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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 23, 2003


  • Allegations of War Profiteering Leveled Against Halliburton
    and Other Companies With Close Ties to White House

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Federal Court Derails Campaign Finance Regulations
    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Critics Say Bush AIDS Treatment Plan Flawed
    in Confronting Global Epidemic

    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 27, 2003.

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

Allegations of War Profiteering Leveled Against Halliburton
and Other Companies With Close Ties to White House

Interview with Charlie Cray,
corporate reform campaigner at Citizen Works,
conducted by Scott Harris

Well before the Bush administration launched its war against Baghdad, U.S. corporations were lining up to win lucrative contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq, a nation devastated by war and 12 years of economic sanctions. But because companies with close ties to the White House, such as Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Carlyle Group have been awarded multi-million dollar contracts in postwar Iraq, questions are now being raised about the appearance of ethical impropriety and conflicts of interest.

The revolving door between big business and government is easily illustrated in the Bush White House. Richard Perle, a key architect of the Iraq war, resigned his chairmanship of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board in March after press reports revealed he was acting as a highly paid consultant for companies hoping to profit from conflicts in Iraq and North Korea. And before becoming Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of a Swiss company which had signed a $200 million dollar contract with North Korea in 1999 to design and build components for two light water nuclear reactors there.

But the most disturbing example of possible conflicts of interest in the Bush administration are seen in Vice President Dick Cheney's association with Halliburton, an oil services and construction company that regularly does business with the Pentagon. Halliburton, where Cheney served as CEO from 1995 to 2000, was awarded a no-bid contract in March to put out oil fires in postwar Iraq -- and as revealed by the U.S. Army in May -- to operate Iraq's oil fields and distribute its petroleum products. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Charlie Cray, corporate reform campaigner with Citizen Works, who examines the charges of war profiteering leveled against Halliburton and other companies with close ties to the White House.

Contact Citizen Works by calling (202) 265-6164 or visit their Web site at:

Related links

Federal Court Derails Campaign Finance Regulations
Supreme Court will decide fate of McCain-Feingold law

Interview with Nick Nyhart,
executive director of Public Campaign,
conducted by Scott Harris

After years of struggle for campaign finance reform, Congress passed legislation which banned unregulated "soft money" contributions made to political parties by corporations, unions and individuals. The measure, named for its sponsors Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., also restricted TV and radio issue advertising referring to specific candidates within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. But shortly after President Bush signed the measure into law last year, the constitutionality of the legislation was challenged by the Republican Party and a coalition of groups, including the National Rifle Association.

Five months after first hearing the case, a three-judge panel in Washington's U.S. District Court issued four opinions on May 2 relating to McCain-Feingold. In its rulings, the court struck down some key provisions of the law while upholding others, creating a mixed result for supporters and opponents. But in the end this decision is only temporary, as the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say when it hears the case later this year.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign, who examines the lower court rulings and McCain-Feingold's possible fate in the Supreme Court. Nyhart also discusses his group's ongoing effort to institute a publicly-funded clean-money campaign finance system for candidates at the state level.

Contact Public Campaign by calling (202) 293-0222 or visit their Web site at:

Related links:

Critics Say Bush AIDS Treatment Plan Flawed
in Confronting Global Epidemic

Interview with Salih Booker,
executive director of Africa Action,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The AIDS pandemic has killed 25 million people worldwide over the past two decades, the vast majority in Africa, where it continues to spread virtually unchecked. President Bush scored points with many concerned about the epidemic when, during his State of the Union Address in January, he announced a $15 billion aid package for AIDS prevention and treatment over the next five years in Africa. But critics noted that most of the money was "backloaded," that is, slated for budgets toward the end of the five-year period. And there was no proposal for a supplemental budget appropriation this year, such as was passed last month to pay for the war in Iraq. Critics also charge that the administration is planning to establish a new bureaucracy to control and administer most of the funds, rather than channeling all the money through the United Nations-sponsored Global Fund for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Still, the fact that new funds are being made available, both for prevention and treatment, is a positive development, say those working in the field.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action. Over the years, the group has focused its attention on the struggle against colonialism, apartheid, the debt burden hindering development and other issues affecting the continent. Now the group's primary focus is on combating HIV/AIDS, part of its Africa's Right to Health Campaign. Booker discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the White House proposed legislation on AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa.

Contact Africa Action at (202) 546-7961 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Denise Manzari

  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was on corporate board of ABB, a European engineering giant that designed and sold components for two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea. ("The Two Faces of Rumsfeld," The Guardian, May 9, 2003)
  • Rachel Corrie's death beneath an Israeli Army bulldozer while trying to stop the demolition of a house in the Gaza Strip signals Israel's crackdown on the nonviolent resistance of the International Solidarity Movement. ("Rachel Corrie died in Palestinian Rubble," New York Observer, May 5, 2003; "Israel Arrests Two Rights Activists," New York Times, May 10, 2003).
  • Washington escalates its campaign against Havana by expelling 14 U.S.-based Cuban diplomats. ("U.S. Expels 14 Cuban Diplomats for Espionage as Tensions Mount," Agence France Press, May 13, 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: Sasha Summer Cousineau
News reader: Denise Manzari
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 5/16/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"Bush Should be Impeached and Tried for War Crimes" by Denise Giardina, The Charleston Gazette, May 12, 2003

"Senator Alleges 9/11 Coverup," by Josh Meyer, The Los Angeles Times, May 12 2003

"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/War Profiteering in Iraq

"US Floods Iraq With Dollars," BBC, April 17, 2003

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

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

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

"Reaping the spoils of war. Ousting Saddam could put U.S. oil giants in 'driver's seat'" by Lisa Sanders,, Jan. 31, 2003.

"Post-Saddam Iraq: Linchpin of a New Oil Order," by Michael Renner, Foreign Policy in Focus, January 2003

"Washington's Oilpolitik," by Michael Klare,, July 18, 2002

"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

"New Policy in Iraq to Authorize G.I.'s to Shoot Looters," by Patrick Tyler, New York Times, May 13, 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

"U.S. Planners Surprised by Strength of Iraqi Shiites,"by Glenn Kessler and Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writers, April 23, 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

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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