Reaction

The Lie Factory

In the March/April
2003 issue
of Mother Jones, Robert
Dreyfuss chronicled how Washington hawks spent some 30 years
crafting a strategy to gain control of the
Persian Gulf. Much of this plan’s impetus
came from think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and
the Project
for the New American
Century
. In 1998, PNAC sent a letter to President Clinton
warning that Iraq posed “a threat in the Middle East more serious
than any we have known since the end
of the Cold War.” Among the signatories
were Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle. In
“Truth,
War, and Consequences,” the
PBS series Frontline lays out the influence of Perle and the
State Department’s Future of
Iraq Project. Frontline’s website contains interviews, links, and a streaming version
of the documentary.

 

The Soul of the New Machine

Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform website lists
politicians—including George
W. Bush and some 250 members of Congress—who have
signed its
National
Taxpayer Protection
Pledge
. ATR’s
target=”new”>K Street Project
unearths the political affiliations
of
Washington’s most powerful
lobbyists. Norquist’s audacious comments are legendary. In a recent
Fresh Air interview,
available on the program’s website, he likened the estate tax
to the Holocaust.

 

Gods and Monsters

The U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office
maintains a digital
archive
of all patents granted during
its 213-year history. Boston-based Advanced Cell Technology is
developing pigs with humanlike
organs and creating human breasts, bladders, and bones in
the
lab. Dr. Stuart Newman’s ally,
Jeremy Rifkin, is the author of The Biotech Century: Harnessing the
Gene and Remaking the World
(J.P. Tarcher 1998). Brazilian
artist Eduardo Kac is touring
the world with Alba, an albino
rabbit
whose jellyfish genes make it glow green under ultraviolet
light. More on Kac’s controversial
“Ars Chimera” project can be found on his website or in his
self-published book, It’s Not
Easy Being Green!

 

Soldiers in a Forgotten War

The United Nations’ Information Centre for Liberia
provides current information on
humanitarian efforts. The rebel group Liberians United for
Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD)
maintains a website containing its manifesto and
information
on
its leader, Sekou Dammate
Conneh. For more on Charles Taylor’s bloody rise to power, see
journalist Bill Berkeley’s The Graves
Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of
Africa

(Basic Books 2001).

 

Anatomy of a Whistleblower page 60

Jane Mayer’s article “Lost in the Jihad,” published in the New
Yorker
in March 2003, details
the collapse of the Justice Department’s case against John Walker
Lindh. Jesselyn Radack’s
Coalition for
Civil Rights and Democratic Liberties
opposes
“sacrificing freedom in the name
of freedom” and manages her legal-defense fund. The Government
Accountability Project
encourages
and advises governmental and corporate whistleblowers. C.
Fred
Alford’s Whistleblowers:
Broken Lives and Organizational Power
(Cornell University 2001)
explores the psychology of “ethical
heroics” and questions the media’s portrayal of
whistleblowers
as martyrs.

 

Against All Odds

Founded in 1839, London-based Anti-Slavery
International
is
the
world’s oldest human-rights
group and the sole international organization that focuses
exclusively on eliminating this persistent
problem. It has led recent campaigns against bonded labor in Nepal
and child slavery in Congo. In
2000, ASI formed an American offshoot called Free the
Slaves
.

 

Waiting for Gitmo

Details of the International Committee of the Red
Cross

efforts on behalf of the Guantanamo
detainees, as well as audio interviews with Red Cross officials about
their experiences at Camp
Delta, are on its
website. Human Rights Watch has persistently
criticized the Guantanamo detentions,
from the treatment of child prisoners to America’s “double
standards” toward international
law. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights is
representing several detainees.

 

New Mexico’s Strange Love

The Defense Department’s Nuclear Posture Review
recommends
increasing production of plutonium
“pits” used to make nuclear weapons, despite problems at the Rocky
Flats facility outside Denver.
The Colorado Department of Public Health has documented the
site’s
37-year history of contamination
and health risks. The Federation of American Scientists has compiled
details on new-generation
weapons such as “tactical nukes” and “bunker busters.”

 

Monsanto vs. the Milkman

The Minnesota-based Organic Consumers Association
collects data
on bovine growth hormones
and provides information on hormone-free milk producers.
The
Food
and Drug Administration
,
Health Canada, and the European Union have all studied the safety
and
efficacy of rBGH. The
target=”new”>website

for Monsanto’s rBGH Posilac features testimonials from satisfied
customers, such as a Florida
farmer who says, “I use Posilac because it makes me
money.”

 

Hellraiser: Trina Magi

The American Library Association has analyzed how the
Patriot
Act compromises privacy and
intellectual freedom in libraries. It also offers librarians
guidelines on “what to do before,
during and after a ‘knock at the door'” from law enforcement. The
Department of Justice has tried
to assuage fears about the act with a website devoted to defending
it, lifeandliberty.gov.