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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Dec. 13, 2002


We have recently moved our office. Our new phone number is (203) 268-8446. WPKN's number is still (203) 331-9756. Due to the move, our email service at was temporarily interrupted Nov. 26-Dec. 1 and has been restored as of Dec. 2. We apologize for any inconvenience and kindly request that you resend any email sent to us during the period our service was disabled. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Dec. 17, 2002.

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

Bush Appointment of Henry Kissinger to 9/11 Commission
Provokes Backlash and Charges of Damage Control

Interview with Peter Kornbluh,
senior analyst with the National Security Archive,
conducted by Scott Harris

The appointment by President Bush of Henry Kissinger to lead an investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has provoked criticism by many in the U.S. and around the world. Those who have followed Kissinger's career as national security advisor to President Nixon, and later serving as Gerald Ford's secretary of state, are skeptical that this tainted Washington insider is capable of conducting an objective inquiry.

Kissinger's involvement in the overthrow of democratic governments such as Chile, the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, his role in the secret bombing of Cambodia, as well as his well-documented record of misleading Congress and the American people have contributed to efforts across the globe to prosecute the Noble Prize-winning diplomat for his complicity in crimes against humanity. The threat of an indictment is so real that Kissinger now consults a lawyer before leaving the U.S.

Other questions about possible conflicts of interest stemming from his list of powerful corporate clients working with his business consulting firm Kissinger and Associates have surfaced. Kissinger maintains that his client list is secret and he alone will be the judge of any potential ethical conflicts. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Peter Kornbluh, senior analyst with the National Security Archive, who has closely studied Kissinger's career and explains why he believes the former diplomat is not the right person to lead the 9-11 commission.

Peter Kornbluh's forthcoming book, " The Pinochet File" will soon be published by the New Press. To contact the National Security Achive Web site, visit

U.S.-Saudi Relationship Ignores
the Oil-Rich Kingdom's Repression
and Human Rights Violations

Interview with As'ad AbuKhalil,
author of forthcoming book, "The House of Bush and the House of Saud,
conducted by Scott Harris

Since the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, where 15 of the 19 men who hijacked three U.S. planes were citizens of Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom has come under close scrutiny. The fact that Al Qaeda terror network mastermind Osama bin Laden is a member of one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent families has also contributed to new inquiries into Saudi terror connections.

But because of the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia, which possesses the single largest reserves of oil in the world, successive American presidents have been hesitant to criticize the Saudi monarchy, its government's repressive policies and its officially sanctioned religious intolerance. In the post-9/11 period, the Bush family's positive personal and business relationship with members of the Royal Saudi family has added additional conflicts of interest in formulating U.S. policies to effectively confront the roots of terrorism.

Recent unconfirmed reports alleging that the U.S. Saudi ambassador's wife had funneled money to 9/11 hijackers underscores the strains now apparent in this once strong relationship. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with As'ad AbuKhalil, associate political science professor at California State University and author of the forthcoming book, "The House of Bush and the House of Saud." Professor AbuKhalil explains why he feels the U.S. must dramatically transform its relationship with the Saudis if our nation is serious about applying one standard in challenging oppression and supporting human rights.

As'ad AbuKhalil's book, "The House of Bush and the House of Saud" is soon to be published by Seven Stories Press.

Exiled Bangladeshi Writer Condemns
Religious Persecution of Women

Interview with Taslima Nasrin,
Bangladeshi doctor, author and feminist,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

More than 200 Nigerians were killed in riots in late November, when Muslims protested against a beauty pageant scheduled to be held in their country as offensive to Islam. What set off the furor was a newspaper column that had suggested that if Mohammed were still alive, he might take one of the beauty contestants for his wife. The resulting violence forced the pageant to be moved to London, amid calls for the beheading of the female columnist.

Taslima Nasrin can relate to the Nigerian journalists' dilemma. Nasrin, a Bangladeshi medical doctor and writer, was forced into exile under a death threat for criticizing Islam for its treatment of women in her own nation.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Taslima Nasrin during a recent book tour promoting the English translation of the first volume of her memoirs titled: "Meyebela: My Bengali Girlhood." In it, Nasrin describes growing up in a middle-class Muslim household in Bangladesh where she was repeatedly raped by male relatives beginning at age 6. She describes her father's philandering and her mother's desperate clinging to religion to give her miserable life meaning. Nasrin, an atheist and humanist, presents her views on the backwardness of religions and on what women who live in Bangladesh and other religiously-dominated societies need to improve the quality of their lives.

Taslima Nasrin's first volume of her autobiography, "Meyebela: My Bengali Girlhood" is available from Steerforth Press.

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage

  • Struggling Russian farmers are upset with a plan to legalize sale of farmland for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. ("This Land is My Land," In These Times, Dec. 11, 2002)
  • Two politically connected Texas energy firms, Hunt Oil and Halliburton, are using their influence in the Bush White House to secure $900 million in public financing for an ecologically destructive natural gas project that will cut through the Peruvian rainforest. ("Texas Oil Firms Threatening Amazon Rainforest," Washington Post, Nov. 20, 2002)
  • Most of the $246 billion tobacco lawsuit settlement going to states is not being spent on fighting the smoking habit, but to pay for existing government operations, pork barrel projects or growing state budget gaps. ("Up in Smoke," Mother Jones, November/December 2002)

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
News writer: Brita Brundage
Program narration: Sasha Summer Cousineau
News reader: Denise Manzari
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 12/06/02

War With Iraq

U.S. Facing Bigger Bill For Iraq War Total Cost Could Run As High as $200 Billion, by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2002, Page A01

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format)

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

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 in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


Between The Lines
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