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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 16, 2003


  • Under White House Control, Iraq's Oil Wealth
    May Be Headed Toward Privatization

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • GOP Energy Legislation Offers Corporate Subsidies
    to Build New U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • U.S. Navy Leaves Vieques Bombing Range;
    Activists Now Focus on Cleanup of Navy's Toxic Legacy

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Underreported News Summary from Around the World
    For full summary and audio, Click here!
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until May 20, 2003.

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

Under White House Control, Iraq's Oil Wealth
May Be Headed Toward Privatization

Interview with Michael Renner,
a senior researcher with World Watch Institute,
conducted by Scott Harris

While U.S. military and civilian appointees of the Bush administration attempt to restore order and repair Iraq's infrastructure, protests against American occupation continue across the wartorn nation. Over the last several weeks, U.S. soldiers shot and killed 18 civilians and wounded nearly 100 demonstrators who took to the streets angrily objecting to the presence of American forces in the city of Fallujah. Meanwhile, Lt. General Jay Garner, the man appointed by president Bush to rule post war Iraq, is working to establish an interim government by selecting delegates to a national assembly. The provisional assembly, to be handpicked by Iraqi exiles and Bush administration allies, would then in turn select an executive council or prime minister.

One of the biggest questions confronting the White House is the administration of Iraq's oil industry with the second largest proven reserves in the world. A partial answer to that question was revealed when the U.S. appointed former Shell Oil Company CEO Philip J. Carroll to be chairman of an advisory committee that will oversee Iraq's oil industry. But, even before the U.S. launched its war against Baghdad in violation of the United Nation's charter, the State Department was meeting with oil company executives and exile groups to plan for the management and possible privatization of Iraq's oil sector.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Michael Renner, a senior researcher with the World Watch Institute, who discusses the role Iraq's oil wealth may have played in the Bush administration's decision to prosecute a war against Baghdad and the likelihood that the industry will soon be privatized and offered up to U.S.-based oil companies.

Contact World Watch Institute by calling (202) 452-1999 or visit their Web site at

Related links

GOP Energy Legislation Offers Corporate Subsidies
to Build New U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Interview with Michael Mariotte,
executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

When the Bush administration first took office, Vice President Dick Cheney held a series of closed-door meetings with corporate executives, including officials from Enron, to assist in the formulation of White House energy policy. After the collapse of Enron and the scandals surrounding California's electricity deregulation, Congress unsuccessfully sought records of those meetings to determine how much influence people like Enron CEO Ken Lay may have had on the president's energy policy. With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, the Bush administration is continuing its push to weaken environmental regulations now preventing the exploitation of oil and coal reserves in wilderness areas.

Another cornerstone of Bush and Cheney's secretly-arrived at energy policy is promotion of nuclear power. The Republican-controlled Congress is ready to go along. An energy bill already passed by the GOP-led House offers corporate subsidies for the construction of new nuclear power plants across the U.S. A companion bill is now being debated in the Senate.

Since the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, grassroots opposition to nuclear power has effectively prevented the construction of more new atomic power plants than currently operate in the U.S. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Michael Mariotte, executive director of NIRS, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, who discusses provisions in the Republican energy bill and what opponents are doing to mitigate its worst aspects.

Contact the Nuclear Information and Resource Service by calling (202) 328-0002 or visit their Web site at

U.S. Navy Leaves Vieques Bombing Range;
Activists Now Focus on Cleanup of Navy's Toxic Legacy

Robert Rabin,
of Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques,
interview conducted by Denise Manzari

On May 1, the U.S. Navy ended its 60 years of bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Hundreds of protesters broke through a fence at the bombing range of Camp Garcia after the midnight deadline, waving the island's flag and shouting "Vieques si; Navy, no."

Some witnesses charge hooded protesters burned Navy vehicles and destroyed government property there. Almost 25,000 acres on the east side of Vieques, roughly two-thirds of the island, were expropriated through a series of U.S. laws at the beginning of the second World War. The Navy took immediate possession of all lands needed for military purposes and used the island of Vieques, described by the Navy as "the crown jewel in the Caribbean" for bombing, artillery and for amphibious landing exercises. Families and farmers had to leave the area with little or no compensation.

Organizers have long claimed the military exercises on Vieques caused the population of 9,000 there to suffer one of the highest cancer rates in Puerto Rico, in addition to other chronic illnesses. The last three years brought intensive campaigning, demanding the Navy leave Vieques, triggered by the accidental death of 24-year-old David Sanes-Rodriguez on April 19, 1999. More than a thousand demonstrators have been arrested for engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience and other forms of protest. Israel Medina and Ismael Guadelupe remain incarcerated, though both will be released on May 13 and on June 10 of this year. Puerto Rican Governor Sila Calderon announced she will ask Congress to put Vieques on the National Priority List for an environmental cleanup of the bombing range.

Robert Rabin is with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the vigilance necessary to ensure a thorough cleanup of the explosives and toxic waste left behind by the Navy.

For more information, call (787) 741-0716 or visit the committee's Web site at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • 2,000 American troops headed for wartorn Mindanao in the Philippines, site of a long-running Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines. ("The Evolution of Muslim Insurgency," World Press Review, May 2003)
  • Agribusiness conglomerates are squeezing out small family farmers all around the world and increasing their corporate grip on every aspect of the food chain from crop cultivation to the supermarket shelf. ("The New Peasants' Revolt," New Internationalist, January/February 2003).
  • New law on proxy vote disclosure will aid unions with pension funds and shareholder activists to influence corporate behavior. ("Watching Workers' Money," The Nation, March 17, 2003)

DOWNLOAD this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Note: Make sure your browser is set for streaming or download depending on your connection speed.

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

... MORE ...

Greg Palast, BBC journalist, author of NY Times bestseller "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" spoke at a sold-out event in New Haven, CT April 12! Audio CDs, videotapes and more available at

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 5/9/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"White House Refuses to Release Sept. 11 Info," by Frank Davies, Miami Herald, May 5, 2003

"The Secrets of September 11," by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek Web Exclusive, April 30, 2003

American Empire

"Real American Agenda Now Becoming Clear," by Haroon Siddiqui, The Toronto Star, May 4, 2003

War Profiteering Iraq

"Halliburton's Cash Registers Ring in Iraq," By Lisa Myers and the NBC News Investigative Team, May 3, 2003

"War Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

"American to oversee Iraqi oil industry," by David Teather, The Guardian, April 26, 2003

"Say it Slowly: It Was About Oil," by Ted Rall,, April 25, 2003

"Halliburton's Axis of Influence" In These Times, March 28, 2003

"Crude History Lesson" In These Times, March 27, 2003

"Analysis: Oil and the Bush Cabinet," by Katty Kay, BBC, January 29, 2001

"The Bush Administration Corporate Connections," Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, D.C.

Postwar Occupation in Iraq

"U.S. Struggles in Quicksand of Iraq," by Alissa J. Rubin, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2003

"White House Threatens Belgium over War Crimes Prosecution," by Justin Webb, BBC, April 29, 2003

"A Blinkered Vision for Post-War Iraq,"by Ian Williams, AlterNet, April 29, 2003

Civil Liberties

"The War Comes Back Home," Can Attorney General John Ashcroft fight terrorism on our shores without injuring our freedoms? by Richard Lacayo, Time Magazine, May 4, 2003.

"New Patriot Act Creates Uproar, Brings Together Uncommon Allies," by Michelle Mittelstadt, Dallas Morning News, April 15, 2003

Media Coverage on the War

"Revealed: How the Road to War was Paved with Lies," by Raymond Whitaker, The Independent UK, April 27, 2003

"BBC Director General Strikes Out at U.S. Media," by Matt Wells, The Guardian, April 25, 2003

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

Disorder, Protests Challenge U.S. Occupation of Iraq, Undermining White House Triumphalism, Roger Normand, executive director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, Week Ending 4/25/03

U.S. War Violates U.N. Charter, Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, March 28, 2003

Campaign to Impeach President Bush Will Require Broad Public Support, law professor Francis Boyle, March 7, 2003

White House Successor to USA Patriot Act Threatens Further Erosion of Civil Liberties, author Nancy Chang, Feb. 28, 2003

Multi-Ethnic Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report
and in Audio (needs RealPlayer)


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