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__Anti-Bush Protests

On 7/9, protest Bush in New York City. On 7/11, protest Bush in Minnesota. On 7/15, protest Cheney in Connecticut. On 7/18, protest Cheney in Iowa.


__July 4 Ironies:

'125 Days to Save the World' Writes William Rivers Pitt:

"As Americans gather under vague threats of terrorism to watch controlled explosions spray color across the skies, ordinary people from the village of Kakarak in Afghanistan will gather to bury their dead. The uncontrolled explosion of an American 2,000 bomb at a wedding have sent 250 civilians there, mostly women and children, to the hospital or the morgue. None of them were named Osama bin laden or Mohammad Omar.

The War on Terror continues apace without a shred of true justice for the victims, and with a civilian body count that has outpaced the death toll of September 11th. As Americans unfurl their flags and remember the day that birthed the concept of a free and democratic nation, the PATRIOT Anti-Terror Act gnaws grimly at the guts of everything we're supposed to celebrate. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have become almost quaint in their meaninglessness, like a campaign slogan from 100 years ago."



Labor Alerts (12,000 subscribers)

A free service of: Campaign for Labor Rights

Daisy Pitkin, Campaigns Coordinator, < clr@afgj.org>

Phone: 202-544-9355

Web: <www.summersault.com/~agj/clr>


CLR Labor Alert posted July 2, 2002

In this Alert:

1. Exposed for Sweatshop Abuses and Union-Busting, Gucci Parent Company Tries to Cut-and-Run.

2. Take Action Now! - Just click on the link below and send a fax.



Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the French multinational apparel company known for major brands like Gucci, Brylane, FNAC, Yves Saint-Laurent, and Ellos, is also becoming known for union-busting and sweatshop conditions at its subsidiary operations and supplier factories around the world.

At PPR's Brylane distribution center in Indianapolis, Indiana, managers are waging a campaign of intimidation, discrimination and harassment aimed at preventing workers from exercising their right to choose a union. Brylane workers are coming together with the union, UNITE, to win a voice at work and end unsafe conditions in their jobs, including an ergonomic injury rate more than 18 times the industry average.

But PPR's mistreatment of workers extends beyond its own operations. A recent report has revealed that poverty wages, excessive hours and unsafe conditions can be found at PPR supplier factories all across Asia. At a factory supplying PPR in the Philippines, workers earn the equivalent of about $3.25 US a day—less than that country's legal minimum wage. Moreover, the company cheats the workers of wages and benefits, by keeping them on temporary status for well beyond the six month maximum allowed under Philippine law.

At another PPR supplier in Tirupur, India, some workers earn barely 10 cents per hour - hardly a fifth of what is considered necessary to support a family. Some workers have to work 13 hours per day, six days per week for a total of nearly 80 hours per week, just to make ends meet.
After a report by CFIE (Le Centre Français d'Information sur les Entreprises, a French organization that reports on the social responsibility of French companies) revealed these abuses, an international coalition of unionists and labor rights supporters demanded that PPR work with suppliers to remedy these conditions.

But despite explicit appeals that the company not cancel orders from these factories, PPR is attempting to run away from the bad publicity by cutting-and-running from their supply factories. In June, Retail Week magazine reported PPR Chief Executive Officer, Serge Weinberg saying, "Following the allegations, PPR had re-contacted the companies and ceased to trade with them." Rather than helping end to the illegal and abusive conditions faced by the workers who made its products, PPR is now trying to punish workers who told the truth about their working conditions!



Trade unions and worker rights activists around the world are demanding that PPR take responsibility for ending union-busting and sweatshop abuses at its suppliers and subsidiaries.

Instead of running away from its problems, PPR needs to recognize engage in good faith dialogue with trade unions and other labor rights advocates to fix the violations that have been reported and to adopt effective global standards and mechanisms to ensure basic rights and decent conditions for its workers worldwide.

**ACT NOW - IT'S EASY! Just click on the link below and fill out the information on the form that appears. Add a subject line to the letter in the space provided, and your fax will automatically be
sent to the company.

Tell PPR to: Stop Sweatshops, Stop Union-Busting, Don't Cut-and Run! Demand that PPR respect
workers rights at Brylane and around the world. To send a message to Brylane/PPR executives go
to: <www.unionvoice.org//campaign/brylaneppr>


WORLD WAR 3 REPORT # 40 July 1, 2002



Vigilant, Independent Sentry of Truth in the War on Terrorism

by Bill Weinberg with David Bloom and Subuhi Jiwani, Special Correspondents


1. 4th OF JULY TERROR ALERT Government officials will consider boosting the national color-coded terror alert from yellow to the more critical orange during the July 4th holiday weekend, law enforcement sources told ABC News June 28.

The current Homeland Security Color Advisory Code of yellow indicates that federal authorities believe there is a "serious, increased and predictable threat" of terrorist activity. An upgrade to orange would mandate armed forces and law enforcement agencies to coordinate security measures at public events.

Sources told ABC that officials will increase security measures around the country beginning Monday July 1, regardless of whether the color code is upgraded. Officials also said the Pentagon is preparing to dramatically increase combat air patrols over a dozen US cities during the holiday week.

ABC offers the following breakdown of the terror color-code system:

Green: Normal. Signifies low risk of terrorist attack.

Blue: Guarded. Signifies a continuing general threat of terrorist activity.

Yellow: Serious. Signifies an increased and predictable threat of terrorist activity.

Orange: Critical. Signifies that a terrorist threat may be likely.

Red: Severe. Signifies terrorist activity on a specific target may be imminent.


Since Sept. 11, helicopters with teams of scientists from the federal nuclear-weapons labs have been scanning the landscape over New York City with invisible beams to detect radiation from a potential terrorist nuclear device. The helicopters and scientists are part of a little-known Energy Department agency called the Nuclear Emergency Support Team. A June 9 front-page story in the Boston Globe by reporter Fred Kaplan provides a rare window into the workings of this secret agency—but leaves many questions unanswered.

NEST has a $77 million budget and a staff of some 750 scientists from the Energy Department's weapons labs, working on rotating call. NEST assists the FBI and reports to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pentagon. President Bush's reorganization would place it in the new Department of Homeland Security.

Besides the helicopter patrols, NEST teams have been driving around the nation's urban areas in vans known as "Hot Spot Mobile Labs," armed with instruments that detect alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiation. Other teams are equipped with backpacks that hold smaller detectors.

Last October, when intelligence agencies warned of a "dirty bomb" attack in lower Manhattan, NEST technicians backed up FBI agents and police, waving hand-held detectors across the thousands of trucks that were stopped and searched.

NEST was launched in 1974 after an extortionist threatened to detonate a nuclear bomb in Boston if he didn't receive $200,000. The threat turned out to be a hoax, but federal officials were shocked into a response. Since September, NEST's budget for radiation-detectors has doubled, and the nation's weapons labs—Lawrence Livermore in California, and Los Alamos and Sandia in New Mexico—are developing and deploying smaller and more refined models.

As of the middle of last year, NEST had only four helicopters and three aircraft, based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada (home of "Area 51") and Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, DC. One source said the fleet has been enlarged, but a NEST spokesman would not comment. NEST and other agencies jointly conducted 20 simulated field exercises from 1986 to 2001. But the scenarios for those war games were based on a pre-9-11 premise of terrorists or domestic militia groups threatening to detonate to extort money. Nuclear-emergency teams had days to respond. In post-9-11 threat scenarios, every minute of response time could matter.

The field exercises have not been reassuring to officials who have analyzed them. In March 1996, a Senate subcommittee chaired by then-Sen. Sam Nunn held hearings and reached what the panel called "disconcerting" conclusions about the exercises. The main problem, according to the report: "Our agencies are still suffering from their own inability to transcend age-old turf battles... Problems with coordination and information-sharing among government agencies continue, despite recent efforts to resolve them at the highest levels of the CIA and FBI."

Nunn's subcommittee focused mainly on "Mirage Gold," a five-day October 1994 exercise involving over 1,000 officials. In the Mirage Gold scenario, a fictitious militia group, the Patriots for National Unity, threatened to blow up New Orleans. The test's organizers claimed the bomb had been found and defused. But an official report by Rear Adm. Charles J. Beers Jr., then a deputy assistant secretary of defense, found that the exercise was "conducted in a manner to 'stack the deck' in favor of unrealistic success."

Specifically, the game's players were "inappropriately leaked" information about the bomb's location and technical features. "Basically, we lost New Orleans," John Sopko, the Senate panel's former chief counsel, recalled in an interview about the exercise, The Beers report prompted a review of NEST by ex-assistant secretary of energy Duane C. Sewell, who found that the agency needed more funds, more exercises, and a streamlined bureaucracy.

"Operation Topoff," a five-day May 2000 exercise mandated by the Senate at a cost of $3.5 million, simulated three simultaneous terrorist strikes: chemical weapons in Portsmouth, NH, biological weapons in Denver, and a "dirty bomb" in Washington, DC. Officials hailed Topoff as a success. At a July 2000 meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an elite DC think-tank, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, then a counter-terrorism specialist at the National Security Council, called Topoff "nearly flawless."

But a senior Senate staff member who monitored Topoff laughed when told of this remark. As with Mirage Gold, the test was set up to maximize the chances of success. "For instance," the official said, "six weeks before this supposedly 'no-notice' exercise, the FBI leased 11 T-1 phone lines and installed them in an empty warehouse that it planned on using as a command post."

Also uncertain is whether NEST scientists can neutralize a bomb after they find it. According to Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the DC-based National Security Archive, weapons-lab scientists have several ways to perform this delicate task. They can detonate small explosives around the bomb, blast it into small pieces with artillery, or detonate it inside a huge nylon tent pumped full of 30,000 cubic feet of thick foam to block the dispersal of radiation.

NEST scientists built a nylon tent around the bomb at the end of the 1994 exercise, Mirage Gold, but were denied permission to detonate it—partly because the FBI and FEMA disagreed over which agency had the authority to grant it. The Boston Globe account did not make clear if an actual nuclear device was involved in the exercise, or what contingency is in place to mitigate radiation release from escaped nuclear fuel after the device is destroyed with conventional explosives or artillery. (www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/160/nation/Mobile_teams_on_hunt_for_atomic_threatsP.shtml)

Radiation detectors have been installed at police headquarters in New York City, and will soon be deployed to other city buildings, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Kelly would not say where or when the high-tech detectors would be installed, but said City Hall would "probably" get a pair. The black, seven-foot towers—two of which now stand guard at One Police Plaza—cost just under $11,000 each, officials said. The NYPD is said to have two more such devices, and has also ordered 200 portable radiation detectors, which will be distributed to every precinct and many emergency units. (AP, June 28)


Lt. Steve Donahoo, assigned to the Department's Counter-terrorism Division, had a shock when his radiation detector went off on Manhattan's FDR Drive, prompting him to call 9-11 on his cell phone. Several minutes later, just past 7 AM June 10, Donahoo and officers from the 19th Precinct and an Emergency Services Unit stopped a car at York Avenue and 63rd Street.

They determined that the car was carrying four cannisters of medical supplies. Police said the driver had all the necessary paperwork and that the materials posed no danger. The radiation detectors, roughly the size of a cigarette pack, are worn by some members of the counter-terrorism unit, formed by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in the wake of 9-11. They are also worn by some members of the NYPD-FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. (Newsday, June 11)


Heavily armed New York Police Department "counter-assault teams" are patrolling the city in a new tactic in the war on terrorists, the New York Post reported June 10. The uniformed teams, consisting of one sergeant and four emergency service cops, are outfitted with machine pistols, helmets and heavy-duty bulletproof vests. They travel in unmarked, bulletproof vehicles known as "CAT cars," after the teams' acronym. One car at a time is sent on patrol, according to police sources. The NYPD has been sending out canine units with bomb-sniffing dogs to randomly visit high-profile locations in Manhattan, including bridges, museums, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Wall Street and Rockefeller Center. ( http://nypost.com/news/regionalnews/49955.htm)


At a regional security conference in Singapore, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said that the prospect of terrorists developing nuclear capabilities is "more frightening and dangerous" than nuclear proliferation among nation-states. Wolfowitz said the concern that "nuclear weapons or scientists with nuclear expertise [could] fall into the hands of rogue regimes or terrorist groups is a very, very real one." The discussion on nuclear proliferation was one of a several seminars at a two-day conference organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies and attended by over 150 defense officials. (AP, June 2)


Terror suspect Jose Padilla (aka Abdullah al Mujahir) brought al-Qaeda officials "laughably inaccurate" instructions to make a hydrogen bomb and was urged to instead focus on a "dirty bomb," or conventional explosive combined with radioactive material, Time magazine reported June 15.

Accused "dirty bomb" plotter Padilla reportedly found the hydrogen bomb plans on the Internet and presented them earlier this year to al-Qaeda handlers, including Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden's operations chief currently in US custody, the magazine said. Senior Bush administration officials reportedly told Time that Padilla expressed interest in setting off a hydrogen bomb on US soil, But al-Qaeda bosses told him to think smaller.

"They sent him to the U.S. to see what he could do—plan and execute," the official was quoted as saying. Padilla, 31, was arrested in Chicago when he got off a plane from Pakistan on May 8. He was brought to New York and then moved to a South Carolina naval brig on June 9. Padilla, a US citizen and native New Yorker, has been officially declared an "enemy combatant." (See WW3 REPORT #38)


New York's suburban Westchester County handed out thousands of anti-radiation pills in case of disaster at the nearby Indian Point nuclear power plant. The potassium iodine tablets, known as "KI," are distributed free to anyone who lives within 10 miles of the plant, about 35 miles north of New York City.

About 140,000 people live in that 10-mile radius. Residents lined up outside a Yorktown Heights school on June 8 to pick up the pills, which can prevent thyroid cancer if taken within 24-hours of a nuclear exposure. Officials said the pills would protect people long enough for them to be evacuated, but they warned they are not a panacea. Westchester County spokesperson Victoria Hochman told the Associated Press that 2,617 people had picked up 10,533 KI pills by the end of the day.

"These are not protecting against everything in a nuclear accident," said Dr. Loren Wissner Greene, a thyroid specialist at New York University Medical Center. "I think that is really important to emphasize. What it does do is decrease the ability of the thyroid gland to pick up this radioactive iodine, which can cause a high instance of thyroid cancer, especially in young children." (CNN, June 8)

Since 9-11, Indian Point's owner, the Louisiana-based Entergy Corp., has officially changed its name from the "Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant" to the "Indian Point Energy Center." All area signs indicating the plant have been changed, removing the word "nuclear," and the utility has also launched a local PR blitz plugging the plant's supposed "safety." One recent newspaper ad urged readers to "Take confidence in the security of Indian Point Energy Center."

Entergy bought one Indian Point reactor from the New York Power Authority in 2000, and the second one from Con Edison last September. Since 9-11, there has been a citizen outcry over the threat posed by the plant in the event of terror attack or accident. (See WW3 REPORT #14) (NYT, March 23)


People who live near nuclear reactors have been stocking up on potassium iodine tablets ever since 9-11. One Internet site, NukePills.com, reported orders for 10,000 packs of the pills on June 10 alone. But experts warn that the tablets may not even help in the event of a "dirty bomb" attack.

Potassium iodide would be helpful only if a dirty bomb used radioactive iodine instead of other radioactive substances. It also protects only the thyroid gland, and overdoses can be dangerous. "Just because you're in the same town with a dirty bomb doesn't mean you take potassium iodide," warned Dr. David Orloff of the Food and Drug Administration. "Wait till you hear instructions from public health officials."

Still, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is offering states enough KI to treat every resident within 10 miles of a reactor, because radioactive iodine is likely to be released during a serious reactor accident or attack. (AP, June 11)


Last fall, Detective Chris Hsiung of the Mountain View, CA, police began investigating a suspicious pattern of surveillance against California municipal and utility computer systems from unknown browsers in the Middle East and South Asia. Hsiung, a high-tech crime specialist, alerted the FBI's San Francisco computer intrusion squad.

Working with experts at the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the FBI found "multiple casings of sites" nationwide. Routed through telecommunications switches in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan, the cyber-snoops studied emergency telephone, water storage and distribution, and electrical generation and transmission systems—including gas facilities and nuclear power plants.

Writes the Washington Post: "Unsettling signs of al-Qaeda's aims and skills in cyberspace have led some government experts to conclude that terrorists are at the threshold of using the Internet as a direct instrument of bloodshed... US analysts believe that by disabling or taking command of the floodgates in a dam, for example, or of substations handling 300,000 volts of electric power, an intruder could use virtual tools to destroy real-world lives and property. They surmise, with limited evidence, that al Qaeda aims to employ those techniques in synchrony with 'kinetic weapons' such as explosives."

"The event I fear most is a physical attack in conjunction with a successful cyber-attack on the responders' 911 system or on the power grid," Ronald Dick, director of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, told a closed gathering of corporate security executives hosted by Infraguard at Niagara Falls on June 12.

Specialized digital devices called supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems are used nationwide to coordinate railway switches, run aqueducts and oil and gas pipelines, and regulate hydro-dams and nuclear reactors. According to government documents, "Red Teams" of mock intruders from the Energy Department's national laboratories have devised "eight scenarios for SCADA attack on an electrical power grid"—and all of them work.
Eighteen such exercises have been conducted to date against large regional utilities. Richard A. Clarke, Bush's cyber-security adviser, said the intruders "have always, always succeeded." (WP, June 27)

11. U.N. ATOM AGENCY WARNS: NUKE MATERIALS ON THE LOOSE Radioactive materials that a terrorist would need to build a "dirty bomb" are available around the world, and more than 100 countries may have inadequate programs to prevent or even detect thefts, according to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. Governments—including that of the United States—must take urgent steps to raise security levels to prevent theft and to recover missing supplies, the agency warned. "What is needed is cradle-to-grave control of powerful radioactive sources to protect them against terrorism or theft," said IAEA chief Mohamed el-Baradei.

The agency said "uncontrolled radioactive sources are a widespread phenomenon" in post-Soviet states such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. (See "Jihad Plundering Soviet Nuclear Debris in Central Asia?", WW3 REPORT #38) "Customs officials, border guards, and police forces have detected numerous attempts to smuggle and illegally sell stolen sources," the agency reports. And the prevalence of suicide terror attacks has grave implications for nuclear security: If the perpetrator is willing to disregard his or her own personal safety, radioactive sources could with little effort be concealed in a truck or packed in a suitcase. "The danger of handling powerful radioactive sources can no longer be seen as an effective deterrent, which dramatically changes previous assumptions," el-Baradei said.

In one instance of progress reported by the IAEA, the agency secured the cooperation of both the US Energy Department and Russia's Ministry for Atomic Energy (MINATOM) in a tripartite working group on "Securing and Managing Radioactive Sources." On June 12, officials representing the three sides agreed to develop a "coordinated and proactive strategy to locate, recover, secure and recycle orphan sources throughout the Former Soviet Union. This agreement represents the first concerted international response to the threat posed by vulnerable radioactive sources" in the post-Soviet nations.

But the problem is not confined to the post-Soviet lands. Even the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reports over 1,500 instances of US companies losing track of radioactive materials within the country since 1996, and more than half were never recovered, the IAEA said. A European Union study estimated that every year up to 70 sources are lost from regulatory control in the EU, the IAEA said.

Among recent global incidents cited by IAEA:

*In China in 1992, a cobalt-60 source was lost and picked up by an unsuspecting individual. Three persons in the family died of resulting overexposure.

*In Georgia in 1997, a group of border frontier guards became ill and showed signs of radiation-induced skin disease. Eleven servicemen had to be transferred to specialized hospitals in France and Germany. The cause of the exposures was found to be several cesium-37 and a cobalt-60 sources abandoned in a former Soviet military barracks.

*In Istanbul in 1998, two cobalt-60 sources in their shipping containers were sold as scrap metal. Ten people were inadvertently exposed and had to be treated for acute radiation syndrome

*In Peru in 1999, a worker put iridium-192 from an industrial source in his pocket and suffered severe radiation burns

*In the Brazilian city of Goiania in September 1987 scavengers dismantled a metal canister from a radiotherapy machine at an abandoned cancer clinic and left it in a junkyard. The metal capsule storing the cesium-137 was ruptured, and over the next week several hundred people in Goiania were exposed. Some children and adults, thinking the cesium powder was "pretty," even rubbed it over their bodies. Finally, a public health worker diagnosed radiation sickness at a local clinic and alerted authorities. The Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission sent in a team, which discovered that over 240 persons were contaminated, four of whom later died. Homes and businesses were also contaminated, requiring a major clean-up operation. (IAEA press release, June 25)


A June 11 report in the Hartford Courant, based on NRC records, detailed numerous incidents of lost nuclear materials in the US: "Two years ago, a radiography camera containing a powerful iridium source was stolen from a locked shed in Pembroke Pines, FLA. An NRC report on the incident noted that the thief also took the key that allows access to the inside of the camera. In 1996, six radiography cameras were stolen from a Houston company and never found.

In 1997, someone in Colorado used a bolt-cutter to steal a soil moisture-density gauge, a radioactive tool commonly used in construction, that had been chained to the bed of a pickup truck.

Industrial tools are not the only items to be reported missing. In July 2000, a chemical agent detector containing a radioactive source was stolen from a US Army training area in South Korea. It is one of dozens of such detectors reported stolen or missing from US military bases overseas during the past 15 years.

NRC spokesman Victor Dricks would not talk about the agency's records of lost or missing radioactive sources. Since the terrorist attacks, the NRC has shut down its website and tightly restricted the release of nuclear-related information. 'Given the sensitivity of the issues, it's not something we want to get into,' Dricks said." Notes the Courant: "Although those sources don't contain the sort of material that would allow someone to build a nuclear bomb—at worst they could kill or sicken people who came in close contact—officials have become increasingly concerned that they could be turned into terrorist tools. Six years ago, Chechen rebels used a canister of radioactive cesium to scare shoppers in a Moscow marketplace."


Almost 90% of Britain's nuclear waste stockpile is so badly stored it could explode or leak with devastating results at any time, according to a government report obtained by The Observer. The Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee found that 88% of the UK's "intermediate-level" nuclear waste had not been treated for safe storage at up to 24 locations. Experts warn the potentially volatile waste—with the equivalent mass of 725 double-decker buses—represents a 'disaster waiting to happen'. A source at Nirex, the firm charged with managing Britain's nuclear waste, admitted the situation was 'outrageous.' The report, prepared for by Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett and Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, reveals that volatile materials that can spontaneously combust in air, explode on contact with water or leak in liquid form can be found at nuclear sites across Britain. (UK Observer, June 30)




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What Progress-ive? 05.Jul.2002 10:14

Nihil Allahntin ysab@efn.org

Where is the Alternative-alternative? Down with Demoblicans!