to tell bizarre tale.

The New York Times is sour on Fox's version of the sweet science. Plus: How the Fox News Channel duped itself.

What's Op-Ed payola and how does it infiltrate your daily newspaper?

Revealed! The tabloids secret formula for calculating their juiciest scoops.

Can St. Ted slay the Disney dragon?

Indian police have arrested 70 bookies in Jaipur for offering bets on the chances of the Gujarat riots spreading. Police say they were also fueling rumors about the rioting to attract more bets.

Loss Generation With easy access to credit and online casinos, U.S. college students are betting up a storm and losing a bundle.

Conflicted Life "There are so many scandals in this Enron era that sometimes it is hard to connect the dots," writes Robert Kuttner. "What ties them all together is the broad acceptance of conflicts of interest as a way of life."

"Why," asks William Safire, "should we supinely go along with the seizure of economic power by today's triopolies and duopolies on their march to becoming tomorrow's monopolies?"

In a new report, "We Are Not Machines," Oxfam condemns conditions at dozens of factories in Indonesia that supply Nike and Adidas.

Marc Cooper analyzes the defeat of the White House's handpicked candidate in California's Republican gubernatorial primary.

Glowing Disdain A Las Vegan responds to the selection of Yucca Mountain as the site of a nuclear waste dump: "We're gonna be glowing. We'll go to other cities, and people will say: 'They're from Nevada -- they're glowing.' "

Robert Fisk writes that by single-mindedly focusing on its war on terrorism, the U.S. is doing little to prevent anarchy in Afghanistan or to halt Middle East violence: "September 11 is turning into a curse far greater than the original bloodbath of that day."

Read a profile of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which have claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Pashtuns of northern Afghanistan are fleeing their villages by the thousands, telling tales of murder, rape and robbery.

Slate's Scott Shuger wonders why the Washington Post went soft on the Pentagon, over the possibility that it had considered poisoning Afghanistan's food supply.

As al-Qadea disputes U.S. casualty figures, military officers criticize the rush to use U.S. ground troops at Gardez. Plus: Where will the next front be?

Harper's publisher John MacArthur expresses his admiration for the public-relations brilliance of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

No one says "homeland security" like this guy.

A former ally accuses President Putin of being linked to the 1999 terrorist bombings that killed about 300 Russians and provided justification for sending troops to Chechnya. More on the Russian security service's alleged role in the bombings.

PBS' "NewsHour" rolls out an extensive package on the cable news wars, including a content analysis of prime-time programming on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

The analysis' architect, Andrew Tyndall, says that Fox News' defining feature is "opinion," CNN's is "reporting" and MSNBC's is "confused." Is it time for MSNBC to make a left turn?

One thing missing from the PBS offering is dinner with Rupert Murdoch.

The New York Times follows up on David Corn's article in The Nation, detailing a 1986 oil-drilling partnership between George W. Bush's Spectrum 7 and an Enron subsidiary.

Michael Lewis writes that Enron's chief villains are playing the same game as defendants that they did as businessmen. Plus: Americans way down on corporate America.

How Slate got duped by a phony diarist posing as an "automotive CEO."

God gets drafted into the national debate and patriotism is back in play as a political issue.

President Bush's big swagger woos Americans who are at odds with his policies. Review: President at frat-boy best in "Journeys With George."

Why spook a country that's already spooked?

The Moscow Times' Chris Floyd explains why the Pentagon's shuttering of the "Office of Strategic Influence" was a pyrrhic victory for watchdogs of the press.

Virtually Back U.S. officials say that intercepted e-mail and new Web sites indicate an effort by al-Qaeda to regroup outside of Afghanistan.

As the Israeli army loses its former luster, a growing number of soldiers are refusing to serve in the occupied territories.

U.S. officials confirm that dozens of young Israelis have been arrested and deported for visa violations since early last year. Le Monde reports that they were part of an Israeli spy ring that may have trailed suspected al-Qaeda members before 9/11, without informing federal authorities.

Intelligence Online, the Paris-based newsletter that broke the story, said some 120 Israelis had been arrested or expelled. See its "Texas connection" map and read Fox News' December series on Israeli spying in the U.S.

The Last Laugh How the TV networks blew their opportunity to present serious news coverage following 9/11.

Ted Koppel defends Nightline's relevance in a New York Times op-ed, as staffers express confidence that the media debate is playing out in their favor.

O'Reilly tells Ted to Kop an attitude. Is Letterman any less informative than Koppel?

David Corn uncovers a partnership between George W. Bush's Spectrum 7 and Enron Oil and Gas. They were in business together in 1986 -- when Ken Lay was head of Enron.

For more on Bush's business career, read Joe Conason's "heartwarming tale about baseball, $1.7 billion, and a lot of swell friends."

There's a new voice mail menu at Enron.

Al-Qaeda "diehards" face choice of Afghan mountains or Guantanamo jail cells.

Debka: U.S. assault launched to pre-empt spring thaw counter-offensive by Taliban and al-Qaeda, who are much better prepared than at Tora Bora. Stratfor: Battle began after negotiations broke down with local officials, who refused to hand fighters over to U.S. forces.

Patrons of U.S.-detained warlord attack western journalists.

Afghan recruits paid $200 a month by U.S.

Residents of Shah-e-Kot discuss how Arab and Chechen fighters moved in.

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh details the acrimonious debate in Washinton over how to topple Saddam. In a CNN interview, Hersh says the U.S. is "going to try to do whatever we can to make Saddam say no" to weapons inspectors.

Christopher Hitchens ridicules the concept of an "axis of evil," pro-war left-wingers in Britian claim censorship, and the "war on terrorism" for dummies.

The synergized future of journalism is playing out in Phoenix, where a Gannett-owned newspaper and TV station have "converged" their newsrooms. Earlier: Media General synergizes Tampa and the TV critic for the Baltimore Sun explains how he'll cover his paper's broadcast partner.

There's no synergy in sight for Kabul's one and only TV station.

Germans' sense of humor to be challenged by Berlin staging of "The Producers."

Some U.S. Justice Department workers balk at singing Ashcroft's song.

As his public support erodes, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is fighting more than a military campaign. Plus: Occupation vs. Democracy.

Operation "Anaconda" Vowing not to repeat the mistake of Tora Bora, where reliance on Afghan forces allowed Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters to escape, the U.S. has committed an estimated 600 soldiers to its latest offensive.

An Afghan security chief says poor planning by U.S. commanders forced a hasty retreat as "Anaconda" began.

Philip Smucker offers a day-by-day account of how bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora.

How President Bush has redefined success to mean whatever his administration says it means. Plus: TV pundits energized by debate within a debate over criticism of war effort.

Read a review of "Ambling Into History," New York Times' reporter Frank Bruni's campaign biography of Bush.

Historian Paul Kennedy on America's international leadership: Where's the vision?

Where's 'N Sync? How placing people in "undisclosed locations" as insurance against a terrorist attack might spread beyond government.

A critic charges that music swapping isn't killing the record business, the music is.

Kurt Andersen on the growth of the infotainment-industrial complex and how gossip and publicity went from national scandal to national pastime. Plus: Using the media to rehabilitate scandal-tainted images.

Has Ann "Ku Klux" Coulter gone soft?

A former employee accuses's Jim Cramer of using CNBC anchors and his own TV appearances to tout stocks that his hedge fund would promptly sell, making a quick buck on the upswing.

Why did the company that managed Florida's state pension fund -- which lost $328 million on Enron investments -- continue to buy stock as the price plunged? Plus: Airing Enron's dirty laundry.

Get your own copy of Enron's "Code of Ethics" manual, or read it here for free.

Ya Gotta Believe Advertising's new strategy for winning customer loyalty taps into religious yearning.

A new study finds little public service on "public" airwaves.

How Muslims fleeing a Hindu firebomb attack on an Indian village were electrocuted.

How homeland security got short shrift through the 90s as the Pentagon continued fighting the Cold War, and how current spending proposals have little to do with fighting the war on terrorism.

Norman Solomon writes that the uproar over the Office of Strategic Influence could end up having a silver lining for the Pentagon -- leaving the impression that it has a policy of being truthful.

It's hard to know what to think when the words "disinformation" and "the Pentagon" are used in the same sentence. Employees not convinced that closed Pentagon disinformation office is really closed.

The CIA's "colorful history" of planting false information in foreign media outlets.

U.S. deploys "thermobaric" bombs in new offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Frank Rich on the Bush administration's disdain for the press and its bet that "the overall news culture is swinging back to its pre-9/11 bias -- which is resolutely in favor of fun."

ABC's bid for David Letterman is in keeping with the network's increased emphasis on entertainment since being acquired by the Walt Disney Co.

In Yugoslavia, the Milosevic trial is must-see TV.

Andrew Sullivan's obsession with Paul Krugman. Plus: Krugman defends his disclosure of cash from Enron on "Reliable Sources."

Former President Bush offers mea culpa to Marin County.

Indian authorities impose news blackouts in an attempt to curb Hindu-Muslim violence that has left more than 400 people dead.

The New York Times reports that 18 of the energy industry's top 25 financial contributors to the Republican Party advised VP Cheney's national energy task force last year.

Open Secrets tracks the payback on the Bush administration's energy plan. See the list of the top 20 energy/natural resources contributors for the 2000 election cycle.

Open Secrets also shows how the votes cast on a bill that would allow Baby Bells to freeze out competing Internet service providers, correlated to campaign contributions, rather than party affiliation.

The chief of regulatory enforcement for the EPA has resigned, claiming that the agency is "fighting a White House that seems determined to weaken the rules we are trying to enforce."

How taxes paid into the Superfund dwindled from a high of $3.8 billion in 1996 to a projected $28 million next year.

Pipeline Dreams Did the Bush administration know during the summer of 2001 that the largest bankruptcy in history was imminent, and were they working closely with the Taliban on Enron's behalf?

Following September 11, President Bush activated a Cold War-era plan and assembled a shadow government of 70 to 150 officials who spend 24 hours a day living and working in bunkers outside of Washington.

Shadow government at a glance. Plus: Congress kept in dark about plans.

As criticism mounts over the failure to find bin Laden, the Pentagon is working hard to make him seem irrelevant.

Did one of the 9/11 hijackers have a gun?

Peggy Noonan defends employer Aaron Sorkin's right to criticize the mainstream media's post-9/11 depiction of President Bush.

In an attempt to attract youth-obsessed advertisers, ABC is wooing David Letterman, whose show would replace "Nightline."

Ken Layne on the "Greedy Record Industry" and "Frontline" on "The Monster That Ate Hollywood."

Kentucky Fried Rat How do malicious rumors targeting corporations get started?

Complaints abut search engine's pay for placement scam draw no interest from the FTC. Plus: Why Google loves weblogs.

A reporter travels to Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, a possible new hotspot in the war on terror. A small number of Afghan and Arab fighters are reportedly hiding out there among 10,000 Chechen rebels and refugees.

Georgian foreign minister calls Russian reaction to U.S. troop plan "hysterical propaganda."

More on Georgia at Eurasianet's resource page and article index.

In Praise of Vulgarity Charles Paul Freund on the liberating potential of commercial culture.

Guerrilla Girls unveil anatomically correct "Oscar" for LA billboard campaign.

Frying Kevin's Bacon Sociologist debunks six degrees of separation theory, argues that it's a big world after all. The debate starts here.

Democrats challenge Pentagon on the defense budget and a terrorist campaign that seems to have "no end in sight." Plus: White House to oppose plan mandating a 35 mpg average for all vehicles by 2013.

USA Today reports that according to an unreleased federal study, radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapons tests across the globe probably caused at least 15,000 cancer deaths in U.S. residents born after 1951.

Critic derides anti-Americanism of British press.

Joe Conason on how the U.S. press fell for a phony story about Ken Lay sleeping over at the Clinton White House. Plus: When in trouble, slap Clinton.

April, 2002 Link Archive