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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Jan. 25, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Jan. 30, 2002.

This Week's Program Archived in MP3 on

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

Enron Collapse Provokes Questions
About 'Business As Usual' Corruption in Washington

Interview by Scott Harris.

The recent collapse of the Enron energy corporation, the single largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, has provoked many questions about who knew what and when in the Bush administration as the company's chairman contacted key government officials in the weeks before Enron failed. But while the White House says no favors were given to Enron, many employees and small investors were financially wiped out, as the company's top executives -- aware of the Enron's dire situation -- avoided losses by selling their stock, worth $1.1 billion dollars.

The connection between the Bush administration and Enron are many. Kenneth Lay, Enron's chairman, was among the top political contributors to Bush's presidential campaign. Vice President Dick Cheney sought Lay's advice in secret meetings to formulate the administration's energy policy. Attorney General John Ashcroft, a recipient of Enron campaign contributions, was forced to recuse himself from a Justice Dept. investigation into Enron's collapse. And President Bush recently chose Marc Racicot, a lobbyist for Enron, to chair the Republican National Committee. While Republicans received about 73 percent of Enron's $5.8 million in political contributions since 1989, Democrats too, have benefited from the energy giant's quest to buy influence.

Among the latest revelations to surface was the admission by Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, that it destroyed thousands of documents related to the bankruptcy. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, who examines the collapse of Enron and the investigations now underway to determine the extent to which political corruption played a role in this monumental business failure.

Contact the Center for Responsive Politics by calling (202) 857-0044 or visit their Web site at

Bush Appoints Right-Wing Ideologue
with Tainted History to Head State Dept.
Office on Latin America

Interview by Melinda Tuhus.

Last week, President Bush made a recess appointment of Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Bush had first announced Reich's appointment last March, but ran into intense opposition among Senate Democrats. Among the reasons they were opposed was Reich's tenure in the early 1980's as head of the Reagan administration's Office of Public Diplomacy, where he worked directly with Oliver North producing propaganda to influence U.S. public opinion in support of the Contra war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government. Three years later, his office was closed down by Congress as an illegal operation.

Reich, a Cuban-American with many ties to Anti-Castro groups in Miami, later served as ambassador to Venezuela, where he wrote letters in support of a visa application for Orlando Bosch. Bosch is a convicted terrorist who was responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner in which 73 civilians were killed.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Bill Goodfellow, executive director of the Center for International Policy. He discusses why Bush appointed Reich, his lack of support in Congress and some of the important regional issues Reich will be responsible for in his State Department post .

Contact the Center for International Policy calling (202) 232-3317 or visit their Web site at

Activists Organize Protests to Greet Elite Delegates
at World Economic Forum in NYC Jan. 31 to Feb. 4

Interview by Scott Harris.

From Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, more than 1,500 corporate leaders and their political allies will be gathering in New York City for the meeting of the World Economic Forum. The annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland since 1971, was moved to New York City this year due in part to growing protests at the Swiss Alps ski resort in recent years by groups opposed to the forum's agenda promoting corporate-led globalization.

Over the years, discussions at the World Economic Forum have spawned the creation of controversial institutions such as the World Trade Organization and have supported free trade economic policies. Similar to what's occurred at other recent global summit meetings, thousands of labor, environmental and student activists, from the U.S. and around the world, are planning to greet the elite delegates as they come to New York for the forum with protests, street theater and teach-ins.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Michael Dolan, deputy director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, who discusses the history of the World Economic Forum, the planned protests and the concern that in the post-Sept. 11 environment in New York City, police may not tolerate dissent and label those engaged in direct action as "terrorists."

Contact Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch by calling (202) 546-4996 or visit their Web site at:

Related links:

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Major oil companies like ExxonMobil and British Petroleum planning to exploit 80 billion barrel energy reserve in Central Asia. ("The Fire Down Below," by World Press Review, January 2002)
  • Cambodian women dying from unsafe abortions after Bush administration orders end of funding to international groups that provide abortion counseling. ("Gagged in Cambodia," In These Times, Dec. 10, 2001)
  • With help from his allies in Congress, Utah oilman Earl Holding cashes in on the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. ("Olympic Windfall," Mother Jones, November/December, 2001)

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

... MORE ...

World Economic Forum Protests, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2002, World Economic Forum Conference and National Student Mobilization, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, Columbia University, New York City. See conference schedule.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Another World is Possible Coalition

Anti-Capitalist Convergence

New York Independent Media Center

Globalize This!

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

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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