Free the 9/11 detainees
Nine months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, hundreds of detainees, mostly Arab or Muslim men, are still imprisoned by federal authorities despite no evidence of their connection with terrorism.

The issue came to a head when the General Accounting Office (GAO), a non-partisan investigative agency of Congress, obtained a list of the names of the detainees April 30 at the request of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.). The Justice Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) demanded the immediate return of the list and GAO complied. Conyers angrily declared, “The INS’s refusal to trust the people’s representatives in Congress with such basic information on the detainees is an affront to democracy and due process.”

In its last public announcement about the detainees, the Justice Department said about 327 people are being held by federal authorities, but this does not include dozens more detained as “material witnesses.” Nor does it include the thousands of letters sent out, to mainly Arab or Muslim immigrants, “inviting” the recipient to “meet” with Justice Department officials.

What is the rationale of Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft in this mass detention and dragnet? It fits in with their aim of criminalizing immigrants, especially those of Arab, Asian or Muslim background.

If Bush and Ashcroft succeed in stirring racist hysteria that these communities are a haven for “terrorists” threatening “homeland security,” it makes it easier to whip up war hysteria for the administration’s military adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia. That was the rationale in the racist and unconstitutional mass detention of Japanese Americans during World War II.

A climate of fear and repression is also useful in the intimidation of opposition to Bush’s rightwing, pro-corporate agenda.

We demand that the government turn over this list to Congress, halt racial profiling and free the detainees immediately, in the name of democracy and decency, which are the real basis of public security.

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Let Cuba live
The ultra-right, and in particular the Bush administration, is intent on eliminating any obstacle to their unending war for total U.S. economic, military and political domination of the world.

They have tried to do this in the case of Yasir Arafat in the Mideast and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and now they are going full-speed ahead with this tactic toward socialist Cuba and its president, Fidel Castro. They see Cuba as a thorn in their side that must be eliminated.

In a May 6 speech, Undersecretary of State John Bolton alleged “possible” Cuban involvement in producing biological weapons. This unsupported accusation was widely reported in the mainstream media, who should know better.

Starting with Monterrey, where Castro was pressured not to participate in the U.N. development conference, it is clear the Bush administration is accelerating efforts to isolate Cuba from the rest of Latin America and the world.

Remember, Bush operative Otto Reich, who is infamous for planting lies in the press and has been tied to the failed Venezuela coup, is a virulent anti-communist Cuban with links to anti-Castro terrorists.

What irony! While charging Cuba with terrorism, it is the U.S. that has supported terrorism against Cuba, including biological terrorism aimed at Cuban agriculture and food supplies, and at poisoning Castro himself. Five Cuban patriots sit in U.S. jails for fighting such illegal acts.

Socialist Cuba, because of its accomplishments for its people and services to the world, has drawn wide interest and support from around the world. Polls show a majority of Americans favor eliminating the U.S. embargo. Sections of U.S. business see a benefit from good relations with Cuba. The travel industry wants to promote travel to Cuba. The farm states want agricultural trade with Cuba. Former President Jimmy Carter will go there this month. Illinois Gov. George Ryan went there twice.

We must tell Bush and Congress: “Hands off Cuba, end the embargo.”

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