How to stop terrorism

The Bush administration is resorting to reckless actions to escalate its increasingly unpopular “war on terrorism.” The State Department released an apparent hit list of states it claims are sponsoring terrorism, with flimsy evidence or no evidence to back it up.

The administration was forced to back peddle on its unsubstantiated charges that Cuba is engaged in bioterrorism. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld gang is continuing its drumbeat of war against Iraq. It is moving to expand its global military reach.

As revealed in its Nuclear Posture Review, the Pentagon is threatening use of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the White House is bombarding the American public with terrorism warnings to divert attention from an investigation of what it knew about terrroist threats before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Ironically, the avalanche of terrorism warnings underscores the administration’s failure to truly protect the American people. Here and around the world, people are questioning the effectiveness and the motivations of Bush’s endless war.

Last October, eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates called on the U.S. to refrain from military retaliation for Sept. 11, saying the best response is to reaffirm democracy and the rule of law.

Terrorism doesn’t spring from poverty and oppression. Terrorism has to be organized and funded, and it finds converts where mass democratic, working class, progressive and communist alternatives are crushed.

Bush’s war on terrorism continues U.S. imperialism’s long record of destroying democracy – propping up reactionary regimes like Saudi Arabia, promoting destruction of popular democratic movements such as the Palestinian movement, and plotting to overthrow popularly elected governments as in Venezuela. The “war on terrorism” is destabilizing the world. It is feeding violence and terror.

The Nobel laureates appealed to the world to develop a “culture of peace and nonviolence,” and called for “a renewed determination to work for a peaceful and just world.” We agree. This is the only way to eradicate terrorism.

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Lift curtain of secrecy

Not since Richard Nixon’s Watergate presidency have we seen a chief executive as obsessed with secrecy as George W. Bush. Like Nixon, he and his aides use spurious claims of “national security” and “executive privilege” to hide information from the people.

In the most sinister case, Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other administration officials have refused to release records on what they knew about the terrorist threats before Sept. 11.

They also refuse to release records of White House contacts with oil and gas executives, including Ken Lay and other Enron officials. There is no credible basis for claiming that “national security” would be compromised by releasing these records.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Cheney May 15, citing a leaked Environmental Protection Agency memo which urges Cheney’s Energy Policy Task Force to avoid mentioning the California energy crisis in its final report.

The EPA memo stated, “We are desperately trying to avoid California in this report …” What are they hiding?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released an equally incriminating memo sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by Southern California Edison last Aug. 17. It spells out in detail a conspiracy by Enron, Duke Power and other energy traders to “game” California’s energy market, a scam that cost ratepayers $30 billion. Kept secret by FERC, the memo was sent to Feinstein by Edison.

Feinstein demanded that the Bush administration explain “what happened to this memo? Who was the highest authority who reviewed it? And what actions did FERC take … ?”

Not even a non-elected president has the authority to conceal White House records that may contain evidence of criminal wrongdoing. It is called “obstruction of justice” and Nixon was forced to resign because of it. We demand a halt to the stonewalling. The people have a right to know.

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