Saturday, June 25, 2005
Randy Gould, an anti-Vietnam war activist at the University of Kansas during the 1970s, believes that he may have been a victim of Mark Felt's "black-bag jobs." On June 6, at his Oread Daily web log, Gould wrote that while he and three other anti-war activists from the Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri area were on trial for "conspiracy," on more than one occasion he would return to his Kansas City apartment and find his place had been ransacked.
At the time, Gould writes, the government "alleged lots of things that weren't true and lots of things that were irrelevant," including charges that he and the others "were connected to the Weather Underground Organization."
Although averse to dwelling on the past "because I'm not all that interested in what Bruce Springsteen refers to as 'boring stories of glory days,'" Gould responded to a series of e-mailed questions, hoping that "talking about his experiences might help fill out the picture about Felt and the FBI's abusive activities during those times."
Gould's Oread Daily is a daily online newsletter covering news from a progressive point of view. The OD, which takes its name from a mimeographed daily newsletter published in Lawrence, Kansas during the late sixties and early seventies, is available by subscription or online.
(Disclosure: In the 1970s, I was a member of Gould's Defense Committee.)
Bill Berkowitz: In 1971, you were indicted by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri. What were the circumstances surrounding that indictment?
Randy Gould: I, along with three other men, were indicted on July 9, 1971 by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri conducted by the infamous Guy Goodwin, who ran similar grand jury operations against activists all across the country at that time. The Grand Jury charged us with participating in a series of bombings that had taken place in Kansas City, Missouri and Lawrence, Kansas, in 1970. I believe the actual charge was conspiracy to make, possess, and transport explosives devices across state lines without paying the required federal tax. I was also charged with three felony counts by the state of Kansas in Douglas County (Lawrence) for the bombing alleged in the federal indictment which took place there, and by Johnson County (suburban Kansas City) with four felony counts relating to two bombings there which were also alleged in the federal indictment.
The New York Times, June 24:
At least four women serving in the American military, including three marines, are among the six known dead in a suicide car bombing in Falluja on Thursday, military officials in Baghdad and Washington said Friday.
It was the largest number of women in the armed services killed in a single attack during the Iraq war. Eleven women were also among the 13 marines wounded in the strike, which began when the car approached a military convoy carrying about 20 marines and sailors to checkpoint duties on the edge of Falluja. Most if not all of the personnel riding in the back of the truck when it was hit were American women assigned to search Iraqi women who pass through the checkpoint.
Of about 37 women in the military killed in Iraq as of Wednesday - among at least 1,728 service members killed over all - nearly all had died within units made up largely of men. On Thursday, for the first time in the war, a large number of women suffered and died together after a strike that military officials suspect was carefully planned and might have been aimed at the women. ...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
The Iraqi insurgency is as active as six months ago and more foreign fighters are flowing in all the time, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East said Thursday, despite Vice President Dick Cheney's insistence that the insurgency was "in its last throes."
Gen. John Abizaid, testifying at a contentious Senate hearing alongside Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, gave his view of the war in response to lawmakers who expressed concern about progress in Iraq and support at home. ...
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Associated Press, June 22:
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partner created tax-exempt groups to funnel money to themselves from Indian tribes trying to build political support for their casinos, according to documents released at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, described it as a scheme to bilk millions of dollars from the tribes.
"Today's hearing is about more than contempt, even more than greed," he said. "It is simply and sadly a tale of betrayal."
In one case, Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon hired a former lifeguard, David Grosh, to head a group billed as an international think tank - the American International Center - to receive payments.
Abramoff and Scanlon used that think tank and other tax-exempt groups to steer the money from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and other tribes, according to documents released by the committee.
McCain said American International paid a total of $840,000 in 2002 to Greenberg Traurig, the law and lobbying firm where Abramoff worked, making it the firm's fifth largest lobbying client.
Grosh told the committee the center was set up on the bottom floor of the home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he was living. He said he was paid about $2,500 and left the job when he learned the center was involved with the federal government, Indian tribes and gambling.
Grosh said he became the center's director after Scanlon called and asked whether he wanted to head an international corporation.
"I asked him what I had to do and he said, 'Nothing,' so that sounded pretty good to me," Grosh told the Senate panel. Grosh has also held jobs as an excavator and machine operator and in construction and bartending.
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq." ...
The CIA believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Wednesday.
A classified report from the U.S. spy agency says Iraqi and foreign fighters are developing a broad range of deadly skills, from car bombings and assassinations to tightly coordinated conventional attacks on police and military targets, the official said. ...
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Arab, Alabama that is.
B-K Manufacturing Co., Arab, Ala., was awarded on June 20, 2005, a maximum value $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for production of machine shop-type items. Machine shop-type items are items used in various shipboard physical security installations and hull perimeter lighting efforts. Shipboard physical security installations support Navy and Military Sealift Command ships. Work will be performed in Arab, Ala., and is expected to be completed by June 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet with 11 offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-05-D-4420).
Associated Press, June 21:
... House Republicans on Tuesday were all over Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, because of recent comments in which he referred to Nazis, Soviets and Cambodia's Pol Pot in describing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
On Monday, House Democrats stopped debate on a defense spending bill to protest a comment by Rep. John Hostettler (news, bio, voting record), R-Ind., that, "like moths to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians."
Hostettler later agreed to strike those words from the record, but Republicans were not backing down. "Hostettler may have said it unartfully," Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday. But "Democrats are constantly attacking people of faith."
DeLay, R-Texas, also decided to get in a couple of licks at Durbin, calling his remarks about Guantanamo Bay a "premeditated and monstrous attack against America's military."
Durbin on Tuesday apologized to those who "believe my remarks crossed the line." He spoke after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said previous expressions of regret weren't enough. '"Shameful' does not begin to describe this heinous slander against our country," Frist said. ...
Monday, June 20, 2005
The Post-Dispatch is still playing catch-up on coverage of the Downing Street documents, but did put forth something of an effort yesterday: an Associated Press article on page A6 of the Sunday paper (an improvement on the placement of earlier stories) with an accompanying list of excerpts from DSM memos. It represents the most substantive work the paper has managed on the story, so I suppose we should be grateful. ...