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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending Dec. 21, 2001


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Individual interview segments and news summary will be posted soon. MP3 files available until Oct. 10, 2001.

  • RealAudio for streaming (Dialup or fast connections. Instant playback. Needs RealPlayer 7 or 8)

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

    Ashcroft's Charge That His Critics
    Aid Terrorists Echoes of McCarthy Era

    Interview by Scott Harris.

    Since September 11th, the Bush administration - with Attorney General John Ashcroft as their "point man" has undertaken a program to conduct a war on terrorism here at home. With new powers authorized by Congress and executive orders the government now has the ability to secretly detain immigrants indefinitely without charge, wiretap phone and electronic communication, convene military tribunals and eavesdrop on conversations between some attorneys and their clients. The White House has also discussed a plan to lift restrictions on FBI surveillance of U.S. political and religious groups.

    Before a Senate Judiciary Committee on December 6th Attorney General Ashcroft dismissed civil libertarians who have been critical of the administration's ant-terrorism agenda. He told the legislators that what the nation needs is "honest, reasoned debate, not fear mongering." But Mr. Ashcroft angered many when, in so many words, he labeled those raising questions about his policies as aiding America's enemies.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bruce Shapiro, contributing editor with the Nation Magazine, who takes a critical look at the domestic front of the war on terrorism and the consequences for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights.

    For more information, read Shapiro's articles on civil liberties issues at

    Weeks of escalating violence in the Middle East claimed the lives of two young boys ages 2 and 13 years old on Dec. 10 after Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a car carrying a man they accused of planning terrorist attacks. The target of the assassination, Muhammad Sidir, who Israelis say was a local leader of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, was wounded in the assault along with his uncle and five others.

    Israel stepped up its attacks on Yasir Arafat's governing authority and individuals it suspects of engaging in terrorism after three suicide bomb attacks killed 26 Israeli civilians on Dec. 1 and 2. Contributing to the cycle of violence was the Nov. 23 Israeli assassination of a leader of the militant group Hamas and the deaths of five Palestinian boys killed by a bomb planted by the Israeli Army on Nov. 22. Despite Arafat's arrest of more than 150 Palestinians thought to be connected with terror attacks, Israeli and U.S. officials demanded that he do more to dismantle Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of Philadelphia's Shalom Center, who examines the connection between the Israeli government's policy of assassination and what many believe to be the predictable intensification of violence, now stretching into 14 months of conflict.

    Contact the Shalom Center by calling area code (215) 844-8494 or visit their web site at

    In a cliff hanger of a vote on December 6th, the House of Representatives approved by a one vote margin - 215 to 214 - the Trade Promotion Authority bill opposed by many labor, environmental and human rights activists. The legislation, formerly known as Fast Track, will grant the president authority to negotiate future international trade deals with minimal debate in Congress and no chance for legislators to propose corrective amendments.

    The White House, Republican leaders and their corporate allies spent millions of dollars to win passage of Fast Track - even claiming that a vote for the bill was a patriotic duty while the nation wages war against terrorism. The legislation next moves to the U.S. Senate, where most observers predict an easy victory for the President. If signed into law, Fast Track will enable the White House to expedite approval of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty or FTAA, which, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been criticized for the lack of labor or environmental standards and the power it surrenders to corporations.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sarah Anderson, director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy Project, who assesses the factors which led to Fast Track's passage and the fight ahead for activists opposing economic policies that advance corporate led globalization.

    Contact the Institute for Policy Studies by calling area code (202) 234-9382 or visit their web site at

    • Roots of Argentina's crisis can be traced to International Monetary Fund's structural adjustment policies. ( "Another IMF Crash," The Nation, December 10, 2001)
    • German Green Party losing its base as it disavows its original anti-war platform. ( "German Greens' Changing Colors," Mother Jones, November 30, 2001)
    • Anti-globalization protesters could be the next target of the international war on terrorism. ( "Violent Protesters Face EU Travel Ban," The Guardian, December 4, 2001)

    Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
    Program narration: Denise Manzari
    News reader: Scott Harris
    Segment Producer: Denise Manzari, Melinda Tuhus
    Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
    Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo, Bill Cosentino
    Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Commentary on America's Crisis, from the Producer

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart"

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart," audio file in MP3.

Between The Lines' Special Reports on Fallout from Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

Special Report, Week Ending Sept. 21, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Sept. 28, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 5, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 12, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 19, 2001

Ali Abunimah, vice president of Chicago's Arab American Action Network, interview in RealAudio, Sept. 12, 2001

In-Depth News Analysis

Third World Traveler, Foreign Policy section, collection of resources on

"They can't see why they are hated: Americans cannot ignore what their government does abroad" by Seumas Milne, Guardian Unlimited, UK's Special Report on Terrorism in the U.S., Sept. 13, 2001

In-depth Reporting and Analysis of Sept. 11 Terror Attacks

The Nation magazine

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

"The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD

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