Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending June 30, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or RealPlayer G2).

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

Criticism mounting against U.S. missile defense plan
Interview by Scott Harris.

While President Clinton considers whether or not to deploy a limited missile defense system later this year, opponents assert that much has happened recently that further undercuts the rationale supporting the weapons program estimated to cost $60 billion dollars.

A dramatic breakthrough in negotiations between North and South Korea has diminished further the already distant threat that North Korea was said to pose to its Asian neighbors and the U.S. Recent elections in Iran, the other supposed rogue state, have confirmed the rise of moderates in the government there committed to improve relations with the West. In other developments, Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed an alternate "boost phase" intercept system that could protect against "rogue" missile attacks, but would remain in compliance with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Meanwhile, information questioning the viability of the technology behind this resurrection of the Reagan era Star Wars program continues to be made public. A recent General Accounting Office report concluded that the system was based on uncertain assessments of the potential threat and was vulnerable to delays and escalating costs.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, who assesses the continuing debate on the Clinton Administration proposal to build a U.S. missile defense program.

Contact the Network by calling (352) 337-9274 or visit their Web site at

Resistance to Pentagon's anthrax vaccine speaks to military credibility gap
Interview by Scott Harris.

Since the Pentagon began an anthrax inoculation program in March 1998, growing numbers of soldiers and reservists have placed their military careers in jeopardy by resisting the administration of this vaccine. Concerns about the drug's safety have been the subject of intense debate among military personnel since reports of adverse reactions resulting from the inoculation surfaced in press accounts that were widely disseminated on the Internet.

Questions about the inoculation program were fueled by a congressional committee's recommendation that the program be suspended until the Pentagon fully investigated the reported side effects and effectiveness of the vaccine. More alarming was the committee's finding that most batches of the stockpiled anthrax drug were rated unsafe due to the presence of impurities. Despite these credible concerns, the military has disciplined soldiers who have refused to be inoculated.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Tod Ensign, director of Citizen Soldier and author of a Toward Freedom magazine article on the topic, who discusses the ongoing resistance to the anthrax vaccine in the military and how it relates to many soldier's earlier experience with adverse health effects linked to atomic bomb testing, Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome.

Contact Citizen Soldier by calling (212) 679-2250 or read the article by visiting Toward Freedom Magazine's Web site at

New global social justice movement organizing for summer political conventions and beyond
Interview by Scott Harris.

Much of the world was caught off guard when a coalition of student, labor, human rights and environmental groups came together to protest the policies of the World Trade Organization in Seattle last winter. The historic mass demonstrations and civil disobedience by tens of thousands there signaled to some the coming of age of a new international movement fighting for economic and social justice. Many of these same groups converged on Washington D.C. in April to similarly protest the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The movement has since organized demonstrations at an Organization of American States meeting in Windsor, Ontario and at a gathering of Oil Companies in Calgary. The next target of this broad coalition is the summer conventions of the Republicans and Democrats. While established economic and political institutions express concern about the growing power of this movement, the corporate media mostly ignores or mischaracterizes the goals of this new anti-corporate alliance.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kevin Danaher an organizer with Global Exchange and co-editor of the book "Globalize This!: The Battle Against The World Trade Organization," who examines the future direction of the social justice movement born in Seattle and Washington D.C.

Contact Global Exchange by calling 1-800 497-1994 or visit their web site at "Globalize This!" is published by Common Courage Press.

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Bob Nixon and Rich Fraser

  • Leading congressional Democrats pushing to maintain tough sanctions against Iraq. (Progressive)
  • Hi-tech bombing raids in Serbia not as successful as portrayed in media, reminiscent of inflated body counts during Vietnam War. (Newsweek: May 15, 2000)
  • Environmentalists and Oregonian Native Americans fighting to save eight endangered salmon species, which are threatened by the Dalles Dam on Oregon's Columbia River. (The Nation: Jan. 24, 2000)
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